Dave Emory’s entire lifetime of work is available on a flash drive that can be obtained here.  (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books available on this site.)
NOTE: This description contains material not included in the original broadcast.
Introduction: Political comedian Mort Sahl (who worked for New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison) asked in his autobiography ; “How many lies can you allow yourself to believe before you belong to the lie?”
Analyzing the Boston Marathon bombing in light of the failed investigation into the 9/11 attacks, we ask if the United States belongs to the lie. Had the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002 been fully investigated, we would not be in the position in which we find ourselves vis a vis the Boston marathon bombing.
The individuals and institutions that were the focal points of the Operation Green Quest loom in the background of the environment of the Boston Marathon bombing, as do Islamist/Muslim Brotherhood-linked to the milieu of Al-Qaeda.
In a previous post , we highlighted some of the considerations to be weighed in evaluating the Boston Marathon bombing. After an initial report of the arrest of a Saudi national , we are told–rightly or wrongly–that he is considered a witness not a suspect.
Sure enough, the elements we cited in the above-linked post are coming into view, highlighted in the stories linked and excerpted below.
We advise strongly against simplistic analysis of the Boston bombing, as we warned in our first post on the subject. The probability is very strong that we are dealing with a situation involving double and triple agents–a situation that will be impossible for an outside observer (and some of the inside observers) to figure out, past a point.
What is becoming obvious is that we are dealing with an intelligence milieu involved with the Chechen guerillas and the complex, deadly realities connected with The Earth Island Boogie . The politics in the background of the bombing overlap the intersecting milieux of neo-Ottoman power politics  and what we have termed “Turkish Taffy” –the cosmetic presentation of Turkey’s Islamist government  of Erdogan as “democratic” and “moderate.”
The Tsarnaev brothers exist[ed] in an environment deeply enmeshed with intelligence-connected elements, evidently CIA, “ex”-CIA, or (perhaps) an off-the shelf intelligence operation along the lines of the Safari Club . Evidently run by Western, petroleum-linked and Saudi elements, this milieu continues to pursue Islamic jihadist forces as proxy warriors.
This intelligence milieu appears to be an extension of the forces operating in the Afghan and Balkan theaters against the former U.S.S.R. and the former Yugoslavia. At present, their focus appears to be prying the oil-rich Caucasus away from Russia.
Somewhere along the line, they became imbued with third position ideology and struck on April 15th–tax day–which is a focal point of domestic fascist terrorists.
Key Points of Discussion Include:
- The Boston bombing suspects’ uncle appears to have worked both for AID (a frequent intelligence cover) and for a subsidiary of Halliburton–Dick Cheney’s old company.
- Uncle Ruslan also was married to the daughter of a very important former CIA officer, Graham E. Fuller, with whom Ruslan co-founded a Chechen organization that may well have been an intelligence front.
- Dhokar Tsarnaev’s tutor Glyn Williams had a background in the CIA, serving in Afghanistan.
- The alleged bombers worshipped at a Muslim Brotherhood-connected mosque in Boston that was once administered by Abdurahman Alamoudi–a protege of Grover Norquist  and among the focal points of the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002. Norquist’s protege Alamoudi proved to be a senior financier of Al Qaeda. The mosque had numerous links to terrorist incidents over the years.
- Both the FBI and CIA, as well as the Russian authorities had investigated Tamerlan before. As noted by Dave Gaubatz , U.S. law enforcement has relied on the Brotherhood and its front organizations such as the Muslim American Society.
- The al-Taqwa/Operation Green Quest milieu heavily overlaps individuals and institutions involved in training chaplains for both prison populations  and the military . With that kind of ideologized preaching finding its way into those milieux, we should not be surprised at a recurrence of “lone wolf” jihadis, similar to and–perhaps–overlapping the “leaderless resistance”  tactic long pursued by neo-Nazi and fascist elements.
- A major focal point of Chechnyan jihadism is in Boston, evolved from the Al Kifah organization , renamed CARE (not to be confused with the UN charity.) That milieu is inextricably linked with the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center.
- In turn, some of the Al Kifah/CARE operatives pursued by the government were employees of the PTech corporation , that developed critical software for numerous federal agencies with jurisdiction in the 9/11/21001 attacks.
- As discussed in FTR #467 , PTech is inextricably linked with the overlapping milieux of Operation Green Quest and the Bank al-Taqwa.
- Reviewing information from FTR #710 , we note the continued operation of jihadist proxy warriors by elements of the petroleum/GOP/Underground Reich faction of U.S. intelligence.
- We note that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was in possession  of white-supremacist, far right-wing literature and was apparently influenced by it. We have seen collaboration between white supremacists/neo-Nazis and Islamists before. (See text excerpts below.)
- Further reportage on Tsarnaev’s Nazi/white supremacy links reveals that among the influences on him was “The American Free Press,” published by Willis Carto. (See text excerpts below.) Carto is best known as the editor of The Spotlight, a neo-Nazi newspaper that achieved considerable circulation. Carto has been alleged to have been the ghostwriter for Eddie the Friendly Spook’s Presidential candidate of choice Ron Paul.
- Note, also, the apparent influence of the “Zeitgeist” film on Tsarnaev. A fascist “Truther”  film, it is filled with Jewish banker conspiracy theories and exemplifies the sort of fascist ideology that has influenced the so-called Truther movement. Jared Lee Laughner  also appears to have been influenced by the film.
- The beliefs exhibited by the Tsarnaevs manifest the Third Position, a fascist construct that incorporates traditional fascists in alliance with leftist and Third World elements. Two Miscellaneous Archive Shows detail this ideology: M19: “The Fascist “Third Position”, The Far Right and Their Attempt to Co-opt Progressive Forces” (7/3/’88) Side a , Side b , Side c. M21: “The Fascist ‘Third Position’ Part 2″ (7/24/’88) Side a , Side b 
- Within hours of the Boston bombing, an attack on a PG & E power substation  took place, with indications that it, too, was a terrorist attack. Were both attacks manifestations of the “leaderless resistance strategy”?
1. Daniel Hopsicker has noted that Uncle Ruslan (the Tsarnaev brothers’uncle) worked for AID in Kazakhstan. AID is a frequent cover for U.S. intelligence activity.
Uncle Ruslan’s milieu also runs in the direction of a former subsidiary of Halliburton, Dick Cheney’s old company.
The uncle of the two men who set off bombs at the Boston Marathon, who struck the only grace note in an otherwise horrific week, worked as a “consultant” for the Agency for International Development (USAID) a U.S. Government Agency often used for cover by agents of the CIA, in the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan during the “Wild West” days of the early 1990’s, when anything that wasn’t nailed down in that country was up for grabs. . . .
. . . . The purchase of the Prince’s [Andrew of Great Britain] estate was put together, according to prosecutors in Italy and Switzerland, by a group of oil executives who comprise “a network of personal and business relationships” allegedly used for “international corruption,” reported The London Telegraph.
Tsarni, called “a US lawyer who has had dealings in Kazakh business affairs,” by the Sunday Times, clearly appears to be a member of that network.
The Sunday Times reported, “A statement by Ruslan Zaindi Tsarni was given in the High Court in December, claiming that Kulibayev bought Sunninghill and properties in Mayfair with $96 million derived from a complex series of deals intended to disguise money laundering.”
“Tsarni alleged that the money came from the takeover of a western company, which had been used as a front to obtain oil contracts from the Kazakh state.”
The “western company” used to launder the money which the Sunday Times referred to is Big Sky Energy Corporation, where Ruslan Tsarni was a top executive.
Big Sky, which used to be known as China Energy Ventures Corp, is a now-bankrupt US oil company run by S.A. (Al) Sehsuvaroglu, a long-time executive of Halliburton, which had oil leases in Kakakhstan’s Caspian Basin.
Tsarni was Big Sky’s Corporate Secretary and Vice President for Business Development. He joined Big Sky in 2005. . . .
2a. In addition to his past employment by the Agency for International Development and a subsidiary of Halliburton, the alleged bombers’ uncle was married to the daughter of a former CIA officer–Graham E. Fuller, a former station chief in Kabul.
It was Fuller who was quoted in FTR #513  (among other programs) advocating a U.S. alliance  with the Muslim Brotherhood, a position that was apparently realized during the Arab Spring gambit.
The uncle of the two suspected Boston bombers in last week’s attack, Ruslan Tsarni, was married to the daughter of former top CIA official Graham Fuller.
The discovery that Uncle Ruslan Tsarni had spy connections that go far deeper than had been previously known is ironic, especially since the mainstrean media’s focus yesterday was on a feverish search to find who might have recruited the Tsarnaev brothers.
The chief suspect was a red-haired Armenian exorcist. They were fingering a suspect who may not, in fact, even exist. . . .
. . . . Ruslan Tsarni married the daughter of former top CIA official Graham Fuller, who spent 20 years as operations officer in Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong. In 1982 Fuller was appointed the National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asia at the CIA, and in 1986, under Ronald Reagan, he became the Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, with overall responsibility for national level strategic forecasting.
At the time of their marriage, Ruslan Tsarni was known as Ruslan Tsarnaev, the same last name as his nephews Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the alleged bombers.
It is unknown when he changed his last name to Tsarni.
What is known is that sometime in the early 1990’s, while she was a graduate student in North Carolina, and he was in law school at Duke, Ruslan Tsarnaev met and married Samantha Ankara Fuller, the daughter of Graham and Prudence Fuller of Rockville Maryland. Her middle name suggests a reference to one of her father’s CIA postings.
The couple divorced sometime before 2004.
Today Ms. Fuller lives abroad, and is a director of several companies pursuing strategies to increase energy production from clean-burning and renewable resources.
On a more ominous note, Graham Fuller was listed as one of the American Deep State rogues on Sibel Edmonds’ State Secrets Privilege Gallery,. Edmonds explained it featured subjects of FBI investigations she became aware of during her time as an FBI translator.
Criminal activities were being protected by claims of State Secrets, she asserted. After Attorney General John Ashcroft went all the way to the Supreme Court to muzzle her under a little-used doctrine of State Secrets, she put up twenty-one photos, with no names.
One of them was Graham Fuller.
“Congress of Chechen International” c/o Graham Fuller
A story about a Chechen oik exec/uncle pairing up with a top CIA official who once served as CIA Station Chief in Kabul sounds like a pitch for a bad movie.
But the two men may have been in business together.
In 1995, Tsarnaev incorporated the Congress of Chechen International Organizations in Maryland, using as the address listed on incorporation documents 11114 Whisperwood Ln, in Rockville Maryland, the home address of his then-father-in-law.
It is just eight miles up the Washington National Pike from the Montgomery Village home where “Uncle Ruslan” met—and apparently wowed, the press after the attack in Boston. . . .
2b. Fuller also authored a paper that has been viewed as the genesis of what has come to be known as the Iran-Contra scandal. CORRECTION: The date of the story below was incorrectly stated as “2013.” It was published in 1988.
. . . . Mr. Fuller’s name came to public attention last year when it was disclosed that he was the author of a ”think piece” circulated in the intelligence community in May 1985 suggesting the possiblity of pursuing openings in Iran.
The study was instrumental in persuading some top-ranking Reagan Administration policy makers to begin considering covert contacts with Iranian leaders. It eventually led to the covert sale of United States weapons to Teheran in what became the Iran-contra affair. . . .
3a. Dzhokar Tsarnaev’s tutor was Brian Glyn Williams, who had a background in the CIA, dealing with jihadists, Chechnya and suicide bombers. He spent time in Afghanistan. One wonders if he was merely a tutor or did he play a part in recruiting Tsarnaev?
. . . . For now, I want to start with one of the biggest “What The Fuck?!” in the bombing story, a detail so far completely overlooked: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s high school project “mentor,” Brian Glyn Williams. Brian Glyn Williams happens to work for the CIA, on Islamic suicide bombers, Chechnya, and jihadi terrorism. Williams is also an associate professor of history at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, the university where 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was enrolled, and where he spent many of his last free hours between the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, and his arrest on April 19. . . .
3b. More about the Williams-Tsarnaev relationship:
. . . . The New Bedford Standard-Times reported that Dr. Brian Glyn Williams, who teaches Chechen history at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, said he had tutored Dzhokhar in the subject when he was in high school.
“He was learning his Chechen identity, identifying with the diaspora and identifying with his homeland,” Williams said, adding that Dzhokhar “wanted to learn more about Chechnya, who the fighters were, who the commanders were.” . . . .
3c. Williams dismisses the notion of a Wahhabi-Chechen connection, which–as we shall see–is a “less than complete” analysis.
. . . These articles systematically demolished the misguided notion that the outgunned, Sovietized, Sufi-mystic Chechen rebels defending their mountain homeland from the mighty Russian Federation had somehow developed a foreign policy which bizarrely led them to become the evil henchmen of the Saudi Arabian Wahhabi fundamentalist terrorist Osama Bin Laden and his Pashtun tribal Taliban allies in Afghanistan. I myself personally traveled to Afghanistan in 2003 and interviewed numerous Taliban prisoners of war held by Northern Alliance Uzbek General Dostum to see if they had ever seen a real Chechen fighter of the sort reported to be the vanguard of their armies (see my photos here). None of them had ever seen or heard of Chechens; it was like looking for the Chechen Big Foot. . . .
4a. The mosque attended by the Tsarnaev brothers was founded by Grover Norquist’s protege Abdulrahman Alamoudi.
The mosque attended by the two brothers accused in the Boston Marathon bombing has been associated with other terrorist suspects, has invited radical speakers to a sister mosque in Boston and is affiliated with a Muslim group that critics say nurses grievances that can lead to extremism.
Several people who attended the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge, Mass., have been investigated for Islamic terrorism, including a conviction of the mosque’s first president, Abdulrahman Alamoudi, in connection with an assassination plot against a Saudi prince.
And its sister mosque in Boston, known as the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, has invited guests who have defended terror suspects. A former trustee appears in a series of videos in which he advocates treating gays as criminals, says husbands should sometimes beat their wives and calls on Allah (God) to kill Zionists and Jews, according to Americans for Peace and Tolerance, an interfaith group that has investigated the mosques.
The head of the group is among critics who say the mosques teach a brand of Islamic thought that encourages grievances against the West, distrust of law enforcement and opposition to Western forms of government, dress and social values.
“We don’t know where these boys were radicalized,” says the head of the group, Charles Jacobs. “But this mosque has a curriculum that radicalizes people. Other people have been radicalized there.”
Yusufi Vali, executive director at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, insists his mosque does not spread radical ideology and cannot be blamed for the acts of a few worshipers.
“If there were really any worry about us being extreme,” Vali said, U.S. law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and Departments of Justice and Homeland Security would not partner with the Muslim American Society and the Boston mosque in conducting monthly meetings that have been ongoing for four years, he said, in an apparent reference to U.S. government outreach programs in the Muslim community.
The Cambridge and Boston mosques, separated by the Charles River, are owned by the same entity but managed individually. The imam of the Cambridge mosque, Sheik Basyouny Nehela, is on the board of directors of the Boston mosque.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, attended the Cambridge mosque for services and are accused of setting two bombs that killed three people and injured at least 264 others at the April 15 Boston Marathon.
The FBI has not indicated that either mosque was involved in any criminal activity. But mosque attendees and officials have been implicated in terrorist activity.
• Abdulrahman Alamoudi, who signed the articles of incorporation as the Cambridge mosque’s president, was sentenced to 23 years in federal court in Alexandria, Va., in 2004 for his role as a facilitator in what federal prosecutors called a Libyan assassination plot against then-Saudi crown prince Abdullah. Abdullah is now the Saudi king.
• Aafia Siddiqui, who occasionally prayed at the Cambridge mosque, was arrested in Afghanistan in 2008 while in possession of cyanide canisters and plans for a chemical attack in New York City. She tried to grab a rifle while in detention and shot at military officers and FBI agents, for which she was convicted in New York in 2010 and is serving an 86-year sentence.
• Tarek Mehanna, who worshiped at the Cambridge mosque, was sentenced in 2012 to 17 years in prison for conspiring to aid al-Qaeda. Mehanna had traveled to Yemen to seek terrorist training and plotted to use automatic weapons to shoot up a mall in the Boston suburbs, federal investigators in Boston alleged.
• Ahmad Abousamra, the son of a former vice president of the Muslim American Society Boston Abdul-Badi Abousamra, was identified by the FBI as Mehanna’s co-conspirator. He fled to Syria and is wanted by the FBI on charges of providing support to terrorists and conspiracy to kill Americans in a foreign country.
• Jamal Badawi of Canada, a former trustee of the Islamic Society of Boston Trust, which owns both mosques, was named as a non-indicted co-conspirator in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation terrorism trial in Texas over the funneling of money to Hamas, which is the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.
What both mosques have in common is an affiliation with the Muslim American Society, an organization founded in 1993 that describes itself as an American Islamic revival movement. It has also been described by federal prosecutors in court as the “overt arm” of the Muslim Brotherhood, which calls for Islamic law and is the parent organization of Hamas, a U.S.-designated terror group. . . .
. . . . The leadership of the two mosques is intertwined and the ideology they teach is the same, Jacobs says. Ilya Feoktistov, director of research at Americans for Peace and Tolerance, says much of the money to create the Boston mosque came not from local Muslims but from foreign sources.
More than half of the $15.5 million used to found the Boston mosque came from Saudi sources, Feoktistov said, who cites financial documents that Jacobs’ group obtained when the mosque sued it for defamation. The lawsuit was later dropped. . . .
4b. We review the Alamoudi/Norquist/Rove/Bush nexus.
JOHN LOFTUS: Well, you know, it’s a funny story. About a year-and‑a half ago, people in the intelligence community came and said-guys like Alamoudi and Sami al-Arian and other terrorists weren’t being touched because they’d been ordered not to investigate the cases, not to prosecute them, because they were being funded by the Saudis and a political decision was being made at the highest levels, don’t do anything that would embarrass the Saudi government. So, of course I immediately volunteered to do it and I filed a lawsuit, against al-Arian charging him with being a major terrorist for Islamic Jihad; most of his money came from Saudi charities in Virginia.
Now, Alamoudi’s headquarters were in the same place, he was raided the same day, on March 20. An hour after I filed my lawsuit, the U.S. government finally got off its butt and they raided these offices. And, the stuff that they’re taking out of there now is absolutely horrendous. Al-Arian has now, finally been indicted, along with Alamoudi, today. But, who ws it that fixed the cases? How could these guys operate for more than a decade immune from prosecution? And, the answer is coming out in a very strange place. What Alamoudi and al-Arian have in common is a guy named Grover Norquist. He’s the super lobbyist. Newt Gingrich’s guy, the one the NRA calls on, head of American taxpayers. He is the guy that was hired by Alamoudi to head up the Islamic institute and he’s the registered agent for Alamoudi, personally, and for the Islamic Institute.
Grover Norquist’s best friend is Karl Rove, the White House chief of staff, and apparently Norquist was able to fix things. He got extreme right wing Muslim people to be the gatekeepers in the White House. That’s why moderate [Muslim] Americans couldn’t speak out after 9/11. Moderate Muslims couldn’t get into the White House because Norquist’s friends were blocking their access. . . . .
5a. A major focal point of Chechnyan jihadism is in Boston, evolved from the Al Kifah organization, renamed CARE (not to be confused with the UN charity.) That milieu is inextricably linked with the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center.
When Boston Marathon runners rounded the bend from Beacon Street last week, they were in the home stretch of the race. As they poured through the closed intersection, they ran past a nondescript address: 510 Commonwealth Avenue.
The location was once home to an international support network that raised funds and recruited fighters for a jihadist insurgency against Russian rule over Chechnya, a region and a conflict that few of the runners had likely ever given any serious thought. . . .
. . . . (The most important Chechen jihadist group has disavowed the attack, but has not unequivocally ruled out the possibility of some kind of contact with Tamerlan.) . . .
. . . But if the lead pans out, it won’t be Boston’s first brush with that faraway war. During the 1980s and into the 1990s, Islamist foreign fighters operated robust recruiting and financing networks that supported Chechen jihadists from the United States, and Boston was home to one of the most significant centers: a branch of the Al Kifah Center based in Brooklyn, which would later be rechristened CARE International.
Al Kifah sprang from the military jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Through the end of the occupation, a network of centers in the United States helped support the efforts of Afghan and Arab mujahedeen, soliciting donations and recruiting fighters, including at least four from Boston who died in action (one of them a former Dunkin Donuts employee). When the war ended, those networks did not disappear; they refocused on other activities.
In Brooklyn, that network turned against the United States. The center’s leaders and many of its members helped facilitate the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and they actively planned and attempted to execute a subsequent plot that summer to blow up the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels in New York, which would have killed thousands. . . .
. . . . When the FBI thwarted the tunnels plot, the Brooklyn Al Kifah office and most of the other satellite locations were shuttered. But in Boston, the work continued under a new name and with a new focus: supporting foreign-fighter efforts in Bosnia and Chechnya.
The following narrative is derived from interviews and thousands of pages of court exhibits, including correspondence, Al Kifah and CARE International publications, and telephone intercepts developed over a years-long series of FBI investigations into the charity that were made public as part of multiple terrorism-related prosecutions.
Established in the early 1990s, the Boston branch had emerged from the World Trade Center investigation relatively unscathed. Little more than two weeks after the bombing, the head of the Boston office, Emad Muntasser, changed his operation’s name from Al Kifah to CARE International (not to be confused with the legitimate charity of the same name). . . .
. . . . It took longer to build a case against CARE. In 2005, prosecutors in Boston went after the charity’s directors using the Al Capone strategy. Muntasser and fellow Boston-area CARE officials Samir Al Monla and Muhamed Mubayyid were charged with filing false tax returns and related crimes, having misrepresented their political and militant activity as relief for orphans and widows in order to obtain a nonprofit tax exemption.
The strategy was not as successful as it was with Capone. The defendants were convicted but received minimal sentences after years of appeals and legal disputes. Muntasser and Al Monla have since been released from prison and are living in the United States, according to public records databases. Mubayyid was deported after a short sentence and was last reported to be living in Australia. . . .
5b. In turn, some of the Al Kifah/CARE operatives pursued by the government were employees of the PTech corporation, that developed critical software for numerous federal agencies with jurisdiction in the 9/11/21001 attacks.
As discussed in FTR #467 , PTech is inextricably linked with the overlapping milieux of Operation Green Quest and the Bank al-Taqwa.
. . . . He was convicted Jan. 11, 2008, in U.S. District Court in Boston after the Justice Department alleged that he and two other officers of Care International — both former Worcester residents — had illegally concealed from the government that the charity supported the worldwide Holy War and the mujahedin who fight it.
Mr. Mubayyid, 44, was sentenced to 11 months in prison and fined $1,000 on charges of concealing material facts from the government, obstructing the Internal Revenue Service, and three counts of filing a false tax return.
Mr. Mubayyid has since been deported to Australia, where he had previously lived, according to his lawyer, Michael C. Andrews of Boston, who said that Mr. Mubayyid’s appeal to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals is pending.
The U.S. Attorney is appealing the decision of Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to reverse jury convictions of Mr. Mubayyid’s codefendants—all of the charges against Samir Al-Monla of Brookline and some of the charges against Emadeddin Z. Muntasser of Braintree, the two former Worcester residents who were former presidents of Care International. Mr. Muntasser, a founder of Care International, was sentenced to a year in prison and fined $10,000 for lying to an FBI agent. . . .
7. The FBI was requested to put the Tamerlan Tsarnaev on the terror watch list. We wonder if “Bandar Bush” or his current attorney (former FBI chief Louis Freeh) may have helped frustrate that effort.
The CIA asked the main U.S. counterterrorism agency to add the name of one of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers to a watch list more than a year before the attack, according to U.S. officials.
The agency took the step after Russian authorities contacted officials there in the fall of 2011 and raised concerns that Tamerlan Tsarnaev — who was killed last week in a confrontation with police — was seen as an increasingly radical Islamist and could be planning to travel overseas. The CIA requested that his name be put on a database maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center.
That database, the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE, is a data storehouse that feeds a series of government watch lists, including the FBI’s main Terrorist Screening Database and the Transportation Security Administration’s “no-fly” list.
Officials said Tsarnaev’s name was added to the database but it’s unclear which agency added it.
The CIA’s request came months after the FBI had closed a preliminary inquiry into Tsarnaev after getting a similar inquiry about him from Russian state security, according to officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.
Law enforcement officials said that the request to the FBI in 2011 originated from fears by the Russian government that Tamerlan was a threat to Russia and would commit a terrorist act in Russia — not the United States. The request came from Russian federal police to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
“There was a concern he might have some kind of ties to terrorism,” said FBI spokesman Paul Bresson. “We did everything legally that we could do with the little bit of information we had. After we did, we found no derogatory information.” . . . .
8. The program highlights a frightening article about apparent U.S. support for a Georgia-based jihadi conference. (This article was a major element of discussion in FTR #710 .) Rich with fossil fuels, the Caucasus region has long been the focal point of hostile activity by foreign interests looking to secure those resources for themselves, wresting the area away from Russia and/or the former Soviet Union. In FTR #646 , we looked at the Bush administration’s close national security connections to the Georgian republic, resulting in a security agreement with that state, concluded on the eve  of Obama’s inauguration.
One can but wonder if petroleum constituencies in the West are looking to use Muslim Brotherhood-connected elements  to foment the independence of those regions. The areas are also pivotal in the transit of heroin, in addition to logistical support for the war in Afghanistan.
In turn, it can be safely surmised that Russia will not give these areas up. In past discussions with Daniel Hopsicker, we have noted the presence of Russian organized crime figures  in the Huffman Aviation milieu through which Mohammed Atta and other 9/11 hijackers infiltrated. The possibility that Russia might retaliate by utilizing some of these criminal elements is also one to be seriously considered.
An analysis published Monday by Defense & Foreign Affairs offers some corroboration for the Georgia-hosted, U.S.-approved jihadi confab in December, the mention of which seemed to upset some readers.
Here are the relevant excerpts from the 16-page analysis, which is subscription-only and therefore not linkable:
Meanwhile, Georgia is actively seeking to exploit the spread of jamaats [jihadist mini-societies] in the North Caucasus in order to go after the Russian pipelines in hope of ensnaring the US into actively supporting a new confrontation with Russia. In early December 2009, Tbilisi organized a high-level meeting of jihadists groups from the Middle East and Western Europe in order “to coordinate activities on Russia’s southern flank.” The Georgian Embassy in Kuwait, for example, arranged for travel documents for jihadists from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. (There is a large and very active Chechen/Circassian community in Jordan since the 19th Century that is heavily represented in the intelligence services and the military.) In Tbilisi, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Lordkipanadze was the host and coordinator. The meeting was attended by several Georgian senior officials who stressed that Saakashvili himself knew and approved of the undertaking. The meeting addressed the launch of both “military operations” in southern Russia and ideological warfare. One of the first results of the meeting was the launch, soon afterwards of the Russian-language TV station First Caucasian.
The jihadists of the North Caucasus — including the Arab commanders in their midst — came out of the early December 2009 meeting convinced that Tbilisi is most interested in the spread of terrorism. The meeting was attended by, among others, Mohmad Muhammad Shabaan, an Egyptian senior commander who is also known as Seif al-Islam and who has been involved in Caucasus affairs since 1992. He took copious notes. According to Shabaan’s notes, the Georgian government wants the jihadists to conduct “acts of sabotage to blow up railway tracks, electricity lines and energy pipelines” in southern Russia in order to divert construction back to Georgian territory.
Georgian intelligence promised to facilitate the arrival in the Caucasus of numerous senior jihadists by providing Georgian passports, and to provide logistical support including the reopening of bases in northern Georgia. Russian intelligence was not oblivious of the meeting. Seif al-Islam and two senior aides were assassinated on February 4, 2010. The Russians retrieved a lot of documents in the process. Moscow signaled its displeasure shortly afterwards when the presidents of Russia and Abkhazia signed a 50-year agreement on a Russian military base in order to “protect Abkhazia’s sovereignty and security, including against international terrorist groups”.
A major issue still to be resolved is the extent of the US culpability.
The same analysis recalls when this misguided approach was used in the Balkans, and outlines how, in order to not alienate Muslims while we tried to contain terror from the Middle East, we fortified terror in the Balkans and jump-started the global jihad:
Initially, the US-led Western intervention in the former Yugoslavia was aimed first and foremost to salvage NATO (and with it US dominance over post-Cold War Western Europe) from irrelevance and collapse. As well, the support for the Muslims of Bosnia became the counter-balance of the US confrontation with jihadism in the Middle East. Anthony Lake, US President Bill Clinton’s National Security Adviser, formulated the logic for the US-led intervention on behalf of the Muslims. The US national interest “requires our working to contain Muslim extremism, and we have to find a way of being firm in our opposition to Muslim extremism while making it clear we’re not opposed to Islam. If we are seen as anti-Muslim, it’s harder for us to contain Muslim extremism. And if we stand by while Muslims are killed and raped in Bosnia, it makes it harder to continue our policy,” Lake argued. That in the process the US would end up partnering with, supporting and arming, the very same jihadist forces Clinton was seeking to contain meant nothing to Washington. The only thing Washington cared about was the image of a US rallying to the rescue of a Muslim cause.
Note that in the 90s the U.S., like Britain, permitted and facilitated terrorist networks to operate in Bosnia and Kosovo for the purpose of Serb-killing, and along with Germany we trained Albanian and Middle Eastern terrorists in Albania. Sure enough, the same decade saw U.S. officials participating in a December 1999 meeting in Azerbaijan very similar to the December 2009 meeting in Tbilisi, where “programs for the training and equipping of mujahedin from the Caucasus, Central and South Asia, and the Arab world were discussed and agreed upon.” The mention of this meeting comes in as the analysis gives background on how we decided to support terrorism against Russia:
By 1999, the US had given up on reconciling Azerbaijan and Armenia in order to construct pipelines to Turkey, and instead Washington started focusing on building pipelines via Georgia.
For such a project to be economically viable, the Russian pipelines would have to be shut down. Hence, in early October 1999, senior officials of US oil companies and US officials offered representatives of Russian “oligarchs” in Europe huge dividends from the proposed Baku-Ceyhan pipeline if the “oligarchs” convinced Moscow to withdraw from the Caucasus, permit the establishment of an Islamic state, and close down the Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipeline. Consequently, there would be no competition to the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. The “oligarchs” were convinced that the highest levels of the Clinton White House endorsed this initiative. The meeting failed because the Russians would hear nothing of the US proposal.
Consequently, the US determined to deprive Russia of an alternate pipeline route by supporting a spiraling violence and terrorism in Chechnya....The Clinton White House sought to actively involve the US in yet another anti-Russian jihad as if reliving the “good ol’ days” of Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, seeking to support and empower the most virulent anti-Western Islamist forces in yet another strategic region.
In mid-December 1999, US officials participated in a formal meeting in Azerbaijan in which specific programs for the training and equipping of mujahedin from the Caucasus, Central and South Asia, and the Arab world were discussed and agreed upon. This meeting led to Washington’s tacit encouragement of both Muslim allies (mainly the intelligence services of Turkey, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia) and US “private security companies” (of the type that did Washington’s dirty job in the Balkans while skirting and violating the international embargo the US formally supported) to assist the Chechens and their Islamist allies to surge in spring 2000. Citing security concerns vis-à-vis Armenia and Russia, Azerbaijan adamantly refused to permit training camps on its soil.
Now, just to keep our — including my — heads straight, let’s remind ourselves that this exercise that Robert Spencer was good enough to let me engage in on these pages was not a defense of Russia; it was not meant to start an argument about how bad or how not-that-bad Russia is. The point is that foreign relations in a mad world require finding enough common ground with not-so-great states so that we can work together where we can work together. It’s to minimize the messiness of things. Why, when we had Russia in its historically most maleable form, did we insist on provoking and provoking and provoking? Why did we make a bad situation like Russia worse when we had an opportunity to make it better? As with all problematic countries that we nonetheless find areas of cooperation with, we narrowed even those areas by dealing with the Russians in the bad faith that had been their trademark. Simultaneously, we moved away from picking the lesser evil in a given conflict, and started siding with the greater.
It’s a surreal situation indeed when the actions of my savior country put me in the position of having to “defend” Russia, whose people my parents thank their lucky stars to not have to live among anymore. I myself am a self-proclaimed Russophobe; I just had no idea how much more pathological America’s Russophobia is. So for someone who is loath to visit even Brighton Beach, I find myself in a surprising position here, pointing out where we went wrong and shoved Russia back into old behaviors.
Infuriatingly predictably, one of the comment posters suggested that the line I’m taking here is one that’s paid for by Russia. The same “tip” was offered to Robert by a fellow blogger — in that tone of providing “some friendly, professional, and cautionary advice.” The likes of which I’m all too familiar with by now. (One Wall St. Journal fixture advised me, “Your views on this [the Balkans] are deeply misjudged...You’re not doing your career any favors.” Thanks. Good thing I don’t have a career, then.) It certainly would be nice if anyone paid me for anything I do, but it wasn’t to be in this lifetime.
Regardless, it shouldn’t seem strange for someone to be pointing out that our foreign policy is being guided by people with a stronger anti-Russian agenda than anti-jihad agenda. And notice where this kind of thinking has gotten us. Take the past two decades of Western policy and media coverage in the Balkans, which were based on information that made its way into reporters’ notebooks directly from the Ministry of Information of the Bosnian Government run by the fundamentalist Muslim wartime president Alija Izetbegovic. The template was used again when politicians, reporters, NGOs and human rights organizations dutifully repeated what was coming out of the KLA-run newspapers and other propaganda organs of the Kosovo separatists. And so in service to consistency, having gotten into this hole, we’ve kept digging. With our Yugoslavia intervention, as the Defense & Foreign Affairs analysis points out, we’ve ended up “demonizing the Serbs and the world of Eastern Christianity as a whole.” Such that we’ve arrived at a place where the word “Byzantine” is now used to mean primitive or uncivilized. While the Muslim world and Islamic heritage represent the height of culture, tradition, heritage and civilization.
One interesting thing about the reactions to calling the U.S. on its aggressive alienation of Russia via, for example, the use of jihadists is the sense of outrage and shock at the suggestion that America would support these violent groups, followed immediately by a defense or justification of such tactics (e.g. “we *should* help the Chechens against the Russians”). Meanwhile, these oh-so-incendiary allegations happen to coincide with overtly stated intentions and policies. (See the late Senator Tom Lantos and his ilk applauding the creation of a U.S.-made Muslim state in Europe, which the jihadists should “take note of,” Lantos hoped.) . . .
9. Prince Bandar–nicknamed Bandar Bush because of his close relationship to the Bush clan–is now the head of Saudi intelligence. In discussions to persuade President Putin to drop his support for the Assad regime in Syria, Bandar noted that the Chechen guerillas who had threatened the Olympics in Sochi were “controlled by us.” The remark might be construed as a veiled threat.
This would appear to negate Brian Glyn Williams’ statement excerpted above.
In light of Bandar’s alleged statement about the Chechen jihadists, we wonder if a Saudi national injured in the Boston attack was really the “witness”  he was alleged to be.
. . . . Buried inside a Telegraph post about secret Russian and Saudi talks was a strange passive-aggressive alleged quote from the Saudi head of intelligence about terrorist attacks at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
The talks — divulged in leaked documents — were allegedly about an oil deal that would stabilize Russia’s markets, if Saudi Arabia curtailed the amount of oil it put on the global market. In exchange for their global price fixing — the Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes that Russia “relies on an oil price near $100 to fund the budget” — Russia would back off its support for Assad.
But there was a threat allegedly hidden in there right along with the fruit.
From The Telegraph [emphasis theirs]:
[Saudi intel chief] Prince Bandar [bin Sultan] pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord. “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” he allegedly said.
Along with Saudi officials, the US allegedly gave the Saudi intelligence chief the thumbs up to conduct these talks with Russia, which comes as no surprise. Bandar is American-educated, both military and collegiate, served as a highly influential Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., and the CIA totally loves the guy. . . .
10. We note that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was in possession of white-supremacist, far right-wing literature and was apparently influenced by it. We have seen collaboration between white supremacists/neo-Nazis and Islamists before.
This appears to indicate that the elder Tsarnaev–perhaps both–had gravitated to the Third Position.
One of the brothers suspected of carrying out the Boston bombings was in possession of right-wing American literature in the run-up to the attack, BBC Panorama has learnt.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev subscribed to publications espousing white supremacy and government conspiracy theories.
He also had reading material on mass killings.
Until now the Tsarnaev brothers were widely perceived as just self-styled radical jihadists.
Panorama has spent months speaking exclusively with friends of the bombers to try to understand the roots of their radicalisation.
The programme discovered that Tamerlan Tsarnaev possessed articles which argued that both 9/11 and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing were government conspiracies.
Another in his possession was about “the rape of our gun rights”.
Reading material he had about white supremacy commented that “Hitler had a point”.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev also had literature which explored what motivated mass killings and noted how the perpetrators murdered and maimed calmly.
There was also material about US drones killing civilians, and about the plight of those still imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. . . .
11. Further reportage on Tsarnaev’s Nazi/white supremacy links reveals that among the influences on him was “The American Free Press,” published by Willis Carto. (See text excerpts below.) Carto is best known as the editor of The Spotlight, a neo-Nazi newspaper that achieved considerable circulation. Carto has been alleged to have been the ghostwriter for Eddie the Friendly Spook’s Presidential candidate of choice Ron Paul.
Note, also, the apparent influence of the “Zeitgeist” film on Tsarnaev. A fascist “Truther” film, it is filled with Jewish banker conspiracy theories and exemplifies the sort of fascist ideology that has influenced the so-called Truther movement. Jared Lee Laughner also appears to have been influenced by the film.
Extremist U.S. newspapers and other publications found in the apartment of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev reveal a broad interest in far-flung conspiracy theories, well beyond the Islamist radicalism authorities allege motivated the attack.
Mr. Tsarnaev discovered some of the radical publications by chance. He had worked caring for a 67-year-old man who passed on the newspapers and his fringe beliefs long before Mr. Tsarnaev and his brother allegedly set off explosives that killed three people and injured hundreds more. . . .
. . . .
Mr. Tsarnaev’s mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaev, had tried to make ends meet for her family by working as a home health aide after the family arrived in the U.S. in 2003. One of her clients in 2010 was Donald Larking of Newton, Mass., who was disabled after he was shot in the face nearly 40 years ago in the robbery of a convenience store where he worked.
Mr. Larking miraculously survived, but people close to the family said his faculties didn’t. He was intrigued with far-flung conspiracies, they said. He subscribed to newspapers and journals that doubted the Holocaust and described the attacks of Sept. 11, Oklahoma City and the Newtown school as plots by unseen elites, and the U.S. and Israeli governments. . . .
. . . . The papers included The First Freedom, an Alabama-based newspaper that espouses “equal rights for whites” and whose websites features a Confederate flag. Another was The Sovereign, a New York-based publication that alleges the U.S. is under the sway of Israeli lobbyists, and that Israel and the Department of Homeland Security were “deeply involved” in the Boston bombings. Neither paper returned requests for comment.
Mr. Tsarnaev got his own subscription to American Free Press, a paper that the Southern Law Poverty Center said promotes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. A spokeswoman for the paper denied it had such an agenda, saying the paper publishes “news that the established media won’t.” She confirmed that someone bought Mr. Tsarnaev a “get acquainted” 16-week subscription in December. It expired in April, at about the time of the Boston Marathon attack. . . .
. . . . His former brother-in-law, Elmzira Khozhugov, said Mr. Tsarnaev in 2008 was seeking out a copy of the Protocols. That year he took a sharp turn toward Islam, dropping his boxing career and telling friends and family that it was un-Islamic to punch anyone in the face, family and friends said.
Mr. Khozhugov recalled how that year Mr. Tsarnaev visited him at college in Washington state and they spent a week together. They watched the movie “Zeitgeist,” which called the Sept. 11 attacks a plot of power-hungry elites against the U.S.
Mr. Tsarnaev was interested in the so-called techno-utopian Zeitgeist movement, whose adherents believe in the coming collapse of money-based society and the advantages of an economy managed by computers incapable of corruption. . . .
12. Within hours of the Boston bombing, an attack on a PG & E power substation  took place, with indications that it, too, was a terrorist attack.
We wonder if this indicates a manifestation of the “Leaderless Resistance” strategy embraced by Nazi and white-supremacist groups.
The attack began just before 1 a.m. on April 16 last year, when someone slipped into an underground vault not far from a busy freeway and cut telephone cables.
Within half an hour, snipers opened fire on a nearby electrical substation. Shooting for 19 minutes, they surgically knocked out 17 giant transformers that funnel power to Silicon Valley. A minute before a police car arrived, the shooters disappeared into the night.
To avoid a blackout, electric-grid officials rerouted power around the site and asked power plants in Silicon Valley to produce more electricity. But it took utility workers 27 days to make repairs and bring the substation back to life.
Nobody has been arrested or charged in the attack at PG&E Corp.‘s Metcalf transmission substation. It is an incident of which few Americans are aware. But one former federal regulator is calling it a terrorist act that, if it were widely replicated across the country, could take down the U.S. electric grid and black out much of the country.
The attack was “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred” in the U.S., said Jon Wellinghoff, who was chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the time.
The Wall Street Journal assembled a chronology of the Metcalf attack from filings PG&E made to state and federal regulators; from other documents including a video released by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department; and from interviews, including with Mr. Wellinghoff.
Q&A: What You Need to Know About Attacks on the U.S. Power Grid
The 64-year-old Nevadan, who was appointed to FERC in 2006 by President George W. Bush and stepped down in November, said he gave closed-door, high-level briefings to federal agencies, Congress and the White House last year. As months have passed without arrests, he said, he has grown increasingly concerned that an even larger attack could be in the works. He said he was going public about the incident out of concern that national security is at risk and critical electric-grid sites aren’t adequately protected.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation doesn’t think a terrorist organization caused the Metcalf attack, said a spokesman for the FBI in San Francisco. Investigators are “continuing to sift through the evidence,” he said.
Some people in the utility industry share Mr. Wellinghoff’s concerns, including a former official at PG&E, Metcalf’s owner, who told an industry gathering in November he feared the incident could have been a dress rehearsal for a larger event.
“This wasn’t an incident where Billy-Bob and Joe decided, after a few brewskis, to come in and shoot up a substation,” Mark Johnson, retired vice president of transmission for PG&E, told the utility security conference, according to a video of his presentation. “This was an event that was well thought out, well planned and they targeted certain components.” When reached, Mr. Johnson declined to comment further.
A spokesman for PG&E said the company takes all incidents seriously but declined to discuss the Metcalf event in detail for fear of giving information to potential copycats. “We won’t speculate about the motives” of the attackers, added the spokesman, Brian Swanson. He said PG&E has increased security measures.
Utility executives and federal energy officials have long worried that the electric grid is vulnerable to sabotage. That is in part because the grid, which is really three systems serving different areas of the U.S., has failed when small problems such as trees hitting transmission lines created cascading blackouts. One in 2003 knocked out power to 50 million people in the Eastern U.S. and Canada for days.
Many of the system’s most important components sit out in the open, often in remote locations, protected by little more than cameras and chain-link fences.
Transmission substations are critical links in the grid. They make it possible for electricity to move long distances, and serve as hubs for intersecting power lines.
Within a substation, transformers raise the voltage of electricity so it can travel hundreds of miles on high-voltage lines, or reduce voltages when electricity approaches its destination. The Metcalf substation functions as an off-ramp from power lines for electricity heading to homes and businesses in Silicon Valley.
The country’s roughly 2,000 very large transformers are expensive to build, often costing millions of dollars each, and hard to replace. Each is custom made and weighs up to 500,000 pounds, and “I can only build 10 units a month,” said Dennis Blake, general manager of Pennsylvania Transformer in Pittsburgh, one of seven U.S. manufacturers. The utility industry keeps some spares on hand.
A 2009 Energy Department report said that “physical damage of certain system components (e.g. extra-high-voltage transformers) on a large scale…could result in prolonged outages, as procurement cycles for these components range from months to years.”
Mr. Wellinghoff said a FERC analysis found that if a surprisingly small number of U.S. substations were knocked out at once, that could destabilize the system enough to cause a blackout that could encompass most of the U.S.
Not everyone is so pessimistic. Gerry Cauley, chief executive of the North America Electric Reliability Corp., a standards-setting group that reports to FERC, said he thinks the grid is more resilient than Mr. Wellinghoff fears.
“I don’t want to downplay the scenario he describes,” Mr. Cauley said. “I’ll agree it’s possible from a technical assessment.” But he said that even if several substations went down, the vast majority of people would have their power back in a few hours.
The utility industry has been focused on Internet attacks, worrying that hackers could take down the grid by disabling communications and important pieces of equipment. Companies have reported 13 cyber incidents in the past three years, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of emergency reports utilities file with the federal government. There have been no reports of major outages linked to these events, although companies have generally declined to provide details.
“A lot of people in the electric industry have been distracted by cybersecurity threats,” said Stephen Berberich, chief executive of the California Independent System Operator, which runs much of the high-voltage transmission system for the utilities. He said that physical attacks pose a “big, if not bigger” menace.
There were 274 significant instances of vandalism or deliberate damage in the three years, and more than 700 weather-related problems, according to the Journal’s analysis.
Until the Metcalf incident, attacks on U.S. utility equipment were mostly linked to metal thieves, disgruntled employees or bored hunters, who sometimes took potshots at small transformers on utility poles to see what happens. (Answer: a small explosion followed by an outage.)
Last year, an Arkansas man was charged with multiple attacks on the power grid, including setting fire to a switching station. He has pleaded not guilty and is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, according to federal court records.
Overseas, terrorist organizations were linked to 2,500 attacks on transmission lines or towers and at least 500 on substations from 1996 to 2006, according to a January report from the Electric Power Research Institute, an industry-funded research group, which cited State Department data.
To some, the Metcalf incident has lifted the discussion of serious U.S. grid attacks beyond the theoretical. “The breadth and depth of the attack was unprecedented” in the U.S., said Rich Lordan, senior technical executive for the Electric Power Research Institute. The motivation, he said, “appears to be preparation for an act of war.”
The attack lasted slightly less than an hour, according to the chronology assembled by the Journal.
In a news release, PG&E said the substation had been hit by vandals. It has since confirmed 17 transformers were knocked out.
Mr. Wellinghoff, then chairman of FERC, said that after he heard about the scope of the attack, he flew to California, bringing with him experts from the U.S. Navy’s Dahlgren Surface Warfare Center in Virginia, which trains Navy SEALs. After walking the site with PG&E officials and FBI agents, Mr. Wellinghoff said, the military experts told him it looked like a professional job.
In addition to fingerprint-free shell casings, they pointed out small piles of rocks, which they said could have been left by an advance scout to tell the attackers where to get the best shots.
“They said it was a targeting package just like they would put together for an attack,” Mr. Wellinghoff said.
Mr. Wellinghoff, now a law partner at Stoel Rives LLP in San Francisco, said he arranged a series of meetings in the following weeks to let other federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, know what happened and to enlist their help. He held a closed-door meeting with utility executives in San Francisco in June and has distributed lists of things utilities should do to strengthen their defenses.
A spokesman for Homeland Security said it is up to utilities to protect the grid. The department’s role in an emergency is to connect federal agencies and local police and facilitate information sharing, the spokesman said.