On Not Knowing What to Look For

The Congressional delegation investigating Russian intelligence alerts about Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 returned from Moscow this week with a message that completely misses the point. If we had had the kind of U.S./Russian cooperation a year ago that we have now, the delegation postulate, the Boston Marathon bombings might have been prevented.  According to the Boston Globe, Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee that organized the trip, said that "[the bombing] could have been averted [if] both countries were working together on a much higher level." This conclusion, however, is wrong.  The Russians did warn the FBI about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and their warnings were quite specific.  Based on their own intelligence intercepts, the Russian secret service knew that Tsarnaev was communicating with jihadists in Chechnya, had become a follower of "radical Islam," and might attempt to travel to Russia to...(Read Full Article)

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