There is much evidence pointing towards George W.Bush's deliberate attempts to force the FBI to back off the trail of bin Laden, even several months prior to the Sept 11th events, even signing an Executive Order (W199I-WF-213589) to prevent the FBI from further investigating the bin Laden family.
We're currently trying to track down evidence, and the text, of this Executive Order, but we've so far been unable to verify even the existence of such an order. More details on Executive Orders can be found on our Executive Orders page.
Stop Press - It seems that the document might not have been an Executive Order, but a Case ID reference. This is documented in the transcript of a BBC Newsnight program transmitted on 6th Nov 2001
However, this video shows Bush's reaction on being randomly asked about prior knowledge of the Sept 11th attacks.
John O'Neil, former FBI director
The claims seem to originate from former FBI director John O'Neil, who claimed that the Government was preventing him and his agents from going after the bin Laden family. O'Neil was probably the FBI's leading expert on bin Laden and Al Qaeda but every time he got close to him, his bosses pulled him off the case. Eventually, after so many road-blocks, O'Neil felt compelled to quit the FBI. Two weeks later he got a new job as head of security at the World Trade Center. The reason for this is that he felt convinced that bin Laden or another terrorist would eventually attempt to attack the twin towers. However, on the second day of his new job - on Sept 11th - he was killed whilst attempting to rescue people in the south tower.
You can watch a PBS documentary on John O'Neil here.
Sibel Edwards, former FBI translator
Claims that the FBI had information that an attack using airplanes was being planned before Sept. 11 and calls Condoleezza Rice's claim the White House had no specific information on a domestic threat or one involving planes "an outrageous lie." Read the full story and interview at Democracy Now.
She was fired and placed under a gag order by Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Article dissecting the Final 9/11 Commission Report. (Democracy Now)
Coleen Rowley, chief counsel of the FBI's Minneapolis field office
Provided details in a 13 page memo about how the FBI headquarters thwarted agents' attempts to investigate Zacarais Moussaoui, the alleged 20th Sept 11th hijacker. The memo led bureau chief Robert Mueller to reorganize the agency. Rowley testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in June about the FBI bureaucracy that frustrates agents' attempts at innovative investigation and mires them in paperwork.
You can read the letter she wrote here (Time magazine).
Agent blasts FBI over 11 September 'cover-up' - article in The Observer
Robert Wright Jr., FBI agent
In a memorandum written 91 days before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, an FBI agent warned that Americans would die as a result of the bureau's failure to adequately pursue investigations of terrorists living in the country.. Read the full story at CNS News or Judicial Watch.
Media reports of US agents being told to "back off" bin Laden and Al Qaeda