9/11 report slams CIA chiefs

The Central Intelligence Agency failed to take effective action against Al Qaeda before the September 11th attacks on New York, according to the agency's own watchdog.

Completed in June 2005, and kept classified until now, the 19-page executive summary blames senior CIA leaders for “not discharging their responsibilities in a satisfactory manner”.

Former CIA chief George Tenet was singled out for not ensuring that his 1998 declaration against Al Qaeda actually resulted in a broad strategy to tackle the terrorist group.

The team that compiled the report found “failures to implement and manage important processes, to follow through with operations, and to properly share and analyze critical data.”  

However, it does state that it “found neither a ”single point of failure“ nor a ”silver bullet“ that would have enabled the Intelligence Community to predict or prevent the 9/11 attacks.”  

Mr Tenet, who was awarded the country's highest civilian honour – the Presidential Medal of Freedom – by President George W. Bush in 2004, called the report's findings “flat wrong”.

And, with current director Michael Hayden dismissing it as revisiting ground that is already well plowed, it seems unlikely the findings will result in anything more than further embarrassment for the CIA.

Caroline Wadhams, a National Security Analyst at the Centre for American Progress says this report will increase the pressure on the White House to be more open with security intelligence.

“I think that it just highlights that the Bush’s Administration needs to be transparent, it needs to continue to be honest about what the intelligence is. 9/11 should not happen again,” she stressed.