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With something as intense and as complex as the September 11 attacks, the Commission declared that there were many elements of failure. The Commission was fairly pointed that the failure to recognize Al- Qaeda's threat in the time leading up to the attack could be considered a serious lapse in vigilance. As early as December 1998, intelligence officials were found to have had credible evidence to indicate that Al Qaeda was planning an attack using commercial airliners. The Commission found out that the basic premise of vigilance and a sense of warning were not present in how foreign policy was carried out and how governmental approaches to organizations like Al Qaeda were to be facilitated. Essentially, the government "took their eye off the ball" when it came to terrorism and the actions of Al Qaeda. This enabled the organization to redouble their efforts and gain strength both financially and recruitment- wise. The Commission felt that the government's failure to monitor the development and growth of terrorist threats from organizations like Al Qaeda was of significant and serious proportions. While the commission found many elements lacking in the government response leading up to the events of September 11, this is one area that was particularly pointed in its findings.
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