Boston bombing suspects' mom in terror database - WFLA News Channel 8

Boston bombing suspects' mom in terror database

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON DC (WFLA) -

U.S. intelligence agencies added the mother of the Boston bombing suspects to a government terrorism database 18 months before the bombings, two officials told The Associated Press. She called it "lies and hypocrisy" and said she has never been linked to crimes or terrorism.

The CIA asked for the Boston terror suspect and his mother to be added to a terrorist database in the fall of 2011, after the Russian government contacted the agency with concerns that both had become religious militants, according to officials briefed on the investigation. About six months earlier, the FBI investigated Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, also at Russia's request, one of the officials said. The FBI found no ties to terrorism.     

The revelation that the FBI had also investigated Zubeidat Tsarnaeva and the CIA arranged for her to be added to the terrorism database deepened the mystery around the family. The Tsarnaevs are ethnic Chechens from southern Russia who immigrated to the Boston area in the past 11 years. Tsarnaeva, a naturalized U.S. citizen who has appeared on television interviews since the attacks and reversed her decision to return to the U.S. after the bombings, has said her sons could never have been behind the deadly attacks and believes they were framed.      

The officials spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly about the ongoing case.   

Tsarnaev, who died in a gun battle with police last week, and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, are accused of carrying out the bombings. Officials said that before he was advised of his constitutional rights to remain silent or consult a lawyer, Dzhokhar admitted to FBI interrogators that the brothers committed the bombings and that he was recruited by his brother to participate only a week or two before the attacks.  

Previously U.S. officials have said only that the FBI investigated Tamerlan. But in March 2011, the Russians asked the FBI to look into Tsarnaev and his mother because of concerns they were religious militants who planned to travel back to Russia, the official said.    

The FBI found nothing to link either person to terrorism, and the FBI closed the investigations in June 2011. Then, the Russians in the fall sent the same warning to the CIA. The CIA asked the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center to add the mother's and son's names to its huge, classified database of people known to be terrorists and those who are suspected of having terror ties, called the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE. 

Being in that database does not mean the U.S. government has evidence that links someone to terrorism. About a year ago, there were some 745,000 names in the database. Intelligence analysts add names and partial names to TIDE when terror-related intelligence is shared with them.    

Tsarnaeva said it would not surprise her if she was listed in a U.S. terror database.

"It's all lies and hypocrisy," she told the AP from Dagestan. "I'm sick and tired of all this nonsense that they make up about me and my children. People know me as a regular person, and I've never been mixed up in any criminal intentions, especially any linked to terrorism."  

A search of U.S. criminal records showed only that Tsarnaeva was arrested in June 2012 in Natick, Mass., on a shoplifting charge over the theft of $1,624 worth of women's clothing from a Lord & Taylor department store. She was arrested and charged with larceny over $250 and two counts of malicious or wanton property damage. Tamerlan had traveled to Russia in January 2012 and returned in July. 

Tsarnaeva accused U.S. law enforcement of killing her elder son.    

"They are already talking about that we are terrorists, I am terrorist, they've told that I was doing something terroristic," Tsarnaeva said.      

Some lawmakers in Washington have questioned whether the FBI adequately investigated Tsarnaev and his mother in 2011. Over the course of that year, the FBI reached out to Russia three times for more information, U.S. officials said. The first time was in March 2011, when they received the initial tip from the Russians. The second was in June 2011 when they were preparing to close the investigation. The third time was in the fall of 2011 after the CIA received the same tip from the Russians.

One of the officials said the FBI never found the type of derogatory information on Tsarnaev and his mother that would have elevated their profiles among counterterrorism investigators or would have formally placed them on a terror watch list.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Outpouring of support for New Port Richey soldier dealing with squatters

    Outpouring of support for New Port Richey soldier dealing with squatters

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:52 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:52:26 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community. Many News Channel 8 viewers and Facebook followers are angry about what happened to the soldier.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community. Many News Channel 8 viewers and Facebook followers are angry about what happened to the soldier.
  • Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:35 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:35:13 GMT
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:58 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:58:50 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Tampa Theater named one of the world's most spectacular theaters

    Tampa Theater named one of the world's most spectacular theaters

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:54 PM EDT2014-04-24 00:54:24 GMT
    April 23 is, according to some reports, William Shakespeare's birthday. In a nod to the Bard's enduring legacy 450 years on from his birth, as well as the UK's theatrical history, here are a few stages worth seeing, whether a play's being performed or not.
    April 23 is, according to some reports, William Shakespeare's birthday. In a nod to the Bard's enduring legacy 450 years on from his birth, as well as the UK's theatrical history, here are a few stages worth seeing, whether a play's being performed or not.
  • Material on Australian shore not from Malaysia jet

    Material on Australian shore not from Malaysia jet

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:34 PM EDT2014-04-24 00:34:24 GMT
    Australia's prime minister said Wednesday that failure to find any clue in the most likely crash site of the lost Malaysia Airlines jet would not spell the end of the search, as officials planned soon to bring...
    Australian officials said Thursday that after examining detailed photographs of unidentified material that washed ashore in the southwestern part of the country they are satisfied it is not a clue in the search for the...
  • Twins joined at birth travel to meet Clearwater's famous dolphin

    Twins joined at birth travel to meet Clearwater's famous dolphin

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:09 PM EDT2014-04-24 00:09:31 GMT
    The star of Dolphin Tale met two of her biggest fans Wednesday. Hassan and Hussein traveled all the way from Ireland to meet Winter at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
    The star of Dolphin Tale met two of her biggest fans Wednesday. Hassan and Hussein traveled all the way from Ireland to meet Winter at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Woman claims pedicure crossed the line

    Woman claims pedicure crossed the line

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:45 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:45:39 GMT
    A Shreveport woman said a nail tech from Style Nails in Shreveport crossed the line during a pedicure, and that she has cell phone video to prove it.
    A Shreveport woman said a nail tech from Style Nails in Shreveport crossed the line during a pedicure, and that she has cell phone video to prove it.
  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • Search halted for missing Gaboon Viper

    Search halted for missing Gaboon Viper

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:08:20 GMT
    The missing viper could still be out there, but the search has been halted for safety concerns.
    The missing viper could still be out there, but the search has been halted for safety concerns.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.