Lieberman, Boston police commissioner to testify at House hearing on bombings
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is slated to return to Capitol Hill next week to testify before the House Homeland Security Committee in Congress's first hearing on the Boston bombings.
Lieberman — the former chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Reform Committee — will be joined by Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis and the Massachusetts Undersecretary for Homeland Security Kurt Schwartz for the hearing entitled, “The Boston Bombings: A First Look.”
Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas) said the hearing is the first in a series that will look at the immediate aftermath of the attack, which killed three people and wounded more than 200, and whether key signs were missed by federal, state, or local law enforcement and intelligence gathering officials.
“The investigation will look at how law enforcement addressed the area after the attack; how federal, state and local officials communicated with their counterparts at other agencies regarding the suspects before and following the event; and the challenges associated with securing our country since 9/11,” said McCaul in a statement on Wednesday.
“Ultimately the investigation will assess how our efforts have evolved to meet the dynamic terrorist threat of foreign-inspired attacks on our soil, and what changes may be necessary to protect the homeland.”
Some Republicans have attacked the Obama administration in the aftermath of the bombing, saying that intelligence and law enforcement agencies did not properly react to an alert from Russian intelligence that bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have had radical ties.
Tsarnaev's name was entered onto a terror watch list after the FBI interviewed him in 2011, but there is no sign that DHS officials alerted either the CIA or the FBI when Tsarnaev returned to Russia for six months last year — a period during which he is suspected of becoming more radicalized — or when he returned to the United States.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed last week to have the lower chamber conduct an exhaustive review of the attacks and possible intelligence shortcomings with the House Homeland Security Committee moving to take the immediate lead on the probe.
The Senate Homeland Security panel announced this week that it plans to hold hearings on the issue as well, but is waiting until more details of the attacks, the suspects, and the government’s investigation come to light.
The inspectors general for the intelligence community, the CIA, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security launched a “coordinated and independent review” on Tuesday that will examine the information available to the U.S. government before the bombings and the information sharing protocols and procedures followed between and among the intelligence and law enforcement agencies,” according to a statement from the inspectors general.
On Wednesday, the Twitter account belonging to the Boston Police Department said more suspects had been detained in connection with the terror attacks.
“Three additional suspects taken into custody in Marathon bombing case. Details to follow,” the tweet read.