SUBCOMMITTEE ON TERRORISM
AND HOMELAND SECURITY

HOUSE PERMANENT SELECT
COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE

Counterterrorism Intelligence Capabilities and
Performance Prior to 9-11

A Report to the Speaker of the House of
Representatives and the Minority Leader

July 2002

REPORT OF THE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON TERRORISM AND HOMELAND SECURITY
HOUSE PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE ON

COUNTERTERRORISM INTELLIGENCE CAPABILITIES AND PERFORMANCE PRIOR TO 9-11

SUBMITTED BY MR. CHAMBLISS OF GEORGIA, CHAIRMAN

MEMBERS OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON TERRORISM AND HOMELAND SECURITY


Saxby Chambliss (R-GA),				Jane Harman (D-CA),
Chairman					Ranking Democrat

Jim Gibbons (R-NV),				Gary Condit (D-CA)
Vice-Chairman					Tim Roemer (D-CA)
Peter Hoekstra (R-MI),				Silvestre Reyes (D-TX)
Ray Lahood (R-IL)				Robert (Bud) Cramer, Jr. (D-AL)
Richard M. Burr (R-NC)
Terry Everett (R-AL)

Porter J. Goss (R-FL),				Nancy Pelosi (D-CA),
Ex Officio					Ex Officio

Majority Staff Minority Staff Jay Jakub, Carolyn Bartholomew, Subcommittee Staff Director Professional Staff Member James Lewis, Beth Larson, Professional Staff Member Professional Staff Member Krister Holladay, Marcel Lettre, Staff Professional Staff Member Diane Roark, Wyndee Parker, Counsel, Professional Staff Member Professional Staff Member Riley Perdue, Professional Staff Member Kevin Schmidt, Staff Assistant


U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON TERRORISM AND HOMELAND SECURITY

July 17, 2002

The Honorable J. Dennis Hastert
Speaker ofthe House Of Representatives
United States Congress
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Mr. Speaker:

In accordance with your instructions, and those of the Democratic Leader, we hereby submit this report of the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The Subcommittee was established at your direction as a bipartisan 'working group' in January 2001 with a mandate to make recommendations on how to improve America's counterterrorism and homeland security capabilities. It was later given the responsibility to investigate the intelligence deficiencies that existed on September 11, 2001, and its status changed to that of a subcommittee of the Intelligence Committee.

We subsequently set about evaluating the performance of the three key agencies charged with protecting America from the scourge of terrorism, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This report represents our findings on the gaps in the aforementioned agencies counterterrorism capabilities prior to 9-11, and makes specific recommendations on how those gaps should be addressed. Because of your expressed desire to improve Congressional oversight of counterterrorism and homeland security, we have also included our assessment of the current oversight situation in the House on these issues, and have offered options for streamlining and enhancing the quality of oversight.

Additional information on terrorism and homeland security matters has been included to provide you with a useful reference aid.

It has been our honor to serve in this bipartisan capacity in support of the security of all Americans. We will continue to provide you and Leader Gephardt with our assessments, in various forms, of key issues related to the war on terrorism during the remainder of the 107th Congress and for as long as our work remains useful to you.

Respectfully submitted,

Saxby Chambliss
Chairman

Jane Harman
Ranking Democrat

cc: The Honorable Richard A. Gephardt


A Report to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Minority Leader
from the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

July 17, 2002

Executive Summary

The principal objective of this report and the work of the Subcommittee has been to review the counterterrorism capabilities and performance of the Intelligence Community before 9-11 in order to assess intelligence deficiencies and reduce the risks from acts of terrorism in the future.

The terrorist attacks perpetrated on September 11, 2001 constituted a significant strategic surprise for the United States. The failure of the Intelligence Community (IC) to provide adequate forewarning was affected by resource constraints and a series of questionable management decisions related to funding priorities. Prophetically, IC leadership concluded at a high-level offsite on September 11, 1998 that "failure to improve operations management, resource allocation, and other key issues within the [IC], including making substantial and sweeping changes in the way the nation collects, analyzes, and produces intelligence, will likely result in a catastrophic systemic intelligence failure."

The Subcommittee has found that practically every agency of the United States Government (USG) with a counterterrorism mission uses a different definition of terrorism. All USG agencies charged with the counterterrorism mission should agree on a single definition, so that it would be clear what activity constitutes a terrorist act and who should be designated a terrorist. Without a standard definition, terrorism might be treated no differently than other crimes. The Subcommittee supports a standard definition as follows: "Terrorism is the illegitimate, premeditated use of politically motivated violence or the threat of violence by a sub-national group against persons or property with the intent to coerce a government by instilling fear amongst the populace."

The Subcommittee concludes its work for this report by reflecting on three key areas:

Summary Findings and Recommendations Across Agencies

CIA

The summary finding regarding CIA is that CIA needs to institutionalize its sharp reorientation toward going on the offensive against terrorism. This report also arrived at the findings and recommendations that follow.

FBI

The summary finding regarding FBI is that FBI's main problem going forward is to overcome its information sharing failures. This report also arrived at the findings and recommendations that follow.

NSA

The summary finding regarding NSA is that NSA needs to change from a passive gatherer to a proactive hunter - a revolution in how it conducts its work. This report also arrived at the findings and recommendations that follow.

WMD

The summary finding regarding weapons of mass destruction terrorism is that terrorist interest in CBRN weapons has been strong enough to require that the US address this threat more vigorously than it ever has before. This report arrived at the additional findings and recommendations that follow.

Other Issues

The report also arrived at two findings and recommendations on additional important issues.

Recommendations for Congressional Activity

In addition to the specific recommendation set forth in the chapter on Congressional oversight, the report concluded that a number of other activities would be usefully undertaken by Congress.

Questions for Further Focus in the Future

The Subcommittee views oversight of intelligence-related elements of terrorism and homeland security matters as critical to strengthening U.S. security and will concentrate on these matters in the coming months. This study has looked back. We must also raise questions for the future. The most important of these questions, which will assist in setting the Subcommittee's agenda going forward, are listed below.

The subcommittee expects this report to be helpful to the joint inquiry being conducted by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees into the September 11 attacks. Some of the questions posed by this report may be answered in the course of their inquiry. Others will be the focus of the subcommittee's efforts in the weeks ahead as it continues to work to reduce the threat of future terrorist attacks.