The FBI in 2011 interviewed the elder of the two brothers who are suspects in Monday's deadly Boston Marathon bombings, acting at the request of an unidentified foreign government, a U.S. law enforcement source said on Friday.
The FBI's dealings with Tamerlan Tsarnaev - who died overnight in a shootout with police - did not produce any "derogatory" information, and the matter was put "to bed," said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The revelation is the first indication that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, were known to U.S. security officials prior to Monday's bombings, U.S. authorities said.
The FBI said its interview two years ago of Tsarnaev and his family, along with checks of travel records, Internet activity and personal associations, "did not find any terrorism activity" at the time.
The FBI statement did not disclose which foreign government asked it for information about the brothers and their family. But Tamerlan was widely reported to have made a trip to Russia last year.