— President Bush was aware that al Qaeda members had either traveled to or had resided in the United States for years before the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, according to a pre-9/11 intelligence brief, from August 6, 2001, which was released to the public on Saturday. Since 1998, the FBI had observed "patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks," according to the memo prepared for Bush. They included evidence of buildings in New York possibly being cased by terrorists. President Bush retaliated on Sunday to allegations that his administration had not done enough to fend off the attacks by saying there was "no specific indication of an attack" in the memo.
And following the widely-anticipated release of the presidential daily brief, news analyses from the weekend looked at specific intelligence failures leading up to 9/11 — the New York Times reported on Sunday that American investigators probing the October 2000 terrorist attack against the Navy destroyer Cole came very close to detecting the Sept. 11 plot, according to F.B.I. and C.I.A. officials, who now say the government missed the significance of a series of clues due to misunderstandings by investigators.
THE WAR ON TERROR
Bush's Pre-9/11 al Qaeda Memo Released
President Bush was told more than a month before the Sept. 11 attacks that al Qaeda had reached America's shores, had a support system in place for its operatives and that the FBI had detected suspicious activity that might involve a hijacking plot. (AP)
Text of Bush's Aug. 6, 2001, Presidential Daily Briefing (AP)
Bush Says Brief On Al Qaeda Threat Was Not Specific The president also defended the adequacy of his response to warnings that terrorists in the U.S. might be planning hijackings. (NY Times)
Inquiry Into Attack On the Cole in 2000 Missed 9/11 Clues The American investigators probing the October 2000 terrorist attack against the Navy destroyer Cole came tantalizingly close to detecting the Sept. 11 plot, F.B.I. and C.I.A. officials now say. (NY Times)
Panelists: FBI Must Explain 70 Probes Before 9/11
The FBI this week will be pressed to explain why 70 separate investigations did not uncover the Sept. 11 hijacked airliner plot, members of the commission investigating the attacks said on Sunday. (Reuters)
9/11 Panel to Examine Agencies' Failure to Share Intelligence Failures of agencies within the U.S. intelligence community to process information that each had on Osama bin Laden's network before Sept. 11, 2001 will be one focus of hearings this week by the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks. (Washington Post)
Plot Leader In Madrid Sought Help of Al Qaeda Spain says suspect met with operative. (Washington Post)
More Bomb Suspects Held in Madrid
At least three more suspects have been arrested in Spain over the Madrid train bombings, court sources say. (BBC)
Madrid Bomb Suspects 'Phoned Britain Before Blowing Themselves Up'
Fresh links between last month's Madrid bomb attacks and Britain emerged yesterday after it was reported that terror suspects telephoned Britain shortly before blowing themselves up 10 days ago. (The Guardian)
Complex Web of Madrid Plot Still Tangled
Investigators say key participants in the Madrid train bombings may still be at large. (NY Times)
American Airlines Revealed Passenger Data