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Congress: U.S. repeated 9/11 failures in Christmas plot

Tue., May 18, 2010, 2:28 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Despite a top-to-bottom overhaul of the intelligence community after the 2001 terrorist attacks, security officials repeated some of the same mistakes nearly a decade later and allowed a would-be bomber to slip on board an airliner, congressional investigators said today.

The Senate intelligence committee report contradicted the Obama administration’s assertion that the potentially catastrophic Christmas Day bombing attempt was unlike 9/11 because it represented a failure to understand intelligence, not a failure to collect and understand it.

“We respectfully disagree,” the committee wrote. “Some of the systemic errors this review identified also were cites as failures prior to 9/11.”

The congressional review is more stark than the Obama administration’s report. It lays much of the blame at the feet of the National Counterterrorism Center, which Congress created to be the primary agency in charge of analyzing terrorism intelligence.

“NCTC failed to fulfill its mission,” lawmakers found.

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