Russia asked the FBI to investigate Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011, a source in US law enforcement told Reuters. The FBI had earlier reported on its website that an unnamed ‘foreign government’ had asked them for information.
The slain Boston marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who previously was designated as Suspect 1, was investigated in 2011 by the FBI upon a certain foreign state’s request.
The state, which was not identified in the statement on the FBI website, filed a request concerning Tsarnaev saying that he was a follower of radical Islam and was preparing to leave the US for a particular region to join “unspecified underground groups.”
The FBI says they checked all the information possible, looking for “derogatory telephone communications, possible use of online sites associated with the promotion of radical activity, associations with other persons of interest,” and checking the suspect’s travel history, plans, and education history.
The Caucasus Emirate is a self-proclaimed virtual Islamist state entity which claims to span several provinces throughout southern Russia. It was officially announced in October 2007 by Doku Umarov, who became the first emir. Both the United States and Russia has designated the Caucasus Emirate as a terrorist organization.
In May 2011, the US put Umarov on its Rewards for Justice list, “offering “up to $5 million for information that leads to the location of this key terrorist leader,” a joint statement of the presidents of the United States and Russia on cooperation in counter-terrorism read. In July 2011, the United Nations Security Council Al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee added the Caucasus Emirate to the list of entities associated with Al-Qaeda
Tsarnaev and his family members were also interviewed by the FBI.
Upon analyzing the data, the FBI had found nothing suspicious at the time.
“The FBI did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign, and those results were provided to the foreign government in the summer of 2011. The FBI requested but did not receive more specific or additional information from the foreign government,” the FBI statement says.
On Sunday, a statement on a website run by Russia’s North Caucasus rebels disavowed any link to the Boston Marathon bombing.
“After the events in Boston, the US, information has been distributed in the press saying that one of the Tsarnaev brothers spent six months in Dagestan in 2012. On this basis, there are speculative assumptions that he may have been associated with the Mujahideen of the Caucasus Emirate, in particular with the Mujahideen of Dagestan,” the statement by the Command of Mujahideen of Caucasus Emirate’s Dagestan read.
Investigators work around the boat where Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev was found hiding after a massive manhunt, in the backyard of a Franklin Street home, in an aerial view April 20, 2013 in Watertown, Massachusetts
The group stressed they “are not fighting against the United States of America,” but rather are “at war with Russia.” The group cited a February order by militant leader Doku Umarov prohibiting attacks on civilian populations. Despite the order, Umarov had previously claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport which killed 36 people a year prior. In March 2010, the militant leader further took credit for the Moscow Metro bombings which killed 40 people and injured more than 60 others.
The statement concluded by urging the media to “halt speculations and promotion of Russian propaganda,” claiming the US government should investigate the involvement of Russian security services in the events.
Also on Sunday, Boston’s police commissioner announced the Tsarnaev brothers had more explosives which authorities believe they intended to use.
“We feel that they had plans to use those explosives, possibly on soft targets,” Commissioner Edward Davis said on Fox News Sunday.
Davis reiterated his confidence that the two individuals responsible for the bombing “are either dead or arrested at this point.” He further said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger brother who was in “serious but stable condition” after suffering gunshot wounds to the leg and neck while being apprehended, was
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