Former FBI agent Ali H. Soufan remembers being at the American embassy in Yemen on September 11, 2001 when, a few hours after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, a CIA official finally produced material, including photographs of two of the hijackers, that the FBI had requested months before.
"For about a minute I stared at the pictures and the report, not quite believing what I had in my hands," Soufan has written in his just-released memoir, The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al Qaeda. "My whole body was shaking." Had the material, documenting an al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia in January 2000, been combined with information from the investigation in the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole that same year, he believes, the suicide mission to hijack airplanes in the United States and fly them like missiles into key commercial and government buildings might have been discovered and thwarted.
It was, even then, an old story but it suddenly had tragic consequences of a magnitude that could not be ignored. "One of the first things I learned when I came into this town," former Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska recalled while a member on the 9/11 Commission investigating terrorist attacks on the United States, "was that CIA and FBI don't talk to each other."
Click here to read the entire article.