Russia not cooperating on Boston bombing: US Lawmaker
"The Russian government is not quite cooperating yet to the extent that I think is appropriate," alleged Congressman Mike Rogers.
Washington: A powerful American lawmaker has accused Russia of not co-operating with the US on the Boston Marathon bombings. Congressman Mike Rogers, who has been briefed several times by the intelligence community on the Boston bombings, believes that the Russians have information that will be incredibly valuable on the two Chechen brothers, the suspects in the case.
"The Russian government is not quite cooperating yet to the extent that I think is appropriate," alleged Congressman Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told the CNN in an interview. "I know that Congress is going to have conversations with the Russian government. The administration is going to have conversations with the Russian government," Rogers said. However, the White House have been very appreciative of the help being received from Moscow in this regard.
The elder brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who is considered to be the mastermind and the main suspect of the terrorist attack, died in exchange of fire with police. Russian intelligence agencies had alerted both the CIA and FBI about the radicalisation of Tamerlan, who mysteriously spent six months in Chechnya. The White House said Russia has been providing full co-operation to the US in the investigation. Rogers said Russians have the critical information about the elder brother and his radicalisation which would help the US intelligence community make their determination of how much the US have to worry back here, who they talked to, who was involved in that.
"And we just haven't gotten that level of cooperation yet. That's going to be important. Talking to the persons of interest back here is going to be important. And, again, that is kind of the unfolding part of the aftermath of last week's bombing," the Congressman said. Tamerlan's younger brother Dzhokhar, 19, is currently being treated in a Boston hospital. He has been charged with using weapons of mass destruction. If convicted, he faces death sentence. Rogers said the Russian intelligence agency gave limited notification to the FBI and the CAI.
"From what they received, conducted a pretty thorough review of that case to see if there was any derogatory information of which they could do more with," he said. Meanwhile, a Republican lawmakers expressed frustration that more than a decade after 9/11, America's intelligence system remains broken, which is reflected in terrorist attack in Boston.
"You have Russian intelligence services contacting two agencies within our federal government responsible for our national security, the FBI and the CIA. They tell us, we believe you have a radical Islamist in your midst. We do interviews. We do some things that I think are pretty responsible," Senator Lindsay Graham said. "However, this suspected radical Islamist is able to go back to Russia, to Dagestan, without the FBI or the CIA being made aware of it, even though Homeland Security was. That's system failure almost 12 years after 9/11," Graham told reporters at a news conference with several of his top Republican colleagues including Senator John McCain.
"It gets worse. The suspected radical Islamist, the person we got warning letters about, is openly on the Internet for months talking about killing Americans and engaging in radical jihad against the United States, and we were unable to connect the dots and pick that up. The rest is history," Graham alleged. "Between Benghazi and Boston, our systems are failing, and we're going backwards. We need to understand that bin Laden may be dead, but the war against radical Islam is very much alive. Radical Islam is on the march, and we need to up our game," Graham said.
However, the Obama Administration and the intelligence officials have defended their handling of the case. The Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that "the dots were connected" between the Justice Department and the intelligence community on what was known about the Tsarnaev brothers before and after the attack. "The rules were abided by, as best as I can tell at this point," Clapper said. Senator McCain and others have sought Congressional hearing on this.