Jihadi Told Russians About Tamerlan
A slain Canadian jihadi gave Russian counter-terrorism agents the tip that put alleged Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev on their radar two years ago, Bay State U.S. Rep. William R. Keating confirmed yesterday — raising questions about whether Tsarnaev’s direct link to the known militant was ever passed on to the FBI or local authorities.
Keating told the Herald yesterday his staff in Russia has learned William Plotnikov, while under interrogation in the militant hotbed of Dagestan, named Tsarnaev as a fellow extremist.
“That’s when the Russian government started looking at Tamerlan and he showed up on a jihadist website,” Keating (D-Bourne) said. “That’s when they contacted the U.S.”
The interrogation prompted Russian authorities to ask the FBI to investigate Tsarnaev in 2011. It is unclear whether the Russians told the FBI that Tsarnaev was associated with Plotnikov or another suspected extremist, Mansur Mukhamed Nidal.
An FBI spokesman yesterday did not respond to the Herald’s request to view the Russian authorities’ plea for help.
Both Nidal and Plotnikov were killed in police raids last summer, and Tsarnaev fled back to the United States shortly thereafter.