Boston Police commissioner Ed Davis told the committee the FBI had never informed him they had opened an investigation into the elder Tsarnaev brother, despite having multiple BPD detectives and a sergeant assigned to the Joint Terror Task Force.
“They tell me they received no word about that individual prior to the bombing,” Davis said.
"Would you have liked to know that?" committee chairman Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, asked him.
"Yes," Davis replied.
"My fear is that the Boston bombers succeeded because our system failed," McCaul added.
Davis said the FBI's decision not to communicate with Boston officials meant his detectives were unable to interview Tsarnaev ahead of time.
“The FBI did [an interview] and they closed the case out,” he said. “I can’t say I would’ve come to a different conclusion based on the information at the time.”
Davis conceded Boston Police involvement may not have ultimately prevented the Marathon Monday bombings.
The FBI opened an investigation into Tsarnaev, 26, after a tip from Russian intelligence which warned he had undergone dramatic changes in his religious practices and begun to connect with groups linked to terrorism.
Tsarnaev spent six months last year in Dagestan, in the Caucasus region of southern Russia.
“I’m looking forward to the review of what occurred so we can get to the bottom of a lot of different questions,” Davis told reporters after the hearing.
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