Us Drug Policy “single issue” folks, ever eager to demonstrate ties between Prohibition and other problems in our society, have long suggested that but for law enforcement resources tied up on chasing potheads, the September 11 incidents might have been prevented.

We find confirmation from an unexpected source, a report by Justice Department’s Inspector General, released in redacted form in the Massoui trial. history of Report’s release

The redacted, unclassified version of the report can be accessed at the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at: links to 9 pdfs                                        

Below, from the story, in the San Diego Union-Tribune (letters:

Local FBI faulted for pre-9/11 errors

 Report: Office too fixed on drug investigations
 By Kelly Thornton

 June 9, 2005

 The FBI failed to seize at least five opportunities to intercept two 9/11 hijackers before the attacks, including two instances in San Diego County when the terrorists lived with an FBI informant and were befriended by a subject of a previous FBI investigation.

 According to a report released yesterday by the Justice Department’s Inspector General, the FBI office in San Diego erred by focusing too much on drug investigations before Sept. 11, 2001.

 “Despite the fact that FBI headquarters had established counterterrorism as a top priority of the FBI in 1998, the San Diego field office was continuing to pursue drug trafficking as its top priority in 2001,” the report stated.

 Among the missed opportunities described in the report: The hijackers’ associations with two people known to the FBI – Omar al-Bayoumi, the friend who helped them find their first apartment in San Diego and who introduced them to the local Muslim community; and an FBI “asset,” Abdussattar Shaikh, from whom they rented a room.

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