Sen. Markey: 'Red Flags' Weren't Shared Before Marathon Bombing

Sunday, 13 Apr 2014 04:51 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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A report issued last week indicated several "red flags" that should have been raised before last year's Boston Marathon bombing, said Sen. Ed Markey, but the information was not shared widely at either the federal or local levels.

"It is clear that there were red flags that should have been raised," the Massachusetts Democrat said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday morning. "That [Tamerlan] Tsarnaev was, in fact, oriented towards jihadism. That there were other clues that were out there that should have been followed up."

Further, Markey said, the information about Tsarnaev was not "shared as widely and readily as it should have been among the intelligence agencies, right down to the local level, where perhaps the local police, the local officials could have acted upon it ... so we have to make sure that there's never another report like this that is issued."

Story continues below video.



Markey spoke as part of a round-table discussion on the show along with several first responders as the anniversary of the marathon bombing draws near.

Last April 15, three people died and more than 200 others were injured in two explosions near the marathon's finish line.

Two ethnic Chechen brothers are accused of carrying out the attacks.

The older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died in a police chase, while his younger brother, Dzhokhar, has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges, including using a weapon of mass destruction, and is facing the death penalty.

Markey was on stage for the show with Joe Andruzzi, a former New England Patriots defensive lineman who was at the finish line and carried some of the injured from the scene; Boston resident Doris Kearns Goodwin, who is a presidential historian; and former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.

The audience consisted of first responders who worked at the scene of the attacks and Boston Globe photographer John Tlumacki, who captured a famous image of the day, showing police immediately reacting to the explosions.

One Boston Marathon bombing survivor, though, said in a tweet on Friday that she left the Boston television studio in tears before the segment was taped.

Dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis lost her left foot in the bombing and said Friday she asked the national news program not to mention the suspect's name but the show used it. She did not appear in the segment Sunday.

NBC News spokeswoman Erika Masonhall said "Meet the Press" could not guarantee the name wouldn't be used and regrets any distress caused by the miscommunication.

On the segment, Goodwin explained that the attack occurred just as Bostonians were celebrating their most popular local holiday, "Patriot's Day," during which the marathon is run, the Boston Red Sox play ball, and parties abound around the area to commemorate patriot Paul Revere's famous ride on April 19, 1775.

"Patriot's Day celebrates our liberty, our freedom," said Markey. "It is what the terrorists hate about is. It is this sense that everyone is equal. It is a sense that every religion is equal in the treatment, which we give to it. And so this was a special place, a special day, and they knew that. It's the equivalent of, for us, kind of our most sacred day."

And, he noted that "a million people come together on that day to watch the marathon," so the Tsarnaev brothers knew what they were doing.

"They knew exactly the impact that it would have upon us," Markey said. "In fact, they evoked just the opposite response. They had people standing up and responding and sacrificing. And the resilience is ultimately what people are going to remember about that day."

But Boston was ready for the attacks because, after the Sept. 11 terrorists' hijackings, the lessons learned then were remembered.

"There was a lot of cooperation at the local level," said Markey. "We needed the bravery of people then to respond on that day. And they did."

He pointed out that the 9/11 attacks started at Boston's Logan Airport, where Mohamed Atta and nine other terrorists hijacked the two planes.

"There were 150 people on those planes from Boston," said Markey. "And the lessons of 9/11 were remembered here, and they were implemented. And the equipment was put in place, and the training was put in place, and the coordination was put in place."

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