Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) slammed FBI Director Robert Mueller for not sweeping through Boston mosques after receiving tips about the radicalization of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, while the bureau’s chief told the House Judiciary Committee that his agency did visit the Chechens’ mosque for “outreach.”
Mueller appeared before the committee for a regular oversight hearing, but members bombarded him with questions ranging from operation PRISM to IRS targeting of conservative groups and government snooping on reporters.
“You said the FBI ‘did an excellent job,’ ‘did a thorough job,’ ‘don’t know what else we could have done.’ And according to the Russians, there’s a great deal more that could have been done,” Gohmert said.
“The FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15th attacks. If the Russians tell you that someone has been radicalized and you go check and see the mosques that they went to, then you get the articles of incorporation, as I have, for the group that created the Boston mosques where these Tsarnaevs attended and you find out the name al-Amoudi, which you’ll remember, because while you were FBI director this man, who was so helpful to the Clinton administration with so many big things, he gets arrested at Dulles airport by the FBI and he’s now doing over 20 years for supporting terrorism,” the congressman said in reference to Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi, the founder of the American Muslim Council who is serving a 23-year sentence on financial and conspiracy charges.
“This is the guy that started the mosques where your Tsarnaevs were attending, and you didn’t even bother to go check about the mosque? And then when you have the pictures, why did no one go to the mosque and say, ‘Who are these guys? They attend — may attend here?’” Gohmert continued. “Why — why was that not done since such a ‘thorough’ job was done?”
“Your facts are not altogether –” Mueller began before Gohmert interjected, “Sir, if you’re gonna call me a liar you need to point out specifically where any facts are wrong.”
“We went to the mosque,” Mueller said. “Prior to Boston happening we were in that mosque talking to imams several months beforehand as part of our outreach efforts.”
“So were you aware that those mosques were started by al-Amoudi?”
“I’ve answered the question, sir,” the FBI director tersely responded.
“You didn’t answer the question, were you aware they were started by al-Amoudi?” Gohmert pressed.
“No,” Mueller replied.