Russia failed to give FBI info about Boston bomber, report says

An inspector general's report to be released Thursday details Russia's failure to give the FBI crucial information about one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect prior to last year's bombing, the The New York Times reports.

The FBI first learned about Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011, two years before the bombing, but the Russians never revealed at the time that Tsarnaev talked about jihad with his family.

CBS News justice and national security correspondent Bob Orr reported last year that Russian authorities secretly recorded a telephone conversation in 2011 in which Tsarnaev had a conversation with his mother of a radical nature and hadn't relayed that information to the U.S. government until after the April 2013 bombing.

In another conversation, Tsarnaev's mother was recorded talking to someone in southern Russia who is under FBI investigation in an unrelated case, officials told The Associated Press last year.

The conversations, confirmed in the inspector general's report, are significant because, had they been revealed earlier, they might have been enough evidence for the FBI to initiate a more thorough investigation of the Tsarnaev family.

As it was, Russian authorities told the FBI only that they had concerns that Tamerlan and his mother were religious extremists. With no additional information, the FBI conducted a limited inquiry and closed the case in June 2011.

The additional information, CBS News national security analyst Juan Zarate explained Thursday, would have added to the FBI's picture of the brothers. "That certainly would have added texture to the suspicion and concerns that the FBI would have had," he said.

Asked if the additional information could have changed things, Zarate said, "The FBI did talk to the elder brother. They did investigate him. They certainly did their due diligence in terms of the information they had.

"Whether or not this would have allowed them further evidence to allow for deeper surveillance, for example, wiretap or to allow them to investigate for a longer period of time, which would have given them insights into his travel or into his plotting, that's uncertain. But I think this certainly would have added texture to what the FBI knew, and certainly, you've heard the FBI worried about the fact that they did not get this information from the Russians."

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