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article imageBoston Marathon bomber allowed to fly due to spelling error

By Sean Fraser     Mar 26, 2014 in Odd News
Boston - In what could be seen as one of the worst clerical errors in history, a new Congressional report states that one of the men responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing was allowed to fly to the U.S. because his name was misspelled on a terrorist list.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the conspirators in the April 2013 bombing, was entered into two different databases: the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment and the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS) after the Russian government warned American officials of his radical Islamist ties.
The entry into the database included a note stating that if Tsarnaev entered the airport, he was to be immediately pulled out of line and detained. However, Tsarnaev's last name was misspelled as "Tsarnayev," according to The Verge.
When Tsarnaev traveled to Russia to attend terrorist training in 2012, his name triggered a warning, but the mandatory detention was not triggered.
"This sounds like a huge hole and an opportunity missed," said Ed Davis, the Boston police chief at the time of the bombings.
The FBI had received detailed information from the Russian government about Tsarnaev and his family, including addresses and contact information, in March 2011, according to NBC News. The information was passed on to the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The FBI interviewed Tsarnaev in person, but did not place surveillance on him because his case did not meet the standards set to require surveillance.
The JTTF then entered Tsarnaev's name into the TECS database, stressing that if Tsarnaev was encountered, that he would be detained, searched, and interviewed, and the FBI agent in charge of his case be contacted.
Tsarnaev's case was closed in June 2011. The closing report stated that "the assessment found no links to terrorism."
Paying more attention to errors like this could be added to the list of lessons learned due to the bombing. On Monday, Boston University hosted a symposium where speakers talked about what could be taken away from this incident.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick praised the efforts of the first responders, doctors, and nurses who treated the wounded, claiming they "made the best care better and lost not one."
Former Boston mayor Thomas Menino said that the trust forged over the past several years between city officials and residents resulted in a "deputizing" of the residents into volunteering to help. Many residents opened their doors to assist runners affected by the blast. Store and restaurant employees showed to help clean up the mess caused by the bombs.
"Leaders should try to build cores of citizen responders," Menino said. "No city will be able to manage a crisis and rebuild…without the help of its people."
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