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Keep these characterizations in mind as Director Mueller and I walk you through the details of the plot. Also keep in mind that the 9/11 investigation is ongoing, and we expect to know even more in the future than we present to you here today. Let me start with what we knew before the 9-11 attacks:
* We knew, and warned, that Usama Bin Ladin and his al-Qa'ida organization were "the most immediate and serious" terrorist threat to the US. We said that in several ways, including in my statement to the SSCI in February 2001.
* In the months prior to 11 September, we alerted policymakers that operations that al-Qa'ida had in motion were likely to cause large-scale loss of life and be spectacular in nature.
* Beginning in June 2001, we received a barrage of intelligence indicating that al-Qa'ida associates in Afghanistan and abroad expected imminent attacks against unspecified US interests.
* Over the summer of 2001, it became evident that multiple attacks were in the works, especially abroad. Some of these were interdicted, such as planned attacks against US targets in Europe and the Middle East—successes for US intelligence.
* Finally, we knew—and warned—of Bin Ladin's desire to strike inside the US.