Spot the Four Barriers to Collaboration

ON AUGUST 29, 2001, an FBI agent fired off an angry e-mail to a colleague Jane: “Whatever has happened to this—someday someone will die—and wall or not—the public will not understand why we were not more effective and throwing every resource we had at certain ‘problems.’”1 The livid agent wanted to hunt down a Saudi national named Khalid al Mihdhar. The agent thought Mihdhar was linked to the case he was working on—the investigation of the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen that killed seventeen sailors. But his FBI colleague, an analyst now known anonymously as “Jane,” mistakenly invoked the “wall” at the FBI that she thought denied people working on criminal cases access to ...

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