(WASHINGTON) — Following a members-only classified briefing Tuesday evening, lawmakers continued to question whether the intelligence community overlooked any information that could have potentially prevented last week’s terror attack at the Boston Marathon.
Rep. Mike McCaul, the chairman of the House committee on Homeland Security, said that the FBI continues exploring the lives of the Tsarnaev brothers, but that the investigation is still in its early stages.
“The FBI has a lot of work to do,” McCaul, R-Texas, told reporters following the briefing. “They’ve admitted as such, and that this investigation now after the fact has really just begun.”
Members of the House of Representatives received an update from FBI Director Robert Mueller, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and National Counter Terrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen, but afterwards most lawmakers refused to discuss any information from the classified briefing.
Earlier this week, McCaul and Rep. Pete King, the former chairman of the committee, teamed up on a joint letter to the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Secretary Napolitano and Director Mueller questioning whether the attack signals an intelligence failure, considering it’s the fifth time in recent years that someone involved in an investigation has participated in a terrorist attack.
“There’s concern about knowledge about the individual’s trip to Russia and was that information shared between the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security,” McCaul said Tuesday.
“Not all the questions have been answered and I’ll just leave it at that,” King, R-N.Y., said. “I would still say the main question is the FBI’s investigation going back to 2011 and why it was not followed up since then. You know, there were answers given, but again — I think we have to look into it more.”
King added that Tuesday’s briefing was “thorough,” but there was “no real ground broken” on the investigation, particularly in regards to an answer whether either brother had help from a foreign terrorist organization.
On Wednesday afternoon, officials from the FBI are expected to privately brief members of the House Intelligence committee while another briefing is planned at the Homeland Security committee on Thursday.
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