- Marionville mayor ‘kind of agreed’ with Kansas City shooter’s views
- Rev. Al Sharpton’s Easter message: Politically ‘crucified’ Obama has risen again
- Supreme Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies
- UNICEF launches ‘Mr. Poo’ mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Teen taking selfie by train: ‘Wow, that guy just kicked me in the head’
- Goodbye, Afghanistan — hello, Africa: Air Force to shift as U.S. exits Middle East
- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
Russians missed chance at Tsarnaev
Russian intelligence officials told U.S. lawmakers in Moscow that the Boston Marathon attack might have been averted if American authorities had let them know about last year’s visit by one of the Chechen-American brothers blamed for the attack.
“They told us if U.S. agencies had worked more closely with them maybe, just maybe, the bombing might not have happened,” he said.
The older brother, a green card holder who apparently became a follower of violent Islamic extremism, was killed in the Boston area in a shootout with police four days after the bombing. His 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was captured the following day, and faces murder and bombing charges.
Last year, Tamerlan left the United States in January and spent six months in Dagestan, a violence-torn, Muslim-majority Russian republic in the brothers’ native North Caucasus. U.S. investigators and their Russian counterparts have been trying to retrace his steps there.
Mr. Cohen said the FSB officials briefed the congressional delegation over the weekend, the first time U.S. lawmakers had been briefed by representatives of the secretive agency. The FSB is the successor to the KGB.
Six lawmakers who went to Moscow were Republican Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Steve King of Iowa, and Paul Cook and Dana Rohrabacher of California; Rep. William R. Keating, Massachusetts Democrat; and Mr. Cohen. They were shown a copy of Russia’s March 2011 warning to the CIA and the FBI.
The FSB told the U.S. agencies that Tamerlan and his mother appeared to have become radicalized and seemed interested in taking part in the Islamic insurgency in the North Caucasus, an administrative and ethnic patchwork of Muslim-majority republics.
Mr. Cohen said one FSB official suggested the attack might have been averted “if [the U.S. government] had given them more information” after that warning.
The FBI has said it interviewed Tamerlan and other relatives, and reviewed his email and Internet activities, but found no evidence of any violent extremist activity or connections. After unsuccessfully seeking more information from the Russians, the bureau closed his file in June 2011.
Although Tamerlan’s name was still flagged on a U.S. travel watch list, the FBI took no action when he left the country last year because his file was closed, U.S. officials have said.
Russian officials have said they were not independently aware of Tamerlan’s arrival in June because he entered on a passport issued by the independent former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, rather than his Russian passport.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...
- Senator's memo shows Iran links in Homeland Security's troubled immigration program
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- Dems back bill to fix problems in investor visa program
- Democrats proceed with Mayorkas vote despite pending investigation
- Game players don't think peace has a chance in Syria
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Defiant Reid vows Bundy ranch confrontation 'not over'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.