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The final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission) has already become the subject of a much-needed national debate about the security of the American people. The Commission held 19 days of public hearings, reviewed 2.5 million pages of documents, interviewed 1,200 individuals in 10 countries and took public testimony from 160 witnesses. The final document sorts out the events that led to the 9/11 attacks as well as offers important recommendations for protecting our country from future attacks.

To facilitate ease of reading, the Center for American Progress has bookmarked key segments within the original on-line PDF version of the report. Open the document, click on the bookmarks on the left-hand side, and see the Commission's words in the context of the actual report. For a printer-friendly, take-along version of just the bookmark page guides, they are attached below. We hope you find this helpful.

Al Qaeda
Al Qaeda Connections with Countries Around the World
Attention to Terrorism: Clinton Administration
Attention to Terrorism: Bush Administration
Attorney General John Ashcroft: Ignored Warnings
Border Security
Counterterrorism Strategy
Events of 9/11
Evidence of a Coming Attack
Iraq and al Qaeda
Iraq Obsession in the Bush White House
Presidential Daily Briefs (PDBs)

Al Qaeda
P 51: "Why do 'they' hate us?" And "what can we do to stop these attacks?"
P 383: Commission conclusion: "Although Americans may be safer, they are not safe."
P 363: Al Qaeda "continues to pose a grave threat."
P 170: Al Qaeda funded almost entirely through donations.
P 199: Killing Osama bin Ladin would not end the al Qaeda threat.
P 169: 9/11 plotters spent between $400,000 and $500,000 on the attack.
P 58: Al Qaeda's connections to other terrorist groups Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiya.

Al Qaeda Connections with Countries Around the World
P 67: In the Middle East, al Qaeda had known collaborative ties to Egypt, Algeria, Yemen, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Somalia, as well as Pakistan and Afghanistan.
P 171: Al Qaeda finds Saudi Arabia a "fertile fundraising ground"
P 241: Commission advocates further investigation of al Qaeda/Hezbollah ties.
P 240: Iran facilitates travel of al Qaeda members.
P 64: Pakistan facilitates bin Laden's return to Afghanistan.

Attention to Terrorism: Clinton Administration
P 174: President Clinton "deeply concerned" about Osama Bin Ladin.
P 101: President Clinton makes chemical, biological, and nuclear terrorism a priority.
P 109: Clinton Administration establishes "the Bin Ladin unit."
P 358: Clinton Administration's management of the last weeks of December 1999 was "the one period in which the government as a whole seemed to be acting in concert to deal with terrorism."
P 487: Clinton Administration successful in arresting al Qaeda members.
P 457: Richard Clarke runs exercise where terrorists use plane for suicide mission.

Attention to Terrorism: Bush Administration
P 202: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz argued against retaliation for the bombing of the USS Cole, saying the issue was "stale"
P 208: President Bush neglected to fill the key counterterrorism policy office in the Pentagon after the former official departed January 20.
P 201: Richard Clarke submits memo to Condoleezza Rice saying "we urgently need… a Principals level review on the al Qida network."
P 201: No Principals Committee meeting on al Qaeda held until September 4, 2001.
P 203: Principals Committee meetings on Iraq and Sudan before one on al Qaeda.
P 509: Bush administration holds 32 Principals Committee meetings on subjects other than al Qaeda before 9/11.
P 200: Rice downgrades the Counterterrorism Security Group.
P 197: December 2000 "Blue Sky" memo on terrorism urges increased support to Northern Alliance and Uzbeks to fight Taliban and al Qaeda.
P 202: White House postpones aid to Northern Alliance and Uzbeks.

Attorney General John Ashcroft: Ignored Warnings
P 209: Former FBI assistant director for counterterrorism, Dale Watson, says that Attorney General John Ashcroft was "not supportive" of building up capacities to combat terrorism.
P 265: Former Acting FBI Director Pickard says that Ashcroft told him "he did not want to hear about the threats anymore."
P 210: Ashcroft denies an appeal from the FBI for more counterterrorism funding.
P 539: Ashcroft does not fairly reflect the effect of the 1995 Reno and Gorelick memos.

Border Security
P 168: Report underscores "how significant travel was in the planning undertaken by a terrorist organization as far-flung as al Qaeda."
P 186: Clarke outlines need for strengthening America's porous borders.
P 187: Border security undermined by "weak, chronically underfunded executive agencies and powerful congressional committees, which were more responsive to well-organized interest groups."
P 265: In the months before 9/11, "the borders were not hardened. Transportation systems were not fortified."

P 104: In absence of detailed leadership from the administration, "national security tends not to rise very high on the list of congressional priorities."
P 107: Congress failed to pay attention to terrorism and homeland security.
P 478: Speaker of the House turns down Select Committee on Terrorism and establishes a working group instead.

Counterterrorism Strategy
P 363: Counterterrorism strategy "demands the use of all elements of national power: diplomacy, intelligence, covert action, law enforcement, economic policy, foreign aid, public diplomacy, and homeland defense."
P 109: Clinton Administration establishes "the Bin Ladin unit."
P 63: Osama Bin Ladin, "significantly weakened" by Clinton Administration efforts, leaves Sudan.
P 358: Clinton Administration's management of the last weeks of December 1999 was "the one period in which the government as a whole seemed to be acting in concert to deal with terrorism."
P 197: Richard Clarke drafts "Strategy for Eliminating Threat from the Jihadist Networks of al Qaida" in late 2000.
P 213: In September 4, 2001 memo, Clarke calls for taking out terrorist camps in Afghanistan and warns otherwise, "You are left with a modest effort to swat flies… You are left waiting for the big attack, with lots of casualties. "
P 509: President Bush uses terrorism as justification for missile defense.

Events of 9/11
P 18: "On the morning of 9/11, the existing protocol was unsuited in every respect for what was about to happen."
P 35: President Bush's initial reaction to first plane hitting the World Trade Center – "pilot error."
P 41: No documentary evidence for a call between President Bush and Vice President Cheney authorizing the shootdown of planes.

Evidence of a Coming Attack
P 255: Clarke tells Rice that "he thought there were terrorist cells within the United States, including al Qaeda."
P 254: President Bush received "more than 40 intelligence articles in the PDBs from January 20 to September 10, 2001 that related to Bin Ladin."
P 259: Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz questions reporting on Bin Ladin, including "Bin Ladin Threats Are Real."
P 272: Phoenix memo advising of the "'possibility of a coordinated effort by Usama Bin Ladin' to send students to the United States to attend civil aviation schools" slips through the cracks.
P 257: Intelligence reports in 2001 titled: "Bin Ladin Attacks May be Imminent," "Bin Ladin and Associates Making Near-Term Threats."
P 260: Presidential Daily Brief titled, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S."
P 256: Clark warns in March 2001, "When these attacks occur, as they likely will, we will wonder what more we could have done to stop them."
P 257: Threat advisories in June 2001 indicate high probability of near-term "spectacular" terrorist attacks. Al Qaeda activity indicating attack planning reaches "a crescendo."
P 263: Clarke warns Rice at least twice in 2001 about al Qaeda sleeper cells in U.S.
P 275: August 2001, CIA Director George Tenet gets memo, "Islamic Extremist Learns to Fly"

P 11: FAA lacks "adequate appreciation" of "responsibility for the safety and security of civil aviation."
P 264: Domestic agencies "did not have a game plan" to deal with threat reporting in 2001.
P 45: "NORAD and the FAA were unprepared" for the 9/11 attacks.
P 457: FAA sees sabotage as the most significant threat to civil aviation.
P 83: FAA "no-fly" list contained only 12 terrorist suspects' names.

Iraq and al Qaeda
P 66: No "collaborative operational relationship" between Iraq and al Qaeda.
P 559: "No credible evidence" supporting Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz's theory that Iraq was involved in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
P 61: Osama Bin Ladin sponsors anti-Saddam Islamists in Iraq.
P 468: CIA memoranda linking Bin Ladin and Iraqi intelligence chief discredited.
P 228: Allegation that Mohamed Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence officer: "No evidence has been found that Atta was in the Czech Republic in April 2001."
P 161: Mohamad Atta sees Saddam Hussein as "an American stooge set up to give Washington an excuse to intervene in the Middle East."
P 470: Alleged ties between Al Qaeda and Iraq recanted.

Iraq Obsession in the Bush White House
P 331: The evening of September 11, Secretary Rumsfeld urges the President to think about the possibility that Iraq may have harbored the attackers.
P 334: Richard Clarke says that "on the evening of September 12, President Bush told him and some of his staff to explore possible Iraqi links to 9/11" – "See if he's linked in any way."
P 335: On September 12, Secretary Rumsfeld says "his instinct was to hit Saddam Hussein at the same time."
P 335: According to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz "was always of the view that Iraq was a problem that had to be dealt with… and he saw this as one way of using this event as a way to deal with the Iraq problem."
P 335: Rice told to plan for Iraq.
P 335: President Bush orders Defense Department to be ready to deal with Iraq, with "plans to include possibly occupying Iraqi oil fields."
P 336: On September 17, Wolfowitz contends the odds were "far more" than one in ten that Saddam was involved in the 9/11 attacks.
P 560: Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith sends memo to Secretary Rumsfeld on September 20, 2001 suggesting attacking Iraq instead of Afghanistan to surprise the terrorists.

Presidential Daily Briefs (PDBs)
P 533: White House declines permitting all 9/11 commissioners to review PDBs.
P 254: President Bush received "more than 40 intelligence articles in the PDBs from January 20 to September 10, 2001 that related to Bin Ladin."
P 260: Bush's response to reading the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief, entitled "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US."
P 262: Commission finds "no indication of any further discussion" about the threat of an al Qaeda attack after August 6, 2001.
P 128: Clinton Administration responds to 1998 Presidential Daily Brief.

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