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FBI had their eyes on the Boston bomber - for 30-60 days in 2011

In this 2010 photo, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, left, accepts the trophy for winning the 2010 New England Golden Gloves Championship. (AP Photo)

The FBI has said agents interviewed deceased suspected bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011. If that was the case, should authorities have been able to prevent the Boston bombings?

Retired FBI special agent David Gomez, chief executive of Seattle based HLS Global Consulting Group, told Seattle's Morning News, the investigation of Tsarnaev was only considered an "assessment."

"(For an assessment,) generally 30-60 days is all you can do," said Gomez. "They conducted an interview of Tamerlan and without any further evidence or any further information from the Russian government - they were obligated to close the case."

The FBI had taken up the case at the request of the Russian government.

In their request, Russian authorities had information that Tsarnaev was a follower and a strong believer of radical Islam. He had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country's region to join unspecified underground groups.

During an assessment, Gomez said, "You can interview the subject. You can do records checks. But you really can't do surveillance. You would need probable cause or reasonable belief to open a preliminary investigation."

Those are the guidelines set up by the Attorney General's office, according to Gomez.

Gomez said he believes if there's a possibility that there was a sleeper cell, the FBI will be spending a lot of man power looking into that theory - either to prove or disprove it.

While the FBI hasn't been commenting on that, it's given credence to the conspiracy theorists, said Gomez.

"All of the issues that have been raised are actually being looked at by the FBI, I'm sure."

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About the Author

Alyssa Kleven is an editor and content producer at She enjoys doting over her adorable dachshund Winnie - named for Arcade Fire front-man Win Butler.


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