Rep. McCaul talks upcoming hearings on Boston bombings

House Homeland Security chair speaks out


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," May 7, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, Secretary of State John Kerry in Russia today thanking Russian President Putin for counterterrorism cooperation after the Boston bombings. Russia had warned the United States about the older bombing suspect way back in 2011.

My next guest wants to know what else we were told. He's the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Republican Michael McCaul holding a hearing on the Boston bombings scheduled for Thursday.

Congressman, what do you want to know about those warnings and, more to the point, what Russia is doing now?

REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL, R-TEXAS: Yes, I want to know -- he was on the radar screen of the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the fact is he got off the radar screen, and he went overseas to one of the most dangerous parts of the world we know is tied to Al Qaeda. You talked about the relationship now between him and a potential terrorist.

So we want to ask the hard questions to get to the bottom of this. I, as a chairman, have a responsibility to the American people and the victims and their families to get to the truth in this matter, and that's what we intend to do on this committee.

CAVUTO: You know, Congressman, one thing that stands out to me -- and you follow this far more closely than I -- but the delay in getting information across, the delay in finding out that -- that a visa has been revoked before it makes its way to airport authorities taking in passengers returning here, the delay in documentation that is accepted from one agency to another, the delay in warnings from the FBI on Tamerlan, more to the point, and whether they ever reached local authorities.

That is a consistent theme here. What's going on?

MCCAUL: Well, again, I want to find out what happened, what went wrong and how we can prevent this in the future to protect American lives.

And the fact is, this man was on the databases, on the travel watch list. Somehow, that information wasn't shared between the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. But that's what I want to find out, is, was that shared or not? Because, remember, after 9/11, it was all about connecting the dots...

CAVUTO: Right. Right.

MCCAUL: ... and sharing information. And here we have potentially what could have been an intelligence failure that may have resulted in three deaths and 250 people maimed.

CAVUTO: Now, there should have been a heads-up obviously when Russia warns about a bad guy here, but they had their problems with the Chechens to begin with, so maybe in retrospect we were just leery of an enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my enemy.

I guess I can understand that. But how unusual was it and is it, do you know, to get warnings like that? Other security types have told me, Chairman, that it wasn't unusual, that there were a lot of these type of warnings. Is that true?

MCCAUL: I think it's very extraordinary to get a foreign intelligence communiqué like this.

I don't think there were that many terrorist cases going in on the Boston area at the time. And the fact is, the Russians were right on this one. I hate to say that. And we should have taken it seriously. And it was serious enough for them to put him on the watch list.

So why in the world when he returns to the United States wasn't he given more scrutiny? And we know that when he got back, he radicalized and began putting these jihadists Web sites and videos up on his YouTube website. Had we looked at him when he came back, we may just have noticed this radicalization process that nine months later resulted in the greatest terror attack since 9/11.

CAVUTO: All right, we know a former girlfriend noticed it. His wife said nothing, nothing, didn't notice any of that.

MCCAUL: Well, remember, his wife is living in a small apartment with him, surrounded by pressure cooker bombs.

CAVUTO: Right.

MCCAUL: It's hard for me to fathom...


MCCAUL: ... that she didn't know what was going on in this case.

CAVUTO: Chairman, thank you. We look forward to the hearings, maybe get to the bottom of some of this stuff.

MCCAUL: Thanks, Neil.

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