When Former CIA official Philip Mudd saw the video of the younger Boston bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, with his jacket on and his hat on backward exposing his face, Mudd immediately began to doubt any connections to foreign financing and training.
“If someone is going to claim this is a huge international conspiracy turn the cap around and put the hoodie on,” Mudd told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday. “The characteristics of this so far are not that sophisticated, despite the horror of what happened.”
It is harder to find the homegrown terrorist Mudd said, because they don’t have an expanded circle of communication and they do not pick hard targets.
The FBI says it looked into the older brother at the request of the Russian government, but obviously those actions were not enough to stop the attacks in Boston last week.
So what should the U.S. government have done?
“The FBI should do the same thing with a lead from the Russian service as it would with a tipster in the United States,” Mudd said.
The government shouldn’t ask whether these brothers were radicals, according to Mudd, but rather were there indications that they were considering an act of violence, breaking federal law.
In hindsight, there do appear to be many red flags including a YouTube page that appears to have belonged to the older brother, Tamerlan, had a playlist page labeled “terrorists.”
But Mudd says while it’s now clear there were red flags before the bombings, he contended that even if the government had been aware of those clues, they could have been easily overlooked in the immense amount information that organizations, like the FBI, come across all the time.
“If you’re going to down that road of more aggressively pursuing people like this, for every one that you find – as you open up the aperture – you’re going to have five-hundred false positives,” Mudd said. “If that’s the price you want to pay – not only in terms of resources, but in terms of doing things that Americans aren’t going to be uncomfortable with – I’d say stand back put your seatbelts on; that’s not a world you want to live in.”