Accessibility links

Breaking News

Congress Investigates Intelligence Failures - 2002-06-05


A U.S. Congressional probe into intelligence failures prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks continues Wednesday behind closed doors. The hearings began Tuesday with lawmakers vowing to conduct a thorough investigation.

After spending a day discussing how they will conduct their investigation and the kinds of questions they will ask, lawmakers Wednesday are expected to turn their attention to more substantive issues.

Meeting in joint session, members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are considering evidence the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency sometimes mishandled information and did not share intelligence with each other.

Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat from Maryland, a member of the joint committee said, "We need to be aggressive and rigorous in this inquiry, asking the right questions, like 'who knew what?' And if they did not know it, 'why?' And what did they do with the information they had, and how we can prevent, detect, derail and disrupt any future attacks on the United States of America."

The joint committee has begun its proceedings in closed session, but it is expected to hold public hearings later this month. FBI Director Robert Mueller and CIA Director George Tenet are expected to testify in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday is to hold a public hearing on the FBI's handling of an alleged terrorist linked to the September 11 attacks.

Appearing before the committee will be Minnesota FBI agent Coleen Rowley, who has said bureau headquarters mishandled the investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui, a French national suspected as the 20th would-be hijacker. He has been in federal custody since August.