House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said Sunday the Russians need to step up and give the United States more information about Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his family.
“There is a lot that we just don't know,” the Michigan Republican said on ABC's “This Week.” “There are still persons of interest in the United States that the FBI would like to have conversations with.”
He noted that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was in Russia for more than six months, and “went from the process of radicalization . . . to violence.”
Rogers told host George Stephanopoulos that the FSB, or Russian Security Service, have been hostidifficult to work with for the FBI and CIA.
The Russians have provided wiretaps of the Tsarnaev brothers' mother, who appears to have encouraged the elder brother in his radicalization.
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Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, also a member of the Intelligence Committee, agreed that persons of interest remain in the U.S.
“The real test about whether he was radicalized or not – or where he was radicalized – is Russia. And we have to do a lot of investigation in Russia, because when he went over to Russia and then came back, things changed,” the Maryland Democrat said.
Rogers, though, said that even if the brothers were “self-radicalized,” they still needed outside affirmation.
“So in every case that we have seen, that has led to somebody taking an event to try to commit an act of violence. There was outside self — or affirmation of their intent to commit an act of jihad,” said Rogers, who believes there are still “persons of interest in Russia” who need to be interrogated.
But Rogers said it is too soon to start blaming organizations like the FBI, which questioned the elder Tsarnaev brother in 2011 but didn't proceed with a case.
“At the end of the day they had no derogatory information including all of the databases — all of the databases — including interviews,” said Rogers. “At some point, the FBI just doesn't get to investigate Americans or people here who are here legally just because they want to. That is a huge difference.”
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