The Director of National Intelligence (DNI), James Clapper, will conduct a broad review of intelligence gathering prior to the Boston Marathon bombings, President Barack Obama told reporters today at a news briefing. James Clapper’s office will be looking back at what information was uncovered by and disseminated among government agencies and law enforcement about the two brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, suspected in carrying out the April 15 attacks in Boston that left three dead and wounded over 200 others.
“When an event like this happens, we want to go back, and we want to review every step that was taken,” the president said. “We want to leave no stone unturned.”
The president called the review “standard procedure,” emphasizing that based on information gathered so far, government agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Department of Homeland Security followed protocol. But President Obama added that the DNI will look into whether there were “additional protocols and procedures that could be put in place that would further improve and enhance our ability to detect a potential attack.”
The president noted that Russia had at one time alerted U.S. intelligence about the older brother and his mother possibly being sympathetic to radical jihad, but the FBI concluded there was no threat. “The question then is was there something that happened that triggered radicalization and an actual decision by the brother to engage in the tragic attack we actually saw in Boston,” Obama said, “and are there additional things that could have been done in that interim that might have prevented it."