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Digital National Security Archive (DNSA): U.S. Intelligence Community After 9/11

About this Collection

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on New York and Washington led to profound changes in U.S. foreign and defense policy, internal security practices, and organization for national security - including dramatic changes in the organization and operations of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Other changes have been the product of factors unrelated to the attacks. The U.S. Intelligence Community after 9/11 reflects the National Security Archive's interest in documenting the organizational and operational changes in the U.S. Intelligence Community since the attacks.

Research Value of the Collection

One consequence of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, on New York and Washington was the initiation of the most significant organizational change in the U.S. Intelligence Community in over five decades - the abolition of the position of director of central intelligence and the establishment of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Other changes made as a direct result of the attacks occurred in the form of policy decisions regarding organization and operations, such as the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and its intelligence component, and the detention of 'high-value" al-Qaeda officials.

Additional changes were the consequence of technological and/or doctrinal developments or the natural result of the inevitable periodic reorganizations that government agencies undertake. Thus, the ability to provide data in real-time to military commanders led to the creation of the Joint Intelligence Operations Center within the Defense Intelligence Agency and the military commands. Modifications in operational activity (the targeted killings of al-Qaeda officials) were also due to technology (such as the capabilities of Predator unmanned aerial vehicles to provide real-time data and the ability to mate Hellfire missiles with the Predators) and adjustments in what were considered acceptable activities in the face of terrorist attacks.

Another change - in how the U.S. sought to prevent Saddam Hussein from acquiring and possibly employing weapons of mass destruction - had dramatic implications for the U.S. Intelligence Community. The community's estimates of Iraq's WMD programs became the basis for the Bush administration's public information campaign in support of the decision to invade Iraq and topple the Saddam Hussein regime. In the aftermath, the community's collection and analysis efforts became the subject of multiple investigations by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and other official bodies.

The documents contained in the set will allow a researcher to explore:

  • The creation and authorities of the Director of National Intelligence.
  • The creation and responsibilities of new intelligence components in the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Treasury, and Drug Enforcement Administration.
  • The performance of the CIA and the U.S. Intelligence Community with respect to 9/11 and estimating the state of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs.
  • The organization, authorities, and activities of the Counterintelligence Field Activity.
  • The transformation of military service intelligence agencies and the resurgence of service human intelligence.
  • The transformation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's intelligence structure and activities.
  • U.S. interrogation and electronic surveillance policies and activities.