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The Central Intelligence Agency’s 9/11 File

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Top Secret CIA Documents on Osama bin Laden Declassified

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 381

Posted June 19, 2012

Edited by Barbara Elias-Sanborn with Thanks to Archive Senior Fellow Jeffrey T. Richelson

The National Security Archive

Washington, D.C., June 19, 2012 — The National Security Archive today is posting over 100 recently released CIA documents relating to September 11, Osama bin Laden, and U.S. counterterrorism operations. The newly-declassified records, which the Archive obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, are referred to in footnotes to the 9/11 Commission Report http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/index.htmand present an unprecedented public resource for information about September 11.

The collection includes rarely released CIA emails, raw intelligence cables, analytical summaries, high-level briefing materials, and comprehensive counterterrorism reports that are usually withheld from the public because of their sensitivity. Today’s posting covers a variety of topics of major public interest, including background to al-Qaeda’s planning for the attacks; the origins of the Predator program now in heavy use over Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran; al-Qaeda’s relationship with Pakistan; CIA attempts to warn about the impending threat; and the impact of budget constraints on the U.S. government’s hunt for bin Laden.

Today’s posting is the result of a series of FOIA requests by National Security Archive staff based on a painstaking review of references in the 9/11 Commission Report.

Document Highlights

… Although the collection is part of a laudable effort by the CIA to provide documents on events related to September 11, many of these materials are heavily redacted, and still only represent one-quarter of the CIA materials cited in the 9/11 Commission Report. Hundreds of cited reports and cables remain classified, including all interrogation materials such as the 47 reports from CIA interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed from March 24, 2003 — June 15, 2004, which are referenced in detail in the 9/11 Report.

Two Definitive CIA Reports on the September 11, 2001 Attacks

2003-06-01 — “11 September: The Plot and the Plotters,” CTC 2003-40044HC, Central Intelligence Agency Intelligence Report.
[Chapter 5, Endnotes 42, 60, 61, 64, 70, 105, Chapter 7, Endnotes 45, 52, 60, 83, 86, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 105 9/11 Commission Report] This document is a comprehensive CIA history of the 9/11 attack. Analysis includes notes on al-Qaeda, the evolution of the plot, terrorist techniques, timelines and detailed hijacker profiles.

Please see source, The National Security Archive, for the rest of this file and linked postings below.

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