FBI explains relationship with bombing suspects

The F.B.I. apparently missed an opportunity to discover that one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings may have had become an extremist, saying they had no legal basis to monitor him in the months leading up to the attack. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/23/us/officials-say-they-didnt-have-authority-to-monitor-tamerlan-tsarnaev.html?hp The agency first looked into the suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, in 2011 in response to a request from Russia, which told the F.B.I. that he “was a follower of radical Islam.” But once investigators closed the background check on Mr. Tsarnaev after concluding that he posed no terrorist threat, a senior law enforcement official said, it would have been a violation of federal guidelines to keep investigating him without additional information.
Senior F.B.I. and intelligence officials will be forced to explain to the Senate Intelligence Committee in a classified briefing on the steps they took — and did not take — before and after Mr. Tsarnaev returned last July from a six-month trip to Chechnya and Dagestan, predominantly Muslim republics in the North Caucasus region of Russia.
“There are many questions I want answered, such as how and when the suspects became radicalized, details of the F.B.I.’s initial investigation into Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s activities, the nature of the terrorist threat in southern Russia, and more information on our counterterrorism cooperation with Moscow.”
“The F.B.I. did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign.” One month after he (Tsarnaev) returned to the United States, a YouTube page that appeared to belong to him was created and featured jihadist videos. Posting such videos alone, without overt threats of violence, should not necessarily sound alarms, some counterterrorism specialists said Monday.

“I tend to view this stuff as certainly interesting, and evincing some degree of extreme beliefs, but probably not exactly a flashing warning sign,”

The FBI says an Aurora teenager was arrested Friday night as he tried to board a flight from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Turkey, which borders Syria. He was snared in an Internet sting after contacting a website set up by the FBI. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/04/22/us/ap-us-chicago-terror-arrest.html?ref=us

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