Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Suspects' mother added to terror list

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. intelligence agencies added the mother of the Boston bombing suspects to a government terrorism database 18 months before the bombings, two officials told The Associated Press. She called it "lies and hypocrisy" and said she has never been linked to crimes or terrorism.

The CIA asked for the older suspect, now dead, and his mother to be added to a terrorist database in the fall of 2011, after the Russian government contacted the agency with concerns that both had become religious militants, according to officials briefed on the investigation. About six months earlier, the FBI investigated Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, also at Russia's request, one of the officials said. The FBI found no ties to terrorism.

The younger suspect, 19-year-old Dzhohkar Tsarnaev, was moved overnight from a hospital to a federal prison medical centre to continue his recovery from a gunshot wound to the throat and other injuries suffered during a getaway attempt. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died in a shootout with police.

Also, FBI agents picked through a landfill near the campus of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where Dzhohkar Tsarnaev was a student. FBI spokesman Jim Martin would not say what investigators were looking for.

The revelation that the FBI had also investigated Zubeidat Tsarnaeva and the CIA arranged for her to be added to the terrorism database deepened the mystery around the family.

The Tsarnaevs are ethnic Chechens from southern Russia who immigrated to the Boston area in the past 11 years. Tsarnaeva, a naturalized U.S. citizen who has appeared on television interviews since the attacks and reversed her decision to return to the U.S. after the bombings, has said her sons could never have been behind the deadly attacks and believes they were framed.

Dzhohkar Tsarnaev is charged with joining with his older brother in setting off the shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs. He could face the death penalty.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 27, 2013 A28

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