Congress to Question FBI Over Missed Tamerlan Tip

He was cleared after 2011 tip; officials didn't realize he went back to Dagestan
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 23, 2013 10:30 AM CDT
MIT student Hajar Boughoula writes a message on the ground with chalk near a memorial for fallen MIT police officer Sean Collier, Monday, April 22, 2013.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(Newser) – The Senate Intelligence Committee is set to question FBI officials over their response to a Russian warning about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, possibly as soon as today in what will be a closed hearing. The full Senate is likely to get a briefing on the matter this week, the BBC reports. Time reports that the tip came after Tsarnaev's 2011 trip to Dagestan; as is now known, the FBI acted on it by interviewing Tsarnaev and searching its databases before quickly closing the case.

Tsarnaev returned to Dagestan for an extended trip the following year, but Sen. Lindsey Graham says officials weren't aware of his travel because his name was spelled wrong on travel papers. He says that prevented it from being flagged upon his return to the US via Russian airline Aeroflot. "Now whether or not he intentionally changed his name or Aeroflot just got the spelling wrong, I don't know," says Graham, per CNN. "That's to be determined."

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