2,838. 9/28/2001

“Security chiefs on both sides of the Atlantic repeatedly turned down the chance to acquire a vast intelligence database [from Sudan] on Osama bin Laden and more than 200 leading members of his al-Qaeda terrorist network in the years leading up to the 11 September attacks, an Observer investigation has revealed. They were offered thick files, with photographs and detailed biographies of many of his principal cadres, and vital information about al-Qaeda’s financial interests in many parts of the globe. On two separate occasions, they were given an opportunity to extradite or interview key bin Laden operatives who had been arrested in Africa because they appeared to be planning terrorist atrocities. None of the offers, made regularly from the start of 1995, was taken up. One senior CIA source admitted last night [September 28, 2001]: ‘This represents the worst single intelligence failure in this whole terrible business. It is the key to the whole thing right now. It is reasonable to say that had we had this data we may have had a better chance of preventing the attacks.’ ”

 – David Rose, “Resentful West Spurned Sudan’s Key Terror Files,” The Guardian, Sep. 29, 2001

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