The CIA has declassified documents running to almost-500 pages ten years after the completion of an investigation into purported flaws within the intelligence community which may have led to a failure to stop September 2001 attacks.
The Office of Inspector General’s investigation, prompted by a joint Congressional inquiry in 2005, uncovered several systemic problems within country’s intelligence agencies which missed warnings about the 9/11 plot to attack US targets.
Al-Qaeda operatives crashed passenger jets into the World Trade Center towers in New York and the Pentagon headquarters in Washington DC, killing thousands.
“Concerning certain issues, the team concluded that the CIA and its officers did not discharge their responsibilities in a satisfactory manner,” the report read.
The inspectors, according to the report, also found out that intelligence agencies had “no comprehensive strategic plan” to thwart the al-Qaeda threat.
The inspector general’s report also accuses George Tenet, the former head of the CIA, of failing to develop a strategy against al-Qaeda “despite his specific direction that this should be done”.
Angry correspondence between the then CIA Inspector General John L. Helgerson and Tenet who rejected Helgerson’s critical draft report in 2005.
“Your report challenges my professionalism, diligence and skill in leading the men and women of US intelligence in countering terrorism,” Tenet wrote to Helgerson.
Although there has been speculation that some Saudi Arabian officials might have supported al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the investigators note a lack of evidence to support such a claim.
“The team encountered no evidence that the Saudi government knowingly and willingly supported al-Qaeda terrorists,” the report read.
The document is a compilation of the full version of the 2005 Office of Inspector General’s investigation plus several other related documents in addition to two other reports from the Counter Terrorism Center which were released in 2005 and 2010.