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Top Republicans Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have said they will support further investigation of findings that Russian hackers meddled in the November election.

The House speaker and Senate majority leader said any foreign intervention in the polls was unacceptable.

Donald Trump has repeatedly poured scorn on the claims, made by the CIA.

The CIA concluded on December 9 that Russia’s motive was to help Donald Trump.

Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan said their respective intelligence committees would investigate the allegations.

Photo AP

Photo AP

“Any foreign breach of our cyber-security measures is disturbing and I strongly condemn any such efforts,” Senator Mitch McConnell told reporters, adding that “the Russians are not our friends”.

Paul Ryan echoed these remarks, but warned against exploiting the work of the intelligence community for “partisan purposes”.

The remarks came amid suggestions by Donald Trump that the claims were politically motivated.

On December 11, the president-elect told Fox News the Democrats were disseminating the “ridiculous” hacking reports because they lost the election.

Then on the next day Donald Trump tweeted: “Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!

“Unless you catch <<hackers>> in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn’t this brought up before election?”

The FBI said two month ago that it believed Russia was behind the Democratic Party hacks, but on December 9 the CIA went further by concluding Russia’s motive was to help Donald Trump.

On December 12, the Hillary Clinton campaign, which lost to Donald Trump in last month’s election, said it was supporting an effort by a handful of members of the electoral college to request an intelligence briefing on the latest hacking allegations.


The Electoral College meets next week to ratify the results of the election.

Last week, President Barack Obama has ordered a complete review of the hacks, which targeted emails at the Democratic Party and John Podesta’s emails.

The contents of the emails, passed to WikiLeaks and posted online, were embarrassing to the Democrats and shook up the presidential campaign.

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Donald Trump has rejected as “ridiculous” a CIA assessment that Russian hackers tried to sway the US election in his favor.

The president-elect told Fox News the Democrats were putting out the reports because they were embarrassed at the scale of the election defeat.

On December 9, CIA officials told media they had concluded that Russians hackers were trying to help Donald Trump.

Russian officials have repeatedly denied the hacking accusations.

Donald Trump said it might have been Russia but it was impossible to know.

“They have no idea if it’s Russia or China or somebody sitting in a bed some place,” he said.Donald Trump hails Brexit referendum result

President Barack Obama has ordered a complete review of the hacks, which targeted emails at the DNC and the emails of John Podesta, a key aide to presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

The contents of the emails, passed to WikiLeaks and posted online, were embarrassing to the Democrats and shook up the presidential campaign.

Senior Republicans have now joined Democrats in calling for a full investigation.

Republican Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a joint statement on December 11 with top Democrats that the CIA’s report “should alarm every American”.

John McCain said in an interview that the congressional investigation should be more thorough than the one ordered by the White House.

In October, US government officials pointed the finger at Russia, accusing it of meddling in the campaign to undermine the electoral process.

On December 9, the intelligence community went further when media reports said the CIA had “high confidence” that Russians were trying to influence the election in Donald Trump’s favor.

Russians had hacked the Republican Party but chose not to reveal the contents of what they found, the reports said.

Donald Trump told Fox News on December 11: “I think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it.”

The president-elect said the Democrats were behind the news reports, not the CIA, because they suffered such a big defeat.

While backing the Obama review, Donald Trump warned that it should not pin the blame solely on Russia but on other countries or individuals too.

GOP spokesman Sean Spicer said the party had not been hacked and the intelligence report was wrong.

Donald Trump also said in the interview he did not need daily intelligence briefings.

“I’m a smart person, I don’t need to be told the same thing in the same way for eight years.”

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According to new reports, US intelligence agencies believe Russia acted covertly to boost Donald Trump in the election race.

The New York Times and the Washington Post reports say the agencies had “high confidence” about Russian involvement in hacking.

However, Donald Trump’s team dismissed the CIA line, saying: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”

Russian officials have repeatedly denied the hacking accusations.

On December 9, President Barack Obama ordered an investigation into a series of cyber-attacks, blamed on Russia, during the US election season.

Image source Flickr

Image source Flickr

The hacks targeted emails at the Democratic Party and John Podesta, a key aide to presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

In October, US government officials pointed the finger at Russia, accusing it of meddling in the campaign.

Now, senior administration officials quoted by the New York Times say they are confident that Russian hackers also infiltrated the Republican National Committee’s computer systems as well as those of the Democratic Party, but did not release information gleaned from the Republican networks.

According to intelligence agencies, the Russians passed on the Democrats’ documents to WikiLeaks, the Times reported.

Democrats reacted furiously when email accounts of the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, were hacked.

John Podesta’s emails were revealed by WikiLeaks and posted online.

Quoting an unnamed “senior US official”, the Washington Post said “intelligence agencies” had “identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman”.

At one point in the campaign, Donald Trump publicly encouraged Russia to “find” Hillary Clinton’s emails, although he later said he was being sarcastic.

Democrats claimed the hacks were a deliberate attempt to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said President Barack Obama wanted the investigation carried out on his watch “because he takes it very seriously”.

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Former CIA Director David Petraeus has been put on probation and fined for leaking material to his mistress Paula Broadwell.

David Petraeus resigned from his post at the CIA in 2012 after it emerged he was having an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.

The retired four-star general could have faced a year in prison, after his guilty plea two months ago.David Petraeus sentence

David Petraeus led the 2007 troop surge in the Iraq war and served as commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

He reached a plea bargain with prosecutors after admitting to leaking sensitive material to Paula Broadwell while she was working on a book about him.

Prosecutors said that he gave her eight binders of classified material in 2011, which he had improperly kept from his time leading the war in Afghanistan.

In a federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina, David Petraeus was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay a $100,000.

Prosecutors recommended the same length of probation, but a smaller fine of $40,000.

Judge David Kessler raised the fine to “reflect the seriousness of the offence”.

Appearing in court before the sentencing, David Petraeus apologized for his actions.

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CIA chief John O. Brennan has ordered a major overhaul of the spy agency.

In a memo to staff, the CIA director said that the changes were driven by a wider range of threats and the impact of technological advancements.

The reforms aim to impose greater accountability on managers and to improve cyber capabilities.

The biggest change is the breakdown of the division between operators and analysts.

Historically, those who run operations and those who interpret the intelligence they gather have been kept separate in different divisions and offices.

Under the new plans they would brought together in 10 “Mission Centers”, each run by an assistant director.

There are a handful of such facilities at the moment, including the Counter Terrorism Centre, where analysts and operators have worked side by side for the past decade.John Brennan CIA overhaul

In his memo to staff, John Brennan highlighted the dangers presented by cyber terrorism, but also the opportunities that technological advancement offered the agency.

He called on the CIA to “embrace and leverage the digital revolution” and announced the creation of the Directorate of Digital Innovation.

John Brennan told reporters that the cell-like nature of the agency often meant that there was no one person he could hold accountable for a spying mission.

“There are a lot of areas that I would like to have better insight to, better information about, better access to,” John Brennan said.

Correspondents say the changes are a result of increasing concerns that the CIA’s focus on terrorism following the 9/11 attacks has blunted its abilities to deal with other threats.

The move to greater accountability comes after John Brennan admitted that some officers had acted beyond their authority following a 2014 Senate report that criticized the agency’s use of enhanced interrogation methods.

Responding to the report, John Brennan admitted that some of the methods were “abhorrent” but defended the CIA’s record.

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Ex-CIA director David Petraeus should be charged with providing classified information to former mistress Paula Broadwell, prosecutors have recommended.

The New York Times first reported the news, citing officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A decorated former general, David Petraeus resigned as CIA chief in 2012 after details of his affair with Paula Broadwell emerged.

He was a commander of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan before taking the role.

A US Justice Department investigation is focusing on whether David Petraeus gave Paula Broadwell access to his CIA email and other classified information while director of the organization, the newspaper says.

FBI agents discovered classified documents on Paula Broadwell’s computer after David Petraeus quit, according to the New York Times.

Photo AP

Photo AP

The recommendations to press criminal charges from the FBI and US Justice Department would leave Attorney General Eric Holder with a decision on whether to seek an indictment, which could see David Petraeus jailed if found guilty.

David Petraeus has said he never provided classified information to Paula Broadwell, according to the paper.

The affair reportedly began in 2011, while Paula Broadwell was working on a biography of David Petraeus.

In the same year, David Petraeus resigned from his commanding position in Afghanistan to take on the CIA role.

David Petraeus resigned from the CIA in 2012, saying he had shown “extremely poor judgment” in conducting the affair.

President Barack Obama paid tribute to David Petraeus at the time, saying he had “provided extraordinary service to the United States for decades”.

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The Islamic State (ISIS) militant group may have up to 31,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria – three times as many as previously feared, the CIA announces.

A spokesman said the new estimate was based on a review of intelligence reports from May to August 2014.

ISIS has seized vast swathes of Iraq and beheaded several hostages in recent months, leading to US airstrikes.

Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting Turkey, seeking more support for action against IS.

On September 11, 10 Arab countries agreed to help the US attack the group in both Iraq and Syria.

The CIA had previously believed that ISIS had about 10,000 fighters, spokesman Ryan Trapani said.

“This new total reflects an increase in members because of stronger recruitment since June following battlefield successes and the declaration of a caliphate, greater battlefield activity, and additional intelligence,” he added.

The revision comes a day after President Barack Obama outlined a plan to “degrade and destroy” IS and to increase military support for allied forces engaged in fighting the group.

The CIA estimates that the ISIS militant group may have up to 31,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria, three times as many as previously feared

The CIA estimates that the ISIS militant group may have up to 31,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria, three times as many as previously feared

For the first time, the president authorized airstrikes against the group in Syria.

In recent months ISIS has expanded from its stronghold in eastern Syria and seized control of more towns, cities, army bases and weaponry in Iraq.

The US has already carried out more than 150 air strikes against ISIS in Iraq. It has also sent hundreds of military advisers to assist Iraqi government and Kurdish forces, but has ruled out sending ground troops.

Other countries have contributed humanitarian assistance to Iraqis displaced by the group’s advance.

John Kerry secured the cooperation of several Arab countries during a meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

NATO member Turkey, however, refused to sign a communiqué calling for countries to join the US in the fight against ISIS.

Analysts say this may be because the group currently holds 49 Turkish citizens, including diplomats.

John Kerry downplayed the move, saying the important US ally was dealing with some “sensitive issues”.

John Kerry is due to travel to Turkey on Friday, September 12, to try to secure more cooperation from the government.

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The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that Poland broke the European human rights convention in helping the CIA to render two terror suspects.

The judges said Poland had co-operated with the illegal transfers in 2002-2003, allowing two suspects to be interrogated on its territory.

It is the first such case concerning a CIA “black site” prison in Poland.

Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian, was arrested in Pakistan and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi, in Dubai.

Poland broke the European human rights convention in helping the CIA to render two terror suspects

Poland broke the European human rights convention in helping the CIA to render two terror suspects

The court held that “the treatment to which the applicants had been subjected by the CIA during their detention in Poland had amounted to torture”.

The two men are currently held at the US Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

They complained to the court that they had been tortured at a US-run facility in Poland called Stare Kiejkuty, where Nashiri was held for six months and Abu Zubaydah for nine.

The ECHR, in its press release on the case, said that “the Polish state, on account of its acquiescence and connivance in the HVD [extraordinary rendition] Program, had to be regarded as responsible for the violation of the applicants’ rights committed on its territory”.

It added that Poland had been aware that the men’s transfer to and from its territory had been carried out by the process of “extraordinary rendition”.

“Consequently, by enabling the CIA to transfer the applicants to its other secret detention facilities, the Polish authorities exposed them to a foreseeable serious risk of further ill-treatment and conditions of detention in breach of Article Three [prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment],” it said.

The court ordered the Polish government to pay each of the men 100,000 euros ($135,000) in damages. It also awarded Abu Zubaydah 30,000 euros to cover his costs.

Germany has expelled a CIA official in Berlin in response to two cases of alleged spying by the US.

The official is said to have acted as a CIA contact at the US embassy, reports say, in a scandal that has infuriated German politicians.

A 31-year-old German intelligence official was arrested last week on suspicion of spying.

Reports on Wednesday said an inquiry had also begun into a German soldier.

“The representative of the US intelligence services at the embassy of the United States of America has been told to leave Germany,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

The chairman of the Bundestag (German parliament) committee overseeing the German secret service said the action was taken because of American spying on German politicians and its failure to co-operate and provide adequate responses.

Angela Merkel has tried to maintain a balance between condemning the US spying, but also maintaining cordial relations

Angela Merkel has tried to maintain a balance between condemning the US spying, but also maintaining cordial relations

The US has not denied allegations that a German intelligence agency employee arrested last week was passing secret documents to the US National Security Agency (NSA).

However, the latest reports that a soldier within the defense ministry was also spying for the US were considered more serious. Although no arrest was made, searches were carried out on Wednesday at the ministry and elsewhere.

The US and Germany have been close allies for decades but relations were hit last year when it emerged that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone had been monitored by the NSA.

On Thursday, Angela Merkel said spying on allies was a “waste of energy”.

“We have so many problems, we should focus on the important things,” she said at a news conference with visiting Moldovan PM Iurie Leanca.

Angela Merkel has tried to maintain a balance between condemning the US actions but also maintaining cordial relations. However, each revelation has made that balance harder to achieve, he adds.

The scale of the US agency’s surveillance was revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who fled the US and is now a fugitive in Russia.

The German intelligence official arrested last week was alleged to have been trying to gather details about a German parliamentary committee investigating the NSA spying scandal.

Secretary of State John Kerry has labeled Edward Snowden a fugitive from justice who should “man up” and return home.

John Kerry added that if Edward Snowden, 30, “believes in America, he should trust the American system of justice”.

Secretary of State John Kerry has labeled Edward Snowden a fugitive from justice who should man up and return home

Secretary of State John Kerry has labeled Edward Snowden a fugitive from justice who should man up and return home

His comments come in the wake of an interview with NBC in which Edward Snowden said he sought asylum in Russia because the US revoked his passport.

Edward Snowden also described himself as a trained spy, not a low-level analyst.

“A patriot would not run away,” John Kerry said on Wednesday.

“If Mr. Snowden wants to come back to the United States… we’ll have him on a flight today.”

John Kerry also called the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor “confused”, adding “this is a man who has done great damage to his country”.

“He should man up and come back to the US,” John Kerry said.

In the NBC interview, Edward Snowden claims he was trained as a spy who worked undercover overseas for the CIA and NSA.

But he described himself as a technical expert who did not recruit agents.

“What I do is I put systems to work for the US,” he said.

“And I’ve done that at all levels from the bottom on the ground all the way to the top. Now, the government might deny these things, they might frame it in certain ways and say, <<Oh well, you know, he’s – he’s a low-level analyst>>.”

When Edward Snowden fled the US in May 2013, he had been working as a technician for Booz Allen, a giant government contractor for the NSA.

Last year, Edward Snowden fed a trove of secret NSA documents to news outlets including the Washington Post and the Guardian.

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Edward Snowden has described himself as a trained spy specializing in electronic surveillance, dismissing claims he was a mere low-level analyst.

In an interview with NBC, Edward Snowden reiterated that he had worked undercover overseas for the CIA and NSA. This is the first interview with the former NSA employee for an American television. The NBC interview will air next week.

The fugitive intelligence leaker said the US got better intelligence from computers than human agents.

Edward Snowden, 30, fled the US in May 2013 and has been living under temporary asylum in Russia.

In an interview with NBC's Brian Williams, Edward Snowden said he had trained as a spy

In an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, Edward Snowden said he had trained as a spy (photo NBC)

Last year, he fed a trove of secret NSA documents to news outlets including the Washington Post and the Guardian.

Among other things, the leaks detailed the NSA’s practice of harvesting data on millions of telephone calls made in the US and around the world, and revealed the agency had snooped on foreign leaders.

The revelations have sparked a debate in the US over the appropriate role of the NSA and the extent to which it should be authorized to conduct such broad surveillance.

President Barack Obama has asked Congress to rein in the program by barring the NSA from storing phone call data on its own and to require it to seek a court order to access telecom companies’ records.

Last week, the US House passed such legislation, sending it to the US Senate.

In excerpts of an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, Edward Snowden said he had trained as a spy “in sort of the traditional sense of the word in that I lived and worked undercover overseas – pretending to work in a job that I’m not – and even being assigned a name that was not mine”.

But he described himself as a technical expert who did not recruit agents.

“What I do is I put systems to work for the US,” he said.

“And I’ve done that at all levels from the bottom on the ground all the way to the top. Now, the government might deny these things, they might frame it in certain ways and say, <<Oh well, you know, he’s – he’s a low-level analyst>>.”

Edward Snowden said he had worked for the CIA and NSA undercover, overseas, and lectured at the Defense Intelligence Agency.

When Edward Snowden fled the US, he had been working as a technician for Booz Allen, a giant government contractor for the National Security Agency.

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The CIA will no longer use vaccination programs as cover for spying operations, a White House official announced.

The agency used the ruse in targeting Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011.

Lisa Monaco, Barack Obama’s leading counter-terrorism adviser, wrote to the deans of 13 prominent public health schools last week saying that the CIA had agreed it would no longer use vaccination programs or workers for intelligence purposes.

The CIA also agreed not to use genetic materials obtained through such programs.

Dr. Shakil Afridi offered a program of hepatitis vaccinations in Abbottabad as cover for his CIA-backed effort to obtain DNA samples from children at a compound where Osama bin Laden was later killed during a 2011 raid by US navy Seals.

The doctor was convicted and sentenced by a Pakistani court to 33 years in prison for treason. The sentence was later overturned and Shakil Afridi faces a retrial.

The CIA will no longer use vaccination programs as cover for spying operations

The CIA will no longer use vaccination programs as cover for spying operations

The health school deans were among a group of medical authorities who publicly criticized the CIA’s use of the vaccination program after it was disclosed by media accounts and Pakistan’s arrest of Shakil Afridi as a CIA operative.

In her letter dated May 16, Lisa Monaco said the US “strongly supports the global polio eradication initiative and efforts to end the spread of the polio virus forever”.

Lisa Monaco said the CIA director, John Brennan, committed in August 2013 to “make no operational use of vaccination programs, which includes vaccination workers”. She said the CIA policy “applied worldwide and to US and non-US persons alike,” and that no DNA or genetic material would be used from such programs.

The CIA spokesman Dean Boyd said Brennan “took seriously the concerns raised by the public health community, examined them closely and took decisive action”.

Lisa Monaco’s letter and the CIA statement did not acknowledge any error in the decision to use the Pakistan vaccine program as a spying cover. The letter was first disclosed in a report by Yahoo News.

The public health deans warned last year that the CIA’s use of a vaccination program had played a role in the shootings of several health workers in Pakistan and could hamper anti-polio efforts. “Public health programs should not be used as cover for covert operations,” they said.

Last week, Pakistan’s health ministry announced it would require all travelers leaving the country to first get a polio vaccination. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that polio’s spread is an international public health emergency, and identified Pakistan, Syria and Cameroon as nations that have allowed polio to spread beyond their borders.

Pakistan was the only country with reported endemic polio that saw a rise in new cases in 2012, the WHO reported. The country accounted for more than a fifth of all polio cases identified around the world in 2013.

The CIA’s use of a polio vaccine program to spy on Osama bin Laden’s compound undercut Barack Obama’s high-profile speech to the Muslim world in 2009 in which he touted US efforts to slow the growth of polio in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. With Obama administration assurances, Muslim scholars in two international groups issued religious decrees urging parents to vaccinate their children.

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Head of the US Senate intelligence committee Dianne Feinstein has publicly accused the CIA of improperly accessing computers used by congressional staff.

Senator Dianne Feinstein said on the Senate floor that such activities “may have undermined the constitutional framework” of government oversight.

The Senate panel was investigating allegations of abuse during a CIA detention and interrogation program.

A CIA internal watchdog has been tasked with looking into the alleged hacking.

“I am not taking it lightly,” Dianne Feinstein said of the matter on Tuesday, adding that the CIA may have violated federal laws in its alleged conduct.

But CIA director John Brennan rejected the Senate allegations.

Dianne Feinstein has publicly accused the CIA of improperly accessing computers used by congressional staff

Dianne Feinstein has publicly accused the CIA of improperly accessing computers used by congressional staff

“The CIA was in no way spying… on the Senate,” John Brennan told MSNBC on Tuesday.

The CIA is accused of secretly removing documents from computers used by the Senate intelligence committee during an investigation into alleged CIA abuse.

Those computers were provided by the CIA to congressional members of staff at a secure site so that Senate investigators could review millions of pages of top secret documents.

The alleged CIA abuse stemmed from a detention and interrogation program under former President George W. Bush.

Dianne Feinstein has previously said that the committee’s 6,000-page “comprehensive review” – completed in 2013 and encompassing six million pages of records – found that the CIA program had yielded little or no significant intelligence.

On Tuesday, the Senate intelligence committee chairwoman reportedly said such improper access to congressional networks, if true, amounted to attempted intimidation of investigators.

Dianne Feinstein also said she had requested an apology from the agency and an acknowledgment that the search was inappropriate, but had “received neither” despite sending letters to the agency requesting information on January 17 and 23.

She noted that CIA inspector general David Buckley had been tasked with looking into the alleged actions.

Dianne Feinstein said he had already referred the matter to the Department of Justice, “given the possibility of a criminal violation by CIA personnel”.

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Boston bomb suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was added to a terrorism database 18 months ago at the request of the CIA, officials have told US media.

The FBI has already said it investigated Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, but had found no evidence of a threat.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a police chase last week. His brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is in custody over the bombs.

Three people were killed and more than 260 wounded when two devices exploded at the Boston Marathon on April 15.

A US politician earlier confirmed the bombs were set off by remote control.

But the devices were not sophisticated and apparently had to be triggered from a few streets away.

Officials said Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been added to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) on the request of the CIA.

CIA tracked Tamerlan Tsarnaev 18 months before Boston attack and added him to terrorism database

CIA tracked Tamerlan Tsarnaev 18 months before Boston attack and added him to terrorism database

The database contains as many as 745,000 entries, and individuals on that list are not necessarily on the so-called terrorist watch list.

The Russian authorities had alerted US counterparts to the activities of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, whose family has its origins in the war-torn Russian republic of Chechnya.

About six months before the CIA requested his name be added to TIDE, the FBI asked the Russians for more information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev but received none, and closed its investigation.

The authorities earlier said the US intelligence community had no information about threats to the Boston Marathon ahead of the April 15 attacks.

After a classified briefing in the House intelligence committee on Wednesday, Democratic Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger said he believed the FBI was not at fault.

“I feel, based on the testimony today, that the FBI did exactly what they would do and they followed through the protocols that were necessary once they got that information,” Dutch Ruppersberger told reporters.

He also said he had been told the bombs were detonated with a “garage door opener-type of device”.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was injured during the police manhunt and remains in hospital in a fair condition.

Officers captured him as he hid in a boat covered by a tarpaulin in a garden in Watertown, Massachusetts.

Officials initially had said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev exchanged gunfire with police for more than an hour before he was captured on Friday.

But the Associated Press quoted two unnamed officials as saying Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had been unarmed when he was captured.

The younger brother has been charged in hospital with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could be sentenced to death if convicted on either count.

In bedside questioning, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has said he and his brother were angry about the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the brothers are not believed to have had direct contact with a militant organization, politicians said after closed-door briefings.

It is suspected the brothers became radicalized online.

The suspects’ parents, Anzor Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, are due to arrive in the US on Thursday, Russian media reported.

The Tsarnaev family has origins in the predominantly Muslim republic of Chechnya in southern Russia.

Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been living in the US for about a decade at the time of the Boston Marathon attack.

In 2012, Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent six months with relatives in Dagestan, another Russian republic, which has an Islamist militant insurgency.

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Friends of Jill Kelley, the Tampa housewife who exposed David Petraeus’ affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell, have suggested her husband tipped off the FBI about the “threatening” emails his wife was receiving from the woman.

The emails telling Jill Kelley to “back off” sparked the investigation that uncovered David Petraeus’ affair with Paula Broadwell and led to the CIA boss’ dramatic resignation on Friday.

The friends’ claims come as Jill Kelley, who became friend with Petraeus after working alongside him as a liaison officer at MacDill Air Force Base, was seen strutting outside her Florida mansion.

Jill Kelley was dressed in an eye-catching canary yellow suit as she swooped past reporters swarming the $1.3 million home she shares with her husband and their three children.

She climbed into her Mercedes which carries a license plate reading “Honorary Consul” – a nod to her unpaid work with the forces, and a sign she’s not shy about making her high-profile contacts known.

Jill Kelley steps out as friends claim her husband tipped FBI about Paula Broadwell emails

Jill Kelley steps out as friends claim her husband tipped FBI about Paula Broadwell emails

“Jill’s husband Scott is very protective of her, and I’m sure he was the one who said go to the FBI,” said a close friend about the scandal.

“They are a very close couple who are devoted to each other and their children. If his family was being threatened he would not hesitate to go to the police.

“Jill is a very strong woman, but I guess she must have known who these emails were coming from. She would have seen this Paula and seen how close she was to the General. She is very worldly wise and would have guessed.”

Jill Kelley has insisted there was no reason for jealousy as she is nothing more than friends with David Petraeus, whom she met when he was serving at the Tampa base between 2008 and 2010.

She worked as an unpaid, unofficial social liaison for U.S. Central Command, which David Petraeus led, and was reportedly a fixture at parties, along with her husband Scott, a prominent cancer surgeon.