MOSCOW, October 29 (RAPSI) - A review aimed at determining the likelihood that the Boston Marathon bombing could have been prevented by the FBI, CIA, or other government agencies, has been delayed due to this month’s US government shutdown, The Boston Globe reported, citing US intelligence officials.
At about 2:49pm on April 15, two explosions occurred near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. IEDs devised from pressure cookers, low explosive powder, shrapnel, adhesive, and other materials were hidden in backpacks that were then placed near metal barricades in areas packed with hundreds of spectators.
According to a related indictment, “Each explosion killed at least one person, maimed, burned and wounded scores of others, and damaged public and private property, including the streets, sidewalk, barriers, and property owned by people and businesses in the locations where the explosions occurred.”
The following four days were consumed by a dramatic and at times extremely violent manhunt for the suspects, who were identified by name on April 19 as Dzhokhar (19) and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev (26). The manhunt entailed the presence of thousands of law enforcement personnel from local, state, and federal agencies, and resulted in a veritable lockdown through parts of the greater Boston area.
Tamerlan was killed during a police shootout, and Dzhokhar was arrested on the evening of April 19 after having been discovered hiding in a dry-docked boat in the Boston suburb of Watertown.
He was then charged in a criminal complaint dated April 21 with the use of a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death.
Then on June 27, a federal grand jury returned a 30-count indictment against Dhzokhar. The charges include the use of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and conspiracy and the bombing of a place of public use resulting in death and conspiracy among others, as well as the use of a firearm to intentionally kill an MIT police officer.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) published a statement on April 19 referencing an unidentified foreign government that had warned it in early 2011 about the elder Tsarnaev brother. According to the statement, “Once the FBI learned the identities of the two brothers today, the FBI reviewed its records and determined that in early 2011, a foreign government asked the FBI for information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The request stated that it 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.”
US Congressman Bill Keating (D-Ma.) published on his website in July a letter that he had written to FBI Director James Comey seeking answers to questions that continued to linger in the aftermath of the bombings.
Keating, who – according to a statement on his website – had conducted official meetings in Moscow in late May amid efforts to investigate potential shortcomings prior to and during the bombings, focused firmly on a March 4, 2011 communication sent by the FSB to the FBI and the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The congressman explained that while in Moscow, he had obtained information contained in the warnings – noting that the March 2011 message was “quite detailed.”
The FBI’s April 19 statement had noted that in response to the 2011 request, it had carried out a probe seeking out such activities as derogatory telephone communications, activity on websites associated with radical activity, associations with other persons of interest, and certain biographical information, as well as interviewing Tamerlan and his family members.
The FBI claimed that it had provided its findings to the foreign government at issue, adding that, “The FBI requested but did not receive more specific or additional information from the foreign government.”
Keating noted in his letter that the FBI had admitted to having received communications from the Russian side, and had reportedly tried to follow up on the March warning. Keating implored the FBI in his letter to provide exact dates and details of the communications the FBI claims to have sent in return, explaining that: “When I asked the FSB why they didn’t respond to the FBI’s follow-up inquiries, the senior, deputy-level FSB officials in the room vehemently denied that any follow-up from the FBI occurred and asked me to provide them with concrete dates and names associated with such requests.”
The Boston Globe reported that its intelligence sources had explained that the inspectors general of four different agencies had launched the review aimed at understanding what could have been done by the FBI, CIA, and others to prevent the bombings. According to the report, Massachusetts state officials remained concerned with regard to the handling by US authorities of warnings given by Russia in advance.
The government, however, proceeded to shut down earlier this month, reportedly delaying the efforts.
On September 30, Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget Sylvia Burwell released a memo to the heads of the executive departments and agencies announcing, “Unfortunately, we do not have a clear indication that Congress will act in time for the President to sign a Continuing Resolution before the end of the day tomorrow, October 1, 2013. Therefore, agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations.” The shutdown remained in place for 17 days.