Long before 9/11, FBI agent John O'Neill was the one man who was on the trail of al Qaeda and may have been able to stop the 9/11 attacks, but the FBI's clumsiness and the CIA's secrecy, not to mention the fact that he was ignored, made it all impossible. In the summer of 2001, O'Neill quit his FBI job and became chief of security at the World Trade Center in New York City - he died in the attacks that he may have been able to stop if anyone in power had paid attention. No one did.
PBS Frontline details FBI Special Agent John O’Neill’s efforts to sound the alarms about al Qaeda’s growing reach and threat to the U.S., only to be branded a maverick and roundly ignored. O’Neill left the FBI in the summer of 2001 and took a new job as head of security at the World Trade Center, where he died on September 11th.
The 9/11 Commission’s investigation revealed that America’s $30 billion intelligence community, spread over more than a dozen agencies, was disorganized, fractured, and impaired by organizational and legal restrictions on the sharing of information.
These disclosures directly relate to John O’Neill’s story. He came tantalizingly close to possibly uncovering the 9/11 plot. But his investigations into the USS Cole terrorist attack and into Al Qaeda’s presence in the United States were both undermined by the CIA and FBI’s failure to share information with each other.
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