Movie Comparison 2
The morning of 11 September 2001 saw the attacks by the Al Qaeda terrorist group on
the Twin Towers which claimed the lives of about 3000 people within the World Trade Center
and the surrounding area. Within days, it became clear that in real sense 9/11 was not the bolt
from the blue as it had initially seemed. It was not just an outcome of a devastating security
failure but a catastrophic intelligence failure. Several investigations have since been conducted to
determine what intelligence existed prior to 9/11 and whether the authorities ignored this
information leading to the failure to stop the deadly attack.
Clearly, there existed intelligence prior to the attack but this did not prevent it. The
counterterrorism officials frequently received reports about threat from which they collected
threat information. It was then gathered into intelligent reports and conveyed by briefing the
president and other senior officials. There was dramatic increase in the levels of reporting on
planned attacks and terrorist threats. The then National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice was
informed by the CIA about the activities of Abu Zubaydah, a major figure in the millennium
plots. Also, there were reports about the plans of multiple operations by Bin Laden.
9/11 could not be prevented due to intelligence failure. The intelligence community was
operating on a flat budget, and had overwhelming priorities, bureaucratic rivalries and an
outmoded structure. Intelligence failure could have been prevented through collection of
intelligence made of accurate, specific and sufficient information. Also important is the
intelligence analysis, dissemination and the willingness by the policymakers to accept the
provided intelligence. Lack of specificity and clarity led to rejection of the intelligence provided.
Consequently, the attack could not be stopped.