June 3 - U.S. lawmakers on a fact-finding mission call for improved ties with Russia in the wake of the Boston bombing. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
U.S. lawmakers on a fact-finding visit to Russia said on Sunday that they found no evidence of a glaring American intelligence misstep that enabled attackers to set off bombs at the Boston Marathon in April, killing three people and wounding 264. But they said far closer counterterrorism cooperation is needed between the Cold War foes, now at odds over issues from Syria to President Vladimir Putin's treatment of opponents, to head off a shared threat from militant Islamists. California Republican Dana Rohrabacher led five U.S. lawmakers on a weeklong visit to Russia, where they met Federal Security Service (FSB) officials and visited Beslan in the North Caucasus, the site of a deadly 2004 militant attack on a school. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. CONGRESSMAN DANA ROHRABACHER, SAYING: "Do we believe that the Boston marathon massacre could have been thwarted? And the answer is there is nothing specific that could've been done that we can point to that, had it been done differently, would have prevented this." (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. CONGRESSMAN DANA ROHRABACHER, SAYING: "Radical Islamism is at our throat in the United States and it's at the throat of the Russian people. There's an emerging threat to our security and our prosperity from China that seems to be allying itself with all the horrible regimes around the world and positioning itself against Russia and against the United States of America." Rohrabacher also said that the two countries faced similar challenges, such as the radical Islamism, adding that a higher level of cooperation between the U.S. and Russia is necessary.