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36. President Bush and Vice President Cheney meeting (Apr. 29, 2004). For Rice's reaction to the August 6
PDB article, see Condoleezza Rice testimony, Apr. 8, 2004.
37. The CTC analyst who drafted the briefing drew on reports over the previous four years. She also spoke
with an FBI analyst to obtain additional information. The FBI material was written up by the CIA analyst and
included in the PDB.A draft of the report was sent to the FBI analyst to review.The FBI analyst did not, however,
see the final version, which added the reference to the 70 investigations. Barbara S. interviews (Apr. 12, 2004); Joint
Inquiry interview of Jen M., Nov. 20, 2002. Because of the attention that has been given to the PDB, we have inves-
tigated each of the assertions mentioned in it.
The only information that actually referred to a hijacking in this period was a walk-in at an FBI office in the
United States who mentioned hijackings among other possible attacks.The source was judged to be a fabricator.
FBI report, Daily UBL/Radical Fundamentalist Threat Update, ITOS Threat Update Webpage, Aug. 1, 2001.
The FBI conducted an extensive investigation of the two individuals who were stopped after being observed
taking photographs of two adjacent buildings that contained FBI offices.The person taking the photographs told
the FBI that he was taking them for a co-worker in Indiana who had never been to New York and wanted to see
what it looked like.The picture taker was in New York to obtain further information regarding his pending citi-
zenship application. He had an appointment at 26 Federal Plaza, where the relevant INS offices were located.This
same building houses portions of the FBI's New York Field Office. Before going into the building the individual
pulled out the camera and took four photographs.When the FBI attempted to contact the co-worker (and room-
mate) who had requested some photographs, it was determined that he had fled without receiving his last paycheck
after learning that the FBI had asked his employer some questions about him. Further investigation determined
that he was an illegal alien using forged identity documents. Despite two years of investigation, the FBI was unable
to find the co-worker or determine his true identity. The FBI closed the investigation on June 9, 2003, when it
concluded that it was unable to connect the men's activities to terrorism. Matthew interview (June 18, 2004); FBI
case file, no. 266A-NY-279198.
The 70 full-field investigations number was a generous calculation that included fund-raising investigations. It
also counted each individual connected to an investigation as a separate full-field investigation. Many of these inves-
tigations should not have been included, such as the one that related to a dead person, four that concerned people
who had been in long-term custody, and eight that had been closed well before August 6, 2001. Joint Inquiry inter-
view of Elizabeth and Laura, Nov. 20, 2002; FBI report,"70 UBL Cases," undated (produced to the Joint Inquiry
on Aug. 12, 2002).
The call to the UAE was originally reported by the CIA on May 16. It came from an anonymous caller. Nei-
ther the CIA nor the FBI was able to corroborate the information in the call. FBI report, Daily UBL/Radical Fun-
damentalist Threat Update, ITOS Threat Update Webpage, May 16, 2001.
38. See CIA, SEIB, "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US," Aug. 7, 2001; see also Roger Cressey interview
(June 23, 2004).The Deputy Director of Central Intelligence testified that the FBI information in the PDB was
omitted from the SEIB because of concerns about protecting ongoing investigations, because the information had
been received from the FBI only orally, and because there were no clear, established ground rules regarding SEIB
contents. John McLaughlin testimony, Apr. 14, 2004.
39. Intelligence report, Consideration by Abu Zubaydah to Attack Targets in the United States,Aug. 24, 2001.
40. George Tenet interview (July 2, 2004).
41. Condoleezza Rice testimony, Apr. 8, 2004; Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004).
42. Stephen Hadley meeting (Jan. 31, 2004).
43. It is also notable that virtually all the information regarding possible domestic threats came from human
sources.The information on overseas threats came mainly from signals intelligence. Officials believed that signals
intelligence was more reliable than human intelligence. Roger Cressey interview (June 23, 2004).
44. NSC memo, Clarke to Rice, al Qaeda review, Jan. 25, 2001 (attaching NSC memo,"Strategy for Eliminat-
ing the Threat from the Jihadists Networks of al Qida: Status and Prospects," Dec. 2000). Clarke had also mentioned
domestic terrorist cells in connection with the possibility of reopening Pennsylvania Avenue. See NSC email, Clarke
to Rice, Briefing on Pennsylvania Avenue, Mar. 23, 2001.
45. Roger Cressey interview (June 23, 2004).
46.This approach was consistent with how this same issue was addressed almost exactly a year earlier, despite
the fact that by 2001 the threat level was higher than it had ever been previously. On June 30, 2000, NSC coun-
terterrorism staffers met with INS, Customs, and FBI officials to review border and port security measures. The
NSC staff 's Paul Kurtz wrote to then national security adviser Samuel Berger,"We noted while there was no infor-
mation regarding potential attacks in the U.S. they should inform their officers to remain vigilant." NSC email,
Kurtz to Berger, Steinberg, and Rudman, warning re: UBL threat reporting, June 30, 2000.
47. FAA briefing materials, Office of Civil Aviation Security, "The Transnational Threat to Civil Aviation,"
undated (slide 24).The presentation did indicate, however, that if a hijacker was intending to commit suicide in a
spectacular explosion, the terrorist would be likely to prefer a domestic hijacking. Between July 27 and September
11, 2001, the FAA did issue five new Security Directives to air carriers requiring them to take some specific secu-
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