Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told lawmakers Tuesday her agency knew of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s trip to Russia in 2012, which directly contradicts information Sen. Lindsey Graham received from the FBI.
Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on immigration, Napolitano said her agency was alerted in January 2012 that Tsarnaev was leaving the U.S.
“The system pinged when he was leaving the United States. By the time he returned all investigations had been closed,” Napolitano said.
Graham, though, told Napolitano he received different information from the FBI.
“They told me that they had no knowledge of him leaving or coming back so I would like to talk to you more about this case,” he said.
Multiple sources reported last week that the older brother Tsarnaev was investigated by the FBI for foreign terrorist associations at the urging of the Russian government, but was later cleared when no evidence was found.
When Tsarnaev left the U.S., his name was misspelled on the airline ticket and that is why the FBI and other intelligence agencies were not alerted to his departure.
Napolitano touted the new immigration bill saying the “plan would require that all U.S. passports be electronically readable and would reduce the likelihood of potential mistakes.”
The new immigration bill “really does a good job of getting human error, to the extent it exists, out of the process,” Napolitano said.
Watch an NBC News clip of Napolitano’s testimony on Tamerlan Tsarnaev:
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