FBI may have missed terror clues because of wrong name: Senator
Boston bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev's visit to Russia, which apparently lasted for six month, was probably missed by the FBI radar because of the misspelling of his name, a top American Senator has said.Updated: Apr 23, 2013 11:00 IST
Boston bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev's visit to Russia, which apparently lasted for six month, was probably missed by the FBI radar because of the misspelling of his name, a top American Senator has said.
"He went to Russia. How could we not know that? Apparently the misspelling of his name was such that he did not pop up in the system. Now did he intentionally misspell his name? Or did Aeroflot - the Russian airline - just get it wrong? I don't know," Republican Senator Lindsay Graham told reporters during a news conference on Monday.
Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a shootout with police the past week, while his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar was captured and is being held on terror charges.
Graham said his information is based on the conversation he had with the FBI in this regard.
It is being alleged that Tamerlan met Chechen Islamic radicals during his Russia trip. Not many people are aware of the details.
"Here's the question we all should be asking. Let's assume for a moment the FBI made a diligent effort to make an investigation based on the Russian information and, quite frankly, from what they told me that withstand scrutiny and I assume it will, they did," he said.
"But, how could we, from 2012 till the attack, miss all of the radical statements and activity this guy engaged in -the older brother - on the Internet and the YouTube videos. The FBI is telling me that some of the tools they need are not there. So is this a question of the FBI not using the tools available to them, or is this a question, there are not enough tools in the tool box?" he said.
"I'm worried about how misspelling he could not be found out," Graham said.
Graham also criticised the federal government for not adequately tracking Tamerlan and he also disagreed with the Obama Administration's decision to rule out enemy combatant status for his younger brother Dzhokhar at this time.
"I believe such a decision is premature. It is impossible for us to gather the evidence in just a few days to determine whether or not this individual should be held for questioning under the law of war," he said.
At the same time he said the decision to try this individual in federal court is a right decision.
"We purposely excluded American citizens. I have all the confidence in the world in Article III courts at the federal level. They do a terrific job. I have confidence in our military commission system. The decision by the administration to not proceed into state court in Massachusetts, I think, was the correct decision," he said.
"The death penalty will be available at the federal level. This is clearly, in my view, a candidate for a case to be deemed an act of terrorism," he said.
First Published: Apr 23, 2013 10:54 IST