9/11 probe 'highlights 10 missed clues'

A commission probing the September 11 terrorist attacks was expected to conclude in a report out today that the US missed 10 opportunities to detect the deadly hijacking plot.

The Congressional cross-party panel is expected to say that six of the failings came under the leadership of the current President George Bush, and four under Bill Clinton.

Many of the opportunities would have been "long shots" it will concede, according to reports.

The 10-member National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the US, reportedly stops short of saying the attacks were preventable.

America's most powerful politicians, security and intelligence officials were called to give evidence, often in public, during the 20-month probe.

Among them were Secretary of State, Colin Powell, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the recently-retired CIA Director George Tenet.

All said they did not believe the attacks could have been prevented.

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice initially rejected appeals for her to give evidence in open session, but relented amid a storm of public protest.

Some hearings proved politically damaging for President George Bush.

His former counter-terror adviser Richard Clarke said the US had "failed" the victims of September 11.

He accused Mr Bush of not treating the terror threat as an "urgent" issue.

He said Mr Bush "ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something to stop 9-11".

President Bush met with the commission, accompanied by Vice-President Dick Cheney, in closed session.

Government officials and others familiar with the 600-page commission report told the Washington Post yesterday that it identifies 10 "operational opportunities" to detect or derail the hijacking plot.

One commissioner, who was not named, told the newspaper: "There clearly were many opportunities out there that were not taken advantage of.

"From that, some will conclude it could have been prevented, others will say it might have been prevented and the rest will say it's impossible to tell.

We said we couldn't get an answer to this."

Among the expected findings are:

:: The CIA missed significant "telltale indicators" of an impending terrorist attack. Among the indicators were a July 2001 FBI report of terrorist interest in aircraft training in Arizona, and the August 2001 arrest of terrorism suspect Zacarias Moussaoui because of his suspicious behaviour at a Minnesota flight school.

:: Some of the 19 hijackers were able to enter the US even though they lacked proper documentation. On the day of the attacks several were allowed through airport security after being stopped for suspicious behaviour.

Two of the hijackers were on a government terrorist watch list but were allowed to board flights because the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and airlines had not been told.

:: Under the administrations of both Mr Bush and his predecessor Bill Clinton, diplomacy was used rather than military action to combat the growing al Qaida threat. The US may have been able to kill al Qaida chief Osama bin Laden in the late 1990s, but the CIA said it never received a clear directive to do so.

:: On the day of the attacks, FAA officials were slow to alert the military to the hijackings, and some fighter pilots were never told why they were scrambled.

The commission is also expected to conclude that up to 10 of the September 11 hijackers travelled through Iran before the terror attacks.

President Bush said on Monday that the US was probing possible Iranian links to September 11.

US officials have stressed that it is not believed that Iran had direct involvement in September 11 but was apparently willing to allow al Qaida members to cross its borders unchecked.

After laying out its criticisms, the commission is set to recommend restructuring of America's intelligence and security apparatus, including the appointment of a Cabinet-level intelligence director who would oversee the CIA, the FBI and other agencies.

The report was being published at 1630BST in Washington, DC.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little