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Russia omitted details on Boston Marathon bombing suspect

By Eric M. Johnson

(Reuters) - Russia declined several FBI requests for more information on Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev two years before the deadly 2013 attack, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing an unpublished U.S. government review.

The information, including a telephone call in which Tsarnaev and his mother discussed Islamic jihad, would probably have prompted harsher scrutiny of the suspect, the paper said.

"They found that the Russians did not provide all the information that they had on him back then, and based on everything that was available, the FBI did all that it could," a senior U.S. official familiar with the review said, according to the paper.

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Two Chechen brothers, Tamerlan and his younger brother Dzhokhar, are suspected of planting pressure-cooker bombs near the race's finish line last April 15 in an attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260.

Tamerlan died after a gunfight with police while the younger

brother is awaiting trial on charges that could lead to the death penalty if he is convicted.

The new report, authored by the inspector general of the Office of Intelligence Community, has not been made public, though U.S. lawmakers are to be briefed on it on Thursday, the Times said.

This latest review comes after a March congressional report outlined what it called "missed opportunities" that could have prevented the attack.

That March report investigated the U.S. probe of Tamerlan Tsarnaev after a 2011 warning to the Federal Bureau of Investigation by Russian authorities that he had become radicalized and might return to Russia to join extremist groups there.

After the Russian warning, a task force of federal, state and local authorities launched an investigation that included checks of government databases and interviews with Tsarnaev and his parents. It found no evidence of terrorist activity.

But after an initial FBI probe in Boston, Russian officials refused several requests for additional information they had on Tsarnaev, although, at the time, U.S. law enforcement officials viewed him as a greater threat to Russia, the Times reported.

The new report found that Russians shared intelligence with the FBI only after the bombing attack, such as the telephone conversation about Islamic jihad.

"Had they known what the Russians knew they probably would have been able to do more under our investigative guidelines, but would they have uncovered the plot? That's very hard to say," the Times reported a senior U.S. official as saying.

Boston-area FBI agents who investigated the Russian intelligence in 2011 could have conducted more interviews and should take steps to better share information with local and state agencies, the report says, according to the Times.

(Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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vladswim April 10 2014 at 7:35 AM

Unbelievable how FBI is trying to blame Russia from withdrawing certain details when they were warned by Russia that Tsarnaevs were radical Muslims and might pose a threat to U.S citizens!

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2 replies
ppaonessa190 vladswim April 10 2014 at 7:54 AM

We wouldn't want to be accused of "profiling"...we'd rather put grandma through security than scrutinize someone who we damn well know is a threat to us, because they claim something as their 'religion"!

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2 replies
mielkele ppaonessa190 April 10 2014 at 8:07 AM

Grandmas are quite capable of being terrorists. Babies strollers etc. can carry a weapon that is unknown to the parents.

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whydothat ppaonessa190 April 10 2014 at 8:14 AM

so you are an advocate of religious persecution. How nice. Perhaps you fail to understand the basic of the US history and why we came here and beat the Indians fair and square.

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whydothat vladswim April 10 2014 at 8:13 AM

100,000 people on the list. Which one is the next terrorist? You must know this. Bush admin was more concerned with tracking groups that opposed his toxic illegally appointed by the SCOTUS regime.

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rwitchwoman63 April 10 2014 at 8:50 AM

Geez...So Russia did not give us all the info they had on this guy and his brother....Big Surprise there!!!....Considering what is going on now nothing surprises me anymore!!!

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Rick April 10 2014 at 8:30 AM

Sounds like a CYW to me... The Russians wanted to eliminate this guy. Does it make sense that they would withhold any information that might accomplish that? Does not pass the smell test!

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Paul FIQUET April 10 2014 at 8:35 AM

It is always easier to blame someone or something else rather than accepting the fact that we were completely inefficient researching their backgrounds.

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Roberta April 10 2014 at 8:50 AM

tic for tac if they ask us for information about someone.

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1 reply
rentfromus Roberta April 10 2014 at 9:44 AM

I think the saying is tit for tat but we get what you are saying and agree!

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jay.gold April 10 2014 at 8:52 AM

Suspected??? Funny.

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northeasttclean April 10 2014 at 7:43 AM

For obvious reasons they did not share more. They did not want to share intel tactics and methodologies. The fact is Russia's FSB volunteered something and the FBI's National Security Branch which runs the JTTF botched it up. Honestly the NSB should be under HSI in a department specifically created post 9/11 to address terrorism. If the FBI is the lead on terrorism but yet not part of DHS which was created to combat terrorism we have an operational problem. Take the NSB and put it under DHS.

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1 reply
northeasttclean northeasttclean April 10 2014 at 7:44 AM

Russia volunteering anything should have been a huge sign right there.

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soccerbob1152 April 10 2014 at 8:38 AM

the FBI should have followed/monitored these two brothers anyway, doesn't our government spy on all of legally? yes they can, this was a perfect situation to "spy" on these two individuals, they failed, yes the FBI and our government failed us....we all know Russians don't care about us, we are on our own, can't count on Russian intelligence, Russians want to see the USA destroyed!!!!!

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1 reply
faithrada soccerbob1152 April 10 2014 at 9:13 AM

That's a pretty broad statement. THere are plenty in Russia that would love to be rid of all the bullies who have power in Russia.

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alans022 April 10 2014 at 8:32 AM

was Russia paying for their free housing here? Was Russia signing their gov't monthly checks? Was Russia responsible for the mother being arrested for felony theft from a Dept store and her being released? Sooner or later we have to stop playing the blame game.

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usapaydirt April 10 2014 at 8:28 AM

The CIA, FBI, Homeland Security and who knows how many sub agencies that are directly responsible for America's Peace and Tranquility, have become so bloated, political and micromanaged, they are completely ineffective for what they are tasked to do. To me wallowing in hindsight and blaming everyone else for their ineffectiveness , does not an effective peacemaker make .

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