As White House counterterror czar, Richard Clarke was so frustrated by the FBI?s inability to identify Islamic radicals within the United States that he turned for help to a freelance terrorism researcher whose work was deeply resented by top bureau officials.
Clarke?s secret work with private researcher Steven Emerson is among a number of revealing disclosures in the ex-White House aide?s new book, ?Against All Enemies,? that has been all but obscured by the furor over the author?s politically charged allegations against President George W. Bush.
As recounted by Clarke in his book, and confirmed by documents provided to NEWSWEEK, Emerson and his former associate Rita Katz regularly provided the White House with a stream of information about possible Al Qaeda activity inside the United States that appears to have been largely unknown to the FBI prior to the September 11 terror attacks.
In confidential memos and briefings that were sometimes conducted on a near weekly basis, Emerson and Katz furnished Clarke and his staff with the names of Islamic radical Web sites, the identities of possible terrorist front groups and the phone numbers and addresses of possible terror suspects-data they were unable to get from elsewhere in the government.
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