Sen. John McCain, along with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) officially requested Wednesday a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing concerning the bombings of the Boston Marathon.
The request, sent to Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), who is head of the committee, is given in full below. It has not been altered in any way.
Dear Chairman Carper,
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon terrorist attack, and in light of reports today that the Russian government contacted U.S. authorities twice in 2011 expressing concerns about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, it has become increasingly apparent that more questions need to be answered regarding the failure to prevent this tragedy, which took the lives of three Americans, including an eight-year-old boy, and injured close to 200 innocent people. Therefore, we are requesting that the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hold a hearing as soon as possible to investigate whether our intelligence officials had information that could have prevented these attacks.
One of the key findings of the 9/11 Commission was the importance of breaking down the stovepipes in our intelligence community and improving information-sharing efforts. Since 9/11, billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on information-sharing, and Congress has passed sweeping legislation to reorganize our intelligence community to ensure that dots are connected and our intelligence agencies are talking. Unfortunately, it does not appear that the money spent or the information sharing environment put into place after 9/11 were useful in apprehending the Tsarnaev brothers, specifically Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
In a string of apparent intelligence-sharing lapses, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was able to slip through the cracks and carry out this devastating attack. Recent reports have indicated that he first appeared on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI's) radar screen as a person-of-interest almost two years ago due to information provided by the Russian government regarding his violent Islamist ideology. Without the knowledge of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or the FBI, in 2012 Tsarnaev traveled to a region of Russia where violent Islamists groups have been known to operate. According to Secretary Janet Napolitano, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) knew about this trip and failed to inform the FBI or other intelligence officials. Furthermore, DHS was unaware of Tsarnaev's return to the United States because the FBI was no longer investigating him. If these reported details are found to be true, they demand immediate attention by Congress.
The Boston bombings further remind us that our country continues to be a battlefield in a war against individuals who want to destroy our way of life. Intelligence is one of our first and most effective lines of defense against a terrorist attack. We request this hearing to clear up possible concerns the American people may have surrounding our intelligence capabilities and to eliminate gaps that may exist in sharing intelligence information to prevent future attacks against the United States and our interests.
Thank you for the consideration of our request.
- Boston PD: 3 more in custody in bombing case
- U of A alum, husband injured in bombings
- Suspect influenced by strange radical
- Mosque: Suspect had 2 recent ourbursts
- Aunt: Suspects struggled with Islam
- Officials: Suspects motived by religion
- Chinese victim of blasts remembered
- Bomb suspect's wife was talented artist
- Supporters: Don't link immig. bill to Boston
- Senator: Bombing suspect shot in throat
- Official: Bombers likely sought more attacks
- Services held to honor victims, responders
- Mass. gov: No idea on bomb suspects' motive
- Boston mayor: Bombing suspects acted alone
- Police commissioner: No interview yet
- Prosecutors working to build Marathon case
- Doctor: Dead suspect's wounds 'head to toe'
- Public defenders will represent bomb suspect
- Official: Enough evidence to convict suspect
- Gov: Bombing suspect seriously hurt, stable
- FBI interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011
- Bombing suspect alive and in custody
- 3 questioned for MA bombing involvement
- Obama: Capture closes chapter in tragedy
- Police: Bombing suspect may not have car
- Suspect's father: son 'true angel'
- Statement: Dad of suspects says sons framed
- Police: Bomb suspects spent night in Honda
- MIT police officer killed in campus shooting
- Authorities ID wounded transit officer
- FBI releases photos, video of bomb suspects
- Bomb suspect studied accounting
- Report: 15 officers injured in suspect search
- Marathon crime scene photos released
- Classmates claim suspect seen this week
- Report: Suspect should have been deported
- Classmates stunned over accusations
- Report: Leader blames bombing on U.S.
- PD: Security upped ahead of Pat's Run
- Latino bashers, I introduce you to Arredondo
- 3 dead, over 170 injured in marathon blasts
- Chuck's List: They were all first responders
- Marathon bomb victim loses both legs
- Healthy You: Dealing with kids and tragedies
- Hunter: Why I'm proud to be Bostonian
- Runner snaps photo of suspect at scene
- VIDEO: Boston blast caught on camera
- VIDEO: Runner's view of marathon blasts
- VIDEO: Scene of Boston Marathon blasts
- Hunter: Did the world change on April 15?
- Statement from father of young victim
- Hunter: Interview with the guy in cowboy hat
- PHOTOS: Explosions at Boston Marathon