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September 11,2001: The Twin Towers

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Chapter Summary

The research into the topic of intelligence failures and mass casualty terrorism began more than a year before September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the Twin Towers. It has taken four recent cases of mass casualty terrorism and applied a common set of questions to each case in a focused, comparative way. Answering the questions, and informing those answers with theoretical insights, has highlighted some of the most important failures. Problems with threat assessments, lack of warning information, and organizational obstacles have also been discussed at great length in public thanks to the investigations into 9/11. What is unique about this research effort is that it has also included an analysis of leadership failures, from the ways in which psychology and perception shape the threat environment, and how that in turn determines intelligence planning and collection, to failures of public policy leadership in the executive and legislative branches of government.

Keywords: intelligence failures; leadership failures; mass casualty terrorism; The Twin Towers



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