2,313. 8/23/2001

Former CIA Director George Tenet wrote: “CIA did not watchlist [future 9/11 hijackers Nawaf] al-Hazmi and [Khalid] al-Mihdhar until August 23, 2001. FBI did not get into [suspected terrorist Zacarias] Moussaoui’s luggage. The famous Phoenix memo, outlining concerns about terrorists being trained at flight schools, was not shared. The FBI’s effort to find al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar was pursued with too few resources. Simply using commercially available software to track their credit card usage might have been decisive, but no such effort was made. Policies had never been put into place to address just how disconnected our airline security, watchlisting, border control, and visa policies were at the time. There was no comprehensive, layered system of domestic protection in place to compensate for the internal weaknesses that later came into full view. Yes, people made mistakes; every human interaction was far from where it needed to be. We, the entire government, owed the families of 9/11 better than they got from us. All of us.”

 – George Tenet with Bill Harlow, At the Center of the Storm, Pages 204-205

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