Saudis Warned Us about Tamerlan

Saudi Arabia claims that they warned our Department of Homeland Security about Tamerlan Tsarnaev last year.  This was independent of the Russian warning, and was based on intelligence out of Yemen.

Tamerlan tried to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, but the Saudis refused to let him in their country.

It’s Always the Mom’s Fault

Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Michael McCaul (R-Texas) believes that the Tsarnaev brothers’ mother played a very strong role in their radicalization.  He said that she would be detained for questioning if she were to return to the U. S.

He also said that given the sophistication of the bombs, he believes that the brothers had training.

It should be noted that while the Al Qaeda online magazine Inspire has instructions for making a bomb, it doesn’t tell you how to make the complex triggering device they used.

Lessons Not Learned

Based on today’s House and Senate hears about the Boston Marathon Bombings, it seems that we still haven’t learned the lessons of 9/11, when it was clear that agencies were not sharing crucial information with each other.  In that instance, the CIA did not share information with the FBI about the men who hijacked the planes.

Now it seems that the FBI did not know about Tamarlan Tsarnaev’s trip to Russia in 2012, although the Department of Homeland Security did.

It also emerged that the Russians warned us “multiple times” about him.

Chechnya Isn’t Just a Russian Problem

Janet Napolitano says that the Department of Homeland Security did know that Tamerlan Tsarnaev went to Russia last year, despite the misspelling on his travel documents.

That still leaves the question of why they didn’t do more to check him out and keep an eye on him.

I think in general our government sees the issue of radicalized Chechens as Russia’s problem, not ours.  The Chechens have been fighting Russian domination for three hundred years.  But we need to recognize that while some of these folks just want to attack Russia, and so their struggle is primarily local and political*, others are more committed to global Islamic jihad, and that is everybody’s problem.

* Of course there are religious factors inextricably interwoven with the fight for Chechen political independence.  Under the czars and the post-Soviet regime, they were and are Muslims fighting Christians.  Under the Communists, they were Muslims fighting official atheism.