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Date Created:April 13, 2012
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STATElifENT FOR THE RECORD Honorable Stephen Cambone Under Secretary Defense Intelligence Before the U.S. House Armed Services Committee Joint Subcommittee Hearing February 15, 2006 Hearing Rayburn 2118, (2:30 p.m.) Able Danger (U) Good afternoon, Chairman Saxton, Chairman Everett, and members the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats Capabilities Subcommittee and the Strategic Forces Subcommittee. (U) You invited here this afternoon discuss the planning activity known Able Danger Congressman Weldon informed his interest Able Danger August last year. result our conversation, initiated review what the Department knew, did not know, about Able .- Danger (U) The review team involved more than DoD and contract personnel who spent estimated 6,500 manhours conducting significant document and data searches, interviewing over individuals, and interacting with Members and Staff this and other Committees. The review was conducted Department-wide with the full cooperation all relevant DoD organizations, well two contractor firms: Orion, which provided open-source research support the Army's Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA) and Raytheon, which supported USSOCOM with all-source analysis. (U) The review team was comprised individuals from office, the Army's G2, the office the DoD General Counsel, and staff officers from the Joint Staff,USSOCOM, and the Defense Intelligence Agency. None them had first-hand knowledge Able Danger. (U) Members the review team are here with today. (Introduce team members -Mr. Tom Gandy from the Army's G2, CAPT Hal Dronberger, formerly the Joint Staff, and CDR Christopher Chope, formerly USSOCOM.) (U) The review did not uncover chart charts with information 9111 hijacker Mohammed Atta that pre-dated the 9/11 attack. Nor did the review discover any data -hard copy soft -that provided information Atta prior the 9/11 attacks. That said, not have evidence tell you definitively whether such chart existed not. (U) The review did not find that the Department deliberately failed share Able Danger information with the FBI. (U) The review did not find that Able Danger information was inappropriately destroyed. Rather, the destruction Able Danger information was done accordance with Departmental regulations and procedures. (U) helpful establish the evolution Able Danger. (U) late December 1998, the Chairman the Joint Chiefs Staff identified the need develop asymmetric capabilities deter transnational terrorist organizations. believed that comprehensive DoD strategy and supporting campaign plan were needed leverage DoD capabilities and enhance ongoing interagency efforts against terrorism. October 1999, USSOCOM was formally tasked the Joint Staff develop such campaign plan. "Able Danger" was the unclassified name for the project. (U) The initial focus the project was the identification and exploitation vulnerabilities associated with Qaeda's command and control infrastructure, its leadership and supporting organizations. assist the effort, USSOCOM explored the use analytic tools and methodologies available the 1999-2000 timeframe that could assist in: identifying linkages and patterns large volumes data; and, reviewing those links and patterns against previous, known activities for indications and warning possible future activity. (U) perform this "nodal analysis," USSOCOM requested support from number organizations and businesses during various phases the effort and with varying degrees success: (U) The Joint Warfare Analysis Center (JWAC), Dahlgren, Virginia, had computerized analytic tools. were told that collaboration with USSOCOM began December 1999 and ended January-February 2000 because produced indeterminate results that did not meet USSOCOM' needs. (U) The Army's Land Information Warfare Activity (or LIWA), Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, had the capability desired USSOCOM and was approached for support early 2000. Orion, commercial firm, provided support LIW during this time. Orion produced multiple were told that Orion responded specific requirements from LIW and that Orion employees were not "read onto" Able Danger. were also told that LIW supported USSOCOM Able Danger with analytic products only for brief period early 2000. Later, will discuss the reasons for the termination ofLIWA's support. was during this period that the Atta chart-with his name and/or picturewas said have been provided USSOCOM. (U) March 2000, Commander USSOCOM decided develop organic data mining capability. July 2000, Raytheon facility was set Garland, Texas, working direct support USSOCOM. (U) Recall, the purpose the Able Danger effort was campaign plan. November 2000, the Garland effort was terminated and resources shifted development draft that campaign plan -this occurred just after the bombing the USS Cole. USSOCOM's deadline for the plan's production, December 2000, was looming. The draft plan was delivered the Joint Staff January 2001 which time Able Danger activities ceased. (U) The plan contained recommendations strategic approach transnational terrorism. did not contain the level tactical detail necessary operationalize the plan. options address the threat posed Usama Bin Ladin. The Joint Staff rolled the Able Danger plan into ongoing "Infinite Resolve" contingency planning and strike options. This planning effort had component which was similar the product Able Danger. Following the November 2000 termination the analytic effort the Raytheon facility Garland, USSOCOM established its analytic capability, permanent USSOCOM organization, the Joint Interagency Collaboration Center (or SOJICC) Tampa. And you know, SOJICC key part SOCOM's planning efforts today. (U) The LIW intelligence oversight officer determined during the course LIWA's support USSOCOM that the data had compiled was not compliance with DoD intelligence oversight policies, specifically with regard retention U.S. persons information. Additionally, required Terms Reference, TOR, authorizing LIW support USSOCOM was not place early 2000. LIW had develop procedures deal with the U.S. persons information issue, but apparently could not resolve the problem time. were told that LIWA purged its data files and destroyed hard copy material related Able Danger the March-April timeframe. (U) best can ascertain, USSOCOM had Raytheon purge the majority its Able Danger-related information upon completion the Garland effort November 2000. small percentage information roughly only -was transferred back USSOCOM headquarters although received varying reports exactly how much the original Able Danger information still resides USSOCOM servers. USSOCOM analyst who was present during the time Able Danger told that the purged information included software applications, open source dead ends and other non-relevant data. Only the data needed write the (U) the approximately persons interviewed the team, five people recalled chart containing the picture and/or name Atta. (U) Orion produced link charts derived solely from open source information. Orion's charts included photographs terrorists. were told that LIW did not produce charts with photographs. Three Orion personnel knowledgeable Orion products provided LIW told that they were certain that the charts did not contain picture reference Atta any his aliases. addition, these personnel told that "Al Qaeda" chart was provided LIW only example. The chart was originally prepared for use training course counterterrorism analysis. were told that Orion provided the chart Qaeda LIW October 21, 1999 without any supporting data. That is, additional analysis would have campaign plan and facilitate the establishment analytic data mining capability USSOCOM headquarters was retained. been required validate the individuals and associations depicted the chart. There may have been subsequent updates this chart that were provided LIWA, but again, Orion personnel told that Atta's photograph was not included. (U) The review team could not identify the precise data sets that were used for data searches and nodal analyses during the time Able Danger. attempt discover open source information Atta with the use contemporary and more advanced tools, the Army directed INSCOM conduct searches against open source information with emphasis the November 1999 May 2000 timeframe. This time was chosen bracket the period during which chart with Atta' name and/or picture might have been produced. (U) Searches were conducted 20-21 August2005 the Intelligence Information Services office INSCOM, the 1st Command, and the National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC). very large volume data was searched multiple search engines running USSOCOM's SOJICC also conducted searches against extensive repository information, including all the Able Danger information previously transferred the SOJICC from the Garland facility. Those searches also did not discover any information Atta the specified timeframe. (U) asked Orion, the company which provided open source analysis support LIW conduct search its own files. Orion reported that its search did not uncover chart with information Atta any data that might have produced it. (U) However, did discover chart during our data searches that was dated May 1999 and produced Orion that was similar that described CAPT Scott Phillpott. The chart bears the photos and names Mohammed Atef and Mohammed Ajaj, but not Mohammed Atta. (U) least one the individuals who told that saw photo Atta chart produced for Able Danger early 2000 described the photo "grainy" --and the one used for Atta's Florida drivers license shortly after first entered the United States June 2000. The photo the drivers license was widely circulated after 9/11. The review team attempted track down the existence this other photo. Because Orion produced charts with photos, the team interviewed the individual who was the Chief Executive Officer Orion the time Able Danger. told that Orion did not purchase such photo. said that the only photos Atta Orion's possession were obtained after 9/11. have not seen copy the so-called "grainy'' photo. (U) Claims have been made that during Able Danger three meetings with FBI agent had been arranged were the process being arranged September 2000 for the purposes sharing Able Danger information and then cancelled SOCOM officials out misplaced concern over intelligence sharing protocols. The FBI agent said involved did not corroborate those claims. response questions posed during the Senate Judiciary Committee's September 2005 hearing, the Department Justice denied such claims letter the Committee. understand that your staff has copy this letter. you not have the letter, have copy and can provide for the record. (U) found reason believe that USSOCOM leadership anyone from the DQD legal community prohibited prevented the sharing Able Danger information with other federal agencies. USSOCOM set classified "chat room" further interagency coordination and break down existing stovepipes. was designed that any agency could enter anonymously discuss issues without having lay out any internal information. were told that the chat room was not actively used. (U) USSOCOM leadership the time Able Danger have said they were aware the legal and regulatory guidelines that governed intelligence gathering and dissemination. These guidelines would not have prohibited the exchange information suspected terrorists. (U) The Department has the authorities necessary share information interest with respect collection, retention, and dissemination intelligence about U.S. persons with other U.S. government organizations and agencies. These authorities have remained unchanged since 1982. The conduct intelligence activities DoD intelligence components governed the requirements set forth 12333, "U.S. Intelligence Activities," December 1981, DoD Directive 5240.1, "DoD Intelligence Activities," April 1988, and DoD Directive 5240.1-R, "Procedures Governing the Activities DoD Intelligence Components that Affect U.S. Persons," December 1982. Attorneys from the office the DoD General Counsel, the Joint Staff, the Army, and USSOCOM were involved providing legal advice and guidance during all stages the Able Danger effort. These authorities and regulations also involve strict measures ensure protection and safeguarding information U.S. entities. active duty, discussed Able Danger with several Commission staffers during October 2003 Commission staff field trip Afghanistan. That discussion resulted two subsequent Commission requests for specific Able Danger documentation November 2003. The Department conducted document searches and provided number documents the Commission response these requests between December 2003 -February 2004. The documents provided the Commission included several briefings which contained nodal analysis charts diagrams. None those charts contained any reference Mohammed Atta any the other 9/11 hijackers. (U) July 2004, the 9/11 Commission was nearing completion its effort, then CDR Scott Phillpott, USN, came forward. said that had seen early 2000 Able Danger-produced chart that depicted suspected Qaeda networks and that identified Mohammed Atta. CDR Phillpott asked meet with the 9/11 Commission staff share that information: the meeting was subsequently arranged the Department. (U) The Department responded all Commission requests for information. DoD documentation Able Danger responsive the requests was any time withheld from the Commission. true that the course this recent review, DoD has unearthed additional documents related Able Danger. These documents were found with considerable effort. Some these documents would have been responsive the Commission's information requests and were generally consistent with the DoD documents already provided the Commission. None these newly identified documents, however, add information substantively different than that provided the Commission. (U) chart charts with Atta's name photo have been found. (U) data sets that contain such information have been found. (U) Material associated with Able Danger was destroyed, but each case consistent with standard policies. (U) The FBI has denied that meetings were scheduled the process being scheduled pass data from Able Danger, cancelled. (U) DoD was responsive the 9/11 Commission's information requests. (U) have briefed Members this Committee previously the review. have also briefed the staffs the HPSCI, HAC-D, SSCI, and SJC well. You are welcome any documents that have the subject that are not restricted any ongoing legal proceedings. (U) The individuals here today are prepared answer your questions what they discovered the course the review. (U) The DoD Inspector General has ongoing formal investigation into Able Danger. The DoD also investigating the security revocation case Mr. Anthony Shaffer. The IG's office has informed that its Able Danger investigation expected completed May 2006. Should any new information come light result the IG's investigation, will pursue any new avenues discovery that are necessary. Able Danger was one the Department's earliest attempts employing data correlation through emerging information technology capabilities. Our capability has improved considerably the last S-6 years. Today, USSOCOM's SOJICC and the Army's Information Dominance Center, IDC, house state-of-the-art capabilities. These two centers and others DoD have significant capability process, analyze, fuse, and graphically display data rates exponentially greater than our initial pre9/11 efforts. Today these centers are collaborating continual basis, enhancing our ability coordinate and conduct intelligence and operations counter terrorism, counter proliferation, information operations, and unconventional warfare. (U) Several Members this Committee have visited least one these centers. those Members who have not yet had the opportunity visit either center, recommend visit the near future. could not have achieved these successful efforts without the support Congressman Weldon and your subcommittees. (U) Thank you. would happy answer any questions you have.