Make this page my home page
  1. Drag the home icon in this panel and drop it onto the "house icon" in the tool bar for the browser

  2. Select "Yes" from the popup window and you're done!

May 09, 2013
Print Comment RSS

Boston chief wasn't told FBI got Tsarnaev warning

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis told Congress he received no information about Russia's warning of Tsarnaev

By Alicia A. Caldwell
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — FBI agents did not tell Boston police they had receiving warnings from Russia's government in 2011 about suspected bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and had performed a cursory investigation, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis told Congress Thursday, in the first hearing into last month's terror attack on the Boston Marathon.

Davis said that none of four people he had assigned to the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force was aware that the FBI investigated the vague warning, found nothing and had closed the file. One of his detectives was in the dark despite being assigned to the unit that investigated Tsarnaev, Davis said.

"They tell me they received no word about that individual prior to the bombing," Davis said.

Davis said he would have liked to have known but conceded that it might not have prevented the attack. The commissioner said his detectives would have wanted to interview Tsarnaev.

"The FBI did that and they closed the case out," he said. "I can't say I would've come to a different conclusion based on the information at the time."

The House Homeland Security Committee hearing came less than three weeks after Tsarnaev died in a police shootout. His brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was arrested and faces federal terrorism charges.

The committee's Republican  chairman, Rep. Michael McCaul, said the hearing will be the first in a series to review the government's initial response, ask what information authorities received about the brothers before the bombings and whether they handled it correctly.

Thursday's hearing was unlikely to shed much light on those questions. Nobody from the federal government testified.

But in a time of widespread budget cuts, the hearing began laying the groundwork for an expected push for more counterterrorism money. Both Davis and Kurt Schwartz, the Massachusetts homeland security chief, praised federal grants that for years have kept cities flush with money for equipment and manpower.

"People are alive today" because of money for training and equipment, Schwartz said.

McCaul and Rep. Bennie Thompson, the top Democrat on the committee, also spoke of the importance of federal money, as did former Sen. Joe Lieberman, one of the founders of the Department of Homeland Security, who took a new seat as a congressional witness.

"You can't fight this war without resources," Lieberman said.

Lieberman said it would have been possible, albeit difficult, to have prevented the bombing. He said the U.S. should have shared threat information with state and local law enforcement.

"When you're dealing with homegrown radicals, the community around them is going to be your first line of defense," Lieberman said. "State and local law enforcement will always have a better knowledge of the neighborhood, the institutions the people are going to be involved with."

Associated PressCopyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press






PoliceOne Offers

Sponsored by

P1 on Facebook

Connect with PoliceOne

Mobile Apps Facebook Twitter Google

Get the #1 Police eNewsletter

Police Newsletter Sign up for our FREE email roundup of the top news, tips columns, videos and more, sent 3 times weekly
See Sample

Command Staff - Chiefs / Sheriffs Training Events