WASHINGTON — The CIA added the name of the dead Boston Marathon bombing suspect to a U.S. government terrorist database 18 months before the deadly explosions, U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The CIA’s request came about six months after the FBI investigated Tamerlan Tsarnaev, also at the Russian government’s request, but the FBI found no ties to terrorism, officials said.
The new disclosure was significant because officials have said the U.S. intelligence community had no information leading up to the April 15 bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260 others. That one of the bomber’s name was in a terrorism database for 18 months before the attack was expected to drive congressional inquiries about whether the U.S. government adequately investigated tips from Russia that Tsarnaev posed a security threat.
In late September 2011, the CIA received information from the Russian government about Tsarnaev, who died Friday in a police shootout. In March 2011, the FBI received nearly identical information as the CIA, according to officials briefed on the investigation. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing case.
The massive database, known as the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, is managed by the National Counterterrorism Center and feeds into terror watch lists like the one that bans known or suspected terrorists from getting on airplanes.