The Terror Hunters

The U.S. has a smart, well-funded antiterror net--but it's still barely keeping up. An inside look at the furious hunt for the Cole bombers

At 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 12, the telephone on Deputy FBI Director Thomas Pickard's desk rang. It was an aide in Secretary of Defense William Cohen's office: "We've had an explosion aboard the Cole. We think it might be a terrorist act." Pickard quickly dialed FBI Director Louis Freeh, Attorney General Janet Reno and Dale Watson, head of the FBI's Counter-Terrorism Division, bringing them online and then activating the FBI's high-tech Strategic Operations and Information Center. Then he called Roger Nisley, chief of the Critical Incident Response Group, and delivered a go message: "Get the Rapid Deployment team rolling toward Andrews...

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