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FTR #773 The Boston Marathon Bombing, the Third Position and the Leaderless Resistance Strategy

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. [1] (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

Listen: MP3

Side 1 [2]   Side 2 [3]

NOTE: This description contains material not included in the original broadcast.

[4]Introduction: Polit­i­cal come­dian Mort Sahl (who worked for New Orleans Dis­trict Attor­ney Jim Gar­ri­son) asked in his auto­bi­og­ra­phy [5]; “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 [6], 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 [7], 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 [8]. The pol­i­tics in the back­ground of the bomb­ing over­lap the inter­sect­ing milieux of neo-Ottoman power pol­i­tics [9] and what we have termed “Turk­ish Taffy” [10]–the cos­metic pre­sen­ta­tion of Turkey’s Islamist gov­ern­ment [11] 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 [12]. 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: 

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.

“Was Boston Bombers ‘Uncle Rus­lan’ with the CIA?” by Daniel Hop­sicker; Mad Cow Morn­ing News; 4/22/2013. [30]

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 [31] (among other pro­grams) advo­cat­ing a U.S. alliance [32] with the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, a posi­tion that was appar­ently real­ized dur­ing the Arab Spring gambit.

“Boston Bombers’ Uncle Mar­ried Daugh­ter of Top CIA Offi­cial” by Daniel  Hop­sicker; Mad Cow Morn­ing News; 4/26/2013. [33]

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.

“Wash­ing­ton Talk: Brief­ing; C.I.A. Secrets”; The New York Times; 2/15/1988. [34]

. . . . 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?

“I Hope I Didn’t Con­tribute To It” by Mark Ames; nsfwcorp.com; 5/8/2013. [35]

. . . . 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:

“As Man­hunt Ends, New Ques­tions Emerge in Boston Bomb­ings” by Kevin John­son, Donna Lein­wand Leger and Gary Strauss; USA Today; 4/19/2013. [36]

. . . . 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.

“Thoughts on the ‘Jihad­i­fi­ca­tion’ of Boston Bomber Tamer­lan Tsar­naev” by Brian Glyn Williams; Huff­in­g­ton Post; 4/25/2013. [37]

. . . 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.

“Mosque that Boston Sus­pects Attended has Rad­i­cal Ties” by Oren Dorell; USA Today; 4/23/2013. [38]

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.

“Count­down with Keith Olber­man” for Oct. 23; MSNBC News; 10/23/2003. [39]

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.

“Boston’s Jihadist Past” by J.M. Berger; For­eign Pol­icy; 4/22/2013. [17]

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 [19], PTech is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the over­lap­ping milieux of Oper­a­tion Green Quest and the Bank al-Taqwa.

“US Says Firm Hid Ter­ror­ist Saudi Backer: Shrews­bury Man Worked at P-Tech” by Lee Ham­mel; Worces­ter Telegram and Gazette; 7/19/2009. [18]

. . . . 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.

“CIA Sought to Have Boston Bomb­ing Sus­pect put on Ter­ror­ist Watch List” by Greg Miller and Sari Hor­witz; Wash­ing­ton Post; 4/24/2013. [40]

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 [20].) 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 [41], 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 [42] of Obama’s inauguration.

One can but won­der if petro­leum con­stituen­cies in the West are look­ing to use Mus­lim Brotherhood-connected ele­ments [43] 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 [44] 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.

“Gorin: More Details on the Georgia-Hosted Jihadi Con­fer­ence Emerge” by Julia Gorin; Jihad Watch; 4/12/2010. [45]

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” [46] he was alleged to be.

“REPORT: The Saudis Offered Mafia-Style ‘Pro­tec­tion’ Against Ter­ror­ist Attacks At Sochi Olympics” by Geof­frey Inger­soll; Busi­ness Insider; 8/27/2013. [47]

. . . . 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.

“Tamer­lan Tsar­naev Had Right-wing Extrem­ist Lit­er­a­ture” by Hilary Ander­s­son;  BBC News; 8/5/2013. [21]

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.

‘Gov­ern­ment conspiracies’

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.

“Boston Bomb­ing Sus­pect Was Steeped in Con­spir­a­cies” by Allan Culli­son; The Wall Street Jour­nal; 8/6/2013. [22]

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 onPG & E power substation [29] 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.

“Assault on Cal­i­for­nia Power Sta­tion Raises Alarm on Poten­tial for Ter­ror­ism” by Rebecca Smith; The Wall Street Jour­nal; 2/4/2013. [48]

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.