Director of National Intelligence James Clapper already believes there was no intelligence failure in the lead-up to the Boston Marathon bombings, despite an inquiry into the matter only just beginning.
Clapper did not order the review of practices and procedures, his spokesman told Wired's Danger Room:
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That review did not come at the behest of James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, the nominal boss of those spy agencies. Shawn Turner, a spokesman for Clapper, says it’s an independent initiative of the Intelligence Community Inspector General along with the internal watchdogs for the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
Yet before the inquiry has concluded, Clapper is satisfied — as he first said last week, before any review even got started — that the intelligence agencies didn’t drop the ball on Boston.
"Director Clapper believes that every agency involved in collecting and sharing information prior to the attack took all the appropriate steps," Turner emailed Danger Room. "He also believes that it is prudent an appropriate for there to be an independent review of those steps to ensure that nothing was missed."
This is not the first time Clapper has argued the point. Last week, the DNI said the "dots were connected" by U.S. intelligence agencies on Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who killed four people and wounded more than 200 over the course of a matter of hours.
"The rules were abided by, as best as I can tell at this point," Clapper said at an event last week. "The dots were connected."
But a number of questions remain about the Tsarnaevs and the approach taken toward the elder brother by the U.S. intelligence infrastructure.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2011, off a tip from Russian authorities, and cleared of ties to terrorism. Six months after that FBI investigation, Russian authorities asked the Central Intelligence Agency to investigate Tamerlan Tsarnaev again. The CIA also cleared him of ties to violent extremism in October 2011.
The CIA did, however, add Tamerlan Tsarnaev's name to a watch list database, according to the New York Times.