Secrecy News

CIA Report on Terrorist Recruitment (2002)

A 2002 report (pdf) prepared by the CIA Counterterrorist Center discusses how terrorists recruit members in prisons such as Guantanamo Bay.

“Terrorists groups, including al-Qa’ida, use incarcerated members to recruit and train new members, and in some cases run terrorist organizations and manage or facilitate terrorist attacks.”

The classified CIA report was previously published on the web site The Smoking Gun.

See “Terrorists: Recruiting and Operating Behind Bars,” CIA Counterterrorism Center, August 20, 2002.

The last page of the document provides an extensive list of sources which are numbered — “but the numbers aren’t keyed to the text,” noticed former CIA analyst Allen Thomson.

He recalled being puzzled by this practice of decoupling the sources from the text more than two decades ago, and investigating the matter at the time.

“The list of sources wasn’t kept for reasons of documenting the reasoning that went into publications,” Mr. Thomson explained. “It was solely a security requirement so that, should somebody think that information had been published at too low a level of classification, the matter could be checked. Curiously, there was no master copy with the sources keyed to the text to aid in such security checking, so I suspect that checking was seldom done, if ever.”