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CBS "Face the Nation" - Transcript - Guns and Immigration

Interview

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Bob Schieffer: And we're back now with the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Texas Congressman Mike McCaul. Congressman, obviously, are you getting briefings from intelligence officials here. What do they think the motive of this thing is?

Mike McCaul: Well, I think that's the big question is, I think to answer that, you have to look at where they came from right, the father, the family. We have to understand Chechnya, the Chechen rebels, some of the fiercest Taliban or jihadist fighters out there having an allegiance with Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan. So when you look in that world historical context, it starts to make a little more sense, of putting the pieces of the puzzle together. When you look at the foreign travel, particularly, the older son who did travel to see his father in the Chechen region, July 2012 or January to July. He spent six months over there and I think the real question investigators have right now is what was he doing over there for six months? When he comes back one of the first things he does is put up a YouTube site that has radical jihadist rhetoric on that website and then of course nine months later pulls off the largest attack on American soil, terrorist attack, since 9/11.

Bob Schieffer: So we know that one of the things that happened while he was there, we know he -- we think he saw his parents, but we really don't know much else at this point. But what you're saying is, it appears that he had become somehow radicalized?

Mike McCaul: My theory is he was radicalized by 2009, 2010. Reports show the Russian Intelligence Service reach out to our law enforcement to interview this individual, which they did. He was on the radar, then he got off the radar. Then he travels overseas. I would assume the Russians would have some intelligence on this individual.

Bob Schieffer: But they asked our FBI to check him out, and, apparently, they reported back they really had nothing to report. Is there a problem here, are you planning to look into that?

Mike McCaul: Well my job as Chairman of Homeland Security is to find out what happened, what may have gone wrong, and how can we prevent this in the future to save American lives. So I've sent a letter to the Director of the FBI, Secretary Napolitano, Clapper, the head of the D.N.I., to give us answers as to what came out of that interview. Why weren't customs flags put on this individual when he traveled abroad? I think another important point are the tools of trade craft used here. This pressure cooker device is very similar to what the Taliban in Pakistan use. The idea that they could make pipe bombs and then there are reports they had suicide vests, all point to the fact that this was...

Bob Schieffer: Do you have any evidence of that, direct evidence, or is this...

Mike McCaul: Well, the reporting from the police cars as the first ones to pull them over when they got in the shoot-out, that they had explosives strapped to their chests. That takes it up to another notch, another level and I think, just my theory, something happened during that six-month period to change this individual.

Bob Schieffer: All right, well we want to, are you going to hold hearings, by the way on this?

Mike McCaul: We are. We are in the process due time. I do want to commend the FBI, ATF, the Boston Police and the Boston people who responded to this. When they sang the national anthem after the second terrorist was brought down, it was very inspirational. Very reminiscent of when we sang "God Bless America" on the capitol steps after 9/11.

Bob Schieffer: Congressman, thank you so much and we'll be back in just a minute.

Bob Schieffer: Do you have any evidence of that, direct evidence, or is this...

Mike McCaul: Well, the reporting from the police cars as the first ones to pull them over when they got in the shoot-out, that they had explosives strapped to their chests. That takes it up to another notch, another level and I think, just my theory, something happened during that six-month period to change this individual.

Bob Schieffer: All right, well we want to, are you going to hold hearings, by the way on this?

Mike McCaul: We are. We are in the process due time. I do want to commend the FBI, ATF, the Boston Police and the Boston people who responded to this. When they sang the national anthem after the second terrorist was brought down, it was very inspirational. Very reminiscent of when we sang "God Bless America" on the capitol steps after 9/11.

Bob Schieffer: Congressman, thank you so much and we'll be back in just a minute.

Bob Schieffer: Do you have any evidence of that, direct evidence, or is this...

Mike McCaul: Well, the reporting from the police cars as the first ones to pull them over when they got in the shoot-out, that they had explosives strapped to their chests. That takes it up to another notch, another level and I think, just my theory, something happened during that six-month period to change this individual.

Bob Schieffer: All right, well we want to, are you going to hold hearings, by the way on this?

Mike McCaul: We are. We are in the process due time. I do want to commend the FBI, ATF, the Boston Police and the Boston people who responded to this. When they sang the national anthem after the second terrorist was brought down, it was very inspirational. Very reminiscent of when we sang "God Bless America" on the capitol steps after 9/11.

Bob Schieffer: Congressman, thank you so much and we'll be back in just a minute.

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