The 9/11 Commission Report - Study Guide Chapter 8 "The System Was Blinking Red" Summary & Analysis

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The President's Daily Brief (PDB) is the main mechanism for communicating sensitive intelligence to the President. Information in the PDB is distilled from an immense volume of intelligence. Only the most important and sensitive information makes it to the PDB. The PDBs from January 2001 through September 10, 2001, contained 40 articles relating to bin Laden.

In the spring of 2001, there was a sudden spike in intelligence indicating a heightened risk of a Muslim terrorist attack against U.S. interests. Specific but unconfirmed and anonymous tips indicated that al-Qaeda was planning attacks on U.S. soil. Other reporting indicated plots to hijack aircraft and demand the release of incarcerated terrorists, including the Blind Sheik.

By early summer, the threat reporting accelerated and took on a tone of urgency and imminence. Reports emerged that the planned attacks would...

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