U.S. lawmakers to probe FBI handling of Boston suspect

WASHINGTON Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:31am IST

Members of the FBI Evidence Recovery Team work around the home where Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding at 67 Franklin St. in Watertown, Massachusetts, April 20, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Members of the FBI Evidence Recovery Team work around the home where Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding at 67 Franklin St. in Watertown, Massachusetts, April 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers will question senior security officials this week about whether the FBI mishandled information on one of the Boston bombing suspects who was flagged by Russia two years ago as a possible Islamist radical.

Top investigators will brief the full House of Representatives on Tuesday about the failure to spot the danger from Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of two ethnic Chechen brothers suspected of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings, which killed three people and injured more than 200.

Some lawmakers have accused the FBI of failing to act thoroughly enough after Russia's security services raised concerns about Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011.

"We're going to have to sort it out," said Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, which will be briefed on the case during a closed hearing on Tuesday. She declined further comment.

The full Senate is expected to receive a briefing from intelligence officials later in the week, aides said.

Lawmakers want to know why the FBI discounted the older Tsarnaev brother as a possible threat after interviewing him in 2011. The following year, he flew to Russia and visited the southern regions of Dagestan and Chechnya, where Islamist militants are active.

The 26-year-old died in a gunfight with police early on Friday. His younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was charged in a Boston hospital on Monday with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death in connection with the bombings.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who accused the FBI on Sunday of "dropping the ball" on the elder Tsarnaev, was less critical in comments on Monday.

He said he had spoken to the FBI, which explained that Moscow did not reply to later U.S. requests for more information about the suspect.

"This is an example of where we need better cooperation," Graham told a news conference. "They indicated to us that they never received any input from the Russians after the 2011 inquiry," said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

He questioned why Tamerlan Tsarnaev's online connections to radical websites did not cause the FBI to identify him as a potential threat and suggested that the country may need to alter privacy laws to allow closer tracking of online activity.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Alistair Bell and Eric Beech)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ebola Outbreak

REUTERS SHOWCASE

School Shooting

School Shooting

Two killed, four wounded in Washington state school shooting.  Full Article 

Mideast Crisis

Mideast Crisis

Kurds reject Erdogan report of deal with Syrian rebels to aid besieged Kobani.  Full Article 

Canada Shooting

Canada Shooting

Canada vows tougher laws as citizens worry in face of attacks.  Full Article 

"Unilateral Diktat"

"Unilateral Diktat"

Putin accuses United States of damaging world order.  Full Article 

Nuclear Threat

Nuclear Threat

U.S. general says he believes N. Korea can build nuclear warhead.  Full Article 

Hatchet Attack

Hatchet Attack

NYC police say hatchet attack by Islam convert was terrorism.  Full Article 

Bollywood World

Bollywood World

Read stories and reviews Bollywood films.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage