Citing a congressional report it said could be released by the
House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee as soon as
Thursday, NBC News said the Russian intelligence agency FSB cabled
the FBI about its concerns in March 2011, warning that Tsarnaev was
known to have associated with militant Islamists.
The network said the FBI opened an investigation of Tsarnaev that
month conducted by a joint task force of federal, state and local
authorities. Tsarnaev was interviewed in person, and a memo was sent
to the Customs and Border Protection database called TECS that would
trigger an alert whenever he left or re-entered the United States.
But the investigation was closed in June 2011 after finding Tsarnaev
had no links to terrorism, NBC quoted the report as saying.
In September 2011, the FSB sent a cable to the CIA, restating the
warnings of the first memo. NBC News quoted sources close to the
congressional investigation as saying a second note about Tsarnaev
was entered into the TECS system the next month, but spelled his
The note directed that if Tsarnaev were encountered leaving or
re-entering the United States, his detention was "mandatory."
In January 2012, Tsarnaev went to JFK airport in New York to board a
flight to Moscow, triggering an alert. But he was not considered
high priority among the 100 other names on a "Hot List" of people
traveling through JFK that day, NBC News said, citing sources
familiar with the report.
After spending six months in the Russian region of Dagestan, an
experience U.S. investigators suspect played an important role in
his radicalization, Tsarnaev flew back to JFK airport on July 17,
2012, but he was not detained or questioned because of the
misspelling of his name, NBC News said.
[to top of second column]
U.S. officials have said a misspelling of Tsarnaev's name on flight
records may have contributed to some law enforcement agencies not
being alerted to his movements.
Several days after the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombings that
killed three people and wounded more than 260, Tsarnaev died after a
gunfight with police while he and brother Dzhokhar, now 20, were
trying to flee the city.
The younger Tsarnaev was wounded and later arrested and is awaiting
trial in November on charges that could result in the death penalty
if he is convicted.
NBC News quoted a congressional staffer as saying: "The report is
not blaming the FBI," but "looking at processes and filling holes."
(Reporting by Peter Cooney; editing by Eric Walsh)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.