Lindsey Graham Says Tamerlan Tsarnaev Misspelled His Name During Trip to Russia

Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) revealed a crucial piece of information that may explain why the older of the two Boston Bombing suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was allowed to travel to Russia early last year: His name was apparently misspelled.

Graham told “Fox and Friends” he talked to the assistant director of the FBI and concluded “they did a pretty good job of following the lead” after Russian officials requested the United States take a look into Tamerlan in 2011.

After conducting a thorough investigation, the FBI wrote the Russians back asking if they had any more information, a question that Graham says went unanswered from Moscow.

“He went over to Russia,” Graham confirmed. “But Apparently when he got on the … plane they misspelled his name so it never went into the system that he went over to Russia.”

“The reason we didn’t know he went over to Russia is because his name was misspelled,” Graham repeated later while defending the FBI’s handling of the case, saying officials did the best they could with the information they had.

When asked if Tamerlan may have misspelled his name intentionally, Graham said “I don’t know.”

“What the FBI told me sounded very reasonable,” he added.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) revealed over the weekend that Tamerlan may have traveled under an alias. In light of Graham’s information, it seems the “alias” could have been a simple misspelling.

“We’re at war folks, and if we don’t realize it, there’s going to be more of this. They’re trying to recruit American citizens,” Graham explained, railing against the idea that just because the younger brother is an American citizen he shouldn’t be held — at least initially — as an enemy combatant. “This idea that if you can find an American to help kill us they somehow having a legal safe have is ridiculous.”

“When we’re trying to defend ourselves against enemy attacks, you don’t give people lawyers. Lawyers are for the criminal process,” he concluded.