Congressman Adam Schiff defended the FBI’s handling of the Tsarvaev case on Jansing & Co. Thursday.
“We get probably ten to twenty thousand leads like we got from the Russian government, now they’re followed up on and I think it’s encouraging that in this case that lead wasn’t dropped the FBI went out and interviewed him, did a background check,” Schiff said, “There are people who are frankly of much greater suspicion than these brothers were at the time. That is, we have much greater reason to be concerned about others, many hundreds and maybe thousands of others, and the reality is we just don’t have the resources to surveil everyone that we get threat information on. We just don’t have that capacity.”
Rep. Schiff said that all threats need to be prioritized. The comments come as new questions are raised about what the intelligence community knew about Boston terror suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who spent six months in Russia last year.
The Washington Post reports Russian authorities contacted the CIA in late 2011 that Tamerlan was seen as an “increasingly radical Islamist.”
Tamerlan was killed in a firefight with police last week. His brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar, remains in a Boston hospital.
“Here, the intelligence agencies did prioritize,” Schiff said. “[Tamerlan] wasn’t someone that they investigated and found reason to suspect that they had become radicalized. Had that been the case, they would have been elevated to a next stage. They would have been put on a no fly list. But they didn’t have that information so it’s hard to say they made some error in judgment.”