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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suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev two years before the deadly 2013 attack, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing an unpublished U.S. government review.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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RockNHula April 10 2014 at 2:33 PM

There must be a new statement on immigration forms immigrants need to sign. It will testify that I am not a Muslim fundamentalist, and do not support terrorists and child molesting cowards. The moment an "immigrant" has been found to have violated this tenant--out of the country they go.

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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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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.

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youlooksofineqt April 10 2014 at 11:12 AM

The NSA were spying on innocent people's fone calls and Internet use yet
the Tsarnaev brothers were in the US for 10 years and not spied on or
investigated. Now we blame Russia for not giving "details".

Russia has no allegiance to the US, why should they have cooperated?

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Gary R Iorio April 10 2014 at 11:10 AM

I guess it is time for the propaganda to start against Russia so the US Citizens will agree to go to another war by making the Russian Government look bad. I doubt that any information given to the FBI would have made a difference. It certainly did not stop all the terrorist from getting on the planes in the 911 attack and the officials knew they were all terrorist but did nothing when they were all boarding the planes at the same time, how strange is that? Maybe Russia should be attacked because they have weapons of mass destruction?????Oh right, so do we. Wow what a world we have created.

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d1944kirk April 10 2014 at 11:10 AM

""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,"" MORE CYA from the gang that couldn't shoot straight...

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1 reply
cnanali d1944kirk April 10 2014 at 11:15 AM

CYA- ?

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duey35 April 10 2014 at 11:10 AM

The NSA didn't pickup on his phone calls and the Russians omitted information. This is not an excuse for the failures in our on system and what happened. The Russians didn't want him back as he would have been deported if the truth would have been known.

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Todd April 10 2014 at 11:09 AM

Stop blaming Russia for this administration's and the FBI's utter incompetence!
Especially now that tensions are high between us and them, it's no reason to blame them for everything

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nedflynn April 10 2014 at 11:09 AM

look at at boston mobster james "whitey" bulger!!!!!!how many f.b.i agents helped bulger try to escape?this country does not understand other foreign cultures and never ever will!!!!!!!!!

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Kevin Caldwell April 10 2014 at 11:08 AM

Just two letters B.S.

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