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Sept. 11 Panel: U.S. Didn't Grasp Al Qaeda Threat

NPR Coverage of the Commission's Press Conference

Only Available in Archive Formats.

Hear Mary Louise Kelly's report.

Only Available in Archive Formats.

Sept. 11 commission Chairman Thomas Kean, left, and Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton discuss the findings of the panel's final report. Reuters hide caption

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Sept. 11 commission Chairman Thomas Kean, left, and Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton discuss the findings of the panel's final report. Reuters hide caption

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The commission investigating events surrounding the Sept. 11 attacks says the U.S. government did not fully appreciate the danger posed by al Qaeda.

The commission's report, which describes failures of both the Clinton and Bush administrations, notes a series of missed opportunities to stop the plot. The commission also calls for a new intelligence director, who would be answerable to the president and Congress.

The release of the panel's final report follows a 20-month investigation into the attacks. The report cites a "failure of imagination" across the government, from the executive branch to Congress. The report faults Congress for "dysfunctional" oversight of U.S. counter-terrorism and intelligence efforts and calls on the legislative body to step up its supervision.

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