FBI Says the FBI Wasn’t Surveilling the Tsarnaevs
After years of questions about certain oddities in the Federal government’s treatment of Anwar al-Awlaki, Robert Mueller said this in one of his last public comments as Directof the FBI.
“I am not personally familiar with any effort to recruit Anwar al-Awlaki as an asset — that does not mean to say there was not an effort at some level of the Bureau (FBI) or another agency to do so,” Mueller said.
Which is why I find the specific wording of this statement, issued in response to questions Chuck Grassley is raising, to be so interesting.
Previously, members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force have responded to similar questions relating to whether or not the FBI, Boston Police, Massachusetts State Police or other members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force knew the identities of the bombers before the shootout. Members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force did not know their identities until shortly after Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s death when they fingerprinted his corpse. Nor did the Joint Terrorism Task Force have the Tsarnaevs under surveillance at any time after the Assessment of Tamerlan Tsarnaev was closed in 2011. The Joint Terrorism Task Force was at M.I.T., located in Cambridge, MA, on April 18, 2013, on a matter unrelated to the Tsarnaev brothers. Additionally, the Tsarnaev brothers were never sources for the FBI nor did the FBI attempt to recruit them as sources.
There has been recent reporting relating to whether or not the FBI, Boston Police, Massachusetts State Police or other members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force knew the identities of the bombers before the shootout with the alleged marathon bombing suspects, and were conducting physical surveillance of them on April 18, 2013. These claims have been repeatedly refuted by the FBI, Boston Police, and Massachusetts State Police.
To be absolutely clear: No one was surveilling the Tsarnaevs and they were not identified until after the shootout. Any claims to the contrary are false. [my emphasis]
I mean, sure, “No one” ought to include “not any agency or private entity, including those not listed here,” but maybe it doesn’t.
So, who were they watching? And are they still, or did they lose track of that person or persons?
The tricky word is ‘surveilling.’ No One was surveilling Tam Tsarnaev but Some One was running him as agent or informer, under duress, in the months before the Boston Marathon bombing. Their slipshod tradecraft is going to blow holes in the rigged prosecution of his brother. Next time spend the money for a proper safe house for your patsy.
I just finished reading the latest court documents where the US opposes the removal of the SAMS and discovery. There is something really wrong with the system when untested evidence (such as the alleged note on the boat) can be used as a reason to deny a defendant their rights. How do the defense lawyers cope with the attitudes of these prosecutors? They are denying them access to the very information they need to defend their client.
How can Tsarnaev and his attorneys know what they do not know as per the prosecutions argument against the discovery requests? These motions are a tool for propaganda saying Tsarnaev is going to inspire his supporters to commit jihad. He pled not guilty – the governments evidence has not yet been tested.
Using the support he is getting from people internationally as a reason to deny the requests for removing SAMs is just plain nasty. I feel sorry for the judge who has to deal with all this.
@Paul Reviere: What do you mean by “rigged”