BOSTON (CBS) – The FBI has determined it did all it could to investigate Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the years leading up to the Marathon Bombings, according to a report in The New York Times.
The agency conducted internal reviews in the wake of the bombings that focused on the bureau’s response to a 2011 tip from Russian authorities that Tsarnaev had become radicalized.
Among the internal investigation’s findings, the Times reports, is that the FBI had no evidence that proved Tsarnaev was a terrorist or contemplating acts of terrorism. Federal laws prevented them from using surveillance techniques to investigate further.
Massachusetts Rep. Bill Keating has been critical of the FBI and recently penned a letter to the new director asking for a deeper investigation into the Marathon Bombings.
He says even if they FBI followed appropriate procedures, it’s clear those procedures failed to detect a terrorist.
“Under their procedures, with that case closed, there was no red flag when Tamerlan Tsarnaev went to Russia. There was no red flag when he came back. There was no red flag when he was applying for citizenship and there could have been another background check,” Keating said in an interview with WBZ-TV.
Keating serves on the House Homeland Security Committee. He has called on the FBI to sit for a hearing and answer questions. The FBI has refused.
Keating argues that even if the FBI lacked the power to investigate further, communication breakdowns may have prevented other federal and local authorities from acting.
“We all have the same goal and we should work together and for whatever reason, the FBI is not in concert with other law enforcement agencies and Congress,” Keating said.
Local authorities had the same skepticism about the FBI’s internal investigations.
Rep. Harold Naughton, who chairs the Massachusetts Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, says he would like a more thorough investigation into whether the FBI could have involved other agencies in their investigation into Tsarnaev.
“If these protocols haven’t changed, and this article hasn’t indicated to me that they really have, what’s to say that the next Tsarnaev isn’t out there right now,” Naughton said.
The FBI has declined to comment on the results of the internal review.