Russia Didn't Reveal Tsarnaev Phone Call to FBI

Per a source, inspector general's report finds FBI 'did all that it could'

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 10, 2014 6:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – An inspector general's report has concluded Russia withheld information on Tamerlan Tsarnaev that could have very likely led the FBI to more carefully investigate him—two years before the Boston Marathon bombing, the New York Times reports. Though Russian officials did share details on Tsarnaev in 2011 regarding his beliefs in radical Islam, several follow-up requests for more information were refused ... until after the bombing occurred, according to the not-yet-public report. Among what the FBI learned of too late: An intercepted phone call between Tsarnaev and his mother on the topic of Islamic jihad.

The report concludes "the Russians did not provide all the information that they had on him back then, and based on everything that was available the FBI did all that it could," a senior official explains. (Though another official is careful to caution that knowing all the Russians knew wouldn't have necessarily led the FBI to uncover the plot.) Some of the report's findings—which are generally favorable to the FBI but mention that Boston agents could have conducted more interviews about Tsarnaev in 2011—are expected to be released before Tuesday's anniversary of the tragedy. (Yesterday, the LAT revealed Tsarnaev tried to change his name just months before the bombing.)

In this Feb. 17, 2010, file photo, Tamerlan Tsarnaev smiles after winning the 2010 New England Golden Gloves Championship in Lowell, Mass.   (AP Photo/The Lowell Sun, Julia Malakie File)
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