Politics

U.S. Failed to Complete Counterterrorism Actions After 9/11, Report Says

In this file photo from June 27, 2006, reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, U.S. military guards walk within Camp Delta military-run prison, at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba.

In this file photo from June 27, 2006, reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, U.S. military guards walk within Camp Delta military-run prison, at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba.  (AP)

In the decade since the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. has failed to make sufficient progress on nine counterterrorism actions, ranging from border screening to terrorist-detention standards, according to the former leaders of the commission that investigated the hijackings, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Areas of success include reducing impediments to intelligence-sharing and airline-passenger screening, according to former 9/11 Commission co-chairmen Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, who plan to issue a report Wednesday on the commission's recommendations.

"We're better off than we used to be," Kean said Tuesday. "But there are glaring gaps."

Nine of the 41 recommendations have not been fully implemented, the report says. They require urgent attention "because the threat from Al Qaeda, related terrorist groups, and individual adherents to violent Islamist extremism persists."

Among the greatest continuing threats to the U.S., they say, is a pattern of increasing terrorist recruitment of U.S. citizens and residents. They also warn of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure such as electrical, financial and communications systems, saying that defending against such attacks "must be an urgent priority."

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The unfulfilled recommendations include the failure to establish an entry-and-exit system using biometric technology. While the Department of Homeland Security has built an entry system that checks fingerprints and other data against terrorist databases, it does not check people as they exit the country.

To read more on this story, see The Wall St. Journal article here.