There was no intelligence information warning about the Boston Marathon bombings before they occurred and there were no other bombs found in Boston aside from the two that actually exploded, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said Tuesday.
Feinstein and her Republican counterpart Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) emerged from a two-hour closed hearing with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and several other intelligence committee officials to tell reporters that officials say there was no advance information collected by the intelligence community suggesting that the twin bombings were being planned.
"To the best of my knowledge there was none," she said. Asked if the lack of advance intelligence about the deadly attack was a concern for her, Feinstein said, "not necessarily."
"What's been done for 12 years is to protect this nation when there have been hundreds of efforts and every one has been thwarted by the FBI. I have full confidence in them. It is possible not to have any intelligence [in advance]," she said. "I have no reason to believe they won't have a successful investigation that will end in an arrest. But I think it will take time and we need to be patient."
Former Attorney General John Ashcroft told The Cable in a Tuesday interview that the lack of advance warning did not necessarily indicate an intelligence failure.
"It may be that it's a circumstance that it's simply unknowable. Individuals who act on their own and with a certain secrecy are going to be difficult to anticipate," he said. "I don't think we're able to generalize from that and say it's a particular failure or a success."
Feinstein said there were only two bombs in total -- the ones that exploded -- despite reports Monday that there were other devices found and perhaps detonated by law enforcement just after the attack. She said she has no information that there is an ongoing increased threat in Boston, Washington, D.C., or anywhere else.
Feinstein said the government hasn't told lawmakers anything about a pressure cooker and she attributed that information to media reports that were not based on hard evidence.
"We know nothing about a pressure cooker being used. That's speculation; we haven't heard definitively that," she said. "Anybody who looks at some of the publications around sees the pressure cooker as a possibility, but that's all I know."
Chambliss concurred with Feinstein that the investigation is not far along enough to make any judgments on the origin of the device or the perpetrator.
"What's unusual is that nobody has taken credit for this in the terrorist world, but don't assume anything from that," he said. "We really don't know who the terrorist was or where the terrorist was from."
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