Thu, 25 Apr 2013 08:15:00 GMT | By Reuters

U.S. had more tips on Boston suspect; Congress asks questions

The trip by the suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to southern Russia has come under scrutiny over whether he became involved with or was influenced by Chechen separatists or Islamic militants there


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U.S. had more tips on Boston suspect; Congress asks questions (© Reuters)

Washington/Cambridge, Massachusetts: U.S. intelligence was alerted when one of the Boston bombing suspects traveled to a volatile region of Russia last year, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, raising new questions about the government's handling of the case and how well law enforcement agencies share information and cooperate with one another.

The trip by the suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to southern Russia has come under scrutiny over whether he became involved with or was influenced by Chechen separatists or Islamic militants there, according to U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Russia, which tipped off the FBI in early 2011 with concerns that Tsarnaev may have been a radical Islamist, made a second, identical request to the CIA in late September of the same year, they said. The FBI interviewed Tsarnaev following the first tip and found no serious threat.

Police say the ethnic Chechen brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev planted and detonated two pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, killing three people and injuring 264.

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