Russian authorities recorded call of bombing suspect discussing Jihad with his mom

April 27, 2013 9:38:38 PM PDT
A U.S. intelligence official tells ABC News that at the CIA's request Tamerlan Tsarnaev's mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, was added to the TIDE terror watch list at the same time that her son was put on it in October, 2011.

A few days ago it was disclosed that out of "an abundance of caution" in September, 2011 the CIA had "nominated" Tamerlan for inclusion on the list after receiving a request for assistance from Russia. Six months earlier the FBI had investigated Tsarlaev after receiving a similar request from Russia It turns out the Russian's request to the CIA also provided information about his mother. The US intelligence official confirms that the CIA included her name on the watch list at the same time as Tamerlan. The official says the information from Russia basically said they considered the pair to be strong believers in Islam, militants, whom they were concerned might cause trouble if they came back to Russia.

Being in that database does not mean the U.S. government has evidence that links someone to terrorism. About a year ago, there were some 745,000 names in the database. Intelligence analysts add names and partial names to TIDE when terror-related intelligence is shared with them.

Tsarnaeva said it would not surprise her if she was listed in a U.S. terror database.

"It's all lies and hypocrisy," she told the AP from Dagestan. "I'm sick and tired of all this nonsense that they make up about me and my children. People know me as a regular person, and I've never been mixed up in any criminal intentions, especially any linked to terrorism."

A search of U.S. criminal records showed only that Tsarnaeva was arrested in June 2012 in Natick, Mass., on a shoplifting charge over the theft of $1,624 worth of women's clothing from a Lord & Taylor department store. She was arrested and charged with larceny over $250 and two counts of malicious or wanton property damage. Tamerlan had traveled to Russia in January 2012 and returned in July.

Tsarnaeva accused U.S. law enforcement of killing her elder son.

"They are already talking about that we are terrorists, I am terrorist, they've told that I was doing something terroristic," Tsarnaeva said.

Some lawmakers in Washington have questioned whether the FBI adequately investigated Tsarnaev and his mother in 2011. Over the course of that year, the FBI reached out to Russia three times for more information, U.S. officials said. The first time was in March 2011, when they received the initial tip from the Russians. The second was in June 2011 when they were preparing to close the investigation. The third time was in the fall of 2011 after the CIA received the same tip from the Russians.

One of the officials said the FBI never found the type of derogatory information on Tsarnaev and his mother that would have elevated their profiles among counterterrorism investigators or would have formally placed them on a terror watch list.

In a secretly recorded conversation from 2011, one of the Boston bombing suspects vaguely discussed Jihad with his mother.

In another recorded conversation, the mother of the Tsarnaev brothers spoke to someone in Russia who is being investigated by the FBI.

Now the FBI is suspicious that the Tsarnaev brothers may have had technical advice in building their bombs.

A government document obtained by ABC News says the alleged bombers knew more about bomb-making than they could have learned from the Al Qaeda magazine "Inspire." It raises the question whether older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev received training during a trip he made to Russia.

The Boston bombs were apparently detonated by a remote control from a toy car.

Earlier on Friday, officials moved suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev moved from the hospital to the Federal Medical Center Devens, a federal prison for inmates requiring long-term medical care.

The facility, on the decommissioned Fort Devens U.S. Army base, treats federal prisoners and detainees who require specialized medical or mental health care.

Tsarnaev is recovering from a gunshot wound to the throat and other injuries suffered during his attempted getaway.

All this comes after developments Thursday in which Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the Tsarnaev brothers had planned to drive to New York City last Thursday to explode their remaining bombs in Times Square.

Their plans went off track when the owner of the car they carjacked made an escape.

The information came to law enforcement officials from the interrogation of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who had at first said the plan was to go to New York to "party," but then changed his story in a second interview when he admitted they planned to explode their bombs.

Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said they were informed by investigators on Wednesday night.

Kelly says the two suspects had a pressure cooker bomb and five pipe bombs they wanted to set off.

"We don't know if we would have been able to stop the terrorists had they arrived here from Boston," Bloomberg said. "We're just thankful that we didn't have to find out that answer."

Authorities said Dzhokar and older brother Tamerlan made decision spontaneously, but it was questionable whether they could have successfully made the 200-mile trip since they had become two of the most-wanted men in the world.

The plan was apparently thwarted when the Tsarnaev brothers stopped at a gas station on the outskirts of Boston and the carjacking victim they were holding hostage escaped and called police. Later that night, police intercepted the brothers in a blazing gunbattle that left the 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead.

Dzhokhar, 19, was discovered wounded and hiding in a boat in a suburban back yard the next day.


Friday manhunt and lockdown in Boston

Thermal imaging shows suspect in boat

Surveillance photos of the bomb suspects

Pictures from the Boston Marathon bombings (The Associated Press contributed to this report)