U.S., Saudi Arabia deny report Saudis warned of Tsarnaev danger

May 1, 2013 at 1:42 PM   |   0 comments

WASHINGTON, May 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. and Saudi governments Wednesday denied a published report the Saudis warned Washington accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was dangerous.

Citing a Saudi official it did not name, Britain's Daily Mail reported Saudi Arabia notified the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in a 2012 letter Tsarnaev and three Pakistanis were potential jihadists.

U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden told The Hill in a statement the Daily Mail story is wrong.

"We and other relevant U.S. Government agencies who deal with this kind of information have no record of any such letter being received," Hayden said.

The Hill reported a Department of Homeland Security official said the department "has no knowledge of any communication from the Saudi government regarding information on the suspects in the Boston Marathon Bombing prior to the attack."

The Saudi Embassy in Washington issued a statement saying the Daily Mail story was wrong.

"The Saudi government had no prior information about the Boston bombers," the embassy statement said. "Therefore, it is not true that any information, written or otherwise, was passed to U.S. Department of Homeland Security or any other U.S. agency in this regard."

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has called for an investigation into the federal government's handling of the bomb attack that killed three people and injured about 270 others near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April.

"When it comes to Boston," he told CNN Tuesday, "we need a joint select committee to look at the FBI, the CIA and Homeland Security. The system did not work as designed."

President Barack Obama told reporters at the White House Graham "is not right on this issue, although I'm sure generated some headlines." Obama said "based on what I've seen so far, the FBI performed its duties, the Department of Homeland Security did what it was supposed to be doing."

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