- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says it’s “way too premature” to conclude the Boston Marathon bombing suspects acted without foreign help.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev reportedly has told investigators that he and his brother Tamerlan — who was killed in a gun battle with police last week — acted alone when they allegedly planned and set off the explosives that killed three and injured more than 170 people in downtown Boston April 15.

But Chairman Michael McCaul, Texas Republican, said Wednesday that an overseas connection with the bombings cannot be ruled out.

“I’m a little bit amazed [by] this rush to judgment that there’s no foreign connection at all when the FBI, in their own words, has just started this investigation,” Mr. McCaul told MSNBC’s “The Daily Breakdown.”

“They are just now going overseas to investigate and interview witnesses, they’re just now looking at his computer, and I think it’s very premature and irresponsible to just conclude summarily that there’s not foreign connection.”

Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican and longtime member of the Home Homeland Security Committee, agreed that it’s too early in the investigation to accept the so-called “lone wolf” theory.

“That seems to be the story, but I don’t see how we can accept that” now, Mr. King said on CNN’s “Starting Point” Wednesday. “It may end up being true, but here’s a person who was a mass murderer, a person who can barely speak at all. I don’t see why he’d be giving up any accomplices they have or talk about any connection his brother may have had.”

Mr. McCaul also said he’s troubled that Homeland Security apparently didn’t initially tell the FBI last year that Tamerlan Tsarnaev — who Russian authorities had warned the U.S. could be a threat — had traveled to Dagestan, a Russian republic bordering his native Chechnya.

“When I was briefed by the FBI they told me they had no knowledge of his overseas trip to the Chechen region,” he said.

“We talked a lot of connecting the dots and stovepipes after 9/11, and here we are 12 years later and the fact remains it’s not working. What I’d like to know is, did the Department of Homeland Security share that information with the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force?”