Feinstein: Saudi national ‘not a suspect’ in Boston bombings
The Saudi national injured in the Boston Marathon bombings Monday is "not a suspect," Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told The Cable Tuesday. "As far as I know, he is not a suspect," Feinstein said Tuesday afternoon. She declined to specify how she knew but said she had been briefed Monday night by ...
The Saudi national injured in the Boston Marathon bombings Monday is "not a suspect," Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told The Cable Tuesday.
"As far as I know, he is not a suspect," Feinstein said Tuesday afternoon. She declined to specify how she knew but said she had been briefed Monday night by Sean Joyce, the No. 2 official at the FBI. Feinstein said her information about the Saudi national was not dispositive because the investigation was still ongoing.
"This is the problem with answering these questions, because we don’t really know. We only really know one thing: this qualifies as far as I’m concerned as a terrorist attack," she said.
Feinstein said she didn’t know yet if the attack was from a foreign or domestic source.
"It’s hard to tell," she said. "I think the device will determine a lot of that."
Investigators have already searched the home of the 22-year old Saudi student, who was injured during the bombings and remains in the care of a local hospital. Officials at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C. have also not been informed that the student is either a suspect or a person of interest.
Feinstein will chair a closed hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday afternoon featuring Director of National Intelligence James Clapper that was supposed to be focused on the budget. The Boston attacks are sure to be discussed. There is also a closed intelligence briefing late Tuesday afternoon for committee members that will focus more squarely on the attacks.
Asked for an update on the investigation, Feinstein said that nothing much has changed since Monday evening.
"It’s sort of a forensic slog right now of doing everything that need to be done to secure what is a huge crime scene, take down hundreds of security cameras, go through the film minute by minute, hour after hour, and try to follow forensic evidence. A big task is even collecting the forensic evidence," she said. "You’ve got a crime scene that could be anywhere along 25 miles. Where did the individual come from, how did he get there, where did he go?"
Nevertheless, Feinstein expressed confidence that the attackers will be brought to justice.
"I have great faith that an arrest is going to be made. I don’t think tis going to be the day after tomorrow, but that’s OK, it’s going to happen," she said. "You cannot do this in the United States."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal at the State Department Tuesday morning. State Department Spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the Saudi national did not come up. A photo op with the two leaders was cancelled.
"I wouldn’t read too much into it one way or another other than scheduling," said Ventrell. "But they had a good and productive meeting, and the foreign minister did express his condolences killed and injured in the Boston Marathon bombings to Secretary Kerry this morning."
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin
More from Foreign Policy
What Putin Got Right
The Russian president got many things wrong about invading Ukraine—but not everything.
Russia Has Already Lost in the Long Run
Even if Moscow holds onto territory, the war has wrecked its future.
China’s Belt and Road to Nowhere
Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy is a “shadow of its former self.”
The U.S. Overreacted to the Chinese Spy Balloon. That Scares Me.
So unused to being challenged, the United States has become so filled with anxiety over China that sober responses are becoming nearly impossible.