Richard Ben-Veniste said the following to Condoleezza Rice the following question during her appearance before the 9/11 Commission:
"The extraordinary high terrorist attack threat level in the summer of 2001 is well documented, and Richard Clarke’s testimony about the possibility of an attack against the United States homeland was repeatedly discussed from May to August within the intelligence community, and that is well documented. You acknowledged that Richard Clarke told you that Al-Qaeda cells were in the United States.
( or watch the video ).
The August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief was entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US" .
The CIA Director had warned congress shortly before 9/11 "that there could be an attack, an imminent attack, on the United States of this nature. So this is not entirely unexpected" according to a broadcast on National Public Radio
Newsweek stated "On Sept. 10, NEWSWEEK has learned, a group of top Pentagon officials suddenly canceled travel plans for the next morning, apparently because of security concerns" (pay-per-view; cached version of article here )
An employee who worked in the south tower stated "How could they let this happen? They knew this building was a target. Over the past few weeks we’d been evacuated a number of times, which is unusual. I think they had an inkling something was going on"
And a guard who worked in the world trade center stated that "officials had recently taken steps to secure the towers against aerial attacks"
For example, a 1998 report forwarded from the FBI to the Federal Aviation Administration concluded that "a group of unidentified Arabs planned to fly an explosive-laden plane . . . into the World Trade Center" .
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the military air defense agency responsible for protecting the U.S. mainland, had run drills for several years of planes being used as weapons against the World Trade Center and other U.S. high-profile buildings , and "numerous types of civilian and military aircraft were used as mock hijacked aircraft". In other words, drills using REAL AIRCRAFT simulating terrorist attacks crashing jets into buildings, including the twin towers, were run.
And a pre-9/11 National Intelligence Estimate was entitled "Islamic Extremists Learn to Fly" , and was apparently about Islamic people taking classes at U.S. flight schools.
So the administration’s story that they thought the warnings in the months leading up to 9/11 had to do with U.S. interests outside of the U.S. is not credible.