Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are pictured in this combination photo

If Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had been cooking up terror plots in New York City instead of Boston, things might have ended differently—at least according to one man who ought to know.

Former CIA director Michael Hayden, speaking in Washington D.C. on Tuesday at a panel organized by the Institute for Education, pointed to the NYPD's record of spying on Muslim communities across the five boroughs, The Hill blog reports.

“The New York police department is far more aggressive, far more invasive, going what’s been termed ‘mosque crawling’ and a whole bunch of other things to permeate the Islamic-American community," he said. "Boston doesn’t do that."

 

“The probability that these two young [men’s] — particularly the older one, Tamerlan [Tsarnaev] — behavior shows up on the scope in New York is much higher than it was in Boston.”

The Tsarnaevs stand accused of detonating two homemade bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon last month. The blast killed three people, and injured more than 200. A furious manhunt for the brothers saw the city of Boston shut down before Dzhokhar was arrested. Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police.

Hayden cautioned that his words should not be taken to mean he was advocating for other cities to mimic the NYPD's tactics, the thought of which he described as "frightening."

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