Homeland Security Committee Releases Report on Boston Marathon Bombings

Mar 26, 2014 Issues: Counterterrorism

Media Contacts:

McCaul: Charlotte Sellmyer

Keating: Lauren McDermott

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Rep. Bill Keating (D-Mass.), and other members of the Committee released a bipartisan report entitled “The Road to Boston: Counterterrorism Challenges & Lessons from the Marathon Bombings,” detailing the timeline of the attack and recommendations for improving counterterrorism efforts in the future.

Joining in the release are Subcommittee Chairmen Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI), Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), and Rep. Susan W. Brooks (R-IN).

The report provides information on the terrorist networks in the Caucasus, as well as a history of the Tsarnaev family, particularly alleged-bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. This includes a detailed explanation of what information the Committee currently possesses on Tsarnaev’s travel, including the allegations of his connections to extremists in the region. The report also provides an overview of the events of April 15, 2013, and the subsequent manhunt. Additionally, the report offers background on the Committee’s investigation and our interactions with federal agencies.

Chairman McCaul said: “Last April, the nation saw terror strike on Boylston Street, and since then we have all witnessed the resilience and strength of the Boston community. Over the past year, the Committee has investigated how this could have happened, and what can be done to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again. This bipartisan report focuses on how evidence of the alleged bombers’ intent to carry out a terrorist act were shared between local, state and federal agencies, and how in certain tragic instances, critical opportunities were overlooked. Following through on the report’s recommendations is critical to fixing serious gaps in our counterterrorism efforts.”

Rep. Keating said: “The Marathon Bombings irrevocably altered the lives of many - the four people who were lost, the hundreds injured, the families of all those affected, and the thousands who suffered through this trauma. What has guided me personally and has motivated this report is a profound effort to make sure that others won’t have to suffer a similar tragedy in the future. This report addresses procedures, personal actions, and a failure of information-sharing that must be changed. We’ll never really know what may have happened if things were done differently, but as we move forward, implementing these changes is my top priority.”

The report identifies four areas for continued improvement along with the recommendations to:

  • Expand cooperation between federal and local law enforcement;
  • Refine the policy surrounding the use of travel records and the screening of international travelers;
  • Increase information sharing with regard to various terror/travel watch lists at the federal level; and
  • Develop more sophisticated efforts to mitigate terrorist threats.

A detailed summary of the report’s findings and recommendations is available HERE.

The full report is available HERE.

Publicly releasable correspondence between the Committee & Executive Branch agencies in relation to the report is available HERE.

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