FBI Fails to Flag Boston Suspect

Monday, April 22, 2013

As the investigation into the Boston Marathon bombings continues, the White House on Monday defended the FBI's 2011 inquiry of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the suspects in the case.

The bureau interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his family in 2011 but found no terrorist activity. The Russian government tipped off the FBI about Tsarnaev, who they thought was a follower of radical Islam.

Several Washington lawmakers are asking whether the agency did enough to vet the 26-year-old who died early Friday during a shootout with Boston police.

“Congress … is going to want to know what the field office in Boston did when they received the information about Tsarnaev,” said Martin D. Reardon. He spent 21 years with the FBI, where he directed the agency's Terrorist Screening Operations Center, and is now a vice president with the Soufan Group, a New York-based strategic consultancy. He says it’s almost guaranteed the FBI will have to testify before Congress.  “What investigative steps did they follow, was there anything there they didn’t pick up on.”

Reardon spoke Monday with WNYC’s Amy Eddings.

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