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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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April 24th, 2013
05:39 PM ET

Sources: Boston suspect was in U.S. databases

There was so much talk about stopping miscommunication among U.S. agencies after 9/11. Now, law enforcement and national security sources tell CNN that Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was on two different terror databases. Those sources say he was not on a no-fly list, but there was a flag in one of those databases to ping authorities if he tried to leave the country.

Apparently, the system did ping when he went to Russia last year. But the flag in the system expired while he was over there, and there was no ping upon his return.

The issue now, says CNN security analyst and former DHS official Julette Kayyem, is that there is so much information coming in through so many different agencies.

There are probably about a dozen databases, says Kayyem, and only one of them is very serious, the Terrorist Watchlist.

"All of these different databases have different standards," said Kayyem. "One of the fixes ... after this and all the evidence comes in, would be is there a way to make sure the information on them is based on the same standards."

"If 9/11 was a dearth of information, this may be one of those instances where there's so much information," that the standards were different for each database, said Kayyem.

Even if the FBI had been notified of Tsarnaev's 2012 trip to Russia, a lingering question in the investigation at the moment, it is unclear if it would have been enough to trigger an investigation, said Kayyem.

"You're going to see a lot of questions about notification versus investigation. This sounds very technical, no one wants it to be technical, and that's why some of the fixes probably will occur," said Kayyem.

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