Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Gregory J. Howard

Second Advisor

Dr. Ronald Kramer

Third Advisor

Dr. Barry Goetz

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have forever changed the geopolitical landscape. Yet despite the significance of such an event, those working in the field of state crime have been reluctant to investigate the role of the United States government in failing to prevent the attacks. Utilizing the five criteria of state crime put forth by Kauzlarich, Mullins and Matthews (2003), the actions and inactions of the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the Federal Aviation Administration are examined. Drawing on the testimonies of government officials from each of the five agencies to the 9/11 Commission, evidence suggests that key officials failed to act on available information to prevent the attacks therefore constituting an explicit crime of omission. Most significantly, the National Security Council composed of top Bush administration officials, who were charged with the task of coordinating a response to such a threat, neglected to take crucial actions which may have prevented the attacks.