FBI questioned over handling of Boston bombing suspect

  • FBI officials have been questioned in Congress over the handling of Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Tsarnaev was grilled in 2011 amid claims he had become a radical Islamist.

    In a closed hearing on Tuesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee was briefed on the matter after U.S. lawmakers accused the FBI of failing to act on Russian concerns. The FBI has defended its actions, saying in a statement on Friday that it had carried out checks on the suspect but found no evidence of terrorist activity. It added that a request to Russia for further information to validate further checks failed to receive a response.

    Tsarnaev was killed in a manhunt after the attack but his brother Dzhokhar, who was injured in the search, has been charged over the bombings. According to the Beth Israel Deaconess hospital in Massachusetts, Dzhokhar’s condition has improved from "serious" to "fair". He is not yet able to speak because of a throat wound but has responded to questions in writing.

    Dzhokhar has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death. If found guilty on either count, he faces the death penalty.

    US media reports have quoted anonymous officials stating that 19-year-old Dzhokhar and his brother had planned the attack themselves without assistance from foreign militants.

    His written answers to investigators' questions suggest the pair were motivated by jihadist ideology and that they built the bombs using the Internet.

    Both Tsarnaev brothers were born in the predominantly Muslim republic of Chechnya in southern Russia. They had been living in the U.S. for nearly ten years at the time of the attack.

    The twin bombings, which exploded near the finishing line of the Boston marathon last week, killed three people and injured more than 200.

    Know more about the MIT shooting and location of the Marathon explosions, visit Site of the Boston Marathon Explosions

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