Bomb suspect's mother was in terrorist database

World

Bomb suspect's mother was in terrorist database

Posted: Updated:

BOSTON (AP) -- The mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects had been added to a federal terrorism database about 18 months before the attack, government officials said Thursday.

Two government officials said the CIA had Zubeidat Tsarnaeva's name added along with that of her son Tamerlan Tsarnaev after Russia contacted the agency in 2011 with concerns that the two were religious militants about to travel to Russia. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

Being in the classified TIDE database does not automatically mean a person is suspected by the U.S. of terrorist activity and does not automatically subject someone to surveillance, security screening or travel restrictions. But the disclosure could fuel more questions about whether the Obama administration missed an opportunity to thwart the deadly bombing.

The news came as the surviving bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was moved overnight from a hospital to a federal prison medical center, and as FBI agents searched for evidence in a landfill near the college he was attending.

Tsarnaev, 19, was taken from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he was recovering from a gunshot wound to the throat and other injuries suffered during a getaway attempt, and transferred to the Federal Medical Center Devens, about 40 miles from Boston, the U.S. Marshals Service said. The facility at the former Fort Devens Army base treats federal prisoners.

FBI agents picked through a landfill Friday near the campus of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where Tsarnaev was a student. FBI spokesman Jim Martin would not say what investigators were looking for.

Tsarnaev is charged with joining with his older brother, now dead, in setting off the shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs that killed three people and wounded more than 260 at the marathon finish line April 15.

The brothers are ethnic Chechens from Russia who came to the U.S. about a decade ago with their parents. Investigators have said it appears that the brothers were angry about the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and had been radicalized via Islamic jihadi material on the Internet instead of any direct contact with terrorist organizations, but they warned it is still not certain.

A team of investigators from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has questioned both parents in Makhachkala, Russia, this week, spending many hours with the mother in particular over two days. The suspects' father, Anzor Tsarnaev, said the questions were mostly about their sons' activities and interests.

The father said on Thursday that he is leaving Russia soon for the United States to visit one son and lay the other to rest. The suspects' mother, who was charged with shoplifting in the U.S. last summer, said she has been assured by lawyers that she would not be arrested, but said she was still deciding whether to go.

At a news conference in Russia, Tsarnaeva bitterly said she now regrets moving her family to the U.S. and believes they would have been better off in a village in her native Dagestan.

"You know, my kids would be with us, and we would be, like, fine," she said. "So, yes, I would prefer not to live in America now! Why did I even go there? Why? I thought America is going to, like, protect us, our kids, it's going to be safe."

Also on Thursday, officials said that three days after the Boston attack, the Tsarnaev brothers planned to drive to New York and bomb Times Square in a spur-of-the-moment scheme that fell apart almost immediately when they realized the SUV they had hijacked was low on gas. They had five pipe bombs and a pressure-cooker explosive in the vehicle, police said.

"We don't know if we would have been able to stop the terrorists had they arrived here from Boston," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. "We're just thankful that we didn't have to find out that answer."

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told interrogators from his hospital bed that he and his brother decided the night of April 18 to launch an attempt in New York. But when the Tsarnaev brothers stopped at a gas station on the outskirts of Boston, the carjacking victim they were holding hostage escaped and called police, Kelly said.

Later that night, police intercepted the brothers in a gunbattle that left 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead.

The word of a short-lived plan to bomb Times Square made some New Yorkers shudder at the thought of another terrorist attack on the city.

Outside Penn Station, Wayne Harris, a schoolteacher from Queens, said: "We don't know when a terrorist attack will happen next in New York, but it will happen. It didn't happen this time, by the grace of God. God protected us this time."

---

  • Email Alert Sign Up

    Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.

    * denotes required fields


    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Go to KSWT-TV's Facebook page

Affiliates

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Miley Cyrus' date turns self in, posts bail

    Miley Cyrus' date turns self in, posts bail

    Friday, August 29 2014 1:41 AM EDT2014-08-29 05:41:26 GMT
    The young homeless man who accompanied Miley Cyrus to the MTV Video Music Awards and who had been sought on an Oregon arrest warrant has turned himself in and posted bail.More >>
    The young homeless man who accompanied Miley Cyrus to the MTV Video Music Awards and who had been sought on an Oregon arrest warrant has turned himself in and posted bail, an Oregon official said Thursday night.More >>
  • Police seeking help to catch robbery suspect

    Police seeking help to catch robbery suspect

    On Monday morning just after 1:30 am; a man was caught on camera walking into a convenient store wearing a ski mask and a hooded sweater and brandishing a handgun. The suspect them confronted a female clerk pointed a gun at her and demanded money. The clerk did as she was instructed and the gunman left the store and fled on foot. Police are considering this suspect to be armed and dangerous and are seeking the publics help in apprehending him before he hurts someone. If you have information l...More >>
    On Monday morning just after 1:30 am; a man was caught on camera walking into a convenient store wearing a ski mask and a hooded sweater and brandishing a handgun. The suspect them confronted a female clerk pointed a gun at her and demanded money. The clerk did as she was instructed and the gunman left the store and fled on foot. Police are considering this suspect to be armed and dangerous and are seeking the publics help in apprehending him before he hurts someone. If you have information l...More >>
  • Diva by Rachel Pappo announces a Labor Day Weekend Sale on Fashion Swimwear: Get two fashion swimsuits for the price of one

    Diva by Rachel Pappo announces a Labor Day Weekend Sale on Fashion Swimwear: Get two fashion swimsuits for the price of one

    Fresh off the launch and success of its new and improved website, Diva by Rachel Pappo will be offering an exclusive discount during the upcoming holiday weekend Tel Aviv, Israel / ACCESSWIRE / August 28, 2014...More >>
    Fresh off the launch and success of its new and improved website, Diva by Rachel Pappo will be offering an exclusive discount during the upcoming holiday weekend Tel Aviv, Israel / ACCESSWIRE / August 28, 2014...More >>
  • Woman seriously injured in fall at Scottsdale mall

    Woman seriously injured in fall at Scottsdale mall

    Authorities say a woman is in serious condition after a third-floor fall at an upscale Scottsdale shopping mall.More >>
    Authorities say a woman is in serious condition after a third-floor fall at an upscale Scottsdale shopping mall.More >>
  • Miley Cyrus' date turns self in, posts bail

    Miley Cyrus' date turns self in, posts bail

    The young homeless man who accompanied Miley Cyrus to the MTV Video Music Awards and who had been sought on an Oregon arrest warrant has turned himself in and posted bail.More >>
    The young homeless man who accompanied Miley Cyrus to the MTV Video Music Awards and who had been sought on an Oregon arrest warrant has turned himself in and posted bail.More >>
  • Former Yuma band teacher sentenced to 15 years in prison

    Former Yuma band teacher sentenced to 15 years in prison

    Teacher who had sex with student will get to see her kids while in prison.More >>
  • Crime Watch

    Police investigating dead body found in parked car

    Police investigating dead body found in parked car

    YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) - Yuma police say a dead woman was found in a car parked at Food City on 8th Street on Tuesday night, at around 6:20 p.m. Police are investigating her cause of death andMore >>
    Yuma police are investigating the death of a woman who was found in a parked car Tuesday night.More >>
  • Possible drowning

    Possible drowning

    On Sunday the Blythe Police Department received a call regarding a missing 10 year old boy in the vicinity of the Colorado river and the Interstate 10 bridge. The call came out shortly after two in the afternoon when his parents lost sight of him as he swam in the river. The Blythe Boat Patrol searched the river and even called inn CHP and Care Flight Helicopters for aerial support. The search went on until night fall and it was the called off. The child was not found; and is believed that he...More >>
    On Sunday the Blythe Police Department received a call regarding a missing 10 year old boy in the vicinity of the Colorado river and the Interstate 10 bridge. The call came out shortly after two in the afternoon when his parents lost sight of him as he swam in the river. The Blythe Boat Patrol searched the river and even called inn CHP and Care Flight Helicopters for aerial support. The search went on until night fall and it was the called off. The child was not found; and is believed that he...More >>