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U.S. Intelligence Needs Another Reinvention

In the run-up to the attacks, the CIA and FBI had 23 opportunities to penetrate and possibly stop the 9/11 plot. They missed all 23, for one overriding reason: Both agencies were operating as they previously had in a bygone era that gave terrorism low priority and kept information marooned in different parts of the bureaucracy.

For months, the CIA sat on information indicating that two suspected high-level al-Qaeda operatives were probably inside the United States. Why didn’t anyone tell the FBI? In large part because the CIA had never been in the habit of notifying the FBI about…

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