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Column: FBI Deserves Praise in Boston Marathon Probe

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

When all is said and done, the FBI deserves praise for its swift resolution in the Boston Marathon bombing.

As one agent told me, the FBI showed what it’s made of by kicking some butt. 

Critics say the agency dropped the ball. They say the FBI had reason to suspect that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been radicalized, and it should have been more aggressive about tracking his activities. Easy to say in retrospect.

One federal official, who is not with the FBI, put it best when he said to me:  The FBI can’t surveil every nut just because they have radical thoughts. He said the brothers hadn’t done anything illegal or suspicious to justify surveilling them around the clock for months, if not years. 

“This was the FBI’s finest hour,” he insisted.

President Obama seems to agree.

“There are going to be times where individuals decide they want to cause harm to people for crazy reasons, for no good reason, for ideological reasons,” he said, according to an Associated Press report.

He pointed out that it’s harder to track self-radicalized people who are not part of a broad network of terrorists. In law enforcement circles they’re known as “lone wolves.”

It’s not to say that we shouldn’t review the case and examine how information was shared, or not shared.

Regardless,  the FBI does deserve credit for solving a case so quickly, a case that brought so much anxiety and fear to this country.


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