Office of the Deputy Attorney General
Washington, D.C. 20530
November 9, 2001
MEMORANDUM FOR ALL UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS
ALL MEMBERS OF THE ANTI-TERRORISM TASK FORCES
FROM: THE DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL
SUBJECT: Guidelines for the Interviews Regarding International Terrorism
1. Manner of Conducting Interviews
2. Topics to Cover During the Interview
The identity of the individual should be ascertained by requesting his full name, his date and place of birth, his citizenship and any other identifiers that can be provided. The individual should also be asked about any other names that he has used, in this country or elsewhere. To the extent possible, the individual's identity should be verified by reviewing any identification that the individual is able and willing to provide. In light of the availability of false identification documents, you may wish to request more than one form of identification. You should specifically ask to see the individual's passport and visa, and you should take note whether he appears to be residing in the United States within the time period allowed by the visa. If the individual produces a passport or other document that records past travel, you should make an effort to note where the documentation was issued and any information that it provides about the individual's travel history.
b) Telephone Numbers
You should obtain all telephone numbers used by the individual and his family or close associates.
You should ask the individual where he is residing and about any other residences that he has used since his arrival in this country. If he lives with others, you should inquire as to their identities. You should note any information that would assist in locating the individual in the future.
d) Employment and Sources of Income
You should inquire about the individual's current employment and source(s) of income.
You should inquire about the individual's educational background, including whether he has any professional licenses or scientific expertise.
f) Foreign Travel
You should ask the individual what foreign countries he has visited, the dates of those visits, and the reasons he went to those countries. You should inquire specifically whether he or anybody he knows has ever visited Afghanistan.
g) Armed Conflicts
The individual should be asked whether he or anybody else he knows has ever participated in an armed conflict. If he answers in the affirmative, you should probe for details of the role that he or the other person or persons played in that conflict.
h) Reason for the Individual's Visit
The individual should be asked about his reasons for visiting the United States. If the individual is here to attend school, you should learn what you can about his studies and future plans. If the individual is here as a tourist, you should inquire as to the cities, landmarks and other sites that he has visited or plans to visit. You should ask when the individual plans to leave the United States and where he plans to go. You should also ask the purpose of any trips the individual has made outside of the United States since his entry.
i) Threats or Violence Directed at the Individual
You should inquire whether the individual has suffered any violence or threats because of his religion or nationality. If the individual claims to have been the victim of such a crime, you should obtain all relevant information and take any appropriate action to investigate the allegation.
j) Knowledge Regarding the Events of September 11, 2001
You should ask the individual whether he knows, or is aware of anyone who knows, anything about the September 11th attacks or the perpetrators.
k) Reaction to Terrorism
You should ask the individual if he noticed anybody who reacted in a surprising or inappropriate way to the news of the September 11th attacks. You should also ask him how he felt when he heard the news.
l) Involvement in Terrorism
You should inquire whether the individual knows anybody who has had involvement in advocating, planning, supporting or committing terrorist activities, and whether he has ever had any personal involvement in such activities.
m) Knowledge of Terrorism
The individual should be asked whether he knows anyone who is capable of or willing to carry out acts of terrorism; whether he is aware of any plans or discussions about the commission of terrorist acts in the future; and whether he has any ideas about how future acts of terrorism could be prevented. You should also ask him if he recognizes the names of any suspects or targets who have been the subject of investigations in your jurisdiction.
n) Financing of Terrorism
The individual should be asked whether he is aware of anyone raising money for terrorist activity, and whether he or anyone else has contributed to an entity which the individual knows or suspects to be a front for funding terrorism. You should ask if the individual is aware of anyone engaged in systematic criminal activity to raise money, like drug trafficking or fraud schemes.
o) Training of Terrorists
The individual should be asked if he is aware of anybody, including himself, who has received any training which could be applicable to terrorist activities, whether it be training at terrorist camps, flight lessons or other training programs in the United States or abroad.
p) Sympathy for Terrorists
You should ask whether the individual is aware of any persons who have sympathy for the September 11th hijackers or other terrorists, or for the causes those terrorists espouse. You should also ask the individual whether he shares those sympathies to any degree.
q) Advocates of Violence
You should inquire whether the individual has heard of anyone recruiting persons to engage in violent acts against the United States or its citizens. You should ask the individual if he has knowledge of anyone who is advocating "jihad" or urging others to overthrow the government or to attack Americans, either under the guise of religion or otherwise.
r) Knowledge of Weapons
The individual should be asked whether he or anybody he knows has access to guns or to any explosives or harmful chemical compounds, or has any training or experience in the development or use of such weapons. You should also ask if he knows of anyone who is capable of developing any biological or chemical weapon such as anthrax.
s) Sources of False Documents
The individual should be asked if he is aware of anyone who possesses or is involved in selling or supplying others with false identification documents, such as driver's permits, visas, social security cards and credit cards.
t) Knowledge of Terrorists Overseas
You should ask whether the individual is aware of any persons or groups in his homeland who might be planning or advocating terrorist acts against the United States, and whether he knows anyone in his homeland who could help the United States in its fight against terrorism.
u) Other Suspicious Activity
The individual should be asked if he is aware of any other suspicious activity in his neighborhood, community, or circle of acquaintances that might suggest the undertaking or support of terrorist activities.
v) Others with Information
You should ask the individual if he is aware of any other persons who might have information about the above topics.
w) Knowledge of Any Criminal Activity
You should remember to ask the catch-all question whether the individual is aware of any criminal activity whatsoever, whether related to terrorism or not.
x) Willingness to Provide Information in the Future
You should explain that the United States needs everyone's help to prevent future terrorism, and you should encourage the individual to contact you if he sees or hears anything suspicious, or if he comes across anyone who has information that would be relevant and useful. You might want to inquire whether you can contact the individual periodically in the future to see if he has obtained any more information. In other words, if the individual is positioned and willing to provide useful information, you should attempt to develop him as a source in the same way that you would recruit any source related to more traditional criminal activity.
3. Implementation Procedures and Deadlines
a)The Executive Office for United States Attorneys will distribute the lists and this guidance to each United States Attorney on November 9, 2001.
b) The United States Attorneys and the Director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys will hold a conference call to discuss this project on November 9, 2001.
c) Each United States Attorney will convene a meeting of the Anti-Terrorism Task Force on or before November 21, 2001. At that meeting, the United States Attorney will (1) distribute the Attorney General's directive and this guidance to the members of the Task Force; (2) ensure that all members understand the objectives of the project and every aspect of this guidance; (3) discuss the logistics of conducting these interviews; (4) describe the methods of report writing and submission; (5) explain the responsibilities of the interviewers and the deadlines under which they must operate; and (6) answer any and all questions about the project.
d) The agents and officers will locate the individuals and conduct the interviews on or before December 21, 2001.
e) Interviewing agents and officers will confer with the United States Attorney's Anti-Terrorism Coordinator and representatives of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, if one exists in that district, immediately after an interview if they believe that the individual warrants -- or the individual's information should prompt -- further investigation.
f) Reports of the interviews will be completed and submitted electronically to the United States Attorney's Anti-Terrorism Coordinator within three days of each interview. You will electronically receive a standard form that should be used in reporting on each of the interviews. By using a standard form, we ensure that all relevant information can be collected and entered into a database in a manner that can be easily accessed and searched.
g) The United States Attorney's Anti-Terrorism Coordinator will have the submitted reports entered into a database that will be established for this project. Further guidance about the database will be forthcoming.
h) Every Monday morning, the United States Attorney will submit to the Executive Office for United States Attorneys an update on the project with a tally of the number of individuals interviewed and a very brief explanation of any leads or follow-up investigation generated by those interviews.
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