Throwing U.S. law enforcement for a loop, the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tasarnaev flew under the radar before detonating two Chechen-style pressure-cooker bombs filled with shrapnel, killing three and injuring 280, some life-threatening. Unable to uncover the plot, the FBI claims that Russian authorities withheld key pieces of intel that might have prevented the twin-blasts that caused mayhem at one of the nation’s premier outdoor spectacles. While 25-year-old Tamerlan was killed in a firefight in Watertown by Boston police April 19, Dzohokhar managed to hide out until plucked out of a parked pleasure boat in the backyard of a local Watertown resident. Faced with scathing criticism for not uncovering the Chechen brothers’ terrorist plot, the FBI insists that the Russian government withheld key pieces of information to prevent the bombings.
According to a recently released report by the Inspector General, Russian officials told the FBI in 2011 that Tamerlan “was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer.” Letting Tamerlan slip through the cracks once he returned to the Boston area after venturing into Russia and Chechnya in 2011 raised eyebrows about the lack of follow through after receiving the Russian report. FBI complained the Russian authorities failed to disclose wiretapped conversations between Tamerlan and his mother discussing Islamic jihad. Whether the Russians revealed wiretapped conversations or not, the FBI should have diligently tracked Tamerlan carefully before the tragic April 15, 2013 incident. Blaming the poor follow through on a lack of Russian intel is preposterous. Tipping off the FBI in 2011, the Russian government gave the FBI plenty of information to follow up.
Since Sept. 11, the former Bush White House realized that the FBI and CIA failed to track the worst terrorist plot in U.S. history. Hijacking three jetliners, almost a fourth, flying them into the World Trade Center Twin Towers and Pentagon, and only luckily missing the White House or Capitol, the FBI and CIA proved that they couldn’t intercept terrorist plots. Tamerlan and Dzhokhar’s Boston Marathon twin-blasts proved yet again the incompetence of domestic and foreign law enforcement and intel agencies. “They found that the Russians did no provide all the information that they had on him back then, and based on everything available the FBI did all that it could,” said the Inspector General, whitewashing the investigation. Blaming Russia passes the buck again on failures of U.S. law enforcement and intel agencies. Boston’s twin-blasts proved the U.S. is still vulnerable.
Among the many accomplishments of the Bush administration, former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney insisted none was greater than preventing another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. When the baton was passed to President Barack Obama Jan. 20, 2009, it didn’t take long for former Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan to massacre 13 soldiers in Fort Hood Texas. While White House officials were reluctant to call the incident a “terrorist attack,” more investigation concluded Hasan had an ongoing relationship with the late U.S.-born Yemen-based al-Qaida terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki. Hasan’s attack was the first known terrorist attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, proving vulnerability to infiltration and subversion. Boston’s terrorist bombing again showed that beefed up airline security is only the tip of the iceberg in fighting terrorism.
Faced with a murder trial set for November, the FBI hopes to learn much more from Dzhokhar who has some real insights into the jihadist’s mind. Fighting the war on terror requires the U.S. to root out the kind of brainwashing that goes on in the Saudi-funded Islamic religious schools, AKA madrasses, around the world. As long as unemployment, poverty and misery plagues the third world, youth remain vulnerable to recruitment by Islamic terror groups providing things as basic as food, shelter and guns. While the Western world can’t stop all the economic misery around the globe, it can still do what it can to improve things. Wayward youth like Tamerlan and Dzhokhar are prime examples of how charismatic Islamic clergy can spread false hopes, recruit suicide bombers and promise paradise beyond the grave if they martyr themselves in the name of Mohammed
Suggesting that the Russian government could have stopped the April 15 Boston Marathon terrorist bombings gives the FBI a convenient excuse for falling asleep at the switch. Telling the FBI about Tamerlan in 2011, Russia did plenty to help the FBI prevent the horrific events of the 2013 Boston Marathon. With only one of the Tsarnaev brothers still alive, FBI profilers have plenty of time to crack Dzhokhar to get as much insights into the budding terrorist’s mind. U.S. counter-terrorism officials know that the ultimate battle lies in countering radical Islam’s pernicious propaganda, promising paradise to the hellish lives of wayward youth living in conditions without a future. Despite living in America, the Tsarnaev brothers were still vulnerable targets for radical Islam, convincing them that their only option is jihad to escape the misery to the Promised Land.
About the Author
John M. Curtis writes politically neutral commentary analyzing spin in national and global news. He’s editor of OnlineColumnist.com and author of Dodging The Bullet and Operation Charisma.