Patterico's Pontifications


U.S. Warned About Tsarnaev by . . . Saudi Arabia?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:52 am

Yup, if you believe the Saudi account given to the Daily Mail:

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sent a written warning about accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2012, long before pressure-cooker blasts killed three and injured hundreds, according to a senior Saudi government official with direct knowledge of the document.

The Saudi warning, the official told MailOnline, was separate from the multiple red flags raised by Russian intelligence in 2011, and was based on human intelligence developed independently in Yemen.

Citing security concerns, the Saudi government also denied an entry visa to the elder Tsarnaev brother in December 2011, when he hoped to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the source said. Tsarnaev’s plans to visit Saudi Arabia have not been previously disclosed.

It doesn’t sound like Tsarnaev was meeting with Al Qaeda; he was independently motivated. Still, how is it that the Russians (and now, it seems, the Saudis) were worried about this guy — but, seemingly, our law enforcement officials weren’t?

Ed Morrissey seems skeptical, noting that Homeland Security has denied receiving the letter, and the Saudis have a motive to have claimed they sent it even if they didn’t. But read this line from the Daily Mail story:

A Homeland Security official confirmed Tuesday evening on the condition of anonymity that the 2012 letter exists, saying he had heard of the Saudi communication before MailOnline inquired about it.

We should, of course, treat anonymous sources with skepticism. But then, based on past experience, we should apply at least the same measure of skepticism to official pronouncements by the Obama administration.

37 Responses to “U.S. Warned About Tsarnaev by . . . Saudi Arabia?”

  1. We should certainly treat the Daily Mail with skepticism.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  2. Painted Jaguar: I think anonymous sources are like stickly-prickly hedgehogs, and Obama administration officials are like slow and steady tortoises…(or is it the other way around? hmmm- No matter) the typical beast roaming throught the forest, by the turbid waters of the Amazon or the turbid waters of the Potomac, would be wise to trust neither.
    What one should do is tie each of them up and put them in a chair on a trap door over a pool with a giant Anaconda and let Mr. Patterico politely ask questions. And if they don’t tell the truth, lunch time for Andy (or is it Ann?) Anaconda.
    That is what my mummy said needs to be done if you want the truth.
    The missionary man in the village says to pray for someone to be smitten with a bright light and go blind until they decide to tell the truth. He said it happened once before.

    Painted Jaguar (a sockpuppet) (3d3f72)

  3. ‘It was very specific’ and warned that ‘something was going to happen in a major U.S. city,’ the Saudi official said during an extensive interview.

    they certainly have their own ideas about what an “extensive interview” entails it seems

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  4. Is the DHS response around in full anywhere? I realise the limitations of Twitter, but the Tapper tweet seems rawther parsable.

    SarahW (b0e533)

  5. It’s pathetic and mind-boggling that a White House that insisted a video posted to Youtube was the origins of Benghazi — and kept promoting that idiotic notion until the bitter end — and that an anti-US-spouting, pro-Islamic enlistee of the US military who murdered several people at Fort Hood was triggered by “workplace violence,” truly means nothing can be ruled out. Or nothing that reflects poorly on who we, the electorate (in our infinite wisdom), has put into positions of high power.

    Mark (b178ac)

  6. Here is that tweet:

    Jake Tapper ✔ @jaketapper

    DHS official: DHS has no knowledge of any communication from the Saudi govt re: info on suspects in Boston Marathon Bombing prior to attack.
    7:41 AM – 1 May 2013

    For one thing the Saudi Source did note there was a: no mention of Boston or b: any mention of a targeted event, such as the marathon. And, there was only the name of the one Tamerlan, not two suspects, mixed in with names of other guys.

    Also “no knowledge” is not the same thing as “didn’t receive”.

    SarahW (b0e533)

  7. If the same warning was sent to the UK as described, I don’t see how they will be able to count on maintaining the denial.

    SarahW (b0e533)

  8. Tsarnaev, Tamerlan? Never heard of him.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  9. just for giggles, lets imagine the MFM coverage of this announcement, had the attack happened while Bush was still in office.

    tick, tock, tick, tock…

    that’s right: this would be front page/breaking news, and the profound pundits would already be speculating about impeachment.

    instead we get crickets.

    (but there is no media bias, and only a racisssssss teabagger would claim otherwise)

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  10. maybe Mr. red but it’s just as likely news about the attack would’ve gotten lost in the ongoing Superstorm Sandy coverage

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  11. There was such hope publicly exerted by the media that the person responsible for the bombings be anything but Muslim, that perhaps Homeland also shared the same dream, willfully ignoring and or shoving under the rug any hints of possible jihadist involvement.

    Once upon a time I would think this an absurd possibility. Unfortunately, I no longer do.

    Dana (292dcf)

  12. We should certainly treat the Daily Mail with skepticism.

    Comment by carlitos

    Yup. And anything claimed by an Arab as well.

    nk (875f57)

  13. …and anything by DHS, too.

    Dana (292dcf)

  14. 12. Pardon, but I treat anything reported by Fox with skepticism, the NYT or CNN I dismiss out of hand.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  15. Interesting tweet from Boston Police Dept just now:

    Three additional suspects taken into custody in Marathon bombing case. Details to follow.

    Dana (292dcf)

  16. I’m thinking its the dodgy pals on Jablorblors twitter stream

    SarahW (b0e533)

  17. Greetings:

    Any news about Michelle Obama’s hospital visit to her little Saudi darling ???

    11B40 (d01405)

  18. One anonymous person who went back through Jahar’s twitter stream noticed some posts suggesting collusion with frineds.

    SarahW (b0e533)

  19. This is what we should learn to expect from DHS: NSFW

    nk (875f57)

  20. The Saudis refused him entry. I kinda believe them about the warning.

    Sad…so many racist countries! It’s sure great we stand tall against them — Well, those of us who didn’t have our legs blown off in Boston.

    Patricia (be0117)

  21. I tend to believe it is true – but there may be all something sinister involved here. After all, saudi intelligence is now run by the man who probably killed Vincent Foster (because he tried to blackmail him, and then he ran to the White House and had a secret unscheduled meeting with President Clinton and Sandy Burglar – the March 14, 1994 New Republic contains a somewhat implausible leak to Fred Barnes that explains a meeting in “July” – which is excatly the time of other Foster case leaks.) and probably arranged for the killing of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya.
    (because he was interfering with the shipment of arms to the wrong revels in Syria)

    The story may be sort of plausible. The basis for it seems to be that Tamerlan Tsarnaev wanted to go to Yemen and Saudi Arabia denied him a visa. Maybe that’s all there is to it. Except that they told the U.S. only the next year, prompted by some thing else, so there is more to it.

    President Obama did speak with the Saudis right after the bombing. That was supposed to 1) about the guy who was arrested 2) someone else being deported. Maybe not only both stories are false, but the meeting did indeed have something to do with the Boston marathin attack..

    It is also significant that there was a girl, as well as two men, taken out of that New Bedford apartment where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev used to sleep over and where he left at least a small bomb behind – that girl was seen leaving in a car with diplomatic license plates.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  22. Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 5/1/2013 @ 6:53 am

    Jake Tapper ✔ @jaketapper

    DHS official: DHS has no knowledge of any communication from the Saudi govt re: info on suspects in Boston Marathon Bombing prior to attack. 7:41 AM – 1 May 2013

    Who said the letter was sent to Homeland Security?

    It was probably sent to their moles or contacts in the CIA, who pigeonholed it.

    For one thing the Saudi Source did note there was a: no mention of Boston or b: any mention of a targeted event, such as the marathon. And, there was only the name of the one Tamerlan, not two suspects, mixed in with names of other guys.

    At that stage Tamerlan Tsarnaev was one of a number of Al Qaeda members of wannabees.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  23. Three additional suspects? Not just two? It is impossible to tell if this is well founded at this point.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  24. Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev were been charged with conspiring to obstruct justice. Robel Philipos was charged with making false statements, federal authorities said…..The men allegedly recognized Dzhokhar, 19, from video of the bombing scene released by the FBI and went to his dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, where they were let in by his roommate.

    The trio spotted a backpack containing fireworks that had been emptied of their explosive powder and decided to take it, according to a criminal complaint. They also took a laptop because they didn’t want to arouse the roommate’s suspicions about the backpack, the complaint said.

    There was no indication the three men had any prior knowledge of the bombing.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)


    Three days after the blasts, on April 18, the three men allegedly removed Tsarnaev’s backpack, which contained fireworks that had been opened and emptied of gunpowder, from his dormitory room.

    Suspecting that Tsarnaev was involved in the bombing after authorities released surveillance video of the bombers that afternoon, the trio decided to throw the backpack and fireworks in the trash “because they did not want to get Tsarnaev into trouble,” according to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent in support of the charges.

    On Friday, authorities recovered the backpack from a landfill in New Bedford. Inside, agents found fireworks, a jar of Vaseline, and a UMass Dartmouth homework assignment sheet, among other things. The homework sheet was for a class in which Tsarnaev was enrolled, the agent said in the sworn statement. It wasn’t clear from the affidavit what happened to the laptop.

    Since Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sold marijuana, it could be that they were involved not in the bombing, but in other criminal activity with him (and did not want that to come to light – therefore they did not want him to be a suspect)

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)


    Authorities were initially suspicious of activity on Kadyrbayev’s Facebook page. While Tsarnaev was evading police in the early morning hours of April 19, Kadyrbayev was deleting a photo that allegedly showed him and the bombing suspect having dinner together, sources told CNN.

    In addition, Kadyrbayev listed himself as a member of MIT’s School of Engineering, lending possible credence to the assertion that the Tsarnaev brothers had the assistance from an engineer while developing their explosive devices, CNN reports.

    While Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev are not currently suspected of aiding the actual bombing operation, authorities are investigating whether the newly charged suspects disposed of a book bag on the orders of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Reuters reports.

    Alan Dershowitz, a renowned defense attorney and Harvard Law professor, told CNN that the obstruction charges were “weak.”

    “If they knew about the bombing, if they were involved in the bombing, the charges would be conspiracy to do the acts for which the other man has already been charged,” Dershowitz told CNN. “So it sounds like at this point in time the only evidence they have is actions that took place after the bombing.”

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  27. The Daily Mail says the letter was to the Department of Homeland Security, but they could inaccurate on that point.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  28. R.I.P. Deanna Durbin

    Icy (83d5c8)

  29. Didn’t our national intelligence used to be concerned with “dots” and the relative interconnectedness of same?

    This bit of news certainly cannot bear on the Boston bombers or our national security as it does not mention “dots” and certainly does not discuss their connections.

    Kyle Kiernan (fcd349)

  30. The coimplaint goes (besides the fact that a month before Dzohkhar had said he knew how to build a bomb) when the opictures were released one of them texted Dzohkhar telling him he looked like him.

    D apparently gave 3 replies: (I am not sure I have this right)

    1) lol (Laughing out loud)

    2) You better not text me (any more)

    3) I’m going away you can take what you want from dorm room.

    Theyt went there and noticed firecracker residue. Coimplaint says at that point knew D had been involved. They took it away. Then later they got very nervous and decided to get rid of the evidence.

    they now have high priced lawyers who say they never knew he was responsible.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  31. 30. Fropm the article: “The home is located in McLean, Va., near the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency.”

    Also across the street from Fort Marcy Park.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  32. In July 1993 the house the Saudi Ambassador lived in was undergoing renovations and Prince Bandar had moved next door.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  33. It doesn’t seem so;

    narciso (3fec35)

  34. Could be if this is not the same house or the Ambassador’s residence is not in the same place it was in 1993 or this . The other house was on Chainbridge Road.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

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