Rep. King on confusion over Boston bomb suspect and FBI watch list: They're operating under outdated guidelines

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 24, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Today, the FBI in Russia. That's where the accused bombers' parents are. The FBI is questioning those parents. What do they know?

Congressman Peter King is on the Homeland Security and Intelligence Committees. He joins us. Nice to see you, sir.

REP. PETER KING, R-NY: Good to be with you, Greta. Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Before I get to the watch list, I'm curious -- the other day, there was a hearing in the hospital room of the younger of the two brothers. How was it is that the magistrate even ended up in that room? Was she summoned by someone?

KING: That's a real issue because my understanding, the FBI did not invite the magistrate. The FBI was conducting its interrogation, and the magistrate arrived, which I think is unusual. I've never heard of a -- I haven't practiced law in a while, but I haven't heard of a judge coming uninvited or unannounced to conduct an arraignment while an interrogation is still going on. So that is one of the issues.

And also, though, apparently, there was an assistant U.S. attorney with the magistrate. So I don't know if this was arranged by the attorney general, the Justice Department. But that is something -- it just raises very, you know, interesting issues.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, the fact that the U.S. attorney was there, a federal public defender or state public defender was appointed, and that they had charges suggests that somebody got the ball rolling, and it must have come from either Justice or the U.S. Attorney's office in Massachusetts.

KING: But the FBI was still carrying out its interrogation, so -- I'll just leave it at that.

VAN SUSTEREN: They were in the dark.

KING: In the dark. It's my understanding, yes, the FBI was in the dark.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now the watch list. Why wasn't he -- he was on a watch list when left for Russia in January of 2012, is that right?

KING: I can't go into all the details, other than to say that when he came back from Russia, as Secretary Napolitano said, there was a ping. FBI was notified that he had come and gone -- that he had gone to Russia and come back, and the FBI did not follow up on it.

VAN SUSTEREN: But did the FBI know that he had come back? Because what I understood is that he had been -- he had been downgraded on the list during the six months that he was gone and so that he wasn't on the list that he would ping on when he would come back in the country.

KING: No, the FBI was told he came back.

VAN SUSTEREN: But not...


VAN SUSTEREN: ... told after the fact?

KING: Told as he -- as he came back. As I understand it, as Secretary Napolitano said, it came up on the system. They notified the FBI. And we have to find out what the FBI did, if anything, because the FBI was told about it.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, the Homeland Security is involved in the investigation, the FBI -- this was before the bombings, when they first got a notice from Russia to question him. The Washington Post is reporting tonight that the CIA was is also brought into this more than a year before the bombing. The fact that the CIA was brought into it raises all sorts of red flags that this is a bigger story than simply some homegrown terrorists.

KING: Well, again, without going into the details, I strongly believe that the presumption has to be there was foreign involvement. There was a real sophistication with those weapons. The indicators are that he received training. I'm not saying there's any evidence yet, but I think most professionals involved in this would think that there had to be some training from overseas, some direction from overseas.

And also, you know, they mentioned he was on welfare in 2012. He was able to travel back and forth to Russia. Usually, a person who is getting welfare can't afford to go back and forth. The whole question -- who paid for the weapons? Who paid for the explosives?

Also, if I could raise another issue -- you mentioned the mosque. Now, from press accounts, he was ejected from a mosque for his behavior earlier this year. Did that imam and that mosque ever tell the FBI or the Boston police?

VAN SUSTEREN: But was he even obliged to? I mean, if you have an obnoxious parishioner, an obnoxious person in the mosque, you know, you usually -- you eject the person. You may not follow through.

KING: Well, if he was ejected because of his radical beliefs and...

VAN SUSTEREN: Is that why he was -- is that why he was ejected?

KING: That's my understanding, yes. What he was saying about Martin Luther King and the tone of it was extremely radical. That's why he was asked to leave. And I think that, for instance -- did the FBI ever tell the Boston police about the report they got from the Russians? Did they ask the Boston police to follow up on it? Did they ever go to the mosque? I mean, if they had gone to the mosque and said, Hey, we have a report on this guy, let us know...

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, do you know who -- I mean, like, we keep talking about the FBI. Have we identified the special agent who went out to talk to him, or agents? I mean, has anyone has actually talked to these agents and said, What did you do? What did you learn? What did you report? I mean, have we even gone that far because this is a -- this a terrible intelligence gap.

KING: Well, yes, the FBI -- they've looked into it. (INAUDIBLE) actually spoken to them or just gone to the written record, I don't know. But also, they don't know, I believe, who -- who or what -- who responded when Homeland Security told them he had just come back from Russia. For instance, is that going to...

VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, there's got to be a trail, though! I mean -- I mean...

KING: Oh, there will be.

VAN SUSTEREN: But will be? We're nine days -- I mean, we're nine days past! If there were a part of a bigger conspiracy...

KING: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... we're nine days into this and a lot could have happened in nine days. Thankfully, nothing did. But if we don't even know that at this point -- I mean, I would assume that his computer, if he has a computer, that's been seized. That's been combed. I mean, I assume we've done all that, right?

KING: Let me just say that -- you were asking me what happened in the past. I'm saying right now, the FBI, all of the intelligence community is -- this is 24/7, full-court press, whatever analogy we want to use.

So no, I have no criticism whatsoever of what's being done now. I think they're doing a first-rate professional job. And this is an all- encompassing investigation which I think will be larger than people expect it to be.

VAN SUSTEREN: So they're good at investigating after the fact, after the violence. They failed in their investigation before the violence. And of course, there's -- I mean, how should Americans feel comfortable tonight wondering how many other failures are there?

KING: I think -- again, in fairness to the FBI, I think that they are operating under guidelines that are outdated. I think they have to be given more leeway as to how long they can keep an investigation open, how long they can continue to monitor.

Right now, they're operating under Justice Department guidelines, which I think have to be expanded, and it's -- right now, they're too restrictive.

Also, I think they have to make much better use of local police because most of the threats we have or most of the plots are going to be planned locally from here on in -- actually, for the last few years. And I don't even know if they ever consulted the Boston Police Department about the information they got.

VAN SUSTEREN: Except the tip in this case went to the FBI. But anyway...

KING: The FBI then should deal with...

VAN SUSTEREN: They should...

KING: That was the overseas tip, but they should go...

VAN SUSTEREN: And maybe once we get more information, we'll see they did a thorough job. It's just tonight, it looks like a big gap.

KING: I think we should do more of the NYPD, be very aggressive in the communities, get out there, preempt it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman, nice to see you. Thank you, sir.

KING: Greta, thank you.