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Panel Releases 9/11 Commission Report Card

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 (UPI) — The United States “is undoubtedly safer” since terrorists attacked the country 10 years ago, but serious flaws remain in security, a panel said Wednesday.

“Today, our country is undoubtedly safer and more secure than it was a decade ago. We have damaged our enemy, but the ideology of violent Islamist extremism is alive and attracting new adherents, including right here in our own country,” the Bipartisan Policy Center’ National Security Preparedness Group said in a release. The group released a report card on the unfinished recommendations of the Sept. 11 Commission, formed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

“With important 9/11 Commission recommendations outlined in this report still unfulfilled, we fail to achieve the security we could or should have,” the report said.

The report did recognize work of the FBI and the CIA for working cooperatively, with the panel said resulted in the disruption of terrorist plots and the capture or killing of operatives.

The bipartisan group, led by former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean and former Rep. Lee Hamilton, R-Ind., said the government officials failed in developing a biometric entry-exit screening system, standardized secure identification and reconciling civil liberties with executive powers.

Despite 10 years of work on security detection, “the aviation screening system still falls short in critical ways with respect to detection,” the report said.

The report took to task the president and Congress.

For example, Congress and the president set up a commission-recommended Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to monitor actions across government, but the board. “has, in fact, been dormant for more than three years.”

Despite lives being at stake, a recommendation to improve radio interoperability for first responders “has stalled because of a political fight over whether to allocate 10 MHz of radio … directly to public safety for a nationwide network,” the report said.

“Our terrorist adversaries and the tactics and techniques they employ are evolving rapidly. We will see new attempts, and likely successful attacks,” the report said. “One of our major deficiencies before the 9/11 attacks was a failure by national security agencies to adapt quickly to new and different kinds of enemies. We must not make that mistake again.”

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