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Fee, Fi . . . Ho, Hum: The Usual Suspect Elements Come into Focus in The Boston Marathon Bombing (“How Many Lies Can You Allow Yourself to Believe before You Belong to the Lie?”)

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.)

NB: Updat­ed on 4/26/2013, 8/5/2013, 8/6/2013.

COMMENT: 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?”

With all that is unfold­ing in the U.S. and around the world, we find our­selves [curi­ous­ly] only mar­gin­al­ly inter­est­ed in the Boston inves­ti­ga­tion. Fur­ther­more, we feel an unpleas­ant lack of con­cern with the inci­dent or, frankly,  the vic­tims. Ref­er­ence the Mort Sahl quote above.

At some point, peo­ple, you either take care of busi­ness or busi­ness will take care of you.

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 (report­ed to us by R. Wil­son), 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 (tip of the hat to “Pter­rafractyl” (be sure to check out the Ptech links and links to the first World Trade Cen­ter attack in the links at the bot­tom of his 4/26/2013 com­ment on this post):

  • 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.
  • They 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.
  • If the comatose Amer­i­can peo­ple and our som­nam­bu­lent press corps had tak­en care of busi­ness with regard to the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids, we would­n’t be in this posi­tion.
  • 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.
  • In an update to this orig­i­nal post, 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. Car­to is best known as the edi­tor of The Spot­light, a neo-Nazi news­pa­per that achieved con­sid­er­able cir­cu­la­tion. Car­to is alleged to have been the ghost­write for Eddie the Friend­ly Spook’s Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of choice Ron Paul. (See text excerpts below.)
  • 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.

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

EXCERPT: 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. . . .

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

EXCERPT: 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. . . . .

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

EXCERPT: 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. . . .

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

EXCERPT: 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.” . . . .

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

EXCERPT: 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. . . .

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

EXCERPT . . . . 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. . . .

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

EXCERPT:  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. . . .

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

EXCERPT: 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. . . .

Discussion

12 comments for “Fee, Fi . . . Ho, Hum: The Usual Suspect Elements Come into Focus in The Boston Marathon Bombing (“How Many Lies Can You Allow Yourself to Believe before You Belong to the Lie?”)”

  1. I think it’s worth keep­ing the book open on the Russ­ian angle also.
    In the pre­vi­ous post com­ment we linked to an arti­cle describ­ing one cell of a Russ­ian spy ring oper­at­ing out of Boston, which may or may not fig­ure in.
    —————————

    Here are excerpts from an arti­cle in “For­eign Affairs” (I know, I know), but it makes some very good points:

    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/139333/charles-king/not-your-average-chechen-jihadis?page=show

    Not Your Aver­age Chechen Jihadis
    Draw­ing the Wrong Con­clu­sions About the Boston Bomb­ing
    Charles King
    April 21, 2013

    (excerpts)

    “Observers have already point­ed out two ele­ments of the broth­ers’ sto­ry that inves­ti­ga­tors will no doubt pur­sue: Tamerlan’s being vis­it­ed by U.S. law enforce­ment offi­cers in 2011 on a tip from an “unnamed” for­eign gov­ern­ment and his six-month vis­it to Rus­sia, includ­ing to his father’s home in the North Cau­ca­sus repub­lic of Dages­tan, in 2012.”
    ***
    “So far, how­ev­er, there is no direct infor­ma­tion link­ing the North Cau­ca­sus to the attack in Boston; armed groups in the region, includ­ing the Dages­tani branch of the so-called Cau­ca­sus Emi­rate — the jihadist net­work in the North Cau­ca­sus head­ed by Chechen war­lord Doku Umarov — issued a for­mal state­ment deny­ing any con­nec­tion to the Tsar­naev broth­ers. The jihadists claimed instead that the broth­ers were pawns in an elab­o­rate attempt by Russ­ian secu­ri­ty ser­vices to turn Amer­i­can opin­ion against the North Cau­ca­sus under­ground and against Mus­lims more gen­er­al­ly. That might be far-fetched, but it would hard­ly be the line of argu­ment the Emi­rate would pur­sue if it were sud­den­ly using Amer­i­can oper­a­tives to expand attacks out­side of Rus­sia. The log­i­cal thing would have been for the Emi­rate to claim respon­si­bil­i­ty.”
    ***
    “It may yet emerge that Tamer­lan did, in fact, have some link to the North Cau­ca­sus jihadist scene, but even if he did, it would still do lit­tle to explain the involve­ment of his younger broth­er, Dzhokhar, who seems to have been as deeply Amer­i­can as Lee Boyd Mal­vo, the younger shoot­er in the Wash­ing­ton sniper attacks of 2002. Nor would it like­ly have any real impact on U.S.-Russian rela­tions, oth­er than con­vinc­ing some Amer­i­can pol­i­cy­mak­ers of the point that their Russ­ian coun­ter­parts take for grant­ed: that peo­ple from the North Cau­ca­sus, by their very pres­ence, are some­how a secu­ri­ty threat. That will be espe­cial­ly impor­tant in the run-up to the Sochi Olympics in 2014, when Moscow will be espe­cial­ly secu­ri­ty-obsessed and will want to deep­en its already tough sur­veil­lance of reli­gious Mus­lims, espe­cial­ly young men, in the North Cau­ca­sus. The Unit­ed States, con­vinced of the threat, will like­ly look the oth­er way when it comes to ongo­ing human rights abus­es in the region.”
    ***
    “In the long term, the Chech­nya link will prob­a­bly end up being less impor­tant than, odd­ly, the Syr­i­an one. In block­ing fur­ther inter­na­tion­al involve­ment in the Syr­i­an cri­sis, Russ­ian offi­cials have long main­tained that Syr­i­an rebel groups are dom­i­nat­ed by al Qae­da affil­i­ates, whose vic­to­ry in the Syr­i­an civ­il war will have dire con­se­quences for the region and beyond. Now, Rus­sians have already begun to por­tray the Tsar­naevs as an unlike­ly link between Boston and Dam­as­cus. There are some­where “between 600 and 6,000” Chechens from the North Cau­ca­sus fight­ing in Syr­ia, said Kotliar in a recent inter­view with Russ­ian media, “and from what hap­pened in Boston, per­haps Amer­i­cans will final­ly draw the les­son that there are no good ter­ror­ists and bad ter­ror­ists, no ‘ours’ and ‘yours.’” Keep arm­ing the Syr­i­an rebels, the argu­ment goes, and soon­er or lat­er you will have to face the con­se­quences of a Syr­ia over­tak­en by Islamist rad­i­cals.”
    ***
    ——————

    Here we have Russ­ian moti­va­tion to ease crit­i­cism of their crack­down on Chech­nya before the 2014 Olympics.
    Also refer­ing to the Syr­i­an con­flict being an ele­ment, the Russ­ian offi­cial Kotliar sug­gests the U.S. arm­ing of Syr­i­an rebels could bring Blow­back (as he points to Boston).
    This is also what Sibel Edmonds ref­ered to in the last thread on this sub­ject.

    I do not know how tight­ly the Russ­ian oil indus­try is wrapped, or how much west­ern involve­ment is allowed. Per­haps there could exist some col­lu­sion between west­ern indus­tri­al­ists, Russ­ian oli­garchs and the intel­li­gence ser­vices.
    Sounds dan­ger­ous to me.

    I’d put Syr­ia and the Olympics at the top of the motive list.

    Posted by Swamp | April 25, 2013, 7:32 am
  2. It turns out Sus­pect #2 exchanged gun­fire from the boat with police for more than an hour with­out a gun. That’s kind of impres­sive:

    Offi­cials: Boston Bomb­ing Sus­pect Was Unarmed When Arrest­ed
    ADAM GOLDMAN and PETE YOST April 25, 2013, 9:28 AM

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Two U.S. offi­cials say the sur­viv­ing sus­pect in the Boston bomb­ings was unarmed when police cap­tured him hid­ing inside a boat in a neigh­bor­hood back yard.

    Author­i­ties orig­i­nal­ly said they had exchanged gun­fire with Dzhokhar Tsar­naev (joh-KHAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv) for more than one hour Fri­day evening before they were able to sub­due him.

    The offi­cials, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymi­ty because they were not autho­rized to dis­cuss the ongo­ing inves­ti­ga­tion, say inves­ti­ga­tors recov­ered a 9 mm hand­gun believed to have been used by Tsarnaev’s broth­er, Tamer­lan, from the site of a gun bat­tle Thurs­day night, which injured a Mass­a­chu­setts Bay Trans­porta­tion Author­i­ty offi­cer. Dzhokhar was believed to have been shot before he escaped.

    The offi­cials tell The Asso­ci­at­ed Press that no gun was found in the boat. Boston Police Com­mis­sion­er Ed Davis said ear­li­er that shots were fired from inside the boat.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 25, 2013, 7:41 am
  3. Hop­sick­er’s lat­est arti­cle men­tions that Rus­lan was in Kaza­khstan work­ing for a Hal­libur­ton tied com­pa­ny called Nel­son Resources. Nel­son was for­mer­ly a Cana­di­an gold com­pa­ny. That is inter­est­ing because the aunt of the Boston bombers came to the USA in 2001 and then her­self moved to Cana­da. That aunt claims to have played a major role in bring­ing the Tsar­naev broth­ers into the USA. Look­ing at what is going on in Cana­da, you see a sim­i­lar thing where the CSIS has been allow­ing agent provo­ca­teurs and ter­ror­ists into the coun­try and then using them to cre­ate con­di­tions ripe for a police state. For what­ev­er rea­son which has not yet been explained, Cam­bridge, MA. was where Russ­ian spies were camp­ing out and got bust­ed in 2010. Some of those spies made the claim that they had come from Cana­da. You might also remem­ber that it was Peter Jan­son’s AMEC Con­struc­tion NA of Toron­to Ontario that rein­forced the walls on Rum­se­feld’s Pen­ta­gon. Jan­son was also pres­i­dent and CEO of U.S oper­a­tions for Swiss-Swedish ABB which like­ly had Nazi ties in the 30s. Don­ald Rums­feld was a direc­tor at ABB. Rums­feld at ABB helped sell nuke tech to North Korea in 2000.. now in 2013 N. Korea con­ve­nient­ly is using that tech to try and press the USA, UK, Cana­da into anoth­er cost­ly war. Pak­istani-Amer­i­can ter­ror­ist David Headley had ties to Pak­istani Tahawwur Hus­sain Rana. Rana was giv­en Cana­di­an cit­i­zen­ship in 2001. Here is some­thing else inter­est­ing... Headley was from Bryn Mawr, Penn­syl­va­nia. His father was a Pak­istani diplo­mat. Remem­ber Sunil Tripathi(he is Indi­an) who was recent­ly thought by some to be the Boston bomber? He kind of looks like a Dzhokhar dou­ble in some pictures(the long hair pic­tures). He is claimed to have been spot­ted in Boston. Was then found dead in a riv­er a cou­ple of days ago. Odd­ly, he also was liv­ing in the USA in Bryn Mawr, PA for a time. What brought both Headley and Tri­pathi to Bryn Mawr? Reminds you of how Nick, Berg (Jew­ish) of Westch­ester PA. was fol­low­ing Zacarias Mous­saoui (Arab) and was tied to Iraqi emi­gres itch­ing for war in Iraq. One more thing.. Kim Jong Un, who is pok­ing the USA in the ribs recent­ly? He went to an elite school for the uber weal­hty in Switzer­land which was also an elite school attend­ed by Rus­sians and Arabs. We all know that Bin Laden, Zawahiri, and the Al-Taqwa net­work have used Switzer­land as a safe haven. And don’t for­get all of that war mon­ey made off the backs of Amer­i­can and west­ern tax pay­ers that winds up in Swiss banks. UBS of Switzer­land made a mint in those bank bailouts.

    Posted by TheAmazingMammalMan | April 25, 2013, 11:08 am
  4. Here’s some chill­ing sym­bol­ism encap­su­lat­ed in the Boston Marathon bomb­ings: About a mile before the fin­ish line the marathon run­ners passed 510 Com­mon­wealth Avenue, the for­mer home of the inter­na­tion­al jihadist recruit­ment net­work for the wars in Chech­nya:

    For­eign Pol­i­cy
    Boston’s Jihadist Past
    Long before the marathon bomb­ing, Islamists in Mass­a­chu­setts were help­ing mil­i­tants in Chech­nya.

    BY J.M. BERGER | APRIL 22, 2013

    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.

    One mile far­ther, life in Boston was trans­formed in an act of hor­ror that killed three and injured scores. And one week lat­er, every­one in Boston and around the Unit­ed States is think­ing and talk­ing and ask­ing about Chech­nya.

    The inves­ti­ga­tion into alleged marathon bombers Tamer­lan and Dzhokhar Tsar­naev is still in its infan­cy, but a press release issued by the FBI late Fri­day sug­gest­ed that at least one of the broth­ers may have had some kind of con­nec­tion to Chechen Islamist mil­i­tant net­works, a sus­pi­cion height­ened by the fact that elder broth­er Tamer­lan spent about six months in Rus­sia in 2012. (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.)

    It will take time to dis­cov­er whether there was a mil­i­tant con­nec­tion and, if there was, to what extent it is per­ti­nent to the Tsar­naevs’ deci­sion to bomb the marathon.

    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).

    Telling the IRS it was a non-polit­i­cal char­i­ty, CARE applied for and received a tax exemp­tion, but its oper­a­tions con­tin­ued as before — sup­port­ing jihad over­seas with mon­ey and men. Although it was heav­i­ly focused on the ongo­ing con­flicts in Bosnia and Chech­nya, its inter­ests reached around the globe to any­where mujahideen were fight­ing. As one asso­ciate of the group put it in a phone call record­ed by the FBI, “As long as there is slaugh­ter­ing, we’re with them. If there’s no slaugh­ter­ing, there’s none, that’s it. Buzz off.”

    ...

    Although CARE was based in Boston, the rad­i­cal fun­da­men­tal­ists who ran the char­i­ty (a mix of Amer­i­can cit­i­zens and immi­grants from the Mid­dle East and North Africa) were often dis­ap­point­ed with local Mus­lims, who were not par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in their cause.

    ...

    The FBI mon­i­tored CARE’s activ­i­ties, off and on, for near­ly a decade, but the Jus­tice Depart­ment nev­er made an effort to pros­e­cute, in part because pros­e­cut­ing for­eign-fight­er activ­i­ty was dif­fi­cult under exist­ing laws.

    But after Sep­tem­ber 11, the U.S. gov­ern­ment aggres­sive­ly pur­sued any­thing relat­ing to jihadist extrem­ism, includ­ing sev­er­al cas­es of for­eign-fight­er sup­port. Just weeks after the attacks, the Jus­tice Depart­ment shut­tered the Glob­al Relief Foun­da­tion and the Benev­o­lence Inter­na­tion­al Foun­da­tion, raid­ing the lat­ter’s offices in Chica­go and Sara­je­vo, where they found exten­sive evi­dence of sup­port for for­eign fight­ers in Bosnia and Chech­nya, as well as sig­nif­i­cant links to al Qae­da. They also found checks and receipts from CARE.

    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.

    ...

    Note that Emad Muntass­er and Muhamed Mubayyid, two of the fel­lows pros­e­cut­ed and con­vict­ed with min­i­mal sen­tences, did­n’t just work for Al Kifah/CARE. They were also P‑tech employ­ees. Yep, THAT P‑tech. There’s a lot of his­to­ry flow­ing through this par­tic­u­lar net­work in Boston.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 25, 2013, 9:10 pm
  5. @Pterrafractyl and SWAMP–

    Good work!

    Ref­er­ence the two posts I’ve done on the Boston attack.

    Chech­nyan jihadists sup­port­ed by ele­ments of U.S. intelligence–Check!

    Dou­bling on the U.S.–Check!

    Links to Grover Norquist, Yaqub Mirza, Oper­a­tion Green Quest, Karl Rove, Abdu­rah­man Alamoudi–Check!

    Over­lap­ping links to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, Bank al-Taqwa milieu–Check!

    Over­lap­ping links to the milieu of the first World Trade Cen­ter attack–Check!

    Of par­tic­u­lar impor­tance here is the PTech con­nec­tion.

    PLEASE fol­low the Ptech links pro­vid­ed by “Pter­rafractyl” in his com­ment on this post–it’ll help flesh out your under­stand­ing.

    It may also help you to under­stand the degree of ennui and frus­tra­tion I feel at this event and the unsat­is­fac­to­ry cov­er­age of it.

    As Edward R. Mur­row once not­ed: “A nation of sheep will beget a gov­ern­ment of wolves.”

    The Amer­i­can peo­ple have only them­selves to blame for get­ting fleeced.

    Sweet Creep­ing Jesus! (Present-par­tici­ple exple­tive delet­ed) Ptech! Gimme a Break!

    Best,

    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | April 26, 2013, 12:53 pm
  6. Hop­sick­er’s lat­est post con­tains quite a doozy: Uncle Rus­lan was mar­ried to Gra­ham Fuller’s daugh­ter:

    Mad­cow Morn­ing News
    Boston bombers’ uncle mar­ried daugh­ter of top CIA offi­cial
    Post­ed on April 26, 2013 by Daniel Hop­sick­er

    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.

    It was like blam­ing one-armed hip­pies on acid for killing your wife.

    Rus­lan Tsarni mar­ried the daugh­ter of for­mer top CIA 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

    The Chechen uncle of the Boston Marathon bomb­ing sus­pects, paired up with a top CIA offi­cial, who once served as CIA Sta­tion Chief in Kab­ul, may sound like a pitch for a bad movie:

    But they 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.

    The Wash­ing­ton Post yes­ter­day called him a “media maven,” while nation­al­ly syn­di­cat­ed Wash­ing­ton Post colum­nist Ester Cepe­da , in a piece with the head­line “The Wise Words of Uncle Rus­lan” opined that he was her choice for “an award for brav­ery in the face of adver­si­ty.”

    ...

    Recall that Gra­ham Fuller, the for­mer CIA sta­tion chief in Kab­ul in the 80’s, was amongst those that were advo­cat­ing greater US out­reach to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood back in 2004. In recent years, Fuller has pub­licly dis­missed con­cerns over the Fetul­lah Gulen orga­ni­za­tion. If the Tsar­naev broth­ers were recruit­ed to exe­cute the bomb­ings by some third par­ty you real­ly have to won­der if that par­ty was aware of their famil­ial ties to folks like Fuller or not. It’s rem­i­nis­cent of so many of these “lone wolf” attacks: an attack gets car­ried by a loan wolf/lone wolves that we lat­er learn are shock­ing­ly close­ly relat­ed to high­ly con­nect­ed indi­vid­u­als. Evan Ebel’s attack on Tom Clements in Col­orado is anoth­er recent exam­ple of this phe­nom­e­non.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 27, 2013, 5:06 pm
  7. Putin recent­ly told reporters that the infor­ma­tion pro­vid­ed to the FBI by Rus­sia about Tamer­lan Tsar­naev did not have “oper­a­tive sig­nif­i­cance”:

    TPM
    Putin: Russia’s Tip On Boston Bomb­ing Sus­pect Didn’t Have ‘Oper­a­tive Sig­nif­i­cance’
    Hunter Walk­er April 26, 2013, 3:34 PM

    Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin weighed in on the Boston Marathon bomb­ing dur­ing a marathon pub­lic ques­tion-and-answer ses­sion Thurs­day, claim­ing the infor­ma­tion Rus­sia pro­vid­ed the FBI about one of the alleged bombers did not have “oper­a­tive sig­nif­i­cance.” Putin also declared that Amer­i­cans who want to see the sur­viv­ing sus­pect brand­ed a “pris­on­er of war” have “com­plete­ly lost their mar­bles.”

    Putin addressed the bomb­ing dur­ing a “Direct Line” broad­cast where he spent near­ly five hours tak­ing ques­tions sub­mit­ted from Rus­sians in the audi­ence, via email, tele­phone hot­line, and text mes­sage. He has par­tic­i­pat­ed in the “Direct Line” pro­gram almost each year since 2001.

    When the Direct Line broad­cast was over, Putin field­ed some ques­tions from jour­nal­ists includ­ing one who asked about a 2011 request Russia’s domes­tic intel­li­gence agency, the FSB, made to the FBI for infor­ma­tion on deceased bomb­ing sus­pect Tamer­lan Tsar­naev. That request has prompt­ed ques­tions about whether Amer­i­can law enforce­ment agen­cies could have done more to iden­ti­fy Tsar­naev and his broth­er, Dzokhar, before they alleged­ly car­ried out the attack on the Boston Marathon.

    After an ini­tial inves­ti­ga­tion of Tsar­naev, the FBI asked for more infor­ma­tion from Rus­sia in order to allow them to look into him fur­ther. Rus­sia did not respond with more infor­ma­tion. How­ev­er, after going to the FBI, the Russ­ian intel­li­gence agen­cies con­tact­ed the CIA and request­ed they also look into Tsar­naev. Because of these inves­ti­ga­tions into Tsar­naev, his name was includ­ed on two dif­fer­ent watch lists. In spite of this, law enforce­ment agen­cies were not noti­fied when Tsar­naev took a trip to Rus­sia in 2012 because the birth­date and spelling of his name the FSB had pro­vid­ed to the FBI were both incor­rect.

    Putin told reporters he wished the infor­ma­tion Rus­sia pro­vid­ed to Amer­i­can law enforce­ment agen­cies had been more use­ful.

    ...

    It would be inter­est­ing to learn just how mis­spelled the name was and just how off the birth date was in the info the FSB also pro­vid­ed the FBI regard­ing Tamer­lan’s 2012 trip and whether or not the CIA received the same info. And now we learn that Rus­sia had a wire­tapped record­ing of Tam­er­alan dis­cussing Jihad with his mom in 2011. This was report­ed­ly shared with US intel­li­gence in the past few days:

    Rus­sia Had Wire­tap on Tamer­lan Tsar­naev
    EILEEN SULLIVAN and MATT APUZZO April 27, 2013, 5:10 PM

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. offi­cials say Russ­ian author­i­ties secret­ly record­ed a con­ver­sa­tion in 2011 in which one of the Boston bomb­ing sus­pects vague­ly dis­cussed jihad with his moth­er.

    Offi­cials say a sec­ond call was record­ed between the sus­pects’ moth­er and a man under FBI inves­ti­ga­tion liv­ing in south­ern Rus­sia.

    The offi­cials spoke on con­di­tion of anonymi­ty because they were not autho­rized to speak pub­licly about the ongo­ing case.

    They say the Rus­sians shared this intel­li­gence with the U.S. in the past few days.

    The con­ver­sa­tions are sig­nif­i­cant because, had they been revealed ear­li­er, there might have been enough evi­dence for the FBI to ini­ti­ate a more thor­ough inves­ti­ga­tion of the Boston bomb­ing sus­pects’ fam­i­ly.

    It’s going to be inter­est­ing to see what kind of fric­tions this attack caus­es between the US and Rus­sia as the intel­li­gence-shar­ing fail­ures as well as the US intel­li­gence ties to Chechen sep­a­ratists con­tin­ue to come to come under pub­lic scruti­ny. You also have to won­der if any of this was an intend­ed out­come by puta­tive plot­ters or ran­dom fall­out.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 27, 2013, 6:21 pm
  8. The lat­est “WTF?” rev­e­la­tion: Now we’re get­ting reports that BOTH vehi­cles used by the Boston bombers were parked next to each oth­er near­by the boat where Dzhokhar was cap­ture. The hijacked Mer­cedes was parked next to a green Hon­da and it’s assumed to be the same green Hon­da that inves­ti­ga­tors believe they were dri­ving when the shot Sean Col­lier at MIT. Their father owned a 1999 green Hon­da.

    It was after that killing at MIT that they hijacked the Mer­cedes SUV and engaged in the wild gun fight where Tamer­lan was killed (report­ed­ly by being run over by the Mer­cedes that Dzhokhar was dri­ving). So, if this same green Hon­da used in the killing of the MIT police offi­cer was ALSO found RIGHT NEXT TO THE HIJACKED MERCEDES near the boat, how did the green Hon­da get there? Did some­one else dri­ve it because the reports from the hijacked car own­er was that both indi­vid­u­als hijacked him and drove him around for 30 min­utes for releas­ing him. Or did they then dri­ve back to the green Hon­da and have one of the broth­ers dri­ve it to the street near the boat and then park it there first before they met up to have the shootout with the police? That would be odd but sort of plau­si­ble per­haps? Maybe? Like they decid­ed to split up and then meet up? Ok, maybe. But as the arti­cle below points out, inves­ti­ga­tors believe they drove the green Hon­da to MIT where Col­lier was killed.

    Anoth­er pos­si­bil­i­ty is that they first dropped the Hon­da off near­by the boat after killing Col­lier and then walked/ran all the way over to where the car­jack­ing took place that would have required them to walk miles back in the direc­tion of MIT from the boat at an extreme­ly fast pace to get to the loca­tion of the car­jack­ing took place. So some­how that green Hon­da was moved after the car­jack­ing and then parked near the boat and then they met up for the fight with the cops near­by the area where the shootout took place.

    You have to won­der, though, if they did stop to get the green Hon­da after the car jack­ing, why? Why on earth would they? They were pre­sum­ably going on a killing spree because their pic­tures were on the news. What val­ue did hav­ing that car give them since it was a known sus­pect vehi­cle at that point?

    This would also imply that Dzhokhar drove the stolen shot up SUV back to the spot where they aban­doned the green Hon­da fol­low­ing the shoot­ing with the cops and then wait­ed it out in the boat near­by. Since the green Hon­da is pre­sum­ably a poten­tial vehi­cle that you could dri­ve away in why park your shot up Mer­cedes next to it? It’s not like they were act­ing ratio­nal­ly even by dement­ed-ter­ror­ist stan­dards of ratio­nal­i­ty, so who knows how to inter­pret this new car conun­drum. It might end up being a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent green Honda(although they would have pre­sum­ably found the real one by now). but it was cer­tain­ly an odd park­ing space choice and an odd appar­ent sequence of events:

    Police eye sec­ond car in Water­town shootout after Boston bomb­ing
    4/27/2013
    By Jamie Novogrod and Tom Win­ter, NBC News

    Two cars, not one, appear to be at the cen­ter of the inves­ti­ga­tion into how the two broth­ers alleged­ly behind the Boston Marathon bomb­ings car­ried out the fatal shoot­ing of a police offi­cer and the wound­ing of anoth­er dur­ing their final night ram­page.

    An NBC News probe over the past sev­er­al days has estab­lished that the broth­ers used and then dumped a green Hon­da as well as a stolen SUV as they led police on a wild chase.

    Mass­a­chu­setts State Police, com­bined with local law enforce­ment, con­duct­ed a reen­act­ment Thurs­day night at the scene of the April 18 shoot­ing of Offi­cer Sean Col­lier in Cam­bridge, Mass­a­chu­setts.

    Key to that reen­act­ment was a green Hon­da that appears to be the same car that was parked on Lau­rel Street, in Water­town, dur­ing the 200-round shootout there.

    One broth­er, Tamer­lan Tsar­naev, was fatal­ly wound­ed and lat­er pro­nounced dead; the younger broth­er, Dzhokhar, escaped police and elud­ed cap­ture for around 16 more hours.

    Police said the sus­pects drove a green Hon­da to the loca­tion where Col­lier was shot and killed at the MIT cam­pus in Cam­bridge. That shoot­ing set off a string of inci­dents that ulti­mate­ly led to the shootout between the sus­pects and police in Water­town.

    After the Cam­bridge shoot­ing, the sus­pects car­jacked a Mer­cedes 350 SUV at gun­point, accord­ing to a fed­er­al affi­davit. Both sus­pects rode in the SUV to Water­town, the affi­davit says.

    How­ev­er, pho­tographs obtained by NBC News and eye­wit­ness accounts giv­en to NBC News pro­duc­ers indi­cate that both a green Hon­da and black Mer­cedes SUV were parked at the scene of the Water­town shoot­ing. Sev­er­al peo­ple who were near the scene that night said the Hon­da was posi­tioned behind the Mer­cedes.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 27, 2013, 8:35 pm
  9. The Boston Globe just released an offi­cial time­line from the inves­ti­ga­tors’ reen­act­ment. It helps clear up a lot of ques­tions about what hap­pened but it still leaves a num­ber of “why” ques­tions. Specif­i­cal­ly, why did they car­jack a Mer­cedes in Cam­bridge after killing a cop at MIT, and then dri­ve around in the gen­er­al area for almost 90 min­utes before the car­jack­ing vic­tim escaped. And why were they still in the gen­er­al are almost 30 min­utes after he escaped to go get the green Hon­da? Accord­ing to the report, the two retrieved the Hon­da civic just “moments” before it was called into the police that the hijacked SUV was near Dex­ter Ave in Water­town. That was based on GPS tri­an­gu­la­tion using the iPhone of the car­jack­ing vic­tim that was still left in the car. The guy escaped at the gas sta­tion at 12:15 am and the call locat­ing them at Dex­ter came in at 12:42 am. So they spent 27 minute dri­ving from where the car­jack­ing vic­tim was released to where the green Hon­da was parked (which would be near where the shootout occurred since it was report­ed­ly retrieved “moments” before the shootout on Lau­rel Street in the offi­cial report). You have to won­der if they were hop­ing to get help in that area? Or maybe it just took a long time to sneak back and extract the green Hon­da because they took lots of side roads and so forth? Who knows, but from the moment they car­jacked that guy they seemed to be spend­ing a lot of time in that Water­town neigh­bor­hood both before and after release of the cajack­ing vic­tim. Was that a meet­up area with col­lab­o­ra­tors if things went apeshit?

    Some­thing point­ing against the the the­o­ry that they had col­lab­o­ra­tors is the fact that they had to stop for mon­ey at an ATM in the first place. Going broke should­n’t be an issue when you’re an orga­nized ter­ror­ist unless main­tain­ing your cov­er as a wel­fare-ter­ror­ist is deemed impor­tant. It’s also spec­u­lat­ed that one of the motives for killing Sean Col­liers was to get his gun. Accord­ing to the arti­cle below, video sur­veil­lance footage of the killing of MIT offi­cer Col­lier shows that the orig­i­nal reports that Col­liers was respond­ing to a dis­tur­bance were wrong. Instead, the sus­pects walked up to Col­liers sit­ting in his patrol car and shot him exe­cu­tion style. And it’s still unclear why the broth­ers were at MIT in the first place. So it’s very unclear that get­ting a sec­ond gun is the rea­son for gun­ning down a cop (maybe they thought he was radio­ing in their loca­tion?) but get­ting a sec­ond gun seems like an extra bad rea­son to kill a cop in that kind of a sit­u­a­tion. And they nev­er actu­al­ly got the gun (the car­jack­ing vic­tim also said he nev­er saw a sec­ond weapon). So if this was an oper­a­tion planned by a larg­er orga­ni­za­tion it would appear that the plot­ters intend­ed on mak­ing it look like these guys were broke and bare­ly armed. Only one gun is a huge gap in one’s ter­ror­ist “stash” if you’re a pair of broth­ers plan­ning a make-it-up-as-you-go-along ter­ror-spree. What an insane ter­ror-spree:

    Boston Globe
    102 hours in pur­suit of Marathon sus­pects
    By Globe Staff
    |

    April 28, 2013

    For five indeli­ble days, the unthink­able became rou­tine in Boston. And no one felt that more than the police and agents mount­ing the largest man­hunt in region­al his­to­ry and pars­ing its most com­plex crime scene. It took a cast of thou­sands — also courage, sac­ri­fice, team­work, and luck — to crack the case. But they did it.

    ...

    A qui­et after­noon in his gar­den beck­oned as Gov­er­nor Deval Patrick left the fin­ish line of the Boston Marathon. After crown­ing the men’s and women’s win­ners with wreaths of lau­rel, he head­ed home to Mil­ton around 1 p.m., look­ing for­ward to work­ing in the dirt.

    Boston Police Com­mis­sion­er Ed Davis stayed at the race until 1:30. He was watch­ing run­ners cross the fin­ish line, but also sur­vey­ing secu­ri­ty mea­sures at America’s old­est and most famous road race, includ­ing teams of dogs and more than 1,000 uni­formed offi­cers and sol­diers.

    “Be vig­i­lant,” Davis told them in part­ing as he head­ed home to Hyde Park, to join a con­fer­ence call on gun con­trol con­vened by Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden.

    It seemed like a per­fect day. The Red Sox won at Fen­way. A bright sun shone. A glo­ri­ous hol­i­day, when noth­ing could go wrong.

    ...

    THURSDAY, 4:02 P.M.

    Anony­mous no more

    Six­ty miles away at UMass Dart­mouth, Dzhokhar Tsar­naev used his swipe card to enter his dorm at 4:02 p.m. He had one more hour of anonymi­ty remain­ing.

    It would be the last time he would use his card on cam­pus.

    The 19-year-old had already made what would be his last post­ing on Twit­ter, the pre­vi­ous day. He retweet­ed a mes­sage from a Sau­di schol­ar, Mufti Ismail Menk: “Atti­tude can take away your beau­ty no mat­ter how good look­ing you are, or it could enhance your beau­ty, mak­ing you adorable.”

    After that, silence.

    Dzhokhar had enjoyed three days of free­dom since the bomb­ings. But he and his broth­er Tamer­lan had failed to pre­pare for what was com­ing, as if they had imag­ined inves­ti­ga­tors would nev­er track them down.

    Dzhokhar’s life as a “stress free kind of guy” who sold pot on the side to raise pock­et mon­ey was about to end. By the time he arrived back in Cam­bridge some­time that night, his face would be known to mil­lions, and tips about his iden­ti­ty would be pour­ing in to fed­er­al agents.

    ...

    The broth­ers’ sud­den noto­ri­ety may have inspired their belat­ed and des­per­ate plan to escape to New York, where author­i­ties now believe the broth­ers had drawn a bull’s‑eye on their next tar­get: Times Square, the fabled “Cross­roads of the World.’’

    But the broth­ers hadn’t set aside mon­ey or even a get­away car for the jour­ney — they had to fig­ure that the green Hon­da Civic Dzhokhar drove would soon be known to police. They were also seri­ous­ly short on weapons — police recov­ered only one hand­gun and a BB gun that they could trace to the pair.

    Their appar­ent hope of adding to that pal­try fire­pow­er set them on a dead­ly col­li­sion course with Sean A. Col­lier, a genial police offi­cer at the Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy.

    ...

    About 9:30 p.m., Col­lier was on rou­tine patrol. He was parked by the cor­ner of Vas­sar and Main streets. It was a spot where motorists would some­times take a chance, mak­ing an ille­gal short­cut through cam­pus to avoid a red light.

    “We ask patrols to sit there,’’ DiFa­va explained. It pre­vents the for­bid­den cut-throughs and it pro­vides a high-pro­file pres­ence for the MIT com­mu­ni­ty.

    What are you doing? the chief asked his young offi­cer.

    “Just mak­ing sure every­body behaves,’’ Col­lier told him.

    The two men chat­ted eas­i­ly for sev­er­al min­utes. And then DiFa­va pulled away.

    The chief was home for per­haps a half hour when his phone rang. “It was the deputy chief,’’ DiFa­va said. “He said Sean Col­lier has been shot.’’

    In the fog of what would become a dead­ly and dan­ger­ous night, there were ini­tial reports that Col­lier had been respond­ing to a dis­tur­bance. That turned out to be wrong.

    What actu­al­ly hap­pened was more cold-blood­ed, author­i­ties said. Police offi­cials have called it an assas­si­na­tion, an exe­cu­tion.

    Author­i­ties say video from a sur­veil­lance cam­era shows the sus­pects approach­ing Collier’s car from the rear as he sat in his cruis­er. Col­lier was shot five times, includ­ing twice in the head, offi­cials said.

    “He didn’t stand a chance,’’ DiFa­va said.

    The two bomb­ing sus­pects alleged­ly tried to steal Collier’s weapon, but they couldn’t unlock it.

    “The reten­tion hol­ster does its job well, so per­haps they didn’t get the gun because of that hol­ster,’’ the MIT chief said. “Maybe that’s what thwart­ed them from get­ting the gun, because the gun was not removed from the hol­ster.’’

    Author­i­ties say it is not clear why the Tsar­naevs were at MIT or why they tar­get­ed Col­lier.

    “We have all kinds of unan­swered ques­tions,’’ DiFa­va said.

    Last week, the Somerville Police Depart­ment asked the city’s Board of Alder­men to hon­or Col­lier, appoint­ing him posthu­mous­ly to the city’s police force.

    As trib­utes flood­ed in about Col­lier, includ­ing those from Biden, DiFa­va could scarce­ly utter words about his fall­en offi­cer.

    “From the time I saw him to the time he was dead, it was prob­a­bly about an hour,’’ DiFa­va said.

    If the details of the attack were unspeak­able, they proved to be use­ful weapons for the alleged ter­ror­ists.

    “I just killed a police­man in Cam­bridge,’’ Tamer­lan Tsar­naev told the man he would meet next as he waved a sil­ver hand­gun at him.

    THURSDAY, 11 P.M.

    Car­jacked

    It was a cool spring night, and a 26-year-old entre­pre­neur from Cam­bridge had picked the per­fect way to unwind: take his new $50,000 Mer­cedes-Benz out for a spin.

    As he drove his spa­cious 2013 black SUV toward Boston, the man — a Chi­nese immi­grant who asked to be iden­ti­fied only by his Amer­i­can nick­name, Dan­ny — noticed a swarm of police cars with flash­ing blue lights near the MIT cam­pus.

    After a short dri­ve across the riv­er, Dan­ny, who earned a master’s degree from North­east­ern Uni­ver­si­ty last year and is trained as an engi­neer, pulled his car to the curb on Brighton Avenue to answer a text mes­sage.

    Sud­den­ly, an old sedan swerved behind him and slammed to a stop. A thin young man in dark clothes got out, approached the pas­sen­ger win­dow, and rapped on the glass. Dan­ny low­ered the win­dow.

    The man reached an arm through, unlocked the door, climbed in, and point­ed a hand­gun.

    He demand­ed cash, and made it all too clear this wasn’t a joke.

    “You know about the Boston Marathon bomb­ing? I did that,” Tamer­lan said. “Don’t be stu­pid.’’

    What fol­lowed was a har­row­ing 75 min­utes dur­ing which 26-year-old Tamer­lan Tsar­naev — soon joined in the car by his broth­er Dzhokhar — forced Dan­ny on a cir­cuitous jour­ney through Brighton, Water­town, and back to Cam­bridge.

    The broth­ers want­ed more cash than the $45 that Dan­ny had and they talked about dri­ving to New York. Oth­er­wise, their inten­tions were unclear. The odyssey took on a sur­re­al tone. The broth­ers mar­veled at the fea­tures of the Mer­cedes-Benz, popped in a CD of what sound­ed like Mid­dle East­ern reli­gious music, and talked about cred­it lim­its for stu­dents.

    Through it all, Dan­ny feared they would kill him if he made one mis­step. He fran­ti­cal­ly thought about how to escape. And he prayed.

    They lapped Brighton and crossed the Charles Riv­er into Water­town, fol­low­ing Arse­nal Street. Open­ing Danny’s wal­let, Tamer­lan asked for his ATM code.

    Then he instruct­ed Dan­ny to pull over on a side street in East Water­town. A Hon­da Civic sedan that Dan­ny had noticed fol­low­ing him stopped behind the Mer­cedes. A younger man approached – the shag­gy-haired “Sus­pect No. 2’’ in the pho­tos and videos released by author­i­ties just hours ear­li­er. Tamer­lan got out, ordered Dan­ny into the front pas­sen­ger seat, and warned him that if he tried any­thing he would shoot him. For sev­er­al min­utes, the broth­ers moved heavy objects from the small­er car into Danny’s SUV; Dan­ny fig­ured it was lug­gage.

    Tamer­lan took the wheel and his broth­er got in the back seat, leav­ing the Hon­da behind. Dan­ny looked at the younger man and rec­og­nized Dzhokhar from the FBI images.

    “I saw his face because he had a clear pic­ture,’’ Dan­ny said. “I was 100 per­cent sure that he was real­ly sim­i­lar to that guy.’’

    At one point, Dan­ny asked Tamer­lan, “Are you going to hurt me?’’

    “I’m not going to hurt you,’’ he replied. “We’re just going to drop you off. . . . Prob­a­bly you’ll have to walk 4 or 5 miles to find any­body, and if you are lucky, some­body will pick you up.’’

    The Mer­cedes stopped in front of a Bank of Amer­i­ca ATM in Water­town Cen­ter. The younger broth­er got out and with­drew an esti­mat­ed $800. Dan­ny debat­ed bolt­ing from the Mer­cedes. He implored the old­er man to let him unbuck­le his seat­belt and put on a jack­et in the back seat because he was cold.

    ...

    Tamer­lan drove down Sol­diers Field Road, passed Har­vard Busi­ness School, turned left on a bridge in front of the Dou­ble­tree Hotel, and then anoth­er left into the Shell Sta­tion on Memo­r­i­al Dri­ve to buy gas.

    “Maybe I have a chance,” Dan­ny thought. “It’s my last chance to get out.”

    Tamer­lan pulled up the car with the gas pumps on the right, next to Dan­ny. Dzhokhar got out with Danny’s cred­it card to pay for the gas.

    It was around 12:15, an hour and a half since he was abduct­ed. Dan­ny real­ized it was a crit­i­cal moment: The doors were unlocked. Dzhokhar was in the store. The gun was tucked in the driver’s side door. And Tamer­lan was dis­tract­ed, strug­gling with the GPS device he had brought with him on the car­jack­ing.

    “I was think­ing I must do two things: unfas­ten my seat­belt and open the door and jump out as quick as I can. If I didn’t make it, he would kill me right out, he would kill me right away,” Dan­ny said.

    Tamer­lan tried to grab his jack­et. But Dan­ny slammed the door, leav­ing his phone in the vehi­cle. He ran behind the SUV at an angle to avoid poten­tial gun­shots. “F—!” Tamer­lan screamed as Dan­ny dart­ed across Riv­er Street to a Mobil Sta­tion that had the lights on.

    In the instant that Dan­ny sprint­ed to free­dom and toward a 911 tele­phone call, the broth­ers were now ful­ly exposed.

    They were dri­ving a stolen vehi­cle.

    They were the most want­ed men in New Eng­land.

    And as they roared out of Shell’s park­ing lot and onto Memo­r­i­al Dri­ve, they point­ed the black Mer­cedes toward Water­town.

    FRIDAY, 12:44 A.M.

    Shoot-out in Water­town

    Water­town Police Offi­cer Joseph Reynolds’s mid­night to 8 a.m. shift had bare­ly begun when police fre­quen­cies erupt­ed with news of abduc­tion and may­hem next door in Cam­bridge.

    “Want­ed for car­jack­ing that occurred in Cam­bridge, pos­si­bly relat­ed to the Cam­bridge inci­dent,” said the State Police dis­patch­er, refer­ring to the shoot­ing at MIT. “Mid­dle East­ern males, the vic­tim stat­ed they both had hand­guns … dur­ing the con­ver­sa­tion, the vic­tim gath­ered they were pos­si­bly head­ing to New York City.”
    In fact, the black SUV stolen by the Tsar­naev broth­ers was nowhere near New York City. The glob­al posi­tion­ing sys­tem on the vehi­cle, which emit­ted tiny trace­able elec­tron­ic sig­nals, showed that the Mer­cedes was less than 5 miles from their apart­ment – and head­ing Reynolds’s way.

    At 12:42 a.m., Watertown’s dis­patch­er warned: “Okay, the vehi­cle is now in Water­town, units, in the area of 89 Dex­ter,” part of a slum­ber­ing neigh­bor­hood of tidy hous­es and duplex­es whose res­i­dents proud­ly dec­o­rate their homes with flower box­es. A lot of Water­town was like that — a small town where many of the police offi­cers nev­er fired their guns out­side of the prac­tice range.

    “I’m right behind that vehi­cle,” Reynolds replied.

    The patrol super­vi­sor, Sergeant John MacLel­lan, advised cau­tion. “Don’t stop the car until I get there,’’ he told Reynolds, accord­ing to Water­town Police Cap­tain Ray­mond Dupuis. “Wait for help to come.’’

    But there was no time. The SUV took a sud­den left turn from Dex­ter Avenue onto Lau­rel Street and came to an abrupt stop — right behind a sec­ond vehi­cle, the green Hon­da Civic that Dzhokhar Tsar­naev had retrieved moments ear­li­er. As Reynolds watched, one broth­er emerged from each car.

    “The sus­pects get out and start shoot­ing at Joe Reynolds,’’ said Dupuis.

    The next four min­utes may go down as the longest in Water­town his­to­ry, as the two sides fired more than 250 bul­lets all told and the broth­ers hurled bombs, fill­ing the night air with the stench of sul­fur. When the smoke cleared, one bomber was dead, a police offi­cer had been grave­ly wound­ed, hous­es were pock­marked with bul­let holes and shrap­nel, and an entire com­mu­ni­ty was trau­ma­tized.

    ...

    When Tamer­lan ran out of ammu­ni­tion, he threw his weapon at Pugliese, hit­ting him in the arm, Dupuis said. Tamer­lan then tried to run, but Pugliese, with the aid of Reynolds and MacLel­lan, tack­led him in the street and hand­cuffed him.

    Dzhokhar Tsar­naev may have injured him­self in one of the blasts — he had what appeared to be shrap­nel cuts on his neck and ear when he was cap­tured — but that didn’t stop him. He jumped into the stolen SUV and start­ed dri­ving straight toward the three offi­cers and Tamer­lan.

    “He’s com­ing toward us!’’ MacLel­lan yelled in time for the oth­er offi­cers to roll off Tamer­lan at the last minute.

    The SUV ran over Tamer­lan Tsar­naev with a sick­en­ing thump. Blood pooled around him. Red streaks stained the pave­ment where Dzhokhar had dragged his old­er broth­er under the SUV.

    “He was on his bel­ly; he was mov­ing,” said Jean Mac­Don­ald, who was watch­ing from her sec­ond-floor bath­room win­dow on Lau­rel Street. “I saw him try­ing to lift up his head.”

    Police said Tsar­naev dragged his brother’s body about 30 feet.

    “I could see the SUV head­lights go up and then down when he drove over his broth­er,” said Rob Mullen of Lau­rel Street, who watched the gun­fight unfold in dis­be­lief.

    Some­how, Dzhokhar Tsar­naev maneu­vered the careen­ing SUV between the two police cars on Lau­rel Street and sped off at 12:48 p.m.Wound­ed, he didn’t get far, aban­don­ing the vehi­cle about half a mile away and set­ting off on foot.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 28, 2013, 11:17 pm
  10. Yep, that’s pret­ty spooky:

    For­eign Pol­i­cy
    The Com­plex
    ‘Mil­i­tary-Style’ Raid on Cal­i­for­nia Pow­er Sta­tion Spooks U.S.

    BY Shane Har­ris
    DECEMBER 27, 2013 — 02:02 PM

    When U.S. offi­cials warn about “attacks” on elec­tric pow­er facil­i­ties these days, the first thing that comes to mind is prob­a­bly a com­put­er hack­er try­ing to shut the lights off in a city with mal­ware. But a more tra­di­tion­al attack on a pow­er sta­tion in Cal­i­for­nia has U.S. offi­cials puz­zled and wor­ried about the phys­i­cal secu­ri­ty of the the elec­tri­cal grid–from attack­ers who come in with guns blaz­ing.

    Around 1:00 AM on April 16, at least one indi­vid­ual (pos­si­bly two) entered two dif­fer­ent man­holes at the PG&E Met­calf pow­er sub­sta­tion, south­east of San Jose, and cut fiber cables in the area around the sub­sta­tion. That knocked out some local 911 ser­vices, land­line ser­vice to the sub­sta­tion, and cell phone ser­vice in the area, a senior U.S. intel­li­gence offi­cial told For­eign Pol­i­cy. The intruder(s) then fired more than 100 rounds from what two offi­cials described as a high-pow­ered rifle at sev­er­al trans­form­ers in the facil­i­ty. Ten trans­form­ers were dam­aged in one area of the facil­i­ty, and three trans­former banks — or groups of trans­form­ers — were hit in anoth­er, accord­ing to a PG&E spokesman.

    Cool­ing oil then leaked from a trans­former bank, caus­ing the trans­form­ers to over­heat and shut down. State reg­u­la­tors urged cus­tomers in the area to con­serve ener­gy over the fol­low­ing days, but there was no long-term dam­age report­ed at the facil­i­ty and there were no major pow­er out­ages. There were no injuries report­ed. That was the good news. The bad news is that offi­cials don’t know who the shooter(s) were, and most impor­tant­ly, whether fur­ther attacks are planned.

    “Ini­tial­ly, the attack was being treat­ed as van­dal­ism and han­dled by local law enforce­ment,” the senior intel­li­gence offi­cial said. “How­ev­er, inves­ti­ga­tors have been quot­ed in the press express­ing opin­ions that there are indi­ca­tions that the tim­ing of the attacks and tar­get selec­tion indi­cate a high­er lev­el of plan­ning and sophis­ti­ca­tion.”

    The FBI has tak­en over the case. There appears to have been some ini­tial con­cern, or at least inter­est, in the fact that the shoot­ing hap­pened one day after the Boston Marathon bomb­ing. But the FBI has no evi­dence that the attack is relat­ed to ter­ror­ism, and it appears to be an iso­lat­ed inci­dent, said Peter Lee, a spokesman for the FBI field office in San Fran­cis­co, which is lead­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion. Lee said the FBI has “a cou­ple of leads we’re still fol­low­ing up on,” which he would­n’t dis­cuss in detail. There has not been any pub­lished motive or intent for the attack, the intel­li­gence offi­cial said, and no one has claimed cred­it.

    Local inves­ti­ga­tors seemed to hit a dead end in June, so they released sur­veil­lance footage of the shoot­ing. But that appar­ent­ly pro­duced no new infor­ma­tion. The FBI says there have been no tips from the pub­lic about who the shoot­er might be and what he was doing there.

    The inci­dent might have stayed a local news sto­ry, but this month, Rep. Hen­ry Wax­man, the Cal­i­for­nia Demo­c­rat and rank­ing mem­ber of the Ener­gy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee, men­tioned it at a hear­ing on reg­u­la­to­ry issues. “It is clear that the elec­tric grid is not ade­quate­ly pro­tect­ed from phys­i­cal or cyber attacks,” Wax­man said. He called the shoot­ing at the the San Jose facil­i­ty “an unprece­dent­ed and sophis­ti­cat­ed attack on an elec­tric grid sub­sta­tion with mil­i­tary-style weapons. Com­mu­ni­ca­tions were dis­rupt­ed. The attack inflict­ed sub­stan­tial dam­age. It took weeks to replace the dam­aged parts. Under slight­ly dif­fer­ent con­di­tions, there could have been seri­ous pow­er out­ages or worse.”

    ...

    At the very least, the attack points to an arguably over­looked phys­i­cal threat to pow­er facil­i­ties at a time when much of the U.S. intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, Con­gress, and the elec­tri­cal pow­er indus­try is focused on the risk of cyber attacks. There has nev­er been a con­firmed pow­er out­age caused by a cyber attack in the Unit­ed States. But the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion has sought to pro­mul­gate cyber secu­ri­ty stan­dards that pow­er facil­i­ties could use to min­i­mize the risk of one.

    At least one senior offi­cial thinks the gov­ern­ment is focus­ing too heav­i­ly on cyber attacks. Jon Welling­hoff, the chair­man of the Fed­er­al Ener­gy Reg­u­la­to­ry Com­mis­sion, said last month that an attack by intrud­ers with guns and rifles could be just as dev­as­tat­ing as a cyber attack.

    A shoot­er “could get 200 yards away with a .22 rifle and take the whole thing out,” Welling­hoff said last month at a con­fer­ence spon­sored by Bloomberg. His pro­posed defense: A met­al sheet that would block the trans­former from view. “If you can’t see through the fence, you can’t fig­ure out where to shoot any­more,” Welling­hoff said. Price tag? A “cou­ple hun­dred bucks.” A lot cheap­er than the bil­lions the admin­is­tra­tion has spent in the past four years beef­ing up cyber secu­ri­ty of crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture in the Unit­ed States and on gov­ern­ment com­put­er net­works.

    “There are ways that a very few num­ber of actors with very rudi­men­ta­ry equip­ment could take down large por­tions of our grid,” Welling­hoff said. “I don’t think we have the lev­el of phys­i­cal secu­ri­ty we need.”

    Note that Jon Welling­hof­f’s warn­ing about some­one using a rifle at 200 yards did­n’t take place last month. It was actu­al­ly last year so this type of attack was­n’t exact­ly a sur­prise to the indus­try. Let’s hope there aren’t any more non-sur­pris­es on the way.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 28, 2013, 9:26 pm
  11. And the next day — April 17th — was the huge explo­sion at the “West” Texas fer­til­iz­er plant.
    the source of the fire was nev­er deter­mined:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Fertilizer_Company_explosion

    On April 17, 2013, an ammo­ni­um nitrate explo­sion occurred at the West Fer­til­iz­er Com­pa­ny stor­age and dis­tri­b­u­tion facil­i­ty in West, Texas, eigh­teen miles (29 km) north of Waco while emer­gency ser­vices per­son­nel were respond­ing to a fire at the facility.[6] Fif­teen peo­ple were killed, more than 160 were injured, and more than 150 build­ings were dam­aged or destroyed. Inves­ti­ga­tors have con­firmed that ammo­ni­um nitrate was the trig­ger for the explo­sion, but the cause of the ini­tial fire is as yet unknown.[7]
    ...........
    The facil­i­ty caught fire on Wednes­day, April 17, 2013, then explod­ed as fire­fight­ers were attempt­ing to douse the flames.[19] The cause of the ini­tial fire remains unknown;[20] author­i­ties ruled out weath­er, nat­ur­al caus­es, anhy­drous ammo­nia, and ammo­ni­um nitrate in a rail car as pos­si­ble caus­es of the fire.[21] The explo­sion occurred about 7:50:38 p.m. CDT (00:50 UTC, April 18).[6][22]

    Posted by Swamp | December 29, 2013, 9:20 pm
  12. Here’s a fol­lowup report on the attack on the Met­calf pow­er sta­tion less than a day after the Boston bomb­ings: More details on the attack are avail­able but the indi­vid­u­als involved and the motives are still a mys­tery. Some­thing that appears to be emerg­ing, though, is the grow­ing evi­dence that the per­pe­tra­tors were using pro­fes­sion­al tac­tics:

    The Wall Street Jour­nall
    Assault on Cal­i­for­nia Pow­er Sta­tion Rais­es Alarm on Poten­tial for Ter­ror­ism
    April Sniper Attack Knocked Out Sub­sta­tion, Rais­es Con­cern for Coun­try’s Pow­er Grid

    By Rebec­ca Smith
    Feb. 4, 2014 10:30 p.m. ET

    SAN JOSE, Calif.—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.
    Relat­ed

    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.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 5, 2014, 8:19 pm

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