TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore
Dave Ross
AP: 6648e3fb-d303-47c9-a8b3-19c2500a555d
This file image from a Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security shows the remains of a pressure cooker that the FBI says was part of one of the bombs that exploded during the Boston Marathon. Our attempt to understand the Tsarnaevs may be missing the point because we're not up against an individual, but a viral idea. (AP Photo/FBI, File)

Background checking an idea

As we try to pin down what motivated the Boston bombing, we are now witnessing an extensive a public background check of the Tsarnaev brothers.

In fact, we're getting the entire family history. Childhood photographs, the uncles, the mother, the aunt - I know more about their family history than my own.

There's even an attempt to discover which specific radical videos they may have watched. Although, once we find out, what will we do? Give the Internet a thorough scrubbing?

Former FBI man and CBS Correspondent John Miller says our attempt to understand the Tsarnaevs may be missing the point because we're not up against an individual, but a viral idea.

"Basically, the idea that it's not Al Qaeda as much as it's Al Qaeda-ism, and you have all these influences out there," says Miller.

And as for the idea the FBI should have continued to watch Tamerlan, suspect #1, or worked more closely with the CIA, "When I worked at the FBI, when I worked as the director of national intelligence, stitching those databases together so that they would talk to each other, one of the things we concluded and we talk about this," says Miller. "We have now looked at so many people, so many potential suspects, that someday, one of them is going to do something and we don't know if it's good news or bad news that we have them in the file. I mean, it shows that we were doing our job, but it also brings on this conversation that we should have done more."

With 750,000 names on various watchlists, according to one count, even if you assigned every FBI employee to monitor them, they'd each have 21 people to track.

Dave Ross, KIRO Radio Morning News Anchor
Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.
Top Stories

  • PETA Targets Needle
    After seeing overweight people in the elevator, PETA wants the Space Needle to 'go vegan'

  • Where's Buddy?
    A family fights to get back Buddy after he was mistakenly adopted to someone else

  • Give Us Pryor
    Danny O'Neil says it's Terrelle Pryor whom Seattle really needs to find out about
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.