Top Secret CIA Documents on Osama bin Laden Declassified
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 381
Posted June 19, 2012
Edited by Barbara Elias-Sanborn with Thanks to Archive Senior Fellow Jeffrey T. Richelson
Washington, D.C., June 19, 2012 — The National Security Archive today is posting over 100 recently released CIA documents relating to September 11, Osama bin Laden, and U.S. counterterrorism operations. The newly-declassified records, which the Archive obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, are referred to in footnotes to the 9/11 Commission Report http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/index.htmand present an unprecedented public resource for information about September 11.
The collection includes rarely released CIA emails, raw intelligence cables, analytical summaries, high-level briefing materials, and comprehensive counterterrorism reports that are usually withheld from the public because of their sensitivity. Today’s posting covers a variety of topics of major public interest, including background to al-Qaeda’s planning for the attacks; the origins of the Predator program now in heavy use over Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran; al-Qaeda’s relationship with Pakistan; CIA attempts to warn about the impending threat; and the impact of budget constraints on the U.S. government’s hunt for bin Laden.
Today’s posting is the result of a series of FOIA requests by National Security Archive staff based on a painstaking review of references in the 9/11 Commission Report.
… Although the collection is part of a laudable effort by the CIA to provide documents on events related to September 11, many of these materials are heavily redacted, and still only represent one-quarter of the CIA materials cited in the 9/11 Commission Report. Hundreds of cited reports and cables remain classified, including all interrogation materials such as the 47 reports from CIA interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed from March 24, 2003 — June 15, 2004, which are referenced in detail in the 9/11 Report.
Two Definitive CIA Reports on the September 11, 2001 Attacks
2003-06-01 — “11 September: The Plot and the Plotters,” CTC 2003-40044HC, Central Intelligence Agency Intelligence Report.
[Chapter 5, Endnotes 42, 60, 61, 64, 70, 105, Chapter 7, Endnotes 45, 52, 60, 83, 86, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 105 9/11 Commission Report] This document is a comprehensive CIA history of the 9/11 attack. Analysis includes notes on al-Qaeda, the evolution of the plot, terrorist techniques, timelines and detailed hijacker profiles.
Please see source, The National Security Archive, for the rest of this file and linked postings below.
The Osama Bin Laden File
“No-Go” Tribal Areas Became Basis for Afghan Insurgency Documents Show
Washington’s Immediate 9/11 Demands to Islamabad
The Taliban Biography: The Structure and Leadership of the Taliban 1996-2002
Documents Show U.S. Officials Worried Mullah Omar Was Growing Closer to Bin Laden in 1998
1998 Missile Strikes on Bin Laden May Have Backfired
Extensive 1999 Report on Al-Qaeda Threat Released by U.S. Dept of Energy
Pakistan: “The Taliban’s Godfather”?
Documents Detail Years of Pakistani Support for Taliban, Extremists
“A Comprehensive Strategy to Fight Al-Qaeda”?
Rice versus Clinton on January 2001 Clarke Memo
Bush Administration’s First Memo on al-Qaeda Declassified
Document Central to Clarke-Rice Dispute on Bush Terrorism Policy Pre-9/11
Taliban File Update: U.S. Pressed Taliban to Expel Usama bin Laden Over 30 Times
Only three approaches in first year of Bush administration
The Hunt for Bin Laden
Background on the role of Special Forces in U.S. military strategy