New information has come to light showing that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the 26-year-old Boston bombing suspect that was killed in shoot-out with police, as well as his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, were both put on the U.S. intelligence agency’s terrorist watch list 18 months before the Boston bombings.
According to official sources who spoke to the Associated Press, the CIA requested that Tamerlan and his mother be added to the terrorist database after warnings from the Russian government. The Russians contacted the U.S. multiple times regarding the duo, claiming they had become religious militants.
The Russians feared that the two would conduct a terrorist attack on Russian soil, as they are both ethnic Cechnens, which is a group that has been persecuted in Russia for decades. Tsarnaeva and her family immigrated to the Boston area 11 years ago or so, and have since become naturalized U.S. citizens. Tsarnaeva is currently back in Dagestan and decided not to return to the U.S. following news about the Boston bombings.
The FBI investigated both Tamerlan and his mother back in 2011 at the Russian government’s request, but was unable to find any substantial evidence linking the two to terrorist activity or terrorist organizations. That Fall, the Russians sent the U.S. another warning and the CIA asked for the names to be added to U.S. National Counterterrorism Center’s database of suspected terrorists.
The list is extensive—made up of about 745,000 names as of last year—and the FBI was unable to find any evidence before the Boston attacks to make their names stand out as imminent threats.