It’s getting difficult to keep up with the Boston Marathon bombing case without a scorecard. A week ago, the media reported that the FBI received one warning about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but found nothing of concern at the time in 2011. Next we discovered that Russia issued multiple warnings to the US about Tamerlan, and this morning that the Joint Terrorism Task Force got alerted to the return of a “suspected militant” on his return — a warning that went nowhere. Now CNN also reports that Tamerlan wasn’t the only Tsarnaev on Russia’s radar, and that the CIA had added his mother to their Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) database (via JWF):
Zubeidat and Tamerlan Tsarnaev had previously fallen under the suspicion of Russian authorities concerned they were following radical ideologies.
Russian authorities had raised concerns to U.S. authorities about her and her son, sources told CNN. But a U.S. official said that the Russian’s case at the time was “thin.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaev said the FBI had visited her family “several times” in 2011 with questions about her older son’s “Islamic interests.”
U.S. authorities did add Zubeidat Tsarnaev and her older son to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE, database in 2011 — a collection of more than a half million names maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center, an intelligence official said.
Er, won’t that make her return to the US a wee bit awkward? Actually, that may not be a big problem. Zubeidat had already refused to return, but her husband Anzor had agreed to come back to cooperate in the investigation. Shortly after this came to light, his trip to the US got postponed … indefinitely:
The parents of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects have left their home in Dagestan for another part of Russia, the suspects’ mother Zubeidat Tsarnaev told CNN Friday. She said the suspects’ father, Anzor Tsarnaev, is delaying his trip to the United States indefinitely. …
Their father, Anzor, was to fly to the United States as soon as Friday to cooperate in the investigation into the attacks. But his wife called an ambulance for him Thursday.
She told CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh that her husband was delaying the trip for health reasons. She wouldn’t
Anzor Tsarnaev agreed to fly to the United States after FBI agents and Russian officials spoke with them for hours this week at the family’s home.
Meanwhile, the police chief of Watertown disputed reports that Dzhokhar was unarmed when he was captured:
Finally, if you missed this earlier, be sure to catch the story of the carjacking victim. The Boston Globe has an extensive narrative of the crime that finally exposed the Tsarnaevs, which should be read in full. “Danny” was amazingly lucky, but also amazingly cool when it counted:
Suddenly, Danny’s iPhone buzzed. A text from his roommate, wondering in Chinese where he was. Barking at Danny for instructions, Tamerlan used an English-to-Chinese app to text a clunky reply. “I am sick. I am sleeping in a friend’s place tonight.” In a moment, another text, then a call. No one answered. Seconds later, the phone rang again.
“If you say a single word in Chinese, I will kill you right now,” Tamerlan said. Danny understood. His roommate’s boyfriend was on the other end, speaking Mandarin. “I’m sleeping in my friend’s home tonight,” Danny replied in English. “I have to go.”
“Good boy,” Tamerlan said. “Good job.”
The SUV headed for the lights of Soldiers Field Road, banking across River Street to the two open gas stations. Dzhokhar went to fill up using Danny’s credit card, but quickly knocked on the window. “Cash only,” he said, at least at that hour. Tamerlan peeled off $50.
Danny watched Dzhokhar head to the store, struggling to decide if this was his moment — until he stopped thinking about it, and let reflexes kick in.
“I was thinking I must do two things: unfasten my seatbelt and open the door and jump out as quick as I can. If I didn’t make it, he would kill me right out, he would kill me right away,” Danny said. “I just did it. I did it very fast, using my left hand and right hand simultaneously to open the door, unfasten my seatbelt, jump out…and go.”
Be sure to read it all. CNN interviewed Eric Moskowitz, who is standing in for “Danny,” who’d prefer to remain anonymous for as long as possible: