Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Flip-Flop Alert: Saudi Arabia tells US intelligence about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, then they don't

Why the denial?  It makes the Saudis look good saying they told the US about Tamerlan, so why not take advantage of the positive PR?  It is us who are looking like the Keystone Kops, not our "frenemy" the Saudis.

From the Daily Mail April 30 by David Martosko

Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington now DENIES his nation warned the United States about Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2012
The Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C. today denied its government warned the U.S. about accused Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

According to a highly placed source who spoke to MailOnline, the Saudis sent a written warning about Tsarnaev to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2012. That was long before pressure-cooker blasts killed three and injured hundreds.

The official told MailOnline about a written warning from the Saudi government to the Department of Homeland Security, and said he had direct knowledge of that document.
But the Middle Eastern nation's embassy in Washington denied that account on Wednesday.

It issued a statement which read: 'The Saudi government had no prior information about the Boston bombers. Therefore, it is not true that any information, written or otherwise, was passed to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or any other US agency in this regard,' an embassy statement statement claimed.

'The Saudi government also does not have any record of any application by Tamerlan Tsarnaev for any visa to Saudi Arabia.'

The Saudis' warning, the official told MailOnline, was separate from the multiple red flags raised by Russian intelligence in 2011, and was based on human intelligence developed independently in Yemen.

Citing security concerns, the Saudi government also allegedly denied an entry visa to the elder Tsarnaev brother in December 2011, when he hoped to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the source said. Tsarnaev's plans to visit Saudi Arabia have not been previously disclosed.
The Saudis' warning to the U.S. government was also shared with the British government. 'It was very specific’ and warned that 'something was going to happen in a major U.S. city,' the Saudi official said during an extensive interview.

It 'did name Tamerlan specifically,' he added. The 'government-to-government' letter, which he said was sent to the Department of Homeland Security at the highest level, did not name Boston or suggest a date for his planned attack.
If true, the account will produce added pressure on the Homeland Security department and the White House to explain their collective inaction after similar warnings were offered about Tsarnaev by the Russian government.

A DHS official denied, however, that the agency received any such warning from Saudi intelligence about Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
'DHS has no knowledge of any communication from the Saudi government regarding information on the suspects in the Boston Marathon Bombing prior to the attack,' MailOnline learned from one Homeland Security official who declined to be named in this report.

The White House took a similar view. 'We and other relevant U.S. government agencies have no record of such a letter being received,' said Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the president’s National Security Council.

Everyone denies knowledge and responsibility on a matter of national security.  Feel safer now?

Read it all

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