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TEAM #1 Item 1: Key Questions I. Lines of Inquiry and Key Questons A. We propose to organize our initial research around three over-arching questions, which will be used as principal lines of inquiry. 1. What is the history of al Qaeda and its linkages to other terrorist entities prior to the 9/11 attacks? 2. What can we determine through a comprehensive examination of all evidence now available—synthesizing the information available earlier with that obtained post9/1 1—regarding the planning, preparation,-financing, and execution of the 9/11 attacks-? 3. What is now known of the present composition of al Qaeda and its affiliated entities and what threat do they now pose? Each of these lines of inquiry is a building block that encompasses many specific component questions. We can identify some of these component questions at the outset of the research, and they are listed below as a means of focusing the initiation of our research. However, new component questions will emerge from our discoveries as our research progresses. Thus, one of the aims of the initial research is to identify additional: key component questions for our research. One of the crosscutting issues to which we will pay close attention is al Qaeda's collaborative relationships and connections with various other entities because these factors will be critical in assessing al Qaeda's means and capabilities for future attacks. B. The following is a list of some of the key component questions that will be the focus of our initial research: 1. What is the history of al Qaeda prior to the 9/11 attack? a. What are al Qaeda's origins, ideological roots, doctrines, and worldview, and how have they evolved over time? Who have been its key functionaries? How has it recruited personnel? b. What attacks before 9/11 can we now connect with al Qaeda, either operating alone or in collaboration with other terrorist groups? How were they carried out? c. With what other terrorist groups has al Qaeda been affiliated, either in collaborative operations or through funding and logistical support? d. How has al Qaeda functioned organizationally and financially? c. What have been its relationships with governments or government components acting outside the purview of their own political leadership, including, but not limited to those governments or factions that provided al Qaeda with support and sanctuary?
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7 What can we determine through a comprehensive examination of all ' evidence now available—synthesizing the information available earlier with that obtained post-9/11—regarding the planning, preparation, financing, and execution of the 9/11 attacks? a. What can we now understand regarding the strategic objectives of the attack? b How were the targets and means of attack chosen? By whom? How was intelligence collected and employed for this purpose? c What do we know of the origins and details of the operational planning for the attack e.g., the designation of operational command, the selection of the hijacking teams, the establishment of logistic and financial support? When was the plan finalized? Was it fixed or flexible? d What were the key planning and decision variables? For example, is there any evidence of any variables that would have resulted in a decision to abort the plan? Who had the final authority to carry out the plan or abort it? e. What training, exercises, and/or rehearsals were carried out? f What staging areas and support networks were employed in carrying out the plan? Did affiliated entities play any role in staging or supporting the attacks?
3. What is now known of the present composition ofal Qaeda and its affiliated entities and what threat do they now pose? a How has al Qaeda sought to adapt and compensate for its losses? What ' changes have taken place since 9/11 in such areas as tactics, doctrine, personnel, and financial practices?
b. What is the current status of al Qaeda's active membership and its access to weapons and training? c. What has happened to the many thousands who passed through the training and vetting camps in Afghanistan? d. What role has al Qaeda played in terrorist attacks mounted since 9/11, whether thwarted or actually carried out? e What has been the role, if any, of affiliated and collaborative entities in these attacks, and what is the status of the connections between al Qaeda and other terrorist groups? f. Is there any evidence that al Qaedu is currently receiving any support from any state actor? g. What is the status of al Qaeda's efforts to acquire WMD?
...r.-h PI in 1
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this time frame several major terrorist operations took place in which bin Laden
5SSMMS"he " K "sacred sites" of Islam, to 1991 bin Laden moved ms O base to Sudan. Some context:
s a plot that was broken up by law enforcement in June 1993, the in Manila, which included plans to blow up 12 atrhners over the
those plans. The muhiole connections between these operations offer insights into the evolving
I I I L / I I I X **• w*"***"' -y ~* role in rite/998 Embassy bombing Similarly,i Ramzi Yousef, wf0"™^*™.1.' u ended up in Manila, where he worked Mohammed on the 1995 Bojinka Plot.
Page 4 of 8 involved in the attack on the USS Cole in October 2000, the 9/11 attacks, and in the October 2002 Bali bombing. Similarly, a report released by the Singapore police reveals that the Southeast Asian terrorist organization Jema'ah Islamiyya planned to provide the foot soldiers for the aborted suicide strikes planned for Manila and Jakarta in early 2002; al Qaeda leaders made the strategic planning decisions at meetings in Afghanistan and provided the financing and much of the target reconnaissance. Research into Key Question/Line of Inquiry 2, dissecting and reconstructing the planning, preparation, financing and execution of the 9/11 attacks in rigorous detail from its origins to execution, will proceed in parallel, with part of the team merging newly developed intelligence (including findings emerging from the research on al Qaeda's origins and development) with information from existing sources. Our specific objectives include the identification of al Qaeda's links with other entities, including possible links with state sponsors. These links could be a major part of the threat al Qaeda poses in the future. Some context: Evidence now available indicates that the concept of using aircraft as weapons—crashing them into major sites—was raised with top al Qaeda leaders as far back as the mid1990's, at the same time the Manila-based Bojinka Plot was underway. Some have also theorized that the concept of employing hijackers with pilot training evolved from the failed attempt of Algerian hijackers to force pilots to steer a hijacked aircraft into the Eiffel Tower in 1995. The process of selecting individuals for piloting the aircraft, bringing together the operational teams, moving the financial support for the training and maintenance of the teams, and, most notably, coordinating the actions of the diverse components of the attack—entering the United States from both sides of the continent, and coordinating the implementation of the plot with flights from three major airports— are prima facie indications of the linchpin role of the "central staff" of al Qaeda's inner circle. — The results of these research efforts will provide a base for honing specific areas of focus and identifying sources for pursuing the third line of inquiry: What has happened to al Qaeda in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and the intensified worldwide coalition in a war against terrorism, and, of even greater importance, what this reveals about al Qaeda's present composition and its threat to the United States. The research on al Qaeda's earlier developments will naturally feed into the understanding of al Qaeda's current situation. However, we plan to step back at various intervals to examine what specific component questions and branches of inquiry have emerged from our research into al Qaeda's evolution and use these questions to sharpen our focus on the current threat. TEAM #1 Item 2: Suggested Readings On the origins and evolution of the al Qaeda global terrorist consortium, we suggest either Peter Bergen, Holy War. Inc., (Touchstone, 2002) or Rohan Gunaratna, Inside Al-Qa'ida (Columbia University Press, 2002). Although both were published within a few months after the 9/11 attacks, both authors had begun their research into al Qaeda years earlier and both conducted extensive interviews with key actors in foreign settings. The differences are mainly in presentation. Bergen employs a more journalistic narrative style, while Gunaratna is somewhat more scholarly and offers substantial deplh on key points. For insight into the Washington perspective and what was known of the terrorist threat presented by bin Laden and al Qaeda prior to 9/11. we suugesi Daniel Benjamin and Steve House. 2002f ',
Page 5 of 8 For a detailed, intimately informed layout of the complex interconnections of individuals and cells involved in the terrorist plots in New York and several individuals who later turned up in various al Qaeda operations, read John Miller and Michael Stone, The Cell (Hyperion Books, 2002). Bernard Lewis' book What Went Wrong? (HarperCollins 2002) provides a conceptual background introduction to the Middle Eastern and Islamic environment in which al Qaeda grew. TEAM#1 Item 3: Document Requests We propose to initiate our research by digging into key known lodes of information. This needs to be understood as a starting point, however, because one of the desired products of an in-depth research effort is the identification of new branches and potential sources for further research. We plan to look preliminarily to open sources, many of which have already been used to begin shaping our detailed timeline of al Qaeda's emergence and actions since its formation in the late 1980's. (Some of the most useful books are listed in the attached list of suggested reading materials.) We then propose to examine the following key sources: 1. The records compiled by the Joint Inquiry, both as substantive sources of information and as a means of identifying what else to look for and where to look. All of the documents that have been made available to the Joint Inquiry are maintained in specific storage areas~by the agencies from which they originated. 2. The FBI's Penttbom file, which contains the details of what has been learned from the investigations of the 9/11 conspiracy, including a detailed timeline of what the FBI knows of the origins and movements of each of the plot's participants. 3. Records of statements of individuals interrogated in connection with several major terrorist prosecutions in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere. This is a critical lode of information for examining the evolving cell structure, transnational connections and key players in the evolution. The documents include records of investigations and interrogations from the first trial of participants in the WTC I attack, which concluded in March 1994; the trial of the conspirators in the New York City landmarks case, including the "Blind Sheikh," which concluded in October 1995; the two trials of Ramzi Yousef, first for his role in the Bojinka Plot, concluded in September 1996, and then for his role in WTC I, concluded in November 1997; the pre-empted "Millennium strike" on Los Angeles International Airport; and the prosecution of the perpetrators of the African Embassy bombings, which concluded in July 2001. In addition, the gunman in the 1990 assassination of Meir Kahane, the leader of the Jewish Defense League, was later convicted for his involvement in the 1993 plot to bomb New York City landmarks. We intend to review the records from the Kahane assassination and other related investigations to determine the origins of the New York terrorist cell. _ 4. Documentary reports of information relating to the 9/11 attacks and the history of al Qaeda that were obtained from individuals and material taken into custody since 9/11. The Intelligence Community has obtained a vast amount of information from the largo number of operatives, documents, and equipment captured since 9/11. We will stun with the Director of Central Intelligence's Review Group, which has been tasked with accumulating all information on bin Laden, al Qaeda, and terrorist plots against the United Slates worldwide. — This inl'urnutiun is critical to the task of examining al Qaeda's development, structure, key
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players and collaborative ties with other regional and transnational terrorist entities, which is particularly important in assessing the threat al Qaeda currently poses. Manv key individuals and materials have been captured since the conclusion of the Joint Sry including, according to media accounts, individuals who played key roles in he al o2^taSnhip circle, such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaida, as well as key nekIterators such as Ramzi Binalshib, Umar Faruq and Mohammed Mansour Jabarah The S^o^sSSes for information on al Qaeda's global reach because of their central roles in the collaboration of al Qaeda and Southeast Asian terrorist groups in the December 2000 aVacks in Manila and Jakarta, the planned multiple attacks in Singapore and Ma aysia that load authorities in December 2001, and the October 2002 Bali bombing. Other individuals currendy in custody, such as Fathur Rahman al-Ghozi, served as regional points of contact with al Qaeda in coordinating terrorist actions, and tunneling money and materials to operatives.
from foreign intelligence and law enforcement entities. This body of _ on "combSUon with the information from detainees provides the Ingest amount of inforSon about al Qaeda that has been obtained since the 9/1 1 attacks In addition to what Seen providedthrough more traditional allies, ihericpomng Prided by Singaporean and Malaysian authorities is a rich lode, as exemplified by the January 7^003, Sinfapore Ministry of Home Affairs report to Parliament detailing connect.ons between al Qaeda and Jema'ah Islamiyya. TEAM #1 Item 4: Interview Candidates The" following is a preliminary list of individuals and categories of individuals who are wto^Kri^WwM Prinze initial interviews based on their potcnua for providing g±ncc and clues to mining Jown and potential ™™°\^°^^^> additional interviews as the research process proceeds, with the guiding principle that UK. cffcc °vcncss and productivity of factual interviews is directly related to the availably of relevant document and the time and effort given t 0 preparatory research. In other words, the more informed the interviewer, the more effective the interview. \ s Intelligence Community George Tenet (DC1) Gen. Michael Hayden (Director. NSA) __... ; /'9/n closed by Statute Pi rector. | Cofer Black (former head. Coumcrterrorist Center, CIA)
Other CIA officers currently under official cover
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New York Criminal Cases and PENTTBOM Investigation Robert S. Mueller, IH (FBI Director) Louis Freeh (former FBI Director) Dale Watson (former Deputy Executive Assistant Director, FBI) Patrick Fitzgerald (former Assistant U.S. Attorney, S.D.N.Y.) - John Mullaly (New York Police Department) Louis Napoli (New York Joint Terrorism Task Force) I |(FBI New York) J(FBI New York) | jFBINew York)
Ken Kuras (Assistant U.S.. Attorney, S.D.N.Y.) Andrew McCarthy (Assistant U.S. Attorney, S.D.N.Y.) Mary Galligan (FBI Headquarters, lead agent on Pcnubom investigation) j_ [(FBI Headquarters) ,
Michael Rolince (FBI Headquarters) , Pasquale J. D'Amuro (Deputy Executive Assistant Director, FBI) "[(FBI New York) \ s and Outside Experts
Bruce Hoffman (RAND Corporation)
\l Benjamin (CS1S)
Steven Simon (RAND)
. ' -\n Gunaratna (Saint Andrews)
Zacharv Abou/.a Bernard Lewis
Closed by S t a t u t e Page 8 of!
, . ' U.S. Defrafr™p"i- of State/NSC
Richard Clarke (former Chair, CSG, NSC) Barbara Bodine (former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen) Prudence Bushnell (former U.S. Ambassador to Kenya) Michael Shaheen (former Coordinator for Counterterrorism) Foreign Services Officials from various foreign services, potentially including officials from thef
^• ^ " ^ / 1 Law Enforcement Sensitive • ""91
| Foreign servicesFOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY COMMISSION SENSITIVE
FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY COMMISSION SENSITIVE
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