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Tsarnaev calls wiretapped by Russia

Russian authorities secretly recorded a telephone conversation in 2011 in which one of the Boston bombing suspects vaguely discussed jihad with his mother, officials said Saturday.

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Washington: Russian authorities secretly recorded a telephone conversation in 2011 in which one of the Boston bombing suspects vaguely discussed jihad with his mother, officials say.

In another conversation, the mother of now-dead bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was recorded talking to someone in southern Russia who is under FBI investigation in an unrelated case.

It was not immediately clear why Russian authorities didn't share more information at the time. 

Had the conversations been revealed earlier, they might have been enough evidence for the FBI to initiate a more thorough investigation of the Tsarnaev family.

Bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent six months in Dagestan last year.

Bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent six months in Dagestan last year. Photo: Reuters

Russian authorities told the FBI only that they had concerns that Tamerlan and his mother were religious extremists.

With no additional information, the FBI conducted a limited inquiry and closed the case in June 2011.

Two years later, authorities say Tamerlan and his brother, Dzhohkar, detonated two homemade bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 260.

Tamerlan was killed in a police shootout and Dzhohkar is under arrest.

In the past week, Russian authorities turned over to the United States information it had on 26-year-old Tamerlan and his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, ethnic Chechens who emigrated from southern Russia to the Boston area over the past 11 years.

In early 2011, the Russian FSB internal security service intercepted a conversation between Tamerlan and his mother vaguely discussing jihad, according to US officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The two discussed the possibility of Tamerlan going to Palestine, but he told his mother he didn't speak the language there, according to the officials, who reviewed the information Russia shared with the US.

In a second call, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva spoke with a man in the Caucasus region of Russia who was under FBI investigation.

Nothing in the conversation suggested a plot inside the US, officials said.

It was not immediately clear why Russian authorities didn't share more information at the time.

Zubeidat Tsarnaeva has denied that she or her sons were involved in terrorism. She believes her sons have been framed by US authorities.

AP