Days after the Boston Marathon bombing we learned that Russia had warned both the FBI and CIA that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the elder of the two bombers was radical and trouble. Now, according to the UK Daily Mail we learn that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sent a written warning about Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The information was sent to DHS in 2012 early enough to prevent the bombing. More astounding was part of that warning was information he intended to attack a major U.S. City.
The Saudi warning, the official told MailOnline, was separate from the multiple red flags raised by Russian intelligence in 2011, and was based on human intelligence developed independently in Yemen.
Citing security concerns, the Saudi government also denied an entry visa to the elder Tsarnaev brother in December 2011, when he hoped to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the source said. Tsarnaev’s plans to visit Saudi Arabia have not been previously disclosed.
Was it preventable? A senior Saudi official says his country warned the U.S. about Tamerlane Tsarnaev in 2012, advising the federal government that he planned an attack on a major U.S. city
According to the Official, the letter was sent to the DHS at the highest level and mentioned Tamerlan Tsarnaev by name (but not the city).
The Saudis’ warning to the U.S. government was also shared with the British government. ‘It was very specific’ and warned that ‘something was going to happen in a major U.S. city,’ the Saudi official said during an extensive interview.
According to the DHS they knew nothing about the warning:
‘DHS has no knowledge of any communication from the Saudi government regarding information on the suspects in the Boston Marathon Bombing prior to the attack,’ MailOnline learned from one Homeland Security official who declined to be named in this report.
The White House took a similar view. ‘We and other relevant U.S. government agencies have no record of such a letter being received,’ said Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the president’s National Security Council.
Perhaps they were too busy purchasing bullets (the DHS has been accused of buying so many bullets there is now a shortage in gun stores).
An aide to a Republican member of the House Homeland Security Committee speculated Tuesday about why the Obama administration contradicted the knowledgeable Saudi official.
‘It is possible the Department of Homeland Security received the information from the Saudi government but never passed it on to the White House,’ the GOP staffer said. ‘Communication between DHS and the White House’s national security apparatus isn’t always what it should be.’
‘I can easily see it happening where one hand didn’t know what the other was doing because of a turf war.’
‘Just like the different agencies in the Boston JTTF [Joint Terrorism Task Force] want credit for breaking the Tsarnaev case,’ the aide added, ‘they sometimes jealously guard the very intel they should be sharing the most freely. Sometimes it makes no sense at all.’
If there is some sort of turf war preventing federal agencies from protecting this country then we are back to the Pre 9-11 days. Homeland security was formed to make sure turf wars like this don’t happen.
What –do they need a written invitation? Heck, they GOT ONE. The Saudis told DHS that the guy wanted to attack a major city and they did it in writing.
Turf war or not this story needs to be investigated further and if it turns out to be totally true, then congress should find out WHY and what needs to changed so a message like this is never ignored again.