Months after the FBI cleared Tamerlan Tsarnaev in its investigation of possible connections to jihadist causes, the Russians approached the CIA as well to look into him, CNN has learned.In Tom Clancy novels, information from Russian intelligence can be of particular interest when the plot involves lesser-light jihadis bent on mayhem, not necessarily of the high-concept kind. In Official Washington, Tom Clancy novels are profiling, and it Just. Isn't. Done. Until the mayhem happens and the second-guessing begins.
But what was provided by the Russians in late September 2011 was "basically the same" information that had been given the previous March to the FBI, according to a government official.
The source said the communication was a "warning letter" sent to the CIA.
The database system has been criticized in the past for being too cumbersome, especially in light of an attempted attack on a plane in 2009. Intelligence and security agencies acknowledged in Congress that they had missed clues to the Detroit 'underpants bomber' Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.It does no good to have some fancy database with a catchy acronym if we're back in the days of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, when the CIA's left hand doesn't know what the FBI's right-hand is doing. Better, perhaps, to have Mary Pat Foley and Dan Murray over to the White House for coffee and conversation. But then Jack Ryan almost never had Hollywood types over to schmooze.
Officials said after the incident that he had been listed in the TIDE database.
Republican Senator Susan Collins said there were problems in sharing information ahead of the Boston bombings, too.
'This is troubling to me that this many years after the attacks on our country in 2001 that we still seem to have stovepipes that prevent information from being shared effectively,' she said.
Other news reports suggest there is more investigative work to be done. Tamerlan Tsarnaev complained of having no American friends, which probably excludes him from palling around with model railroaders and remote-control plane modelers.
Investigators said the two Boston Marathon bombs were triggered by long-range remote controls for toy cars — a more sophisticated design than originally believed — bolstering a theory that the older suspect received bomb-making guidance on his six-month trip to Russia last year.The sequencing of the second bomb thus gets interesting. Dzhokhar sets it down, is then observed on a security camera placing a 'phone call as everyone else reacts to the first bomb, he then walks deliberately the other way. Who and where was the trigger-man?