The Intelligence Community has had successes and failures, many of which have made history. One of the most prominent failures in U.S history was the attacks on September 11, 2011. Now most people would start to read this essay and think they know everything about what happened that day because it has been so publicized. However, for me it was different. Yes, I was alive when it happened, but I was too young to understand. The September 11th attacks have been of particular interest to me due to the fact that they happened right in my backyard. One of them even occurred in the same state in which I live. For this reason I wanted to know why an event of this magnitude occured in the U.S. The safety of Americans has changed since then leaving many people affected. The collection and analysis of intelligence in our nation changed dramtically after the 9/11 attacks.
Beginning in 2001 Intelligence about the impending nature of an attack was increasing, not only from US Intelligence sources but also from 11 other countries such as Britain, Israel, India, Egypt, Morocco and even a top Taliban commander from Afghanistan (Thompson.) Beginning in August warnings become coming in from everywhere, foreign governments, CIA and FBI sources and so on however, next to none of this information was shared between the many intelligence agencies. In April, NORAD launched a training scenario in which the pentagon was to be incapacitated by a hijacked airliner however the Joint Chiefs of Staff disregarded the scenario as “too unrealistic” (September 11 attacks advance-knowledge debate.) On august 19th the Israeli’s gave US intelligence personnel credible information including, the list of 19 suspected terrorist’s names and the fact that a large aircraft would be the primary weapon involved. The names were not shared by the CIA with other intelligence agencies (Robinson.)
Isaac Asimov in “What is Intelligence Anyway?” addresses the question of how society determines intelligence. While in the army, Asimov scored impressively high on an aptitude test and, for a few hours, a huge fuss was made out of him. When Asimov then had to return to KP duty as a buck private he realized that while impressive, his test score did not hold much value. Throughout life, he found that registering high test scores was almost second nature to him. Getting high scores gave him confidence in the fact that he was highly intelligent and he expected everyone else to think that as well. Over time, Asimov came to conclude that scores are merely a reflection of one’s ability to answer questions designed by the test maker. He used an example
If you had that one piece of the puzzle that would have prevented the bombings of the twin towers in New York and the Pentagon on September 11 2001 would you know it? If you saw someone do something weird or suspicious before the attack on September 11 2001, would you have called the police? If someone had walked into a United States Embassy in a foreign country and said that they know someone was going to use a plane to destroy New York in two days, could this have stopped the attack? Intelligence Analysis puts the raw sources of information together, make predictions based on the data, and finally publish the results.
In the book, Why America Slept: The Failure to Prevent 9/11, by Gerald Posner he argues that the act of terrorism that occurred on September 11, 2001 could have and should have been prevented. He presented a powerful case of how stupidity and misdirected priorities made America an easy aim for terrorists. Gerald Posner, the author of the book was a former Wall Street Lawyer, award winning investigative journalist and bestselling author. Posner purposefully wrote this book to demonstrate all the clues that were given out prior to the attack and inform us on previously undisclosed information after a thorough 18-month investigation. Posner’s goal was to discover what the CIA, FBI, and others in the Government were doing behind the scenes for at least a decade leading up to 9/11. The intended audience for this book is anyone who is willing to open their eyes on the true occurrences that happened on 9/11. The title of the piece is related directly to the book and the subject matter of it. America slept on all the clues that they received that there would be a terrorist attack and the book demonstrated how exactly they failed to prevent the acts that occurred on 9/11. Why America Slept is such a staggering book and Posner successfully demonstrates to the audience how 9/11 could have been prevented through his use of examples and facts.
This report aims to provide details of a defining moment in history between 1901 and now. The defining moment in this report is the 9/11 attacks. The purpose of this report is to understand, the specifics of the 9/11, what happened on 9/11 and how it happened, the Primary factors that contributed to the outcome of 9/11 and lastly reasons why the 9/11 attack is considered a defining moment in intelligence history.
September 11, 2001 forever impacted America and gave a new challenge to our government that went far beyond any challenges that a natural disaster had presented in decades. The terrorist attacks were definitely a wake up call to being more prepared for natural disasters and reevaluating our intelligence agency jobs and communication levels. In chapter 2, one of the key points that Kettl discuss is connecting the dots. We can see that in the midst of 9/11, America focused on the nation’s intelligence services for answers. As the American people we wanted to know, who were the hijackers, where was security and most importantly, and who do we hold accountable? Furthermore, that the intelligence agencies failed to piece together information that already had about terrorism speculations. In chapter 1, Kettl talks about the warnings and signs that the government has before catastrophes (such as September 11, Hurricane
Upon analyzing 9/11 it was clear to focus on the limitations that the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Central Intelligence Agency had faced. Security breaches and poor intelligence sharing were just some of the critical failures that were encountered. Moreover, the main focus is pointed towards the miscommunication between these two agencies. Evidently, the execution and tactical strategies went unnoticed despite the apparent red flags that presented themselves, in addition to the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Central Intelligence Agency failure to pursue threats and establish a baseline of security resulted in the disaster of 9/11. In conjunction to these mistakes, the restriction of shared information
Assessing our vulnerability to terrorist attack remains difficult in part because the events surrounding the attacks of September 11, 2001, have not been thoroughly explained. In its investigation into them, the 9/11 Commission slid past many important questions, leaving them unanswered, and did not adequately challenge the Bush administration when it refused to cooperate or obfuscated its own actions.
The terrorist attack that occurred on September 11, 2001 (9/11) is arguably the greatest tragedy the United States has ever faced. This attack was widespread, coordinated and devastating in nature. Many people claim that the government failed to protect us from this event and that it should have been prevented. Over the Course of this paper, we will examine that claim. We will examine how the Intelligence community failed to prevent the 9/11 terror attack. This paper will also examine how the Intelligence community could have used its assets more effectively. The two biggest factors in this attack were the lack of information sharing and lack of action taken on received intelligence. After discussing how those two factors facilitated the 9/11
Two of the important aspects that’s caused the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 to take place was the lack of communication between the FBI, CIA and other various government bodies and pointless bureaucratic standoffs that handicapped counterterrorism efforts. In addition, the United States underestimated the power of al-Qaeda. Prior to 9/11 the United States were aware of multiple threats and events that had taken place, but the lack of communication between departments made it imposable to know that al-Qaeda was planning an attack on US soil. In July 1998, after kidnapping Ahmed Salama Mabruk and another member or jihad the CIA cloned a laptop computer, which contained al-Qaeda organization charts and a roster of Jihad members, but
In September of 2001, the worst terrorist tragedy that has ever occurred on American soil, and quite possibly in the world, rocked the foundations of the United States of America. The unimpeded destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Center led many to wonder how an event of such magnitude could not have been foreseen and prevented. Later, many sources led us to believe that it was not that the information was not there, but rather, it was the inability of intelligence communities and law enforcement agencies to communicate the data among themselves that resulted in the greatest security breach in American history. To combat this inability to coordinate use of data and information, the Defense Advanced
“Failure to thwart the attacks using available information has been interpreted as indicating a need for a more comprehensive and strategic coordination of intelligence” (Schaible, 2012, p. 761)
Homeland security works around the clock to provide safety for not just our country, but for the entire world. Over the years there have been constant improvements to homeland security. The capabilities of intelligence gathering have been bolstered by the numerous agencies at different levels of our government, coordination between agencies, and even the very strategy used to analyze the data.