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9-11 Commission Releases Unanimous Final Report 

Calls for Quick Action on Recommendations to Prevent Future Attacks 

July 22, 2004 - The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also 
known as the 9-11 Commission) released its bipartisan, unanimous final report to the American 
people today at a live, televised event in Washington, D.C. The report is now posted on the 
Commission's Web site, www.9-1 , and is available for purchase in bookstores 
nationwide and from the Government Printing Office. 

As mandated by the Commission's founding legislation, the final report is the Commission's full 
and complete accounting of the facts and circumstances surrounding the terrorist attacks of 
September 11, 2001, as well as recommendations for corrective measures that can be taken to 
prevent acts of terrorism. 

"I am honored to present the report to the President of the United States, the United States 
Congress, and the American people for their consideration," said Thomas H. Kean, Chair of the 
Commission. "Ten Commissioners — five Republicans and five Democrats chosen by elected 
leaders from our nation's capital at a time of great partisan division — have come together to 
present this report without dissent." 

"This report is a product of a Commission that came together with a unity of purpose that our 
nation demanded," said Kean. "September 11, 2001, was a day of unprecedented shock and 
suffering in the history of the United States. The nation was unprepared." 

In its final report, the Commission issued 37 recommendations to help prevent future terrorist 
attacks, divided into sections detailing a global strategy and a government reorganization 
necessary to implement such a strategy. The Commission summarized its recommended global 
strategy into three pillars: (1) attacking terrorists and their organizations; (2) preventing the 
continued growth of Islamist terrorism; and (3) protecting and preparing for terrorist attacks. 

"The first phase of our post- 9/1 1 efforts rightly included military action to topple the Taliban and 
pursue al Qaeda," said Vice Chair Lee H. Hamilton. "But long-term success demands the use of 
all elements of national power: diplomacy, intelligence, covert action, law enforcement, 
economic policy, foreign aid, public diplomacy, and homeland defense. If we favor one tool 
while neglecting others, we leave ourselves vulnerable and weaken our national effort." 

To implement this strategy, the Commission proposed a five -part plan to to build unity of effort 
across the U.S. government: (1) closing the foreign-domestic divide by linking intelligence and 
operational planning in a new National Counterterrorism Center; (2) bringing the intelligence 
community together under a National Intelligence Director and national intelligence centers; (3) 

encouraging information sharing through government through decentralized networks; (4) 
centralizing and strengthening congressional oversight of intelligence and homeland security 
issues; and (5) strengthening the national security workforce within the FBI and clarifying the 
missions of the departments of Defense and Homeland Security. 

"No president can promise that a catastrophic attack like that of 9-1 1 will not happen again," 
said Hamilton. "But the American people are entitled to expect that officials will have realistic 
objectives, clear guidance, and effective organization. They are entitled to see standards for 
performance so they can judge, with the help of their elected representatives, whether the 
objectives are being met." 

In the report, the Commission provided the support for these recommendations with an 
exhaustive factual account of the events surrounding September 11, 2001, including particular 
findings. While specifics may be found in the final report, the Commission's general findings 
focused on failures of imagination, policy, capabilities, and management throughout U.S. 
government. The Commission found little evidence that the progress of the al Qaeda plot was 
disturbed by any of the counterterrorism policies or activities of the U.S. government. 

"The 9/11 attacks were a shock, but should not have come as a surprise," said Kean. "By 
September 2001, the executive branch of the U.S. government, the Congress, the news media, 
and the American public had received clear warning that Islamist terrorists meant to kill 
Americans in high numbers." 

The Commission was created by Public Law 107-306, signed by the President on November 27, 
2002, nearly 20 months ago. Working with a cumulative budget of $15 million and more than 80 
staff members, the Commission completed the most comprehensive independent government 
investigation in U.S. history. The Commission interviewed more than 1,200 people in ten 
different countries and reviewed more than 2.5 million documents. The Commission also held 19 
days of public hearings, during which the Commission heard from more than 160 witnesses and 
released 17 staff statements. 

On July 22 and 23, press inquiries about the Commission should be directed to Jonathan Stull of 
the 9-11 Commission at 202-326-171 1 or by email at jstullffl^-l . Interview 
requests should be directed to Craig Brownstein at 202-326-171 1 or by email at 
requests@9-l .