Lawmakers: Why Didn't Boston PD Know of Tsarnaev?

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Boston Marathon bomb suspect Dzhokzar Tsarnaev, 19, pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges, including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill, Wednesday. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

It was his first time facing the court since being charged in two April 15 bombings that killed three and wounded 264 people.

The Chechen teen was found hiding the next day in a dry-docked boat. On the walls of the vessel, Tsarnaev wrote a message accusing the U.S. government of "killing our innocent civilians."

"I don't like killing innocent people," he wrote, but added, "I can't stand to see such evil go unpunished... We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all."

Tsarnaev was arraigned Wednesday afternoon. No trial date has been set yet.

Meanwhile, the question in Washington on Wednesday -- Why did Boston law enforcement not see the attack coming?

In hearings in both the Senate and the House, experts agreed that Boston police should have known more about Tamerlan and Dzhohkar Tsarnaev, the two bombing suspects, before their explosives went off.

House Homeland Security Chair Rep. Mike McCaul noted that Boston police did not know that the FBI had opened a criminal investigation into Tamerlan, nor that he had traveled to Dagestan.

"It seems to me that they're a great force multiplier, but here we are 12 years after 9/11 and we still are not seeing that kind of coordination and communication taking place," McCaul said.

In addition, he questioned the FBI's response to its limited manpower.

"When the FBI says we don't have the resources--why don't you leverage state and locals? They want to help," he said. "The Boston police wanted to be a part of this, they wanted to be at the table."

Former New York Mayor Ruldoph Guiliani also testified, noting that the country's 800,000 police could enhance FBI efforts with just 12,000 agents in the United states.

"If you're trying to find a needle in a haystack in a community in America, the FBI cannot do it," he argued.

The bombing also underscored the threat of small, but deadly attacks, a big headache for law enforcement since tracking individuals is so labor intensive.

"Detecting that tipping point where someone moves from radicalized to mobilized is the very hardest piece," Michael E. Leiter, the former head of the National Counterrorism Center, said.

Leiter said he's impressed with what has been accomplished since 9/11, stating that the country has been largely successful in thwarting terrorism at home.

"I don't want to make light of the losses we've suffered, but frankly in my view it's nothing short of remarkable that since 9/11 we have had a total of 18 people killed in the homeland by al Qaeda inspired terrorism: 13 at Fort Hood, one at Little Rock, and four in Boston most recently," he said.

In Boston's case, many lives were spared thanks to first responders who were trained specifically for terror attacks.

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CBN News
Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

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