Heritage Terror Expert: Don’t Rush to Scapegoat FBI

Monday, 22 Apr 2013 01:46 PM

By David Yonkman

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Lawmakers shouldn’t rush to scapegoat the FBI for its actions prior to the Boston Marathon bombings, a national security expert with the Heritage Foundation tells Newsmax.

Members of Congress are questioning the nation’s top law enforcement agency over whether it missed any warnings that could have been prevented the two bombings last Monday. They point to a 2011 Russian warning about one of the Chechen suspects and whether the FBI should have recognized him in their own surveillance.

Steven Bucci, director of the Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at Heritage, said it's too early to say whether the FBI made any mistakes in its investigation of bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a shootout with police last Friday.

“Obviously, when the FBI interviewed him two-plus years ago it didn’t throw up any red flags,” Bucci said. “He may not have been radicalized then. Let’s see what [the FBI] asked, what the responses were, what did they do with the responses, what did the Russians tell them — we don’t know any of that yet.”

Bucci said Congress should hold hearings so that lawmakers can ask the relevant questions and conduct their oversight role “without the theatrics.”

The FBI reportedly followed up the Russian warning by interviewing Tamerlan, the older of the two Tsarnaev brothers who law enforcement authorities say planted two homemade bombs in the crowd at the marathon finish line. The FBI reportedly followed up the interview with an additional request to the Russians for more information but never received a response, Bucci noted

“I wouldn’t go tearing up the FBI until we know more,” he said. “The FBI isn't exactly the Keystone Cops.”

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