A recent article (hat tip Henry) in Who.What.Why. (WWW) brings up the old bugaboos about the FBI role in the Marathon Terrorist Attack (MTA). I have identified these before.The manner in which the FBI acted after the bombing made no sense in my experience doing investigations. On top of that in view of the FBIs traditional manner in which it handles investigations by keeping everything in-house and telling the public nothing it was an outlier.
The WWW article inexorably drags me back into that case. It is impossible to conclude that Tamerlan was not an informant. His unimpeded 6 month trip to Russia from which he returned in July 2012 after being listed in the federal data base as a potential terrorist in itself tells much. Yet even that was only the tip of the iceberg.
Here is what vexed from the early days. The bombing took place on April 15, 2013, near three in the afternoon. We know the slaughter that was caused: three dead, over one hundred with lost limbs, and thousands others injured and traumatized. It was quickly obvious two bombs had been detonated within 12 seconds and about the distance of two football fields from each other.
The FBI and others undertook to find out who were responsible for these attacks. FBI Director Robert Mueller ordered every office in the world to back up Boston. In existence at this time was the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) run by the FBI which had on it members from other police forces. The JTTF was supposed to be a cooperative venture but as with all FBI dealings with others that cooperation usually flowed like the Mississippi only one way: information went to the FBI, little trickled out. These groups are created to give the FBI complete protection from other major police agencies getting a jump on it in the terrorism area. The FBI members of that JTTF never told the others of the Russian communication in March 2011 identifying Tamerlan as a potential terrorist.
As with the shooting of Major Heinrich Strasser the immediate reaction of those leading the search for the bombers would mirror that of Captain Louis Renault who told his men: “round-up the usual suspects.” That would mean every person in the area who had any connection with terrorism would be identified and located. Tamerlan should have been at the top of the list.
In the meantime, hundreds of law enforcement agents began to examine the thousands of photographs and videos which thanks to cell telephones have become ubiquitous. The next day after the bombing on the 16th the public was briefed on the ongoing investigation. Hungry for news each briefing was watched by millions; hungry for publicity the briefing room was crowded with politicians and prosecutors anxious for exposure.
One person to whom all seemed to defer was the FBI special agent in charge (SAC) Richard DesLauriers. We were only told so much; the investigation continued in the background.
At 5:20 pm on April 18 SAC DesLauriers announced they had photographs and videos of the bombers. He said: “Today, we are enlisting the public’s help to identify the two suspects” and explained “the quality of the photos is quite good.” These were not the grainy video we saw the other day with the killing of Usaamah Rahim Anyone who knew the Tsarnaev brothers was able to identify them.
Prior to this identification, you may recall the odd event on April 17, 2013 when it was reported by the media that a suspect had been identified dropping a black bag, was arrested and was being brought to the waterfront courthouse. All rushed to that court as helicopters circled above. A Boston Globe reporter who gets much information from the FBI said she was told by two sources that had happened.
I have always asked that if Tamerlan was known to the FBI at the time of the bombing which he was then why was the public showing of his photograph necessary. Keep in mind the FBI initially denied it had any relationship with Tamerlan but only admitted it after his mother in Russia said it had contacted him. She said the FBI “were controlling him, they were controlling his every step.”
The WWW article points out that the FBI director lied when he answered if the FBI had information on Tamerlan prior to the time of the Russian tip-off on March 4, 2011, when he answered “I don’t believe so.” Being pressed he then said: “Wait, wait, wait. His name had come up in two other cases.” That’s something you would not forget.
And this. After the public release of the photographs but before the big chase that night teams of FBI agents were observed in Cambridge by Cambridge police. The FBI could not deny their presence. It released a statement: “The Joint Terrorism Task Force was at M.I.T., located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on April 18, 2013, on a matter unrelated to the Tsarnaev brothers.” We are supposed to believe that during in the biggest terrorist attack and most massive manhunt in the nation in recent years teams of FBI agents were involved in doing something else. One wonders whether they were execution squads attempting to keep Tamerlan from exposing his relationship with it.
All of this leads to one conclusion. The FBI is not on the level when it comes to this matter. The only reason that explains this is that it was using Tamerlan as an informant and he double-crossed it. Or was he doing as the conspiracy theorists allege what he was supposed to be doing which is keeping Americans frightened.
The burden is on the FBI to disprove this. We need the truth. If it lied about this, how can we trust it in anything else.