Boston suspects ‘planned to set off bombs in New York's Times Square’

 

New York

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston marathon bombings suspect who was killed in a police shootout, was added to a huge database of known and suspected terrorists 18 months before the attack, it has been revealed.

The news, which could pose tough questions for America’s security agencies, came as law enforcement sources said that the two suspects in the attack planned to set off explosives in New York’s Times Square.

According to Reuters, national security sources claim the Tsarnaev brothers’ plan fell apart when they became embroiled in the police shootout.

Tamerlan, whose brother Dzhokhar, 19, has been charged for his role in the bombings, was added to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (Tide), a database of more than half a million names managed by the National Counterterrorism Centre, in late 2011.

His inclusion came at the request of the Central Intelligence Agency, according to US media reports. The CIA is said to have become involved following a request for information from Russia, which had made a similar request to the FBI earlier in 2011.

The FBI followed up the request by looking into Tamerlan’s background, and interviewing him and his family, but did not find any evidence of terrorist activity. It passed on this information to Russia, and also asked for further details about the 26-year-old suspect. However, the agency did not hear back.

Now it has emerged that Russia later contacted the CIA with an identical request, expressing concerns about Tamerlan’s radical beliefs. The CIA followed up with its own investigation and reached the same conclusion as the FBI. But as a precaution, it is said to have passed on Tamerlan’s details – two possible dates of births, an English translation of his name from Cyrillic, and a possible variant spelling of it for inclusion in Tide around mid-October 2011, according to a report in The New York Times.

The database is the central bank of information from which US government watch lists are derived, including the “no fly” list used by air authorities.

Because of its size, officials do not as a matter of course monitor everyone on the database, according to officials who spoke to Reuters. One source said Tamerlan wasn’t added to the “no fly” list or the “selectee list”, which mandates additional checks at airports. He was, however, said to be on a smaller, declassified version of Tide.

When Tamerlan travelled to Russia in early 2012, his departure was flagged up, but there was no such alert when he returned six months later. It is unclear, however, whether he was still on the Tide list at the time.

The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, said the attacks showed that the US and Russia must co-operate more when it comes to security issues. The details emerged as the brothers’ parents – Anzor Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva – once again denied their sons’ involvement in the attacks.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing & Sales Manager

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee