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US denies Saudi official’s claim they warned DHS of bomber in writing

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An unnamed Saudi official alleges his government sent a written warning to the United States about Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. He claims the letter was sent after the Saudi kingdom denied Tsarnaev an entry visa in December of 2011 to make a pilgrimage to Mecca.

The president met with Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi Interior minister, on Jan. 14, 2013. Photo credit www.defaiya.com

The communication was reportedly sent to the highest levels of the Department of Homeland Security in 2012, well before the April 15 bombing, according to Wednesday morning’s Mail Online.

This information was disclosed to the Mail by “a senior Saudi government official with direct knowledge of the document” and “was based on human intelligence developed independently in Yemen.”

THe Saudis “believed American authorities should be inspecting packages that came to Tsarnaev in the mail in order to search for bomb-making components” the Mail reported.

This comes one week after the discovery that Russia had sent repeated warnings to the U.S. about the older Tsarnaev brother.

The Mail also reported:

The Saudis’ warning to the U.S. government was also shared with the British government. ‘It was very specific’ and warned that ‘something was going to happen in a major U.S. city,’ the Saudi official said during an extensive interview.

It ‘did name Tamerlan specifically,’ he added. The ‘government-to-government’ letter, which he said was sent to the Department of Homeland Security at the highest level, did not name Boston or suggest a date for his planned attack.

Both DHS and the White House deny receiving any such reports.

“We and other relevant U.S. government agencies have no record of such a letter being received,” said Caitlin Hayden, National Security Council spokesperson.

However, “A Homeland Security official confirmed Tuesday evening on the condition of anonymity that the 2012 letter exists, saying he had heard of the Saudi communication before MailOnline inquired about it.”

The president met with Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi Interior minister, on Jan. 14, 2013. The Ministry of Interior is the agency responsible for the Saudi kingdom’s own homeland security.

“This is the DNA of the Saudi government,” the Saudi official said. “This is how they work. They sent the letter, but that wasn’t enough. They then sent the top guy to meet personally with the president.”

The Saudi government has a long history of keeping the U.S. apprised of security risks. “This is the fourth time the Saudi Arabian government has given the U.S. specific intel” about a possible terror plot, the official told the Mail, including the so-called “shoe bomber.”

Speaking of terrorist attacks at his rare Tuesday morning press conference, President Obama said, “We want to leave no stone unturned.”

Read more at The Mail Online.

Update: The Embassy for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia denied the claims made by the Mail and issued the following statement according to The Blaze:
In a statement Wednesday, the Saudi government denied that.

“The Saudi government had no prior information about the Boston bombers. Therefore, it is not true that any information, written or otherwise, was passed to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or any other US agency in this regard,” a statement issued by the embassy reads. “The Saudi government also does not have any record of any application by Tamerlan Tsarnaev for any visa to Saudi Arabia.”


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