Cracks in the system

Bin Laden may have tricked spies: Officials say their intelligence pointed to an attack overseas
U.S. officials began piecing together a case linking Osama bin Laden to the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, aided by intercepted communications between his supporters. [Sept. 12, 2001]

David S. Broder: We need to be ready when the terrorists strike again
The watchdog did not bark just once. The alarm was sounded over and over again about the threat to the United States from terrorist organizations with vendettas against this country. [Sept. 23, 2001]

Few resources spent guarding Canada border
While thousands of U.S. soldiers are being shipped halfway across the globe to fight terrorism, little manpower has been focused on a problem much closer to home: Canada. Experts on both sides of the 4,000-mile border say the nation to the north is a haven for terrorists, and that the U.S.-Canada line is little more barrier than ink on a map. [Sept. 23, 2001]

Visa system loses track of visitors flooding U.S.
The nation's system for screening and tracking foreign visitors is antiquated, cumbersome and overwhelmed. As a result, the immigration system provides no reliable means of finding potential terrorists who have violated the terms of their visas [Sept. 23, 2001]

Close-up: Experts say FBI lacks staffing to combat terrorists
The Sept. 11 attacks revealed serious flaws in the bureau's capabilities, despite added funds and increased attention to terrorism the past few years. Agents are stretched too far, technology is in serious need of upgrading, Arabic experts and analysts are far too few. Critics agree the FBI needs to refocus to meet a new and deadly challenge. [Sept. 25, 2001]

Former CIA official says little was learned from Ressam arrest
By luck or good law enforcement, the U.S. dodged a terrorism bullet nearly two years ago when U.S. Customs agents arrested Ahmed Ressam in Port Angeles with a car loaded with explosives and bomb-making materials. Luck, and law enforcement, gave out yesterday. [Sept. 12, 2001]

CIA taking heat from all sides
With the United States spending billions on counterterrorism in recent years, the attacks this week on targets in New York and Washington must be considered a serious and disturbing intelligence failure, some analysts said yesterday. But others said such a conclusion is premature. [Sept. 13, 2001]


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