News / USA

Official: Federal Agencies Didn't Share Information Before Boston Bombings

Official: Federal Agencies Didn't Share Information Before Boston Bombingsi
X
May 10, 2013 1:11 AM
The House of Representatives' Homeland Security Committee held a hearing to examine whether the Boston Marathon bombings, which left three people dead and more than 260 injured, could have been prevented and to look at ways to prevent future attacks. Some Republican lawmakers criticized the Obama administration for not stating clearly that the attacks were inspired by Islamic extremists. VOA's Cindy Saine reports from Capitol Hill.

Official: Federal Agencies Didn't Share Information Before Boston Bombings

Cindy Saine
The House of Representatives' Homeland Security Committee held a hearing to examine whether the Boston Marathon bombings, which left three people dead and more than 260 injured, could have been prevented and to look at ways to prevent future attacks. Some Republican lawmakers criticized the Obama administration for not stating clearly that the attacks were inspired by Islamic extremists.

The bombings spread panic among runners and their supporters.  But first responders reacted quickly, saving many lives.

At this first Congressional hearing, Republican Representative Michael McCaul, who chairs the Homeland Security Committee, said victims and their families deserve to know how the bombings happened and how security can be improved.   

One of the suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died after a shootout with police.  His brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured and has been charged.

"While we don’t know if this attack was foreign-directed, we certainly know it was foreign-inspired. Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s trip to the Chechen region, the radical videos proclaiming the Caliphate that he posted when he returned, and the type of bombs he and his younger brother used, all signal an al Qaida-inspired terrorist attack," said McCaul.

McCaul said he fears intelligence failures allowed the bombers to succeed. And he asked Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis if Federal agencies had shared warnings from Russia about Tamerlan Tsaranev with officials in Massachusetts.

"They tell me they received no word on that individual prior to the bombing," Davis said.

Republican Congressman Peter King said the Obama administration needs to clearly state that the Boston attack was inspired by Islamic extremists.

"I have not heard one administration official, including the Attorney General and the President, use the term 'Islamist.'  As Chairman McCaul said, how are we going to know the enemy if we do not identify the enemy?," King said.

Former Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman, an advocate of tightened security, said the Tsarnaev brothers were clearly inspired by Islamic extremism.

"Osama bin Laden is dead, and the remaining leadership of al-Qaida is on the run. But the ideology of violent Islamic extremism is rapidly spreading," he said.

Some Democratic lawmakers cautioned that that the investigations are ongoing and that the Boston bombings should not be politicized.  Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas.

"This is not a place to raise a partisan divide between Congress and the administration.  This is a place to stand against this never happening again," she said.

Several lawmakers from both parties agreed that the Boston tragedy should unite Americans to prevent attacks in the future.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid