During the Tazhayakov trial, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s roommate Andrew Dwinells took issue with an FBI agent’s version of his previous statements. Defense counsel Diane Ferrone asked him: “Are you saying the FBI agent lied?” According to our reporter-on-the-ground Jane, “Before Andrew could respond to this Judge Woodlock intervened, calling the question “spurious” and instructing Ferrone to “dial it down.” … ‘Twas amusing as the judge appeared to nearly shoot out of his seat.”

Accusing an FBI agent of lying is unacceptable? FBI statements which look like intentional untruths must instead be chalked up to confusion, poor memory, or incompetence? OK, let’s go with that.

IMO, this agency’s level of confusion and incompetence regarding the Marathon bombing case is fairly remarkable.

Fuzzy memories, no recording. When were Azamat and Dias read their rights? Were they really “free to leave?” Was Dias more agitated about the backpack, or the marijuana?

What questions did the High Value Interrogation team ask Dzhokhar in the hospital? Did anyone keep a record of that?

The FBI and Tamerlan. The Feds told us they had no idea who the Tsarnaevs were until they lifted Tamerlan’s fingerprints from his dead body. Zubeida Tsarnaeva countered by saying that the FBI had extensive contact with the entire Tsarnaev family dating back several years. The Feds then recalled that, oh yes, they put Tamerlan on their Terror Watch List in March 2011 and interviewed him briefly. Then, they forgot about him. (WhoWhatWhy has uncovered evidence which places first contact in January 2011.)

On 60 Minutes, Agent Douglas said plaintively that they had “no other choice” but to show the video of the brothers walking with their backpacks, and to ask the public for help to identify them. Didn’t it occur to them to look in their files, where they would have found Tamerlan?

Rep. Grassley’s Congressional committee was not satisfied with the FBI’s explanation for why they dropped the ball on Tamerlan. Why did they allow him to travel to Dagestan in 2012 and return to the U.S. in 2013? Their excuse: red tape, an inter-agency snafu, an imperfect system.

Where was the second bomb? The FBI should know exactly where the lethal backpack was placed. But, they don’t seem to.

In the criminal complaint, Agent Genck writes that Dzhokhar dropped his bag close to the metal barriers, and then remained standing in the same spot, with the bag at his feet, for the next four minutes. 30 seconds before the first blast, he made a phone call. A few seconds after the blast, he walked away.

The FBI website features an image of Dzhokhar standing behind the mailbox making his phone call. It is time-stamped just before the first blast. This image is strangely dark and murky. But … they have their proof!

Or do they?

On 60 Minutes, Agents DesLauriers and Douglas enthusiastically endorsed the famous “Blue Runner Photo,” pointing out a black bag beside the tree and identifying it as Dzhokhar’s.

Researchers have established that, based on the finishing time of the blue-clad runner in the foreground, this photo must have been taken one or two minutes before the first blast. Where is Dzhokhar in this photo? According to Agent Genck and the strange murky FBI image, he should be standing behind the mailbox. But he isn’t. Jared Clowery is taking up the space where he should be. Dzhokhar is seen at the back of the crowd, walking past the tree.

Genck’s account and both photos cannot all be true. Was the bomb behind the mailbox, or beside the tree? Did Dzhokhar stay in one place for four minutes, or pace back and forth? Did D&D ever talk to Genck about this? Did they ever read the criminal complaint?

When did the FBI identify “White Hat”? WoodyBox uncovered the fact that the Forum manager turned over video from the restaurant’s surveillance camera to LE on Monday afternoon. When did the Feds watch this crucial video? They spent a lot of time focusing on the Lord & Taylor video, which showed a dark-skinned man placing a black bag and walking away. They didn’t have their “Eureka moment” with the Forum video until late Tuesday or early Wednesday. They didn’t notice White Hat placing his bag and acting suspicious until they had pored over this video “hundreds of times.” If the video is so obviously incriminating, one wonders why it took the agents so long to decipher it.

Bag and hat colors. Should someone go back to kindergarten to study the difference between black and white?

Can fireworks powder really make lethal bombs? Does the FBI have any explosives experts on staff?

Why did Ibragim Todashev die? It’s a game of Clue. Did Ibragim come after the agent with a sword, a pole, a kitchen knife, or a table? Whatever. The agent “had to defend himself.”

 

IMO we either have intentional deception, or very imprecise and sloppy detective work. Possibly both, since at least one of the Forum photographs endorsed by the agency must be photoshopped.

Perhaps America’s foremost investigative agency is not all it’s cracked up to be. Perhaps we need some people who can actually solve the case instead of simply latching onto a politically convenient suspect.