FBI terrorist watch list would not have prevented the Boston bombing

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

The Boston Globe reported, FBI was warned 2 years ago of alleged bomber’s radical shift:

Russian authorities warned the FBI in early 2011 that suspected bomber
Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have been a follower of “radical Islam”[.]

* * *

A senior congressional aide privy to the
Boston Marathon terror investigation confirmed Saturday that the FBI
received the warning after Tsarnaev’s apparently suspicious activities
caught the attention of Russian authorities keeping close surveillance
on militant Islamist groups in the Caucasus region of the former Soviet
Union.

The FBI acknowledged Friday that it had
investigated Tsarnaev in 2011, even interviewing him and his family, but
“did not find any terrorism activity,” either domestic or foreign.

House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) confirmed on Sunday, Rep. Mike Rogers: Tamerlan Tsarnaev May Have Traveled To Russia Under An Alias – Huffington Post:

Law enforcement officials confirmed Saturday that the FBI had interrogated Tsarnaev in 2011
after the Russian government raised concerns to U.S. authorities that
he was a follower of radical Islam. Rogers told NBC's "Meet the Press"
on Sunday that the FBI stopped tracking Tsarnaev after a foreign
intelligence service failed to cooperate with its investigation.

"The FBI did their due diligence, did a very thorough job about
trying to run that to ground and then asked for more help from that
intelligence service to get further clarification," said Rogers.
"Unfortunately, that intelligence service stopped cooperating, so what
happens is that case gets closed down."

He then said that Tsarnaev "may have actually traveled on an alias to
get back to his home country" last year and "that six and a half months
or so becomes extremely important."

Some lawmakers have criticized the FBI for not placing Tsarnaev on a
watch list after questioning him over his increasingly radical beliefs.
On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) accused authorities of dropping the ball[.]

Little Lindsey Graham's insinuation is that had Tamerlan Tsarnaev been on the FBI terrorist watch list the FBI could have been prevented the Boston Marathon bombing. The problem with his post hoc pontification is that even if Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been on the FBI terrorist watch list, he could have legally purchased firearms and explosives under the "terror lophole" in the background checks law. F.B.I. Terrorist Watch List, Background Check Loophole – NYTimes:

The law that requires background checks on gun buyers is full of
loopholes, some big and some small, but the most egregious loophole of
all may be the fact that people on the F.B.I.’s terrorist watch list are
legally entitled to buy firearms and explosives
. And they have been
doing so at an alarming rate. Between February 2004 and December 2010,
individuals whose names turned up on the list were cleared to purchase
firearms or explosives a total of 1,321 times, according to the General
Accounting Office
. Felons, illegal immigrants and mentally ill
applicants are barred on the obvious grounds that they could present a
heightened risk of violence. Not so, terrorist suspects — an anomaly
that congress has occasionally tsk-tsked over since the 9/11 atrocities,
but done nothing substantial to repair.

Senator Frank Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey, has reintroduced a
worthy measure to close this “terror gap”— eight years after his initial
attempt failed. It would give the Attorney General authority to stop a
firearm or explosive sale when a background check reveals the buyer is a
known or suspected terrorist who the Attorney General reasonably
believes may be planning mayhem. The National Rifle Association opposed
the measure in the past because the terrorist watch list has been shown
to contain errors
.

So once again, Little Lindsey Graham is full-o'-crap. He is also among the Tea-Publican senators who did the bidding of the NRA and voted to filibuster the Manchin-Toomey  background checks amendment last week, after the Boston Marathon bombing, too cowardly to even debate the measure. Congress opted to maintain the status quo, which includes maintaining this "terror loophole." (Sen. Lautenberg's bill didn't even come up for a vote). Feel safer now?

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