Being forced into virtually admitting that it has never heard of a mugshot before, the FBI has taken the position that it does not keep files on A-List terror suspects, at least not files with photographs anyway.
Forget that a good part of law enforcement is identification, in order to, you know, make sure you have the right guy. Did he have a mole or anything? Picking suspects out of a line-up or binder of photos. That sort of thing.
So when the Boston bombing suspects’ pictures were posted all over the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF,) before being released to the public, you would think someone would have the wherewithal to go fetch the top batch of files in any of the Boston FBI Counter-Terrorism Unit’s top drawers, and there you have likely found the file on Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Yes, the Boston FBI unit, the Boston JTTF, and their regional support fusion center are all now looking like a bunch of hat backwards-wearing, gum-chewing, pants-falling-off slackers who couldn’t shoot their way out of a paper bag, who make Barney Fife look like a competent cop even when he is fumbling for his one bullet.
Speaking to Boston Magazine, spokesman for the Boston FBI office Kieran Ramsey said about the Boston FBI agent (there was only one?) who interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011:
““It’s absolutely unrealistic looking at a photo where there is a hat and sunglasses involved to expect that officer to recognize [him],””
So Russian intelligence thinks a man is important enough to warrant a direct contact with the US government, and he doesn’t even get a surveillance photo paper-clipped to the top of his file? And future identification is based on one man’s memory? Oh right, those thousands of photos the feds have taken over the last few years were all of those truly dangerous Occupy Wall Street types, who might poke someone’s eye out with one of those signs.
In related news it looks like the surviving Boston suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is fixing to mount a vigorous defense, rather than hope for a plea bargain that will spare his life. Tsarnaev’s defense team last month asked for any and all FBI records pertaining to previous FBI contacts with his older brother, and said that the FBI was pushing for Tamerlan to become an informant. This opens up to all sorts of speculation as to what leverage the FBI might have had over Tamerlan, a legal non-citizen with a domestic abuse charge on his rap sheet.
The FBI’s explanation for why it did not identify the brothers from the surveillance photos it released on April 18, 2013, is patently absurd. The Boston FBI had placed Tamerlan on at least one terror watch list in 2011. The FBI routinely explains that after multiple Russian alerts on Tamerlan, they investigated him, but turned up nothing. That is a block-head cop response if ever I heard one. Of course they turned up nothing. He hadn’t done anything yet.