WASHINGTON — The CIA submitted the name of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects for a terrorist watch list in fall 2011 after an inquiry about Tamerlan Tsarnaev from Russian authorities concerned about his possible ties to extremists, a U.S. intelligence official said Wednesday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the case publicly.
The FBI had received a nearly identical request from the Russian government six months earlier, prompting a review of Tsarnaev's activities that turned up nothing improper, a federal law enforcement official said.
Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a confrontation with police early Friday, hours after photos of him and his brother, Dhokhar Tsarnaev, were circulated as suspects in the Boston attacks. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now recovering from a neck wound, was charged Monday and faces a possible death sentence if convicted.
Tsarnaev's inclusion on the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), a list of more than 500,000 names, is raising questions from lawmakers about why federal authorities did not continue to monitor Tamerlan Tsarnaev who, following the FBI inquiry, left for a six-month trip to Russia on Jan. 12, 2012. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a Senate panel this week the watch system alerted authorities of his departure. By the time he returned, she said, the FBI investigation had been closed.
Reps. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Pete King, R-N.Y., have called on the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to provide more information.
The law enforcement official, who is not authorized to comment publicly, said the CIA was aware of the FBI review and referred the new request back to the FBI. The CIA may not conduct intelligence operations on U.S. soil.
The FBI again contacted its Russian counterparts, asking if they had additional information on Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Russian...
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