The report by the House of Representatives Homeland Security
Committee outlined what it called "missed opportunities" that
potentially could have prevented the attack that killed three people
and wounded more than 260.
Two Chechen brothers who lived in the Boston area, Tamerlan and
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, are suspected of carrying out the bombings last
April 15 at the Boston Marathon. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 23, died after a
gunfight with police while he and his brother were trying to flee
Boston several days after the attack.
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.
The report investigated the U.S. probe of Tamerlan Tsarnaev
following a warning to the FBI by Russian authorities in 2011 that
he had become radicalized and might return to Russia to join
extremist groups there.
After the Russian warning, a task force of federal, state and local
authorities launched an investigation that included checks of
government databases and interviews with Tsarnaev and his parents.
It found no evidence of terrorist activity.
A memo was also 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 when Tsarnaev went to New York's JFK airport in New York in
January 2012 to board a flight to Moscow, he did not receive the
requested screening. The report said there was no evidence that
Customs and Border Protection officials at the airport examined
Tsarnaev's TECS record. Tsarnaev was not on a No Fly list.
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. The report said there was no record that information was
passed along among federal agencies, and he was not detained or
questioned after his flight landed.
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The report added that Tsarnaev's name on one of the alerts was
Noting that after his return from Dagestan, Tsarnaev began to post
"extremist-themed videos" and disrupted services at his mosque, the
report said a second FBI assessment "or even the decision to expand
into a preliminary investigation after Tamerlan Tsarnaev's return
could potentially have yielded evidence to suggest that he had been
"This bipartisan report focuses on how evidence of the alleged
bombers' intent to carry out a terrorist act were shared between
local, state and federal agencies, and how in certain tragic
instances, critical opportunities were overlooked," Homeland
Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said in a statement.
"Following through on the report's recommendations is critical to
fixing serious gaps in our counterterrorism efforts."
(Reporting by Peter Cooney; editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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