One of the brothers suspected of the Boston Marathon bombings had direct contact with Chechen terrorists – and was ‘monitored’ by investigators for five years.
The Mail on Sunday has learned that the FBI put Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, under surveillance after receiving an explicit warning from the Russian intelligence services.
But despite apparently telling his mother that Tamerlan was an ‘extremist’ leader, the FBI eventually discounted the possibility that he was a threat.
This is apparently why Russia contacted us about him:
Despite all this, the FBI found no substantive evidence that he was engaged in terror-related activities though they continued to ‘monitor his internet use and contacts’.
According to an intelligence source, Russia remained convinced that Tamerlan, an ethnic Chechen, was in ‘direct contact’ with Islamist militants, most likely based in the strife-torn southern Russian region of Dagestan, where he lived for two years with his family prior to moving to the US.
. . . .
Yesterday the brothers’ mother, Zubeidat, said the FBI once told her that Tamerlan was ‘really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him’. She added: ‘He was controlled by the FBI for five years. They knew what my son was doing. They were following every step of his.’
And his father, Anzor Tsarnaev, said investigators warned his son: ‘We know what sites you are on, we know where you are calling, we know everything about you. Everything. We are checking and watching.’
I’m taking this with a grain of salt right now, but the idea that he may have escaped deportation — and definitely was the subject of an inquiry from the Russian government, and made a six-month trip to Russia that apparently raised no red flags:
The significance of the trip was magnified late Friday when the F.B.I. disclosed in a statement that in 2011 “a foreign government” — now acknowledged by officials to be Russia — asked for information about Tamerlan. The request was “based on information that he was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups.”
The senior law enforcement official said the Russians feared he could be a risk, and “they had something on him and were concerned about him, and him traveling to their region.” Chechen extremists pose a greater threat to Russia than they do to the United States, counterterrorism specialists say, though some of the groups have had ties to Al Qaeda.
But the F.B.I. never followed up on Tamerlan once he returned, a senior law enforcement official acknowledged on Saturday, adding that its investigation did not turn up anything and it did not have the legal authority to keep tabs on him.
Now, the “extremist leader” comment may have been an empty threat — an interrogation technique. But the whole report raises questions that need to be answered.
Time to drag out Hil in front of the cameras to ask: WHAT DOES IT MATTER?
We have four dead Americans!!!!1!! What difference, at this point, does it make that we totally overlooked a ton of red flags? AAAAAUUGH! OUTRAGE!!!1!!
I guess we’ll find out if the Kabuki works again.