Ever wonder how the law adapts to technology that makes it harder or easier for police to search and seize suspected criminals? Orin Kerr posits that an Equilibrium-adjustment exists. "Courts respond to the new facts by trying to restore the old level of protection. If a new technology or practice increased government power, courts ratchet up Fourth Amendment...
A Review of the FBI's Handling of Intelligence Information Related to the September 11 Attacks
"This report is organized into six chapters. Chapter One contains this introduction. Chapter Two provides general background on the issues discussed in this report. For example, it contains descriptions of key terminology, the FBI's organizational structure, the so-called 'wall' that separated intelligence and criminal investigations in the FBI and the DOJ, the process for obtaining a FISA warrant, and other legal background issues related to how the FBI investigated terrorism and intelligence cases before September 11, 2001. Because the background chapter contains basic terminology and concepts, those with more extensive knowledge of these issues may not need to read this chapter in full.
Chapter Three evaluates the FBI's handling of the Phoenix EC. As an initial matter, we provide background on how 'leads' were assigned in the FBI before September 11, 2001, and we summarize the contents of the Phoenix EC. We then describe in detail how the Phoenix EC was handled within the FBI before September 11. In the analysis section of Chapter Three, we examine problems in how the Phoenix EC was handled, first focusing on the systemic problems that affected the way the FBI treated the EC and then discussing the performance of the individuals involved with the EC. At the end of the chapter we discuss several other pieces of information in the possession of the FBI before September 11 that also noted connections of potential terrorists to the aviation industry or the use of airplanes.
Chapter Four examines the FBI's investigation of Moussaoui, including allegations raised by Rowley. In this chapter, we describe in detail the facts regarding the FBI's investigation of Moussaoui, the interactions between the Minneapolis FBI and FBI Headquarters on the investigation, the request to seek a criminal warrant or a FISA warrant to search Moussaoui's belongings, and the plans to deport Moussaoui. We then provide our analysis of these actions. This analysis discusses systemic problems that this case revealed, and it also assesses the performance of the FBI employees who were involved in the Moussaoui investigation.
In Chapter Five, we examine the FBI's handling of intelligence information concerning Hazmi and Mihdhar. We found that, beginning in late 1999 and continuing through September 11, 2001, the FBI had at least five opportunities to learn of intelligence information about Mihdhar and Hazmi which could have led it to focus on them before the September 11 attacks. In this chapter, we describe each of these five opportunities in detail. We describe the intelligence information regarding Hazmi and Mihdhar that existed at the time, whether the information was made available to the FBI, and what additional information about Hazmi and Mihdhar the FBI could have developed on its own. In the analysis section of this chapter, we evaluate the problems that impeded the FBI's handling of the information about Hazmi and Mihdhar before September 11, and we also address the performance of the individuals involved in the Hazmi and Mihdhar case.
In Chapter Six, we set forth our recommendations for systemic improvements in the FBI and we summarize our conclusions.
The OIG completed a 421-page classified version of this report in July 2004. At that time, the OIG provided the report, which was classified at the TOP SECRET/SCI level, to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission). The 9/11 Commission used certain information from our report in its final report. In July 2004, we also provided our classified report to certain congressional committees with oversight of the Department of Justice, including the House of Representatives and Senate Committees on the Judiciary, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
At the request of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the OIG has created this 370-page unclassified version of the report. To do so, we worked with the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA to delete classified information from our full report. However, the substance of the report has not changed, and we believe that this unclassified version fairly summarizes the findings of the full report."
More About This Topic...
Click thumbnails below to view links