A senior congressional aide privy to the Boston Marathon terror investigation confirmed Saturday that the FBI had been warned about alleged bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev as far back as 2011, when his apparently suspicious activities prompted Russian authorities keeping close surveillance on militant Islamic groups in the Caucasus region of the former Soviet Union to contact US counterterrorism officials about him.
The 26-year-old suspected terrorist, who was killed in a firefight with police in Watertown early Friday morning, traveled to Russia from Boston several times in recent years, according to multiple US officials who have reviewed his passport file - including an extended stay in 2012.
The alleged bomber’s uncle, Alvi Tsarnaev, said in an interview with the Globe that the nephew visited his father in the restive Russian province of Dagestan, which neighbors war-torn Chechnya.
But Alvi Tsarnaev said he did not know who else his nephew may have been involved with while he was overseas.
The apparent alarms sounded about the older of the two suspected bombers two years ago are raising new questions about whether the Marathon attack could have been prevented.
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