I have been slow to criticize the Obama administration over the Boston Marathon bombing. I can readily understand that federal agencies cannot actively track 500,000 or more people who are on the terrorist watch list, and I think the most obvious lessons to be drawn from the Tsarnaevs’ terror spree relate to immigration and welfare policy. But now the Daily Mail reports that Saudi Arabia, as well as Russia, warned the Obama administration about Tamerlan Tsarnaev; and, moreover, the Saudis denied Tsarnaev a visa to visit Mecca. If this story proves out, our man Barry is in trouble:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sent a written warning about accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2012, long before pressure-cooker blasts killed three and maimed hundreds, according to a senior Saudi government official with direct knowledge of the document.
The Saudi warning, the official told MailOnline, was separate from the multiple red flags raised by Russian intelligence in 2011, and was based on human intelligence developed independently in Yemen.
Citing security concerns, the Saudi government also denied an entry visa to the elder Tsarnaev brother in December 2011, when he hoped to make a pilgrimage to Mecca. …
The Saudis’ warning to the U.S. government was also shared with the British government. ‘It was very specific’ and warned that ‘something was going to happen in a major U.S. city,’ the Saudi official said during an extensive interview.
It ‘did name Tamerlan specifically,’ he added. The ‘government-to-government’ letter, which he said was sent to the Department of Homeland Security at the highest level, did not name Boston or suggest a date for his planned attack.
The Daily Mail story says it was confirmed by a DHS official who said “he had heard of the Saudi communication.” However, Jake Tapper tweets:
DHS official: DHS has no knowledge of any communication from the Saudi govt re: info on suspects in Boston Marathon Bombing prior to attack.
Via InstaPundit. So, stay tuned. In the meantime, this story is one more reminder that if you want to know what is going on in the U.S., you have to read the British papers.
UPDATE: The Saudi embassy denies this story, too.