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CIA Comments on 9/11 Commission Staff Statement about Khallad Identification

CIA Comments on 9/11 Commission Staff Statement about Khallad Identification

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Published by 911DocumentArchive
Comments sent by the CIA on a section of 9/11 Commission staff statement number 10 sent a few days before the statement was published. The section concerns the identification of al-Qaeda leader Khallad bin Attash by a CIA/FBI source in a surveillance photograph taken in Kuala Lumpur in January 2000. The CIA sent changes it wanted made to the staff statement, although these were mostly not accepted.

The comments state that the CIA officer who had the source make the identification knew what it was for (whereas the commission speculates in its final report that may not have understood it). They also state that the cable on the identification of Khallad was sent to the CIA station in Yemen, which was working with the FBI's Cole investigators on the issue of Khallad and his involvement in the bombing (however, other sources indicate the station in Yemen did not tell the FBI of the identification).
Comments sent by the CIA on a section of 9/11 Commission staff statement number 10 sent a few days before the statement was published. The section concerns the identification of al-Qaeda leader Khallad bin Attash by a CIA/FBI source in a surveillance photograph taken in Kuala Lumpur in January 2000. The CIA sent changes it wanted made to the staff statement, although these were mostly not accepted.

The comments state that the CIA officer who had the source make the identification knew what it was for (whereas the commission speculates in its final report that may not have understood it). They also state that the cable on the identification of Khallad was sent to the CIA station in Yemen, which was working with the FBI's Cole investigators on the issue of Khallad and his involvement in the bombing (however, other sources indicate the station in Yemen did not tell the FBI of the identification).

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: 911DocumentArchive on Apr 24, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/11/2014

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'94
eifl/OGC
UNCLASSIFIED//FOUO
K.I
Central
Intelligence Agency
Office
of
General CounselWashington,D.C. 20505
To:
Organization:Phone:
Fax:
From:Organization:Phone:
Fax:
Date: 04/09/04
Dan Marcus
Kean
Commission
202/331-4060
202/296-5545
9/11
Closed
byStatute
Office
of
General Counsel
9/11 Closed by
Statute
Number
of
Pages (Including Cover)
5
Comments:Dan: Hereareproposed additions(inbold)anddeletions(inbrackets) from
the
Kuala
T
.iimp»f
c^ri^™
»f
««
»f
No 10.
Please call
me to
discuss]
9/u
closed
by
sta;:ute
UNCLASSIFIED//FOUO
 
«-
 
-.r
UNCLASSIFIED
COMMISSION
STAFF STATEMENT
#10 p. 6.
In
early January 2001
two
photographs from
the
Kuala Lumpur
meeting
were shown to the source. One was a
known
photograph
of Mihdhar, the
other
a
photograph
of an
unknown
subject.
Thesourcedid notrecognize Mihdhar.But he wasninety percent certain that the other individual was
Khallad.
This meant that Khallad and Mihdhar were two different
people, but it
also meant that there
was a
link between
Khallad,
a suspected leader in the Cole bombing, the KualaLumpur meeting, and Mihdhar. Despite this new information,
we
found
no
effort
by the CIA to
renew
the
long abandoned
search for
Mihdhar
or his
travel companions.
In
addition,
we
found that
there
is
conflicting
evidence
as
to
whether
the CIA
did not
notified
the FBI of
this
identification.
[DCI
Tenet and Cofer Black testified
before the
Joint Inquiry that
the FBI had
access
to
thisidentification from
the
beginning.
But
based
on an
extensive record, including documents that were not
available to CIA
personnel
who
drafted that testimony,
weconclude
they
were
may
have been
in
error
.]
FBIinvestigators
including
the FBI
Director knew about
the
Kuala
Lampur meeting
and,
as of at
least
June
2001,
an FBI
analyst
had
possession
of the
photographs
andbelieved
theywererelevant
to the
Cole
investigation. In
addition,
CIA
disseminated
information about
the
photo
identification to
Aden,Yemen where
the
Cole investigation
was
centered
andFBI and CIA officers
were working hand-in-hand.
On theother
hand,
the
FBI's
primary Cole investigators
say that
they
had no
knowledge
of the
Kuala Lumpur meeting
at
all,
let
alone Khallad's possible participation
in it,
untilafter
the
September
11
attacks.This
incident
is an
example
of how
day-to-day gaps
ininformation
sharing
can emerge even in a situation of
goodwill
on
both all
sides. The information was from a
joint
FBI/CIA
intelligence
source.
The source spoke
essentially no English. The FBI person on the sceneoverseas did not speak the languages the source spoke. Due
to
travel
and
security issues
the
amount
of
time spent
with
the
sourcewasnecessarily kept short.As aresult,the
CIA
officer usually did not simultaneously translate either
the
questions or the answers for his accompanying FBIUNCLASSIFIED
 
UNCLASSIFIEDcolleague, and friend.
On the other hand, less than amonth earlier
the CIA
officer
had
taken
the
time
to
have
adifferent
photo
identification by the
source repeated,solely
for the
benefit
of the FBI
representative.
For
interviews without
ouch
simultaneous
translation, theFBI
agent
on the
scene received copies
of the
report that
the
CIA
disseminated
to
other agencies,
but he was not
given
accessto the
CIA's
internal operational
traffic thatcontained more detail.
The
information regarding
the
January
2001 identification
of
Khallad
was
only
reported
in
operational traffic to which the
rolovant
FBI
criminal
investigators did not have access.
Complicating
thepicture, there were questions within
the
FBI as to
whether
FBI
intelligence
officers
could permissibly share
the
information with the criminal investigators involved in the
Cole.
The CIA
officer does
not
recall this particular
identification
and
this
cannot
aay
can think
of
no reason
why it
wag not would not have
been
shared with his FBIcolleague. [But
he may
have misunderstood
the
possiblesignificance
of the new identification.]
UNCLASSIFIED

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