At the Crossroads Of Terror

Inside the clandestine operations center where the CIA tries to anticipate what al-Qaeda will do next

It consumes acres of space in the CIA's Langley, VA., headquarters, with computers whirring, phones jangling and TV sets turned on 24 hours a day, not only to cnn--the favorite in military command centers--but also to al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based TV network that's usually the first to broadcast videos from Osama bin Laden. The warren of offices and cubicles that make up its main section has grown so large that street signs named after terror purveyors have been erected to guide newcomers. The intersection that draws the most smiles is Saddam Street and Usama Bin Lane.

The Counterterrorism Center, or CTC, as...

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