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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Inexperienced CIA Routinely Get Bin Laden Assignment

Washington Post
Nov. 9, 2004 12:00 AM
WASHINGTON - One of the most senior intelligence officers in the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit said Monday that fewer experienced officers are assigned to defeating the al-Qaida leader and his followers now than there were on Sept. 11, 2001.

Michael Scheuer, the author of a best-selling book critical of the agency's fight against terrorism, said that, even though the number of officers assigned to the task has increased substantially, "the level of experienced officers is a little less since September 11."

More than 50 percent of those working on terrorism are assigned to the job temporarily, for 30 to 90 days at a time, he said. Some of the most experienced officers have been assigned to Iraq or sent to the FBI or Homeland Security's information center, he said.

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