News / USA

US Senator Blames National Security Breakdown for Boston Bombings

Sen. Lindsey Graham (2013 photo)Sen. Lindsey Graham (2013 photo)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (2013 photo)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (2013 photo)
Cindy Saine
Veteran Republican Senator Lindsey Graham says for him, the Boston Marathon bombings are a case study in the failure of the U.S. national security system, nearly 12 years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.  He spoke to reporters Thursday after U.S. intelligence officials briefed members of the U.S. Senate on the latest information on the Boston attacks.

Senator Graham has been a harsh critic of the Obama administration's handling of last year's September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.  

Now, he is also sharply criticizing Democratic President Barack Obama for presiding over what he believes is another failure by U.S. national security agencies to prevent last week's Boston marathon bombings.  Senator Graham said he still has questions about how Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, were able to carry out the bombings that left three people dead and 264 others injured when Tamerlan was on U.S. counterterrorism watchlists.

“The suspected radical Islamist, the person we got warning lessons about, is openly on the Internet for months talking about killing Americans and engaging in radical Jihad against the United States and we were unable to connect the dots and pick that up.  The rest is history.  Between [the attack on the U.S. consulate in] Benghazi and Boston, our systems are failing and we are going backwards,” Graham said.

Graham praised President Obama for the killing of al-Qaida terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, but said the president needs to realize that the United States is still at war with what he called radical Islam.

Other U.S. lawmakers have praised the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other U.S. security officials for their success in finding the Tsarnaev brothers suspected of the Boston attacks so quickly.  

The Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, defended the FBI.

“The FBI is total hands on this thing now, and they are committed to follow this through, bring everyone to justice, understand all of the elements of it, but they have to be given an opportunity,” Feinstein said.

Several U.S. lawmakers have said it is too early to begin hearings into the bombings, because the FBI investigation is ongoing, and authorities are still attempting to question Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is in custody in a Boston hospital.  But two House of Representatives Foreign Affairs subcommittees are holding the first hearing on the bombings Friday, on "Islamist Extremism in Chechnya."

You May Like

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs