The Top 10 Recommendations from the 9/11 Commission Report

Background of the 9/11 Commission Recommendations

9/11 Commission

The 9/11 attacks on September 11, 2001, were the deadliest terrorist attacks in history. The attacks, which were carried out by a group of terrorists associated with the militant Islamist group al-Qaida, claimed the lives of almost 3,000 people and injured more than 6,000. In response to the attacks, the U.S. government established the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, commonly known as the 9/11 Commission.

The 9/11 Commission was created by an act of Congress in November 2002. The Commission was tasked with conducting a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the attacks and making recommendations for how to prevent similar attacks in the future. The Commission comprised ten members, including former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean, who served as chairman, and former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton, who served as vice chairman.

The Commission’s investigation was extensive and involved reviewing thousands of documents, holding public hearings, and interviewing key witnesses, including government officials, intelligence officers, and family members of the victims. The Commission issued its final report in July 2004, which included a list of recommendations for how to improve the U.S. government’s ability to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks.

The Commission’s recommendations were wide-ranging and covered various aspects of national security, including intelligence gathering, border security, aviation security, and emergency preparedness. The Commission also recommended the creation of a new position within the Executive Branch called the National Intelligence Director, whose role would be to oversee and coordinate the intelligence community’s efforts to prevent terrorist attacks.

Many of the Commission’s recommendations were implemented in the years following the release of the report. In 2004, Congress passed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, which created the National Intelligence Director position and implemented other key recommendations. Other recommendations, such as improving information sharing among government agencies, were addressed through the creation of new initiatives and programs.

Despite these efforts, some of the Commission’s recommendations remain unaddressed, and new threats have emerged in the years since the report’s release. The U.S. government continues to grapple with how best to prevent terrorist attacks while preserving civil liberties and safeguarding individual privacy.

Strengthening Homeland Security

9 11 commission recommendations list

After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, the United States government formed the 9/11 Commission to investigate the events leading up to the attack and make recommendations to strengthen national security efforts. One significant area of focus was strengthening homeland security to prevent future attacks. The commission made several recommendations in this area, including:

1. Improve Aviation Security

Improve Aviation Security

One of the most significant ways to improve homeland security is by strengthening aviation security. The 9/11 Commission recommended several steps to do so, including:

  • More extensive screening of passengers and luggage. The commission recommended using technology such as full-body scanners and background checks to increase security.
  • Better training for airport security personnel. The commission recommended improving training programs for airport screeners to increase their ability to detect potential threats.
  • Stronger cockpit doors. The commission recommended strengthening cockpit doors to prevent hijackers from taking control of planes.
  • Increase air marshal programs. The commission recommended increasing the number of air marshals on flights to provide additional security.

2. Improve Information Sharing Among Intelligence Agencies

Improve Information Sharing Among Intelligence Agencies

Another recommendation of the commission was to improve information sharing among intelligence agencies. This recommendation aimed to ensure that all agencies involved in national security efforts had access to the same information, which would enable them to work together more effectively. Some of the specific recommendations included:

  • Developing a system for sharing information between agencies. The commission recommended creating a system for passing on information between agencies to ensure that all relevant parties had access to the same information.
  • Encouraging better cooperation between agencies. The commission recommended that intelligence agencies work together more proactively to share information and collaborate on security efforts.
  • Integrating information technology systems. The commission recommended integrating the technology systems of different agencies to make it easier to share information.

Overall, the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation to improve information sharing aimed to ensure that all agencies working on national security were on the same page. By doing so, they could work more effectively to prevent future attacks.

3. Increase Resources for Law Enforcement

Increase Resources for Law Enforcement

The 9/11 Commission also recommended that the federal government increase resources for law enforcement. This recommendation aimed to provide the tools and resources necessary to investigate and prevent terrorist attacks. The specific recommendations included:

  • More funding for law enforcement agencies. The commission recommended increasing funding for agencies such as the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to provide the resources needed to investigate potential threats.
  • Improved training for law enforcement personnel. The commission recommended improving training programs for law enforcement personnel to increase their ability to detect and prevent potential threats.
  • Strengthening intelligence-gathering capabilities. The commission recommended strengthening the ability of law enforcement agencies to gather intelligence on potential threats.

Overall, the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation to increase resources for law enforcement aimed to provide the personnel, funding, and technology necessary to prevent future threats.



The 9/11 Commission’s recommendations to strengthen homeland security were essential in providing a framework for national security efforts in the United States. By improving aviation security, information sharing among intelligence agencies, and resources for law enforcement, the government could prevent future attacks and protect its citizens. The implementation of these recommendations has resulted in improved national security and a safer and more secure country for all Americans.

Improving Intelligence and Information Sharing

Intelligence and Information Sharing

After the 9/11 terror attacks, the U.S government labored to identify the various loopholes in the country’s intelligence and information-sharing systems that facilitated the attack’s success. Consequently, they came up with numerous recommendations aimed at sealing the security leaks and improving the intelligence and information-sharing capabilities of relevant agencies and departments in charge of national security.

One of the recommendations was for the government to build a comprehensive information-sharing network that links intelligence agencies, military departments, and local law enforcement agencies. This network would allow the relevant authorities to share information and work collaboratively towards detecting and tracking down suspected terrorists. The commission also recommended the creation of a National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), whose mandate would be to streamline intelligence analysis and sharing across the intelligence community.

A majority of the commission’s recommendations aimed at improving Intelligence and Information Sharing primarily focused on making the flow of information more efficient between intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies, and the private sector. To this end, the government created the Information Sharing Environment (ISE), which is a government-wide intelligence system that allows authorized personnel to access and share information related to terrorism. While the system is not without its challenges, such as confusion over information ownership, it has drastically improved intelligence sharing through common policies, standards, and guidelines that aim to ensure meaningful information sharing.

Another recommendation was to modernize the US intelligence community’s technical infrastructure, which was highly fragmented, hampering intelligence agencies’ ability to share information quickly and effectively. The U.S government was thus advised to create a modern, integrated information technology infrastructure—such as intelligence data warehouses containing various, interlocking databases—that would effectively support collaboration among the different organizations involved in national security.

The establishment of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) was another prominent recommendation aimed at improving intelligence sharing after the 9/11 attacks. The ODNI, a relatively new department established in 2005, aims to effectively integrate and coordinate the various intelligence gathering agencies. It oversees and guides the efforts of the entire intelligence community in a way that ensures that information is shared effectively and efficiently.

The various recommendations aimed at improving intelligence and information sharing require more funding, better personnel management strategies, as well as the reassessment of leadership structures, to ensure accountability and proper implementation. Additionally, these recommendations also promote collaboration, trust, and transparency among various agencies, something that was previously lacking in the intelligence community.

In conclusion, the recommendation aimed at improving intelligence and information sharing was critical in streamlining America’s intelligence and information-sharing systems after the 9/11 attacks. These recommendations played a significant role in closing the security gaps that facilitated terrorist attacks by enhancing information sharing between the different agencies involved in national security efforts. As these agencies continue to work together and use the current recommendations to develop new strategies, information sharing will keep improving, and the nation will be safer from terrorist attacks.

Reforming Aviation and Transportation Security

Airline security

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the 9/11 Commission was set up to review the events leading up to and including the attacks and to make recommendations for improvements. One area where major changes were made in response to the recommendations of the Commission was aviation and transportation security.

Before the attacks, airport and airline security was mostly managed by private companies hired by the airlines themselves. The 9/11 Commission found that these private companies were not properly regulated or overseen, and that there were major gaps in security that allowed terrorists to board planes with weapons and explosives. To address these issues, the Commission made several recommendations for improving aviation and transportation security.

Firstly, the Commission recommended the creation of a new federal agency responsible for overseeing transportation security, which became the Department of Homeland Security. This agency was given broad powers to regulate and oversee all aspects of transportation security, including aviation security. It was also tasked with coordinating the efforts of other agencies, such as the FBI and CIA, to prevent terrorist attacks on transportation systems.

The Commission also recommended that all airport security personnel be federalized, meaning that they would be employees of the federal government rather than private companies or airports. This would ensure that all airport security personnel were properly trained and vetted, and that they were held to a higher standard of professionalism and accountability. Additionally, the Commission recommended that new technology be developed and deployed to screen passengers and baggage for weapons and explosives, including advanced imaging and trace detection technologies.

Another major recommendation of the Commission was the development of a system for matching passenger information against terrorist watchlists. This system, known as the Secure Flight program, was developed and implemented by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in 2009. It requires airlines to collect and transmit passenger information to the TSA, which matches the information against terrorist watchlists. Passengers who are found to be on the watchlist are denied boarding or subject to additional screening.

The 9/11 Commission also recommended that the federal government take a more active role in regulating the security of cargo transported on commercial airlines. Prior to the attacks, cargo was not subject to the same screening requirements as passengers and baggage. The Commission called for the implementation of a system to screen all cargo for weapons and explosives, and for the development of a system to track and verify the contents of all cargo shipments.

Finally, the Commission recommended that the federal government work with international partners to improve aviation and transportation security around the world. This included sharing intelligence and information about threats, developing common standards for security practices, and providing technical and financial assistance to countries that needed it.

In the years following the 9/11 attacks, the federal government took significant steps to implement the Commission’s recommendations for reforming aviation and transportation security. Today, air travel is much safer than it was prior to the attacks, thanks to the efforts of federal agencies like the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the airlines themselves.

Enhancing Communications and Emergency Preparedness

Enhancing Communications and Emergency Preparedness

The events of 9/11 clearly showed that effective communications and emergency preparedness are critical components of national security. In its report, the 9/11 Commission made several recommendations to enhance these two areas, which have been used as a blueprint for improvements in the years since.

One of the key recommendations for enhancing communications was to create a national network for emergency responders, which could improve communication between emergency services during a crisis. The report highlighted the importance of interoperability and recommended the development of standards for radio communication systems. Since then, progress has been made to improve radio interoperability, with the federal government establishing a program to help public safety agencies improve their communications capabilities.

Another recommendation related to communications was the creation of a national threat warning system, which would be designed to quickly identify and alert relevant authorities and the public of any potential threats. After 9/11, many different warning systems were established, but the creation of a centralized national warning system remains a work in progress. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has launched a similar system, the National Terrorism Advisory System, to help local law enforcement and the public respond to potential threats.

Emergency preparedness was also heavily emphasized in the 9/11 Commission report. The commission identified several areas for improvement, including the need for better training for emergency responders and the development of better evacuation plans. Since then, many different emergency response and recovery programs have been established, such as the Urban Search and Rescue Program. These programs provide training and resources for emergency responders across the country and are designed to help local authorities better prepare for a crisis.

The commission also recommended that the federal government establish a grant program to improve the readiness and response capabilities of local responders. To this end, the DHS has established the grant program known as the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, which provides funding to fire districts and other localities to help them acquire new equipment, training and other resources to improve their readiness for responding to emergencies. The program is designed to help localities afford equipment and training, both of which can be prohibitively expensive.

Finally, the commission emphasized the need to improve border security, a vital part of effective emergency response. One recommendation was to improve technology and infrastructure at the border to prevent the entry of terrorists and illegal goods. This has been taken up by various law enforcement agencies, such as the Border Patrol, which has invested heavily in new technologies and infrastructure to secure the border. Other measures have been introduced to prevent illegal entry, such as the deployment of sensors and drones along the border.

Overall, the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations on enhancing communications and emergency preparedness have had a significant impact on national security and emergency response procedures in the US. The creation of national standards, grant programs, and training facilities has helped to better prepare the nation for emergencies and has helped local responders to better carry out their duties.

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