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article imageRussia warned US of bomber 'multiple times' after FBI interview

By Ralph Lopez     Apr 24, 2013 in World
As the FBI seeks to portray its failure to track Tamerlan Tsarnaev after a 2011 interview as a bureaucratic snafu, a US senator has revealed that the US was warned about Tsarnaev not once, but "multiple times," according to the Boston Globe.
Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina told reporters after a closed-door briefing of the Senate Intelligence Committee that one of the warnings was given after October 2011. Tamerlan, the older of the two brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombing, traveled to Chechnya in 2012 for up to six months, just as an earlier warning from the FSB Russian intelligence service had predicted.
Boston Globe: "Russia contacted US government ‘multiple’ times"
Last week the FBI acknowledged in a press release that the Russian government had told it that the 26-year-old Tsarnaev "had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups."
President Obama has made no mention of the FBI failure, which had already been reported when he visited Boston to comfort the victims and families on April 18th.
As a result of the tip from the Russian government, the FBI interviewed Tsarnaev in its Boston offices in early 2011. On Sunday, US Representative Mike McCaul (R-TX,) who is a former federal prosecutor, criticized the FBI for failing to "flag" the older Tsarnaev, even after he traveled to Chechnya the next year, in 2012
"If he is on the radar and they let him go, why hasn't a flag been put on him?" said McCaul, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, on the CNN program State of the Union.
"The older brother travels back to Russia, he spends six months there, and one of the first things he does is he puts up a website throwing out a lot of jihadist rhetoric," said McCaul.
The Boston bombing shocked the world with its numbing level of brutality. Bombs constructed not to kill, by and large, but to maim, were unleashed upon a crowd celebrating the nation's oldest and most venerated sporting event. Pressure cooker bombs filled with nails, ball bearings, and scrap metal seemed to aim at legs rather than vital organs, in an event dedicated to running. Three people were killed and over 170 wounded. At least 30 leg amputations, including double amputations, had to be performed.
The Boston Marathon takes place every year on Patriots Day, the Massachusetts holiday which commemorates the 1776 Battle of Lexington and Concord. The battle marked the start of the American Revolution.
According to the Boston Globe, members of the House of Representatives also received a briefing yesterday. Some of the members struck a note of mild admonishment toward the federal agencies involved in the failure, invoking "lessons we could learn." Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a Florida Democrat, said: "With each event that occurs like this one, we have to go back and take a look at what lessons we could learn and how to fill in those gaps."
The Senate Intelligence Committee briefing was delivered by Deputy FBI Director Sean M. Joyce and officials from the National Counter-terrorism Center and the Department of Homeland Security. No mention has yet been made by members of either the Senate or the House, of reprimands, terminations, or prosecutions within departments for neglect of duties.
Since 9/11, the federal government has accumulated, through legislation, an expanded arsenal of surveillance and monitoring tools, such as the USA Patriot Act, which civil libertarians fear can be abused when used against US citizens exercising First Amendment rights.
The older Tsarnaev brother was not a US citizen, and therefore not entitled to Constitutional Fourth Amendment protections.
In a joint letter with Rep. Peter King, in their roles as ranking members of the House Committee on Homeland Security, McCaul and King wrote to US Attorney General Eric Holder and Department of Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano:
"[Tsarnaev] appears to be the fifth person since September 11, 2001, to participate in terror attacks despite being under investigation by the FBI."
Others named include Carlos Bledsoe, who killed an Army private outside a military recruiting office in in 2009; and Nidal Hasan. The 1993 World Trade Center bombing has also been revealed, by the New York Times and by CBS News, to be an FBI entrapment scheme which resulted in multiple deaths.
The hallmark of the Boston Marathon has historically been its inclusivity to runners of all ages and abilities. According to the unspoken code of the amateur event, runners are allowed to wear the silver space blanket seen across Boston for the rest of the day, as runners walk and "cool down," according not to whether one placed or finished the grueling 26 miles culminating in "Heartbreak Hill," but tried their best.
US Representative Mike Mccaul (R-TX) on CNN
Related stories:
Congressman says FBI failed to 'flag' bomber after 2011 interview
"FBI interviewed Boston bomber in 2011 at urging of Russia"
"Mother of suspect says FBI maintained contact with older brother"
More about boston marathon bombing, FBI, Dhs, russian intelligence, Tamerlan Tsarnaev
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