It’s incredible to me that this report is being widely publicized as an “exoneration” of the FBI. It is anything but that. It wasn’t incumbent upon the Russians to do our work for us. They gave us a heads-up; what more were they obligated to do? Are they supposed to provide us with a nice fat intel package with everything all tied up neat and tidy? Really? Have we fallen that far?
At Breitbart, Robert Spencer pierces through the deception surrounding this new report:
However, the report reveals, perhaps inadvertently, that the Russians told the FBI all that it really needed to know. It acknowledges that the Russians told the feds that Tamerlan Tsarnaev “was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer,” and 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.”
Those “underground groups” could in this context only have been a reference to jihad groups. That means the Russians essentially told the FBI that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a jihadi — and that wasn’t enough for the FBI to keep him under close surveillance? They didn’t pursue watching him and his brother because they hadn’t “found anything substantive that ties them to a terrorist group.” The possibility that they could have pulled off a lone wolf jihad attack apparently didn’t occur to these intel experts.
The FBI clearly failed in this case and bears some responsibility for the Boston bombing, but ultimately the responsibility lies with Barack Obama and John Brennan, who made sure that agents would be abysmally ignorant of Islam and jihad when they scrubbed all mention of both from counter-terror training — so how could the FBI properly evaluate what the Russians told them?
As I show in my new book Arab Winter Comes to America, Islamic supremacist advocacy groups, many with ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, demanded in October 2011 that FBI counter-terror trainers (including me) and training materials that referred to Islam and jihad in connection with terrorism be discarded, and agents educated by them be retrained. John Brennan, then the U.S. Homeland Security Advisor and now the director of the CIA, readily agreed in a response letter written on White House stationery — as if to underscore how seriously the Obama Administration took this demand.
Read the whole thing here.
“Boston Marathon bombs: Russia ‘withheld’ information on Tsarnaev,” BBC, April 10, 2014:
The Russian government withheld intelligence from the US on one of the Boston Marathon bomb suspects that may have led to further scrutiny before last year’s attack, US media report.
In 2011 Russian officials warned the FBI about ethnic Chechen Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was a US resident.
But Russia declined requests for more information on him, the reports say.
Twin blasts killed three people and hurt more than 260 last April. Tsarnaev later died in a police shootout.
Before the bombing US authorities were aware of Tsarnaev – a radical Muslim – but decided he posed a “far greater threat to Russia” than to the US, the New York Times says.
According to an inspector general’s report reviewed by the Times and other US media, the Russians told the FBI that Tsarnaev “was a follower of radical Islam” and “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”.
But according to the inspector general’s report, only after the bombing did the Russians provide the FBI with additional intelligence, including an intercepted telephone conversation between Tsarnaev and his mother in which the two discussed what was described as Islamic jihad.
Tsarnaev, 26, and his younger brother Dzhokhar, 20, immigrated to the US from Russia as children and were reared in the Boston area, ultimately settling in Cambridge.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed days after the 15 April bombing while trying to evade capture.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was shot by police but caught and charged with terrorism in connection with the bombings. He faces the death penalty if convicted.
A separate internal review conducted earlier by the FBI found agents had not conducted a more thorough investigation of the Tsarnaevs before the bombing because of federal laws limiting surveillance.
The report was shared with the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday, and parts are expected to be released to the public by next week.
“We will always ask ourselves what more we could have done to prevent this or another tragedy,” said Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, the top Democrat on the panel.
“What we may never understand is why the Russians didn’t share more with us to aid in the FBI’s investigation.”
But another Democrat, Representative William Keating, said: “The US should not be reliant on Russia to provide domestic security.”
The report also reportedly found that procedures for sharing information with local police was lacking.