Russian President Vladimir Putin says that his country’s law enforcement agencies had no information on the two brothers accused in the Boston Marathon bombings that it could have given the FBI.
Speaking with reporters after a lengthy call-in television show, Putin said that “to our great regret” Russia’s Federal Security Service, the FSB, lacked any operative material on the Tsarnaev brothers, reports the Washington Post.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a shootout with police last Friday, His 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar, was wounded and captured later that day.
Russian officials reportedly contacted both the FBI and the CIA about the older brother in 2011. But analysts in Russia say the FSB was most likely concerned that he might join a radical group in Dagestan, the Russian province where the family lived before emigrating to the U.S. in the early 2000s, according to the Post.
Putin pointed out that the brothers lived in the U.S. and only visited Russia, which meant the FSB had little evidence.
Tamerlan visited his father in Dagestan’s capital, Makachkala, last year. Dagestan and neighboring Chechnya are hotbeds of Islamic unrest. A member of the Dagestan anti-terrorism committee told the Post that Tsarnaev was not being watched while he was there and had done nothing to attract attention.
Putin said during the show that he hoped the Boston bombings would prompt American and Russian security agencies to forge closer ties.
“This is a common threat —terrorism,” said Putin, adding, “And we need to cooperate more closely with each other. These two criminals, in the clearest way, have confirmed the validity of our thesis.”
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