Sunday, April 21, 2013 2:05 AM
A press release on the FBI website of Friday, April 19, 2013 tells us that "a foreign government" -- Russia -- alerted the FBI in "early 2011" that Tamarlan Tsarnaev was "a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country's region to join unspecified underground groups."
How you say "radical Islam" in Russian? Never mind. This is big and shocking news on several levels. The first concerns the government reflex to suppress speculation regarding Islamic terrorism, or even terrorism, period as when David Axelrod let fly that the president was thinking "tax day" might be what we used to obsess over as the so-called root cause. We might even look back on FBI's special agent in charge Richard DesLauriers' plea to the public on Thursday evening (April 18) as reinforcing the domestic confines of the suspect pool by omission. His carefully genericized statement failed to open the public mind to any suggestion that the suspects might not be homegrown locals.
Somebody out there knows these individuals as friends, neighbors, co-workers or family members of the suspects,
True enough. of course, and somebody did. It is not known whether anyone in the public -- including the terrorists' "ashamed" uncle -- actually called up the FBI with that information.
But might the FBI have already known the Tsarnaev brothers' names before they asked us for help? By the FBI's Friday admission, the foreign government -- Russia -- had already raised red flags over Tamarlan Tsaernov in early 2011. (Notice, the FBI continually emphasizes the Russian communique as a "request" for information, not a warning.)
Here from its press release is the FBI's story, or cover story:
Once the FBI learned the identities of the two brothers today, the FBI reviewed its records and determined that in early 2011, a foreign government asked the FBI for information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
"Today" means April 19, four days after the Monday bombing attack. When and how did the feds learn those names? At what point after midnight and into the wee hours of Friday morning -- when the shootout began that left MIT police officer Sean Collier, 26, "assassinated," as a police official put it -- did the Tsarnaev name pop up? Are we supposed to believe that no one at Robert Mueller's FBI pulled that "early 2011" Russian warning -- sorry, "request" -- about that Chechen Muslim Tamarlan Tsarnaev in the Boston area after two Al Qaeda-style pressure-cooker bombs went off on Monday killing and maiming and terrorizing Americans in the heart of Boston?
The [Russian] request stated that it was based on information that he was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups.
Again, not a warning, but a "request." Maybe the FBI is trying to prevent anyone from remembering that it dismissed red flags (emails with jihad-preacher Anwar Al-Awlaki) that went up in December 2008 over the perpetrator of another jihad attack -- sorry, "workplace violence" -- committed by Nidal Hassan at Ft. Hood in November 2009.
Back to Boston 2013:
In response to this 2011 request, the FBI checked U.S. 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. The FBI also interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev and family members. 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 final line is priceless.
The FBI requested but did not receive more specific or additional information from the foreign government.
What more did the FBI need from the Russkies -- a Koran? This is no joke, of course. FBI Director Mueller's has presided over the purge of Islamic training materials (military training has been simiiarly purged) while practicing what we might think of as extremist Muslim outreach. Now this. Of course, this scandal takes in anyone in the Obama administration in charge of national security.
Congressional oversight, anyone?