Ayotte, McCain seek probe of pre-Boston Marathon bombing intelligence
Senate Armed Services Committee members Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., confer on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, as the committee gathered to hear from the Pentagon's military leaders on the looming cuts to the defense budget. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte wants a U.S. Senate committee to investigate whether U.S. intelligence officials had information that could have prevented the April 15 bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Ayotte and fellow Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona sent a letter Wednesday to the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, asking for a hearing to examine what they described as “a string of apparent intelligence-sharing lapses” in the lead-up to the attack.
“We request this hearing to clear up possible concerns the American people may have surrounding our intelligence capabilities and to eliminate gaps that may exist in sharing intelligence information to prevent future attacks against the United States and our interests,” they wrote in the letter to Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat.
The letter cited reports that at least one of the suspected bombers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had come to the attention of the FBI and other agencies in recent years. He was killed last Friday while his younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was arrested and charged with carrying out the attack.
Three people died and more than 250 were
injured when two bombs exploded on Boylston Street in Boston. A police officer was also killed during the search for the men.
Both McCain and Ayotte serve on the homeland security committee.
Carper didn’t immediately commit to holding a hearing, though a committee
spokeswoman did say members of the panel would gather and review information about the attack.
“As this law enforcement investigation proceeds, Chairman Carper continues to monitor the situation
closely. He thinks that it is important to ensure that the investigation proceeds in a thoughtful manner and that Congress gives the FBI, (Department of Homeland Security) and other law enforcement officials room to complete their investigation,” committee spokeswoman Jennie Westbrook wrote yesterday in an email.
(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or
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