Did US-Russia Deal in 2011 Lead to Boston Bombings?

Among the more unusual aspects of what has been learned thus far about the Brothers Tsarnaev is that in January 2011 Russian officials encouraged their U.S. counterparts to take notice of Tamerlan, the older of the two, for possible Chechen terrorist links.

The only known result of the interviews that followed was to delay processing of Tamerlan’s U.S. citizenship application. (His younger brother, Dzhokhar, became a citizen on Sept. 11, 2012.) But the Russian tip was part of the process that led to a subsequent agreement between that country and the U.S. concerning Chechen terrorists.

The May 26, 2011, agreement — the Joint Statement of the Presidents of the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Counter-terrorism Cooperation — can be found on the White House website.

The key passage from that agreement with respect to the events in Boston is this: “We reaffirmed our common view of the threat to global security posed by Al Qaeda and advocated continued cooperation to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda. Identifying and isolating terrorists is integral to our efforts. We welcomed Russia’s efforts to update and enhance the implementation of the sanctions regime under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1822, and the decision by the United States to list Doku Umarov of the so-called ‘Caucasus Emirate’ as a specially designated global terrorist under U.S. Executive Order 13244.”

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