Russians withheld information on Boston bombing suspects

Sam Scorzo Contributor
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Information Russia withheld from the United States on one of the Tsarnaev brothers may have helped prevent the bombings at the Boston Marathon last year, according to a new report released on Thursday by the inspector general of the Office of Intelligence Community.

“They found that the Russians did not provide all the information that they had on him back then, and based on everything that was available the F.B.I. did all that it could,” a senior official briefed on the report told the New York Times.

The report, which has not been released to the public yet, reads that in 2011, two years before the bombings, Russia alerted that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, , was a “follower of radical Islam and a strong believer,” and that he “had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups.”

However, further inquiries from the FBI went unanswered by Russian authorities.

It was only after the bombings, which killed three and injured over 260 people, that the Russians shared their additional information with the F.B.I.

According to the New York Times, this information included “a telephone conversation the Russian authorities had intercepted between Mr. Tsarnaev and his mother in which they discussed Islamic jihad.”

The report also reveals that in January 2013, a year after Tsarnaev visited Dagestan, he filed to change his name to Muaz, the last name of a Dagestan insurgent who was killed fighting in 2009 in the Caucasus region of Russia.

The brothers have not been tied to any specific terrorist group and are likely “homegrown violent extremists,” according to the senior official.

In addition, the report recommends a plan of action to ensure more communication between federal and state and local authorities.

The report will likely be at least partially released to the public on Tuesday, which marks a year since the bombings.