MOSCOW — Russian intelligence officials believe that if US authorities had acted on their detailed warnings about Tamerlan Tsarnaev wanting to join an Islamic insurgency, the Boston Marathon bombings could have been averted, US Representative William R. Keating said Thursday in Moscow after a series of meetings with senior members of the Russian Federal Security Service.
Keating said the counterintelligence officials had shown him specific information that convinced them Tsarnaev “had plans to join the insurgency back in” Dagestan, a restive region in the North Caucasus mountains on Russia’s southern rim.
“You can see with the level of these details that in fact if we had had better information sharing, there’s a very strong chance that things could have changed, and [the bombings] could have been avoided,” said Keating, who was in Moscow as part of a congressional delegation discussing counterterrorism cooperation.
Tsarnaev, who was killed in a shootout in Watertown last month, and his brother, Dzhokhar, are suspected of planting the two bombs that killed three and injured more than 260 at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15. Dzhokhar, 19, was injured in the Watertown shooting and ultimately taken into custody. The brothers are suspects in the slaying of an MIT police officer.
The FBI and CIA did not respond to repeated requests for comment Thursday.
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