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U.S. officials are investigating whether the Boston Marathon bombing suspects acted alone, a scenario some in Congress say is highly unlikely.
"It stretches the imagination to think that these two kids went online, watched a couple videos, and then put together some very sophisticated bombs," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, member of the House Homeland Security Committee.
"That leads us to believe that there were others involved, that somehow these two kids went awry, and they got trained, they got information, they were radicalized, and that's what the officials are diving deep into now," said Chaffetz.
Chaffetz argued that the Boston terrorist attacks are an example of why the U.S. needs a better immigration system, even though the gaps in this case appear to be more strongly rooted in intelligence issues.
"I think it really has to go back to Homeland Security," says Chaffetz. One of the things that needs to be closely examined, he said, is asylum.
From the moment one neighbor met Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston bombing suspect was ranting about the Koran and American foreign policy.
"He said that the bible was a cheap copy of the Koran. He said that the American government used it as an excuse to invade different countries. He mentioned that the American government was still a colonial power, wanting to colonize Africa and the Middle East," said Albrecht Ammon, a neighbor who lived in the same building as the Tsarnaevs.
Ammon said Tsarnaev claimed most casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan were innocent bystanders, gunned down by American people, prompting the neighbor to ask about suicide bombers that kill innocent people.
"He said that not all Muslims are like that. And Islam is all about peace and love," said Ammon.
The strategies of the Central Intelligence Agency are often shrouded in secrecy, but the New York Times revealed one tactic today, reporting the CIA delivered bags of cash to President Hamid Karzai's office for over a decade in an attempt to buy influence in Afghanistan.
Karzai confirmed receiving the money this morning.
“Yes, the Office of the National Security Advisor has been receiving support from the United States government for the past ten years, monthly, in a not big amount though, small amount, which has been used for various purposes,” Karzai said.
The CIA’s bribery tactics in Afghanistan are well-known. Karzai told CNN’s Barbara Starr in 2010 that Afghanistan was receiving money from both the United States and Iran.
A former federal official who led information sharing efforts between intelligence agencies after September 11 says that system failed ahead of the Boston Marathon terrorist attacks earlier this month.
"We didn’t connect the dots that we had. Few though they might have been, they were serious enough that they should have been connected,” Ambassador Thomas McNamara said Monday on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”
"The state and local police were not informed about what the FBI, the CIA, immigration and customs knew about this case. In other words, they didn’t have any dots and therefore they weren’t able to participate in this,” added McNamara.
McNamara was project manager of the federal intelligence community’s information sharing environment, created by a reform law passed in 2004 and intended to prevent “stovepiping,” where information is shuttled vertically within one agency, but is not shared.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said that was the case ahead of the Boston attacks.
“It's a failure to share information and missing obvious warning signs,” he said on CBS. “We're going back to the pre-9/11 stovepiping.”
Many of us have seen the surveillance footage and stills of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers. Now, some companies in the monitoring industry see an opportunity for some free publicity.
Wired contributing editor Noah Shachtman, who runs the national security blog "Danger Room," compiled some of the most notable PR pitches, like this statement from Ubiquity Broadcasting Corporation's CEO Chris Carmichael announcing the company's new video intelligence software: "The Boston marathon bombing has proven the need for real time video and data analysis from all types of cameras."
Fair game for the companies, or exploiting a tragedy?
"These companies are just trying to take advantage of a marketing opportunity, it's just a question of how sleazy or not you believe those marketing opportunities to be," said Shachtman.