Russia withheld important info from US before Boston Marathon bombing

Two years before the Boston Marathon bombing, the Russian government withheld important information from the US government about Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, according to a soon-to-be-out FBI Inspector General report on the bombing.

The Russians had apparently intercepted a phone call between Tsarnaev and his mother, in which the two discussed “Islamic jihad.”

The Russians had this information two years before the bombing, but did not pass it along to the Americans, even though they did pass along other information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev being more radicalized of late.

Zubeidat Tsarnaev, mother of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan and Dzhokhar.

Zubeidat Tsarnaev, mother of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan and Dzhokhar.

You might recall that Tsarnaev mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaev, who used to live the US, claimed the bombing was a “hoax,” and that the blood on the scene was “red paint.”

The US had already been warned by the Russians that Tsarnaev “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.”  But they did not relay the information about him discussing “Islamic jihad” with his mother.

US officials say that had they gotten the additional information from the Russians, they’d have conducted a more extensive review of Tsarnaev than they did.

The information about the Russians comes in a new FBI Inspector General’s report that looks at what US intelligence could have done to prevent the bombing.

Three people were killed, and 264 injured, when two pressure cooker bombs went off during the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.

Tamerlan died after a shoot-out with police, while his brother, and alleged co-conspirator, Dzhokar, was later caught after having been gravely wounded.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Boston Marathon bombing Suspect #1

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Boston Marathon bombing suspect.

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev.

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev.

“Had they known what the Russians knew they probably would have been able to do more under our investigative guidelines,” one senior official told the NYT. “But would they have uncovered the plot? That’s very hard to say.”

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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