Officials: Bomb Suspects’ Mother Was On Watch List [VIDEO]
The mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects had been added to a federal terrorism database about 18 months before the attack, government officials said Thursday.
Two government officials said the CIA had Zubeidat Tsarnaeva's name added along with that of her son Tamerlan Tsarnaev after Russia contacted the agency in 2011 with concerns that the two were religious militants about to travel to Russia. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case.
Being in the classified TIDE database does not automatically mean a person is suspected by the U.S. of terrorist activity and does not automatically subject someone to surveillance, security screening or travel restrictions.
Checking Out A Landfill
Tsarnaev is charged with joining with his older brother, now dead, in setting off the shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs that killed three people and wounded more than 260 at the marathon finish line April 15.
The brothers are ethnic Chechens from Russia who came to the U.S. about a decade ago with their parents. Investigators have said it appears that the brothers were angry about the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and had been radicalized via Islamic jihadi material on the Internet instead of any direct contact with terrorist organizations, but they warned it is still not certain.
A team of investigators from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has questioned both parents in Makhachkala, Russia, this week, spending many hours with the mother in particular over two days. The suspects' father, Anzor Tsarnaev, said the questions were mostly about their sons' activities and interests.
The father said on Thursday that he is leaving Russia soon for the United States to visit one son and lay the other to rest. The suspects' mother, who was charged with shoplifting in the U.S. last summer, said she has been assured by lawyers that she would not be arrested, but said she was still deciding whether to go.
At a news conference in Russia, Tsarnaeva bitterly said she now regrets moving her family to the U.S. and believes they would have been better off in a village in her native Dagestan.
"You know, my kids would be with us, and we would be, like, fine," she said. "So, yes, I would prefer not to live in America now! Why did I even go there? Why? I thought America is going to, like, protect us, our kids, it's going to be safe."
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