The HillTube

Graham warns intel agencies ‘going back to pre-9/11 stove-piping’

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said “information sharing failed” ahead of the Boston Marathon bombings and warned that stove-piping between intelligence agencies remained a problem.

“This is a failure to share information and missing obvious warning signs,” said Graham Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “We are going back to pre-9/11 stove-piping,” he warned.

ADVERTISEMENT
Graham called for a “post-mortem” to examine the intelligence failures and see if such missteps could be prevented in the future, citing reports that the FBI failed to interview suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev after a trip to Russia, where authorities believe he was partly radicalized and the failure of the agency to notify agents in Boston to watch him more closely. 

“How could you miss that the guy you were informed about by a foreign intelligence service, you got a radical in your midst, we can’t track him to Russia, we lose him going to Russia and coming back,” asked Graham. “And when he goes on the internet for the whole world to see, to interact with a radical Islamic websites how do we miss that?

“We’re going to have to up our game,” said the South Carolina senator. 

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed after a shootout with police, but his younger brother is in custody and has been charged with the deadly bombings which killed three and wounded scores.

Graham’s comments are the latest from GOP lawmakers frustrated that intelligence system reforms made after the September 11, 2001 attacks have failed to work. Lawmakers fear that the same intelligence sharing issues before that incident are again playing a role in the Boston attack.

Graham last week suggested that the FBI may need more powers to track terror suspects. 

“We need to revisit our laws,” he said. 

His colleagues on Capitol Hill in both the House and Senate have said they intend to probe the FBI’s handling of the matter. 

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) last week said that the House Judiciary, Intelligence and Homeland Security panels would all investigate.