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Chaffetz: Investigators need to take closer look at bombing suspects

By Alex Cabrero | Posted - Apr 26th, 2013 @ 11:08pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — Some lawmakers, including Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz, want to know if the accused Boston bombers were really working alone when they set off two bombs at last week's marathon.

Almost instantly after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was taken into custody, investigators said he and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a gun battle with police the night before, were acting as lone wolves, not tied to any international terrorist organization.

Chaffetz, a member of the Homeland Security Committee, appeared on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" asking federal investigators to take a closer look into the case.

"I think there are a lot of questions for Homeland Security," he said.

Chaffetz wonders how the two suspects were able to make their bombs and get guns without help from others.


I don't think it's necessarily just two kids who watched some YouTube videos and went awry, and decided to do this mayhem. No, I worry that they were radicalized in a way that others may have also been radicalized.

–Rep. Jason Chaffetz


"I don't think it's necessarily just two kids who watched some YouTube videos and went awry, and decided to do this mayhem," he said. "I worry that they were radicalized in a way that others may have also been radicalized."

While the congressman agrees Russian intelligence alerted the United States about the suspects, he is curious about what sorts of signals the U.S. received. He also wants to know what plans the bombers had for after Boston.

"There are also lots of us that aren't convinced this is just an isolated case," Chaffetz said. "Of course we're going to look at this in many different angles — not only specifically to these two punks and this family, but also to the bigger, broader question of terror, because it is out there. We do have to defend against it."

One of his biggest concerns is why a federal judge went into the hospital where the injured suspect was to read him his Miranda rights.

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"They seemed very anxious to get in there and make sure the judge came swiftly. That's somewhat unprecedented," Chaffetz said.

Investigators were using the public safety exemption to the Miranda rule, which allows investigators to deny him an attorney in an attempt to get information. It was working until he was read his rights. After that, he had the right to remain silent, and that's exactly what he's doing now.

This is also an unprecedented case. Chaffetz understands that but says American public safety should be the No. 1 priority.

"We're going to have to stop being as ‘politically correct' as we have been in the past and get very serious with those who want to terrorize America," he said.

Federal investigators have said they don't believe the two bombers are part of a larger terrorist group. They also say the suspect still alive told them he and his brother acted because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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