More than four years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, U.S. intelligence agencies are still failing to share information while Congress battles over security funding, a panel that investigated the terrorist hijackings will conclude in a new report to be released Monday.
In interviews Friday, members of the former Sept. 11 commission said the government should receive a dismal grade for its lack of urgency in enacting strong security measures to prevent terrorist attacks.
"Before 9/11, both the Clinton and Bush administrations said they had identified Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda as problems that have to be dealt with, and were working on it," said former commission chairman Thomas H. Kean. "But they just were not very high on their priority list. And again it seems that the safety of the American people is not very high on Washington's priority list."
A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security declined to comment before the report is issued Monday.
Among the main concerns:
* The United States is not doing enough to ensure that other nations are stopping the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical materials.
* Police, firefighters and medics lack interconnected radio systems to let them communicate with one another during emergencies.
* The Bush administration and Congress have distributed security funding to states without ensuring that most of the money goes to high-risk communities.