FBI: ‘No choice’ but to release Marathon bombing suspect photos

FBI officials stood by their decision to release surveillance photos of Boston Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, during the manhunt for the pair.

An FBI official said authorities had “no choice” but to release the surveillance photos of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, which eventually led to them fleeing and the ensuing gun battle.

Stephanie Douglas, the executive assistant director with the FBI, made the comments during an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired last night. The report focused on the manhunt for Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the alleged Marathon bombers.

Douglas said authorities debated whether to release the photos to help find the Tsarnaev brothers. She said some feared it would make them aware they had been identified and would try to flee.

Citing the murder of MIT police Officer Sean Collier and the ensuing gun battle and manhunt through Watertown, Douglas was asked whether releasing the photos was the right call.

“Yes, I think at the end of the day, we really had no choice,” Douglas said. “Believe me, the death of Sean Collier is not lost on the FBI. We consider it an incredibly tragic event. But I think at the end of the day, given the facts as we knew them at the time, we made the best decision.”

Richard DesLauriers, the former special agent in charge of the FBI in Boston, said he stands by the decision.

“Nobody could have reasonably foreseen that a police officer would be murdered. What could reasonably be foreseen is that these individuals could have had more bombs could have set those bombs off and caused carnage similar or even greater to than what they caused on April 15,” DesLauriers said.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.



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