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The Boston Globe

Nation

FBI director admits to lapse before Marathon bombing

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III acknowledged on Thursday that a lack of formal communication within the agency may have prevented investigators from alerting Russian authorities that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had returned to Russia before the Marathon bombing, information that Russian officials say could have averted the act of terrorism.

Mueller also told the House Judiciary Committee that the government’s recently exposed surveillance techniques, which have been criticized as too sweeping, can be credited with helping spur an investigation of an associate of Tsarnaev, Ibragim Todashev, 27. Todashev was shot to death by an FBI agent in Florida last month during an interview related to his and Tsarnaev’s possible involvement in a Waltham triple homicide. Mueller declined to comment on the specific circumstances during Thursday’s hearing, citing an ongoing investigation.

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