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Keating calls for answers from FBI on Marathon bombings

US Representative William Keating has sent a letter to James Comey, the new director of the FBI, requesting information to determine whether there were security shortcomings before the Boston Marathon bombings that could be fixed to prevent future attacks.

US Rep. William Keating (Debee Tlumacki for The Boston Globe)

“It has been three and a half months since the terror attack in Boston, and the FBI has yet to answer the pressing questions that would help law enforcement and legislators better prepare against threats in the future,” Keating said in a statement.

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“I’m not looking to place blame. What I am looking to do is identify our security shortcomings and change them. Without forthright information from the FBI, we are prevented from taking the critical steps needed to protect the American public. It is my hope that Director Comey makes this a priority because I intend to keep demanding answers until I receive them,” he said.

A member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Keating posed a number of questions in the letter generally aimed at shedding more light on the FBI’s actions after the Russian security service warned American authorities about bomb suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s increasing radicalism dating to 2011.

Keating said in the letter that he hoped the FBI would “agree to assist in closing loopholes that may hinder the future identification or capture of dangerous individuals before lives are lost.”

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Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed when he was shot by police and run over by his own brother, Dzhokhar, several days after the April 15 bombings in a showdown with police in Watertown. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is facing federal charges that could bring him the death penalty in the bombings. The brothers are also accused of killing an MIT police officer in their bid to escape the area.

Earlier this month, members of the House Homeland Security Committee accused the FBI of stalling an inquiry into the Marathon bombings. The publicly aired frustrations came after the FBI was unwilling to detail how it handled a security review of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, rebuffing an invitation to appear before the committee,the Globe reported.

Some critics have suggested the FBI may have missed a chance to prevent the bombings.

But Robert S. Mueller III, the outgoing FBI director, testified before the House Judiciary Committee in June that he didn’t think the bombings could have been prevented, even if procedures had been fixed, the Globe reported.

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