Report Credits F.B.I. With Progress Since 9/11, but Says More Is Needed

This Feb. 3, 2012 file photo shows Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) headquarters in Washington. Just six blocks from the White House, the FBI's hulking headquarters overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue has long been the government building everyone loves to hate. The verdict: it's an ugly, crumbling concrete behemoth. An architectural mishap, all 2.4 million square feet of it. But in this time of tight budgets, massive deficits and the "fiscal cliff," the 38-year-old FBI headquarters building has one big thing in its favor. It sits atop very valuable real estate, an entire city block on American's Main Street midway between the U.S. Capitol and the White House. Just how valuable, the General Services Administration intends to find out. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
This Feb. 3, 2012 file photo shows Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) headquarters in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

WASHINGTON (The New York Times) — The F.B.I. has made great strides since the Sept. 11 attacks and has prevented other catastrophic acts of terrorism, but it urgently needs to improve its intelligence capabilities and hire more linguists to counter the rapidly evolving threats to the United States, according to a report released on Wednesday.

The report by the F.B.I. 9/11 Review Commission said that the bureau needed to elevate the status of its analysts and enhance its ability to gain information from people and to analyze it, contending that the bureau lags “behind marked advances in law enforcement capabilities.”

“This imbalance needs urgently to be addressed to meet growing and increasingly complex national security threats, from adaptive and increasingly tech-savvy terrorists, more brazen computer hackers, and more technically capable, global cyber syndicates,” the report said.

While the 2004 report of the national 9/11 Commission and subsequent reviews called for major changes to the F.B.I., the report released Wednesday was much less critical. Rather than a rebuke, it amounts to a status-check on the F.B.I. transformation that began in 2001.


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