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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suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev two years before the deadly 2013 attack, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing an unpublished U.S. government review.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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DAN April 10 2014 at 3:23 PM

More CYA - Cover Your Azz - crap from politicians. No wonder things are going to pot in this country.

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stevebakerguitar April 10 2014 at 12:44 PM

This is not new info. The russians tried to warned the CIA several years ago about his mother and the two boys training for jihad.... Look the FBI is federal..... The CIA is international....... Homeland security is the SS, A progressive power grab...... More Progressive Propaganda BS......

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vladswim April 10 2014 at 12:36 PM

Wow this article goes from being # 1 on AOL's list to 32 in a matter of minutes

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jmf345 April 10 2014 at 12:17 PM

This is just another coverup by our FBI, TSA, Homeland Security. Not only did they screw up, they have the audacity to blame the Russians, the ones who warned us about this thug in the first place!! What is it about radicalized that they do not understand??? Why did they want to investigate him further when the Russians already told the US he was dangerous?? The US should have just banned him right then and there!!!

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irastraus April 10 2014 at 12:17 PM

Too many people have a hard time distinguishing friends from enemies, when there are the least complications.

Russia is a friend against Islamist terrorism.

Russia is an enemy against independent and pro-Western governments in its former empire.
We do not share all intelligence data with a country as mixed toward us as Russia. Russia does not share all data with a country as mixed toward itself as the U.S. It did share enough data that we should have dealt more seriously with the problem. We didn't, because we were demonizing people who wanted too much (in our government's view) to oppose the Islamists, including Russia. We branded these people Islamophobic and depicted them as a source of our problem with Islamism, rather than treating them as valued allies making their own judgment calls on the problem, sometimes worse than ours sometimes better.

Russia's judgment call on Egypt was better than ours. Our government and the bulk of our mass media supported, and in crucial ways aided, the Muslim Brotherhood's rise to power, and our government tried to persuade the Egyptian military not to bring it down. Russia opposed its rise and supported its fall. Russia was more on America's side than America's own government in this important case.

Russia is a terrible enemy on Ukraine at this time, and has gratuitously made itself our adversary in many other areas of the world.

Life is complicated and we have to deal with Russia as both ally and enemy. As we had had too in the closing stages of World War II. Back then we didn't have the maturity to face the fact and manage it very well.

We need to do better now. We're not doing it, and we've been paying the price -- both in the Boston bombing and in Ukraine.

Reading these things, I wonder will we ever grow up and support our own vital interests with any degree of consistency.

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1 reply
Kat4Hat irastraus April 10 2014 at 12:42 PM

You statement about Russia is a terrible enemy on Ukraine is far from reality. Russia does not accept the Kiev Junta our government backed because this new government represents only a very small pro-Nazi group of people and the oligarch of all kinds; this government rolls over the rest of the country, the moneymaking East with majority Russian speaking population, banned Russian language and Russian television, hired the U.S. private special forces to oppress its own people. The government that refuses paying its huge debt to Russia but still is using the Russian gas. If new Ukraine government is a such good deal to us, why nobody except Russia are “subsidizing” the Ukraine economy????

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ReddSox35 April 10 2014 at 10:36 AM

Why would Russia help us out?? How kindergarten of us, are we playing the blame game now??

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hotrodwrm April 10 2014 at 10:36 AM

FBI Fail. I guess our government wanted the Russians to come here and keep an eye on them for us.

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manet37 April 10 2014 at 10:36 AM

Why are these people here ?In school no less.Probably being paid by the tax payers.
The faster they hang this guy,the better.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
smfstiffy April 10 2014 at 12:07 PM

Sorry still not believing it. Nobody else is either. This story is being released across the country
almost word for word under various writers names. DUH. This is why readers across the country are going elswhere for news. Corporate media is like a fish out of water.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
Chris April 10 2014 at 10:43 AM

You News people said before that the Russians tried to tell the FBI and the FBI wouldn't listen. Now you tell us this? You're WORTHLESS. Actually worse than worthless, you're dangerous with your falsehoods and lies.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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