THE Russian FSB intelligence security service told the FBI in early 2011 about information that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the brothers suspected in the Boston marathon bombings, was a follower of radical Islam, two law enforcement officials say.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a shootout, and his younger brother Dzhokhar, 19, was captured alive.
They were identified by authorities and relatives as ethnic Chechens from southern Russia who had been in the US for about a decade.
According to an earlier FBI news release, a foreign government said that based on its information, Tsarnaev, 26, was a strong believer and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the US for travel to a region in that country to join unspecified underground groups.
The FBI did not name the foreign government, but the two law enforcement officials identified the FSB as the provider of the information to one of the FBI’s field offices and also to FBI headquarters in Washington DC.
The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak on the record about the matter.
The FBI said that in response, it interviewed Tsarnaev and relatives, and did not find any domestic or foreign terrorism activity.
The FBI said it provided the results in the summer of 2011.
The FBI also said that it requested but did not receive more specific or additional information from the foreign government.
The bureau added that in response to the request, it checked US government databases and other information to look for such things as derogatory telephone communications, possible use of online sites associated with the promotion of radical activity, associations with other persons of interest, travel history and plans and education history.
Meanwhile a doctor involved in treating the fatally wounded Tamerlan Tsarnaev says he had injuries from head to toe but all limbs intact when he arrived at hospital.
Dr David Schoenfeld said 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev was unconscious and had so many penetrating wounds when he arrived at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre after a shootout with police that it isn’t clear which ones killed him, and a medical examiner will have to determine the cause of death.
The older Tsarnaev’s clothes had been cut off by emergency responders at the scene, so if he had been wearing a vest with explosives, he wasn’t by the time he arrived at the hospital, the doctor said.
Find this story at 21 April 2013
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