Russia withheld a crucial piece of information from the U.S. before the Boston bombings, U.S. officials say, bolstering a concern that distrust between the two governments erased an opportunity to avert the disaster.
In 2011, Russia sent an alert to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about alleged bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, prompted in part by text messages between his mother and a Russian relative. The texts suggested Tsarnaev was interested in joining militant groups that Russia blames for attacks in the Caucasus region, according to U.S. officials briefed on the investigations.
U.S. officials call these text messages the most important in a series of missed signals between the two countries. One U.S. official characterized at least one of the text messages as generally discussing jihad, but without any specific mention of terrorism plans.
The U.S. officials say they learned about them roughly a week after the April 15 bombings. Several officials say such precise information would have led to a deeper examination of Mr. Tsarnaev, who died a few days after the bombing in a police confrontation. His brother and alleged accomplice remains in custody.
The information Russia withheld "would have allowed the bureau to open an investigation where you could track [Tsarnaev's] communications," said House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers (R., Mich.). "To me, that's where the ball really got dropped."
Previous terror plots in the U.S. exposed lapses in data-sharing among U.S. agencies, and the official Boston review could still uncover such instances. But so far in the Boston bombing, U.S. officials say, it appears that intelligence-sharing went most awry between the U.S. and Russia.
After the Russian government made its 2011 query on Mr. Tsarnaev, the FBI three times requested more information and received none, U.S. officials say. Mr. Tsarnaev was a legal resident of the U.S. and a citizen of Kyrgyzstan.
The Kremlin said Russian security services gathered little information on Mr. Tsarnaev, but officials in the province of Dagestan said they tracked him during a six-month trip there in 2012. Russia never reported such details to the U.S. While in Dagestan, Mr. Tsarnaev met with a known militant, officials in Dagestan said.
U.S. officials say they don't know why the text messages weren't provided earlier. They surmised Russia didn't provide other information because they wanted to protect their sources or because they didn't give the information much credibility themselves.
To be sure, U.S. law-enforcement officials say it isn't clear whether knowing the content of the text messages would have changed what the FBI learned in 2011 about Mr. Tsarnaev's turn toward radicalization. A senior U.S. law-enforcement official also notes that the FBI, in sharing information with the Russians, often withholds details that could reveal its own sources and methods.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he couldn't comment on specifics, but said that in 2011, "There couldn't have been detailed information on him because he didn't live on Russian territory." He declined to comment on whether Russian authorities have provided more detailed reports on Tsarnaev to the U.S. since the attack.
A man angry at his neighbors went on a rampage in a bulldozer Friday on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, damaging four homes, knocking one off its foundation and cutting power to thousands of people, authorities said.
Barry Alan Swegle was booked into the Clallam County Jail for investigation of malicious mischief following the incident in Port Angeles, 65 miles west of Seattle. A voice mail message left at a phone listing for the 51-year-old was not immediately returned.
"This of course is above what we're normally used to and someone just snapped and jumped on a bulldozer and started taking out people's houses," Ron Peregrin, the county's undersheriff told Q13Fox.com.
Authorities said investigators were told that Swegle and his neighbors had a long-running dispute, but it's not clear over what. The rampage knocked over a utility pole and left a pickup truck destroyed, and the downed power lines were preventing authorities from fully evaluating the damage to the homes.
In just a few minutes, there was hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage, Q13Fox.com reported.
Authorities said the machine was an International Harvester TD-25, similar to a Caterpillar D-9. Investigators were looking into whether the man owned it.
Keith Haynes lives near one of the damaged homes and told the Peninsula Daily News that the man "just went nuts." Haynes said a woman inside one of the homes escaped unharmed.
"He took a skidder and took out two houses," Haynes said. "I mean demolished."
At one point thousands of people were without power, but within a few hours it had been restored to all but 200 customers, said Clallam County Public Utility District spokesman Mike Howe. He said power would remain out to those customers at least through early Saturday morning.
Swegle has a lengthy rap sheet that includes burglary, stalking and public indecency, the Q13Fox.com report said.
"We all said one of these days Barry is going to take that dang cat and he's going to start tearing up people's property and that's what he did," Barbara Porter, a neighbor said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Law enforcement officials hunting a man suspected of killing his wife and two young daughters in Northern California have sought help from neighboring agencies.
In an ongoing search, officers from at least a dozen state and federal law enforcement agencies fanned out on Friday across an area of rugged terrain along California's remote north coast where they believe 45-year-old Shane Franklin Miller has taken cover.
Miller, considered armed and extremely dangerous, knows well the tree-lined canyons of Humboldt County where he grew up. Investigators found his pickup truck abandoned near Petrolia, about 200 miles west of the home that Miller shared with his wife, Sandy, 34, and daughters, Shelby, 8, and Shasta, 5.
"It's very strategic how we're moving through that forest area," said Lt. Dave Kent of the Shasta County Sheriff's Office.
Miller is suspected of slaying his family Tuesday night in the rural community of Shingletown, then fleeing to Humboldt County, where low fog and dense brush offer plenty of cover. His mother told The Associated Press she had no idea whether her son and daughter-in-law had suffered marital problems or why Miller might turn on his family.
Kent said detectives continue to search the home where the killings occurred for evidence and clues as to where Miller might have been headed.
In 1996, Miller was convicted of felony cultivation of marijuana in a county known worldwide for the high quality pot grown in the same hard-to-reach forests authorities now are combing.
In 2002, Miller was charged with making and selling marijuana for distribution, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possessing a machine gun and money laundering, according to court records. He pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a gun and served 46 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, court records show.
A Southeast Texas woman is facing a felony charge for allegedly delaying hospital treatment of her teenage son's gunshot wound until she researched treatment options online.
The incident happened Tuesday evening at the family's home in Santa Fe, about 30 miles southeast of Houston. Police say a friend of the 14-year-old son was playing with a handgun and pointed it at him when it went off, wounding the boy in the thigh.
Police say the boy and his mother, Deborah Tagle, delayed seeking hospital treatment for hours until she researched gunshot wounds on the WebMD website. He's now stable condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.
Tagle was arrested Friday and freed on bond. She's charged with injury to a child. A phone call to her home went unanswered Friday.
A school bus carrying a high school sports team has overturned in far-western Kentucky, injuring several students.
Kentucky State Police said the bus was carrying the Union County High School girls' softball team and had 28 people on board when the accident occurred just before 5 p.m. CDT, on U.S. 60 in Livingston County, along the Ohio River.
The bus ran off the right shoulder, then swerved to the other side of the road, rotating 180 degrees before rolling on to its side on the eastbound side of the road, State Police Trooper Richie Wright said Friday night.
Wright said 25 of those on board were taken to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. Wright said one patient was airlifted from the scene, but it was not due to serious injuries.
"When you have 25 injured, that takes a lot of resources from a lot of counties," Wright said. "By the time they had that many patients, they needed the helicopter to take one to the hospital."
Wright said he was unsure if a bend in the road near the crash scene had caused the bus to go off the shoulder. Some passengers had to be extricated from the bus with emergency mechanical cutting tools, he said. Four of the passengers on the bus were adults and the rest were students, Wright said.
Police were diverting traffic several miles from the scene on US 60. Wright said the roadway could reopen Friday night.
The bus was on its way to Smithland for an evening softball game, and overturned about three miles from the city near the Illinois border. The Union County team was scheduled to play Livingston Central High School at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, according to its schedule on the school's website. The team's roster lists 15 players and five coaches.
Injured people from the scene were being taken to two Paducah hospitals and Livingston County Hospital, Wright said.
Emergency responders from three surrounding counties were called to the scene.
State police were planning to do an accident reconstruction before reopening the scene to traffic Friday night.
The crash happened to occur just a few days before the 25th anniversary of one of the deadliest school bus crashes in U.S. history, which happened near Carrolton, Ky., on May 14, 1988. Twenty-seven people, including many children, died in that fiery crash after a bus was struck by a drunk driver on Interstate 71.
A task force of elected officials in Newtown on Friday recommended tearing down Sandy Hook Elementary School, the school where 20 first-graders and six educators were killed in December, and rebuilding on the same site.
The group of 28 town elected officials voted unanimously in favor of a plan that would construct a new building in the same location.
The proposal now goes to the local school board, which has final authority.
The panel had narrowed a list of choices to renovating or rebuilding on the school site or building a new school on property down the street. Each would cost between about $48 million and $60 million.
The 430 surviving students are attending a renovated school renamed Sandy Hook Elementary School in the neighboring town of Monroe.
Officials had said that whatever choice is made, a new or renovated school wouldn't be ready by Aug. 27, the start of the next school year.
A study found building a new school on the existing site would cost $57 million.
Sandy Hook Elementary School hasn't housed students since the killings. Some town residents said the school should be torn down because they couldn't imagine sending children back there. Others favored renovating the school, with some saying that tearing it down would be a victory for evil.
Residents of towns where other mass school shootings occurred have grappled with the same dilemma. Some have renovated, some have demolished.
Columbine High School in Colorado, where two student gunmen killed 12 schoolmates and a teacher in 1999, reopened several months afterward. Crews removed the library, where most of the victims died, and replaced it with an atrium.
Virginia Tech converted a classroom building where a student gunman killed 30 people in 2007 into a peace studies and violence prevention center. And an Amish community in Pennsylvania tore down the West Nickel Mines Amish School and built a new school a few hundred yards away after a gunman killed five girls there in 2006.
On the morning of Dec. 14, gunman Adam Lanza, who had killed his mother at their Newtown home, went to Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire with an assault rifle, killing the 20 children and the six adults. He killed himself as police arrived at the school.
The school shooting, one of the deadliest in U.S. history, has spurred national debate about gun control and Second Amendment rights.
Police have not disclosed possible motives for the Newtown killings. Law enforcement officials have said Lanza showed an interest in other mass killings and played violent video games.