The Phoenix memo was written by FBI agent Kenneth Williams in July 2001 and expressed concerns about Middle Eastern men taking flying lessons. The memo actually went to two task forces at FBI headquarters: the Radical Fundamentalist Unit and one dedicated to Osama bin Laden, but no action was taken on its recommendation for a nationwide survey of Arab-American students attending flight schools.
The FBI has refused to release an entire copy of the July 2001 memo sent from the bureau's Arizona office, although here is an excerpt that has been released:
Phoenix believes that the FBI should accumulate a listing of civil aviation universities/colleges around the country. FBI field offices with these types of schools in their area should establish appropriate liaison. FBIHQ should discuss this matter with other elements of the U.S. intelligence community and task the community for any information that supports Phoenix’s suspicions. FBIHQ should consider seeking the necessary authority to obtain visa information from the USDOS on individuals obtaining visas to attend these types of schools and notify the appropriate FBI field office when these individuals are scheduled to arrive in their area of responsibility.