posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 10:13 PM
By Sean D. Naylor
The road to 9/11 was littered with opportunities that the United States missed to cripple al Qaeda and to avert the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Throughout the 1990s small dedicated teams of intelligence analysts and FBI agents toiled in obscurity, as al Qaeda and its associates attacked the
World Trade Center in 1993, the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen in 2000, along with several
smaller “lone wolf” attacks. HISTORY talked to five intelligence and law-enforcement veterans of those investigations about the challenges they
faced convincing others in the government of the threat posed by al Qaeda and other Sunni Islamist groups.
Cynthia Storer, former analyst with the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center
One of first big missed opportunities was just losing most of our intelligence collection after the Soviets began to withdraw from Afghanistan in
1988. It was that peace dividend that [President Bill] Clinton wanted, that the American people wanted after the Soviet Union collapsed, so we fired
all of our Afghan assets and ramped down our signals-intelligence collection and everything else. If you don’t get the information to follow
something closely, then you’re going to be behind the curve, which is what happened.
Everybody needed to have a change of mindset. At the end of the Cold War, the beginning of this international Sunni terrorist organization was
something nobody imagined could happen, because ‘Arabs can’t work together, and these guys are a bunch of ragheads who’ve been fighting in the
mountains of Afghanistan.’ Except that we knew there was a lot of very well-educated people who had been hanging out together in Afghanistan for 10
Government Terrorist Trackers Before
Looks like the Oopsie Theory will be getting pushed hard this year.Let's get this straight: "The best trained,most technologically advanced
intelligence community in the world." simply let this slip between the cracks? No,they didn't they simply chose to look the other way while the
Saudis and other regimes would send these guys away so they could be someone else's problem.Are we still supposed to believe that they lost track of
2 of them after that summit?