2,295. 8/16/2001

Former CIA Director George Tenet wrote: “A French national, [Zacarias] Moussaoui was arrested on August 16, 2001, by the FBI. …Moussaoui had enrolled in flight school in Minnesota and paid for his training in cash. He was interested in learning to fly 747s, but not in taking off or landing. He was interested to learn that 747 doors do not open in flight. He wanted training on London-JFK flights. Moussaoui’s flight instructors did not like what they were seeing with this obviously unqualified student, and they alerted the FBI. We immediately went to work on the case with the Bureau. As alarming as the information on Moussaoui was, I was comforted by the fact that FBI had its hands on the guy. My assumption was that the Bureau would, as standard practice, brief Dick Clarke’s Counterterrorism Security Group at the NSC [National Security Council], and the case would be well covered. During the 9/11 Commission hearings, I was stunned to hear Tom Pickard, who was acting FBI director in August 2001, suggest that I had somehow failed to notify him about Moussaoui. Failed to tell him? Hell, it was the FBI’s case, their arrest. I had no idea that the Bureau wasn’t aware of what its own people were doing.”

 – George Tenet with Bill Harlow, At the Center of the Storm, Page 200

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