A great deal of conÂtroverÂsy has arisÂen about what was known about the moveÂments and locÂaÂtion of Osama bin Laden in the wake of his killÂing by US SpeciÂal ForÂces on May 2 in AbÂbotÂtabad, PakisÂtan. QuesÂtions about what inÂtelÂligÂence agenÂcies knew or didn't know about al-Qaeda acÂtivitÂies go back some years, most proÂminentÂly in the conÂtroverÂsy over the exÂistÂence of a joint US SpeciÂal ForÂces ComÂmand and DeÂfenÂse InÂtelÂligÂence AgenÂcy (DIA) data minÂing efÂfort known as "Able DangÂer."
What hasn't been disÂcusÂsed is a SepÂtembÂer 2008 DeÂpartÂment of DeÂfenÂse (DoD) inÂspecÂtor generÂal (IG) reÂport, sumÂmarizÂing an inÂvesÂtigaÂtion made in reÂsponÂse to an acÂcusaÂtion by a Joint ForÂces InÂtelÂligÂence ComÂmand (JFIC) whistlebÂlowÂer, which inÂdicated that a senÂior JFIC comÂmandÂer had halÂted acÂtions trackÂing Osama bin Laden prior to 9/11. JFIC is tasÂked with an inÂtelÂligÂence misÂsÂion in supÂport of UniÂted States Joint Force ComÂmand (USJFCOM).
The reÂport, titÂled "ReÂview of Joint ForÂces InÂtelÂligÂence ComÂmand ReÂsponÂse to 9/11 ComÂmissÂion," was deÂclasÂsified last year, in reÂsponÂse to a Freedom of InÂforÂmaÂtion Act reÂquest from StevÂen AfÂtergood at the FederaÂtion of American ScientÂists.
The whistlebÂlowÂer, who the IG reÂport idenÂtified as a formÂer JFIC emÂployee reÂpresenÂted only by his coÂdename "IRON MAN," claimed in lettÂers writtÂen to both the DoD inÂspecÂtor generÂal in May 2006 and, lackÂing any apÂparent acÂtion by the IG, to the OfÂfice of the NationÂal DiÂrecÂtor of InÂtelÂligÂence (ODNI) in OcÂtobÂer 2007, that JFIC had withÂheld opÂerationÂal inÂforÂmaÂtion about al-Qaeda when queried in March 2002 about its acÂtivitÂies by the DIA and highÂer comÂmand ofÂficiÂals on beÂhalf of the 9/11 ComÂmissÂion. The ODNI pasÂsed the comÂplaint back to the IG, who then opÂened an inÂvesÂtigaÂtion under the ausÂpices of the deÂputy inÂspecÂtor generÂal for inÂtelÂligÂence.