Meet the Press   |  May 05, 2013

New developments in Boston bombing: What can we learn?

Lawmakers discuss what the recent developments in the Boston bombing investigation can teach use about terror on the homeland.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> jane harman and mayor giuliani , as we look at all of this, whether it's jihadist elements operating in syria, whether we look at now this widening plot out of the boston bombings, they wanted to attack reportedly on july fourth, there are others involved, friends of dzhokhar tsarnaev, involved in some level of clearing out some of the materials from his room, what does this tell us about what we're up against here in simply the boston plot? and this question of are we any safer, jane?

>> the answer to that question is yes and no. i agree with rudy giuliani the threat has evolved. we have decimated core al qaeda . and president obama deserves a lot of credit for doing that. but now there are these affiliated terror groups, el nusra is one in syria, that are capable of morphing and changing and attacking. then there's home grown radicalism which i think we really have to talk about. tsarnaev brothers may have had some training in dagestan and we may have missed a clue from the russians. be that as it may there are going to be other people like this. they have be right once. we have to be right 100%. that's not going to happen. our tactics are really pretty good. but we need a narrative about what the united states stands for that will win the argument with the next kids. and that is why we need to close in my view guantanamo bay and we need to put a clear set of rules around how we use drones. i support drone strikes but it needs to be clearer that we are living our values.

>> mayor giuliani , you've spoken out pretty strikingly this week about your views of what's happened in the investigation into boston this week. what do you make of it?

>> well, i think the investigation since the time of the bombing has been excellent. i think that unfortunately there were an awful lot of signals that were missed beforehand. jane harman is absolutely right. this has kind of morphed into a situation in america where we have these home grown terrorists. but we shouldn't claim surprise. this has been going on since 2005 , 2006 . the attack in london in 2005 was home grown terrorists in london. that should have said to us we're going to have the same problem here. chris christie when he was u.s. attorney had a case involving an attack -- an attempted attack on ft. hood. once again, home grown terrorists. he was the first to really alert me to the fact that this was a much bugger problem than exists. we shouldn't be claiming, oh, my goodness, we just found this out. we should be tryingo figure out why the heck didn't we react to this faster three, four, and five years ago? and with regard to the investigation, the point that i'd like to make is that these men who were arrested, who were involved in the coverup and were involved in obstructing justice, i'd like to point out something that hasn't been focused on enough. they were aware of the fact according to the complaint now, fbi's sworn complaint, they were aware of the fact those two brothers were involved in the bombing three to four hours before officer collier was murdered.

>> at mit.

>> yes. if these three men had not engaged in that obstruction of justice coverup, if they had notified the police the way any decent young men would do, there is a chance and a pretty good chance that officer collier would be alive today. if i were the u.s. attorney -- if i were u.s. attorney i'd be charging them with a conspiracy that embraced murder as a predicate act. because one of them actually said something very dramatic. one of them said, i didn't expect to ever see him again alive. so that conspiracy embraced the possibility of a violent aftermath to this situation.

>> congressman, the larger point the president made this week is we're dealing with something new. we're dealing with radicalization inside the homeland. how do we deal with it?

>> i want you to take on what he said during his press conference this week. watch.

>> one of the dangers that we now face are self-radicalized individuals who are already here in the united states . in some cases may not be part of any kind of network. but because of whatever warped, twisted ideas they may have, may decide to carry out an attack. those are in some ways more difficult to prevent.

>> and the polling shows this, too. of course there's some things we just can't prevent.

>> we don't know if tamerlan tsarnaev was purely home brown or if he was affiliated with al qaeda operatives in his return to dagestan. a place from which he had sought refugee status with his family. more broadly, though, we have to recognize we are still in a global war and its radical islamic jihadists. the president by his policies and words of senior officials in his administration are removing us from a war footing and putting us back a --

>> all five of those were promptly given the miranda warnings and treated like common criminals. we haven't sent a terrorist to guantanamo bay in over four years. we captured suleiman, osama bin laden 's son-in-law, hard terrorist, member of al qaeda central. we didn't send him to guantanamo bay for interrogation. we sent him to new york where he got --

>> let me respond on that. because -- to suggest sending him to guantanamo would help. he was given his miranda warning and as the public accounts have been, he wouldn't shut up. he kept on, kept on, kept on. he was given an enormous amount of intelligence. we've had a tiny handful, four, five, six military commission successful prosecutions. we've had hundreds in our courts. what are we afraid of? what are we afraid of? the law enforcement did a superb job in boston . these people are before courts. mayor giuliani and i were both prosecutors. we would love to prosecute this case.

>> signals were missed here. signals of this radicalization were missed.

>> that has nothing to do with guantanamo. the fact is we will always -- we're a nation of 325 million people. are there going to be people like the man who blew up oklahoma city , he was radicalized in a different way. let us figure out how we respond on this. my committee will have the director of the fbi and others before it. i want to know how much did the russians give us before. were signals missed there? sure. ask those questions. but let's not overlook the fact that our law enforcement did a superb job here. if there are people that should be prosecuted, prosecutor them in court --

>> jay harman, here's the question