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May 10th, 2013
05:46 PM ET

Rep. McCaul: Bombing suspect wife radicalized with him

Congress held its first hearing on the Boston Marathon terror attack Thursday, where former senator Joe Lieberman said the people close to bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev could have stepped in.

"Members of the Tsarnaev family, including Tamerlan's wife, could have saved lives, including Tamerlan's, if they had said something or asked someone for help," Lieberman testified before the House Homeland Security Committee.

Congress still has questions for the family, especially Tsarnaev's wife Katherine Russell, said committee chair Rep. Michael Mccaul, R-Texas. Tsarnaev built the bombs used in the terror attack in the couple's small apartment. Investigators found explosives residue throughout the apartment. McCaul said the FBI is currently closely investigating Russell.

"The idea that she knew nothing about that is very difficult for me to believe," said McCaul. "And she's radicalizing along with him, I think, every step of the way, and is right in the middle of this."

Tsarnaev's parents, who live in Russia, are also not off the hook.

"With respect to the mother, I think she radicalized him," said McCaul.

As for Tsarnaev's father, McCaul said he believes Anzor Tsarnaev had some sort of influence over his son. Tamerlan went "to Russia to visit his father. His father lives in the Chechen region ... one of the most dangerous parts of the world," said McCaul.

In the meantime, the big takeaway from Thursday's hearing, said McCaul, was Boston police commissioner Ed Davis's testimony regarding the lack of intelligence sharing between the FBI and the Boston Police Department.

"Virtually every aspect of the FBI's investigation on Tamerlan was not disclosed to the Boston police, despite the fact that they have two police officers assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force," Rep. McCaul told CNN.

At the hearing, Davis added that he was not sure the information would have made a difference, or prevented the bombing attack.

But McCaul told CNN if information had been shared, Tsarnaev could have been stopped.

"We have this stovepipe of information not connecting the dots, not sharing information, which arguably, you know, when he came back, he was so radicalized with the website that he had, the jihadist website, that had the Boston police been able to take a look at him, they maybe just could have stopped it," said McCaul.

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