Washington: Boston Marathon bombing suspects were trained in carrying out the attack, top US lawmakers claimed on Sunday and said that it is too early to arrive at the conclusion that there is no foreign connection to this act of terror.
Congressman Michael McCaul, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev had help, considering the device's level of sophistication and the type of device - a shrapnel-packed, pressure-cooker bomb.
"The sophisticated bomb they made and how they detonated it and things of this sort and I know, I saw the Web site also. I think they were a little bit more advanced than what the Web site would have allowed a person to be. Also his six months overseas, coming back, and in the Russians intervening, and Russians warning us. Did they tell us all they knew? Why did they withhold information? There needs to be a tremendous follow-up on this thing, and better coordination," Manchin said.
"That leads me to believe there was a trainer," the Texas Republican said.
McCaul in an interview to the "Fox News Sunday" said he thinks the suspects' mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, played "a very strong role" in her Muslim sons' radicalisation process and that if she were to return to the United States from Russia, she'd be held for questioning.
"She (mother) played a very strong role in his radicalisation process. I believe she is a person of interest, if not a subject. I do believe if she comes into the United States, she will be detained for questioning. So, I think there's a connection there," the Congressman said.
Senator Joe Manchin agreed with McCaul. "I agree with Mike (McCaul) as he evaluates the mother's - we know the mother's role, but they play with all sons especially, and I think she was very influential for him. I think there's so much more to be had. Can we get it now as we could have obtained it before, that will be something we'll see at the end," he said.
According to a secretly recorded Russian intercepts of her conversation, Zubeidat talked jihad with her son Tamerlan. But this information was not shared with the US officials. US officials say Zubeidat was in a federal terrorism database from 2011.
In their interview on "Fox News Sunday" the lawmakers said the kind of sophisticated bombs the two Chechen brothers used indicates that there were more people behind it and it was not the case of a lone wolves. They argued that the investigation has just begun and it is too early to conclude that there is no foreign connection to it.
"I think that's the concern, is there could be a wider conspiracy? What I find astounding is that, you know, right out-of-the-box, US officials unanimously are saying there's no foreign connection to this case when in fact the FBI just began its investigation into the case.
"They just got the computer. They just sent a US team over to Chechen region, and to Dagestan, to interview witnesses," McCaul said.
"And yet, the narrative being played by some in the administration is that, no, there's no foreign connection..I don't know why that is the case, but that early on, there was a rush to judgement. As a federal prosecutor, former, I reserve judgement until the all the evidence comes in.
"And, again, in fairness to the FBI, it's doing a good job investigating this. They're looking into that question. I think we owe it right to the American people, and to the victims, to wait and see until the evidence comes in," he said.