One of the CIA documents, titled "Detainee Reporting Pivotal for the War Against al-Qaeda" and written June 3, 2005, says "detainee reporting has become a crucial pillar of U.S. counterterrorism efforts, aiding intelligence and law enforcement operations to capture additional terrorists, helping to thwart terrorist plots, and advancing our analysis of the al-Qaeda target."
The report is heavily redacted and, at times, it is unclear which detainees are being discussed. At no point does the report describe intelligence gained as a result of enhanced interrogation techniques.
The report says intelligence from detainees has resulted in the thwarting of terror plans.
"Detainee reporting has helped thwart a number of al-Qaeda plots to attack targets in the West and elsewhere. Not only have detainees reported on potential targets and techniques that al-Qaeda operational planners have considered but arrests also have disrupted attack plans in progress," the report said.
It describes how interrogations of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed yielded information about al-Qaeda's attempts to obtain anthrax and crash commercial airplanes into London's Heathrow Airport. It says that other detainees, when confronted with information learned from Mohammed, revealed more about the plots and members of al-Qaeda.
One of the documents on Mohammed, "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: Preeminent Source on al-Qaeda," noted that he was the most valuable source of information on the terror network. The report notes that the planner of 9/11 was forced to rethink second-wave attacks he envisioned after 9/11 because of increased security efforts in the U.S. "KSM stated that he had planned a second wave of hijacking attacks even before September 2001 but shifted his aim from the United States to the United Kingdom because of the United States post-11 September security posture and the British government's strong support for Washington's global war on terror," the report noted.
The CIA report states that Mohammed "dramatically expanded our universe of knowledge on al-Qaeda plots … [and] leads that assisted directly in the capture of other terrorists including Jemaah Islamiyah leader Hambali."
The report on detainee information says that information learned from interrogations of al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah revealed plots against "targets abroad and in the United States – including the White House and other U.S. symbols."
Zubaydah was the first senior member of the group to be captured in March of 2002.
The report describes gaining "invaluable insights" into "al-Qaeda's current organization, the personalities of its key members, and al-Qaeda's decision-making process. His reporting has contributed to our understanding of the enemy, how al-Qaeda members interact with each other, how they are organized, and what their personal networks are like."
The report describes how intelligence from detainees revealed al-Qaeda's inner workings, including its hierarchy and financing.
"Detainees have been particularly useful in sorting out the large volumes of documents and computer data seized in raids," one section said.
It later describes how one tip from an interrogation was able to pry open other sources to reveal more information.