The Naval Postgraduate School & The U.S. Department of Homeland Security

New Releases on Boston Bombings: Counterterrorism Lessons-Learned & Death of Ibragim Todashev

Boston Marathon bombing The House Homeland Security Committee released today its declassified report on the Boston Marathon bombings, entitled "The Road to Boston: Counterterrorism Challenges and Lessons from the Marathon Bombings." The report "examines much of Tamerlan Tsarnaev's personal history and his interaction with Federal agencies, including his radicalization, the 2011 threat assessment carried out by the FBI and his travel to Russia in early 2012." The Committee also "explores missed opportunities that potentially could have prevented this attack."

Following its review, the Committee identified important systemic weaknesses and made recommendations to combat these weaknesses. A few of the weaknesses are as follows:

  • "Insufficient cooperation and information sharing between Federal agencies and local law enforcement;
  • Limited communication between Federal agencies;
  • Inadequate resources for necessary screening of outbound travelers of interest; and
  • Failure to amend inaccurate or incomplete records held by various agencies."

Also released this week was the Florida Ninth Circuit State Attorney (SA) Investigative Report on the killing of Ibragim Todashev by an FBI agent on May 22, 2013. The incident occurred when Todashev was being interviewed in his Florida residence by the FBI and local law enforcement regarding his alleged involvement in the Boston Marathon bombings with friend, Tsarnaev.  The report states that when one state trooper left the residence to make contact with the Boston prosecutor, "Mr. Todachev attacked the two remaining officers, Trooper One and the FBI Agent. What is described as a sudden attack by Mr. Todashev led to a serious head injury to the FBI Agent.  Reportedly, the ongoing aggressive behavior of Mr. Todashev led to the use of deadly force by the injured FBI Agent."

Thus, the report deems the shooting of Todashev by the FBI agent an act of self-defense.

The Florida SA webpage provides links to not only the final report and supplement, but also to eight (8) attachments to the report, including interview transcripts, autopsy findings, and incident reports with photographs.

In addition to these reports, more reviews of the Boston Marathon bombings can be found in the HSDL collection.  Check out a few of them below: