Judicial Watch • Boston Marathon bombing

Boston Marathon bombing Archives | Judicial Watch

Surprise, surprise the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has rejected the media’s requests for the immigration records of the Boston Marathon bombers, likely because they contain information that could further embarrass the government.

After all, the feds ignored critical warnings from Russia about the older Chechen terrorist (Tamerlan Tsarnaev) and the FBI even kept the information from Boston Police, which could have kept a closer eye on him. Additionally, Judicial Watch reported days after the bombings that Tamerlan, 26, and not a U.S. citizen could have been deported years ago after a criminal arrest.

Adding insult to injury, the other bomber, little brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was rewarded with American Citizenship on September 11, 2012 in Boston, according to a JW source. The 19-year-old was granted asylum in Arlington Virginia on September 27, 2002, JW’s source reveals. This week a mainstream media outlet reports that Dzhokhar left a note claiming responsibility for the bombings as retaliation for America’s actions against Muslims.

Americans have the right to know how their government handled the immigration applications of these two Muslim terrorists. At least that’s the argument used by the Boston newspaper that requested the information from DHS. The paper asked for the records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a tool often used by Judicial Watch to force transparency in government. In fact, JW is also investigating the Boston bombings and has filed several FOIAs in the case.

As is the common in many of these situations, obtaining records will be an uphill battle because the government can utilize a number of excuses to withhold information from the public. In this particular case, DHS is claiming an exemption in federal law that shields records or information “compiled for law enforcement purposes, the release of which could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

In a rejection letter to the paper, the senior director of FOIA operations at DHS writes that he has determined that the records are part of an open and ongoing law enforcement investigation. “Accordingly, those documents are being withheld,” he says. The DHS FOIA director did not elaborate on how the release of the terrorists’ civil immigration records could possibly interfere with the criminal probe, especially in the case of the dead brother.

Thankfully, the media and independent watchdog groups like JW work to keep the government in check by using important tools like FOIA as well as the legal system. The job is getting tougher and tougher because the Obama administration is using unprecedented intimidation tactics behind the scenes. This includes using the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a political tool against conservative groups like JW and unscrupulous spying on a major news conglomerate (Associated Press).




Updated 4 p.m. Friday related to arrest versus conviction issue:  One of the Chechen terrorists who carried out the Boston Marathon bombings could have been deported years ago after a criminal arrest and/or conviction and the other was granted American citizenship on the 11th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the 26-year-old killed in a wild shootout with police, was a legal U.S. resident who nevertheless could have been removed from the country after a 2009 domestic violence arrest and conviction, according to a Judicial Watch source. That means the Obama administration missed an opportunity to deport Tsarnaev but evidently didn’t feel he represented a big enough threat.

Other reporting confirms Tsarnaev’s arrest for domestic violence but we’re seeking confirmation of a conviction. Nevertheless he would have been subject to removal for the arrest itself.

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Adding insult to injury, the other bomber, little brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was rewarded with American Citizenship on September 11, 2012 in Boston, according to JW’s source. The 19-year-old, who is still on the run, was granted asylum in Arlington Virginia on September 27, 2002, JW’s source reveals.

Years before these Chechen terrorists carried out the Boston Marathon bombings Judicial Watch uncovered critical intelligence documentsdetailing al Qaeda’s activities in Chechnya, including the creation of a 1995 camp—ordered by Osama bin Laden—to train “international terrorists” to carry out plots against Americans and westerners.

The goal, according to the once-classified documents obtained by JW in 2011, was to “establish a worldwide Islamic state capable of directly challenging the U.S., China, Russia, and what it views as Judeo-Christian and Confucian domination.” Further, radical Islamic regimes were to be established and supported everywhere possible, from “sea to sea,” including Chechnya. “Terrorist activities are to be conducted against Americans and westerners…” according to the report issued by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

In other words, it was only a matter of time before terrorists from the predominantly radical Islamic republic carried out an attack on U.S. soil. Chechnya declared independence from Russia in 1991 and Chechen militants are quite the savvy terrorists because they’ve successfully targeted Moscow with bombings and hostage plots for more than two decades.

In 2004 Chechen Islamic militants attacked a school in Beslan, North Ossetia, Russia and they murdered 380 children, parents, teachers and visitors after holding more than 1,000 captive for three days. Judicial Watch also obtained intelligence documents from the government detailing that terrorist attack. Jointly released by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the October 12, 2004, report analyzes the Beslan terrorist attack with a view toward gleaning lessons for potential attacks on schools in the United States.

There’s no telling how many of these Chechen terrorists have infiltrated the United States or how many opportunities the government has missed to protect the country by deporting them. Osama bin Laden specifically chose Chechnya as a terrorist training camp because it’s an “area unreachable by strikes from the west,” according to the intelligence report obtained by JW years ago.

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