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Graham Fuller Helped Start the Iran-Contra Affair

Graham E. Fuller: Why is this man smiling?

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COMMENT: We keep learning more and more about the background of the figures emerging into view in connection with the Boston marathon bombings.

In our most recent post on the subject, we noted the marital/familial relationship of the alleged bombers’ “Uncle Tsarni” to Graham E. Fuller, an important “ex” CIA officer.

In addition to having been an early and apparently important advocate (architect?) of the U.S. turn to the Muslim Brotherhood, Fuller has run interference for the Fetullah Gulen cult, dismissing charges by intelligence officers in the Middle East and Central Asia that the group has links to the CIA.

Now it emerges that Fuller–former CIA station chief in Kabul–authored a policy paper that is said to have been central to the development of the Iran-Contra scandal!

“Washington Talk: Briefing; C.I.A. Secrets”; The New York Times; 2/15/2013.

EXCERPT: . . . . Mr. Fuller’s name came to public attention last year when it was disclosed that he was the author of a ”think piece” circulated in the intelligence community in May 1985 suggesting the possiblity of pursuing openings in Iran.

The study was instrumental in persuading some top-ranking Reagan Administration policy makers to begin considering covert contacts with Iranian leaders. It eventually led to the covert sale of United States weapons to Teheran in what became the Iran-contra affair. . . .


12 comments for “Graham Fuller Helped Start the Iran-Contra Affair”

  1. So three friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were arrested today for disposing of Dzhokhar’s laptap and a backpack of fireworks after the attack. They’re not being charged with any involvement in the planning of the bombings. It sounds like text messages indicate that they realized Dzhokhar might be one of the bombers after the FBI released their pictures on tv so they decided to get rid of evidence at that point because they didn’t want Dzhokhar to get in trouble. Not a great idea:

    CBS/AP/ May 1, 2013, 4:44 PM
    Accused Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s friends hid damning evidence, feds say

    Updated at 4:44 p.m. ET

    BOSTON Three college friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were arrested and accused Wednesday of removing a backpack containing fireworks emptied of gunpowder from Tsarnaev’s dorm room three days after the attack to try to keep him from getting into trouble.

    In court papers, the FBI said one of them threw the backpack in the garbage — it was later found in a landfill by law enforcement officers — after they concluded from news reports that Tsarnaev was one of the bombers.

    Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev were charged with conspiring to obstruct justice by concealing and destroying evidence. A third man, Robel Phillipos, was charged with lying to investigators about the visit to Tsarnaev’s room.

    In a court appearance Wednesday afternoon, Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev waived bail and agreed to voluntarily detention. Their next hearing is scheduled for May 14.

    Phillipos was ordered held pending a detention and probable cause hearing scheduled for Monday.

    Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev, who are from Kazakhstan, have been held in jail for more than a week on allegations that they violated their student visas by not regularly going to class at UMass. All three men charged Wednesday began attending UMass with Tsarnaev at the same time in 2011, according to the FBI.

    The three were not accused of any involvement in the bombing itself. But in a footnote in the court papers, the FBI said that about a month before the bombing, Tsarnaev told Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev that he knew how to make a bomb.

    Investigators have not said whether the pressure cooker bombs used in the attacks were made with gunpowder extracted from fireworks.

    If convicted, Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov could get up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Phillipos faces a maximum of eight years behind bars and a $250,000 fine.

    Authorities allege that on the night of April 18, after the FBI released surveillance-camera photos of the bombing suspects and the three men suspected their friend was one of them, they went to Tsarnaev’s dorm room.

    Before Tsarnaev’s roommate let them in, Kadyrbayev showed Tazhayakov a text message from Tsarnaev that read: “I’m about to leave if you need something in my room take it,” according to the FBI.

    When Tazhayakov learned of the message, “he believed he would never see Tsarnaev alive again,” the FBI said in the affidavit.

    It was not clear from the court papers whether authorities believe that was an instruction from Tsarnaev to his friends to destroy evidence.

    Once inside Tsarnaev’s room, the men noticed a backpack containing fireworks, which had been opened and emptied of powder, the FBI said.

    The FBI said that Kadyrbayev knew when he saw the empty fireworks that Tsarnaev was involved in the bombings and decided to remove the backpack from the room “in order to help his friend Tsarnaev avoid trouble.”

    Kadyrbayev also decided to remove Tsarnaev’s laptop “because he did not want Tsarnaev’s roommate to think he was stealing or behaving suspiciously by just taking the backpack,” the FBI said in court papers.

    After the three men returned to Kadyrbayev’s and Tazhayakov’s apartment with the backpack and computer, they watched news reports featuring photographs of Tsarnaev.

    The FBI affidavit said Kadyrbayev told authorities the three men then “collectively decided to throw the backpack and fireworks into the trash because they did not want Tsarnaev to get into trouble.”

    Kadyrbayev said he placed the backpack and fireworks along with trash from the apartment into a large trash bag and threw it into a garbage bin near the men’s apartment.

    When the backpack was later found in a landfill last week, inside it was a UMass-Dartmouth homework assignment sheet from a class Tsarnaev was taking, the FBI said.

    Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov lived at an off-campus apartment in New Bedford, about 60 miles south of Boston, and got around in a car registered to Kadyrbayev with a souvenir plate that read “Terrorista (hash)1.” The car was pictured on Tsarnaev’s Twitter feed in March.

    The plate was a gag gift from some of Kadyrbayev’s friends, meant to invoke his penchant for late-night partying rather than his political sentiments, a lawyer for Kadyrbayev said last week.

    Another bit of info on the arrested friends: The one with the “Terrorista #1” novelty license plate for his BMW appears to have owned a number of BMW’s during his time in the US:

    Tsarnaev friends had money and ‘Terrorista #1’ license plate, classmate says

    By Miranda Leitsinger, Tom Winter and Erin McClam, NBC News

    Two of the three people newly arrested in the Boston Marathon investigation are Kazakh friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and one drove a BMW with a novelty license plate that said “Terrorista #1,” according to people who knew them.

    Both Kazakh men are 19 and were in the United States on student visas, the Justice Department said.

    Stephen Troio, who said he lived on the same dorm floor as the two men during his freshman year in 2011, said that they showed “lack of emotion” and “lack of personality” and that nothing stood out about them but the BMW.

    “They did have a lot of money,” Troio told NBC News. “He wrecked like three Beamers and then bought another one.”

    Trevor Berry, 20, who took a calculus course with Tazhayakov, said the Kazakh was friendly with Tsarnaev and that the two could be spotted dining together on campus. “They were pretty close as far as I can tell,” he said.

    Berry said that Tazhayakov was “much more quiet than Dzhokhar,” but was once “really flustered” over a low grade he’d gotten in calculus class.

    The two men were taken into custody over immigration violations last week. Kadyrbayev’s lawyer, Robert Stahl, told The Associated Press then that they were horrified by the marathon bombing.

    “They can’t even fathom something like this from a kid who seemed to be a typical young college student,” he said.

    A neighbor in New Bedford said Wednesday that the Kazakhs were quiet and polite, and would even help carrying groceries inside. They had parties, the neighbor said, including one that police were called to at 3 a.m.

    A Facebook page in the name of Azamat Tazhayakov lists him as a UMass-Dartmouth student and as a member of the Class of 2011 at a Kazakh school, Miras International School Astana. It lists his hometown as Atyrau, says he speaks Russian and lists Rihanna, Beyonce and Enimem as musicians he likes.

    A Facebook page in the name of Dias Kadyrbayev shows him vacationing in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and palling around with friends.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 1, 2013, 2:08 pm
  2. Worth noting…:

    Report: Moscow spy saga tied to Boston bombing case
    Doug Stanglin, USATODAY 10:43 a.m. EDT May 15, 2013
    A U.S. diplomat was expelled for allegedly trying to recruit a senior Russian anti-terrorism official.

    The U.S. diplomat expelled for allegedly spying for the CIA was trying to recruit a senior Russian intelligence officer involved with fighting terrorism in the North Caucasus, the region linked to the suspects in the Boston bombing case, the Russian newspaper Kommersan reported, quoting Russian security service sources.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry declared Ryan Fogle, a third secretary in the U.S. Embassy’s political section, persona non grata on Wednesday and ordered him to leave the country. He was detained by officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Monday night.

    Kommersant, quoting “participants of the special operation,” said Fogle “was trying to recruit an FSB officer in charge of the fight against terrorism in the North Caucasus.”

    Russian state television aired footage Wednesday from Russia’s security services claiming that another alleged American spy was expelled earlier this year.

    In the footage, a man sitting in near darkness who was identified only as an FSB operative said a “CIA operative” was expelled in January. He said the FSB then asked its U.S. counterparts to halt this “disturbing activity.”

    The man also claimed the Russians had been shadowing Fogle since he began his Moscow posting in 2011.There was no immediate way for the Associated Press to confirm that the person in the video was indeed an FSB operative.

    Kommersant quoted the sources as saying the Americans apparently got the phone numbers of Russian anti-terrorism officials during meetings about the April 15 Boston bombings.

    Last year, when Tamerlan took a six-month trip to the Russian republic of Dagestan, where he parents had once again re-settled, Russian officials twice exchanged messages with first the FBI, then the CIA, inquiring about Tamerlan and any possible ties to extremists.

    The FBI met with Tamerlan but determined that he was not a terror threat. The U.S. sought to find out why the Russians were inquiring about Tamerlan, but received no additional information from the Russians, according to U.S. officials.

    During his trip to Russia, Tamerlan spent most of his time in Dagestan, where his parents were living, and Chechnya.

    After the bombing, U.S. diplomats and FBI agents from Moscow traveled to Makhachkala, capital of Dagestan, to interview Anzor and Zubeidat Tsarnaev, the suspects’ parents. It was not clear from the Kommersant report whether Fogle was one of the diplomats.

    The newspaper reported that the American side sought to take advantage of their meetings with Russian anti-terrorism forces “to establish personal contacts” in an effort to bypass bureaucratic delays that often crop up through normal channels.

    The newspaper said Fogle allegedly called one senior Russian intelligence official — the alleged recruitment target — twice on a cell phone “persistently seeking a personal meeting.” It was during a purported meeting that Fogle was detained.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 15, 2013, 8:54 am
  3. An FBI agent was interviewing one of the Chenchen mixed martial arts fighters that Tamerlan trained with. It didn’t end well:


    Orlando man killed by FBI had ties to Boston Marathon bombing suspect, NBC News confirms
    Man knew Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, friend says

    UPDATED 10:07 AM EDT May 22, 2013

    ORLANDO, Fla. —An FBI agent shot and killed a man overnight in Orlando who had ties to one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings, NBC News has confirmed.

    According to NBC News, a special agent was interviewing the suspect regarding his connections to bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev and other extremists. The suspect, identified by the FBI as Ibragim Todashev, was originally cooperative, but he was shot after attacking the agent, NBC News reported.

    A friend of Todashev, Khusn Taramiv, said Todashev, 27, was being investigated as part of the Boston bombings and knew Tsarnaev because both were MMA fighters.

    Taramiv claims he and Todashev were interviewed by the FBI for nearly three hours on Tuesday.

    “(The FBI) took me and my friend, (Ibragim Todashev). They were talking to us, both of us, right? And they said they need him for a little more, for a couple more hours, and I left, and they told me they’re going to bring him back. They never brought him back,” Taramiv said.

    “He felt inside he was going to get shot,” Taramiv said about Todashev. “I told him, ‘Everything is going to be fine, don’t worry about it.’ He said, ‘I have a really bad feeling.'”

    Taramiv said he left the interview, and when he came back to the apartments, he found that there had been a shooting.

    “I was completely shocked. I still can’t believe it, you know what I mean?” he said.

    Taramiv said Todashev gave him his parents’ phone number in case he got arrested.

    The shooting happened at the Windhover Condominiums on Kirkman Road near Conroy Road.

    The FBI said it will send a post-shooting incident review team from Washington and will arrive in Orlando on Wednesday or Thursday.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 22, 2013, 6:38 am
  4. A couple more bits of info have trickled in on the shooting of Ibragim Todashev. First, it appears that he was shot in the head:

    FBI Says Ibragim Todashev Was About to Sign a Confession

    Max Rivlin-Nadler Today 7:45am

    Ibragim Todashev, the first player in Wednesday’s strange day of terrorism and then racism (ahead of Obama’s big talk on terrorism today) was apparently about to sign a confession to the 2011 triple murder in Massachusetts when he “just went crazy.”

    One FBI agent received minor abrasions from the knife attack, which was stopped when Todashev was shot in the head. The FBI is saying this was only moments before Todashev was going to sign a confession that would have implicated both him and suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the 2011 triple homicide.

    Reniya Manukyan, the estranged wife of Todashev, said her husband “had nothing to hide” and was cooperating fully with the FBI over the course of several weeks as they repeatedly interviewed him.

    “The agent, two Mass­achusetts State Police troopers, and other law enforcement personnel were interviewing (Todashev) … when a violent confrontation was initiated by the individual,” the FBI said after the attack. “… The individual was killed and the agent sustained non-life threatening ?injuries.”

    The FBI has sent a team of investigators to look into the fatal shooting. The investigators will look into just how a man who was being interviewed for several hours came to possess a knife, and why, even with several officers (and other unidentified law enforcement personnel) in the room with a suspected murderer with terrorist connections, lethal force was used to stop a knife attack.

    There was also a report out yesterday suggesting that investigators were retracting the assertion that he attacked with a knife at all. So the investigation into why lethal force was used against a man with a knife could get complicated:

    Man Shot by FBI Had Ties to Boston Bombing Suspect

    By KYLE HIGHTOWER Associated Press
    ORLANDO, Fla. May 23, 2013 (AP)

    A Chechen immigrant shot to death in Florida after an altercation with an FBI agent implicated himself in a triple slaying that officials believe may have been connected to Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, authorities said.

    Ibragim Todashev’s Chechen roots and mixed martial arts background mirror that of Tsarnaev, the 26-year-old Boston bombing suspect killed in a shootout with police days after the April 15 terrorist attack. The two also had lived in the Boston area.

    Todashev, a 27-year-old mixed martial arts fighter, was fatally shot early Wednesday at his Orlando home during a meeting with the agent and two Massachusetts state troopers, authorities said. The agent was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

    Three law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said initially that Todashev had lunged at the FBI agent with a knife. However, two of those officials said later in the day it was no longer clear what had happened. The third official had not received any new information.


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 23, 2013, 6:48 am
  5. The father of Ibragim Todashev is reportedly close to Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, the former rebel leader turned pro-Kremlin anti-Wahhabist Islamist strongman. So Tamerlan’s partner in the triple murders apparently involved the son of a man close to the former rebel leader/current present of Chechnya. At this point I guess this all shouldn’t be surprising given the twists and turns in this case, but it still sort of is:

    Father of Chechen shot by FBI suspects son was tortured

    GROZNY, Russia | Thu May 23, 2013 2:56pm EDT

    (Reuters) – The father of a Chechen immigrant killed during questioning over his links with one of the Boston Marathon bombings suspects said on Thursday he plans to travel to the United States where he suspects his son was tortured and killed.

    Ibragim Todashev, 27, was killed by a federal agent in his apartment complex when he became violent during questioning over his ties to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of two brothers suspected of planting two bombs at the marathon on April 15.

    “I suspect that they tortured my son and that he suffered a painful death,” said Abdulbaki Todashev, wiping away tears at the home he shares with one of his wives in the mostly Muslim region of Chechnya in Russia’s North Caucasus.

    “I will try to go to (the United States) and get to the truth,” he said as he received neighbors and acquaintances paying their respects to the dead man, the oldest of 12 children between his father’s two wives.

    Todashev had met the Tsarnaevs when he travelled to the United States to improve his English, said his father, who works in the mayor’s office in Chechnya’s main city of Grozny and is said to be on close terms with regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

    He said he gave his permission when his son asked to stay in the United States because he said it was safer than Chechnya, where separatists waged two wars with Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union and militants still fight for an Islamic state.

    Todashev travelled to the United States in 2008 on a Russian passport, a federal law enforcement source said, and lived in Boston before moving to Florida, where he was killed. His father said he had a plane ticket to return to Russia on Friday.

    “He shouldn’t have left. He lived comfortably and his mother was very worried about him because he was the oldest in the family and she was used to him being a model for the others,” said a neighbor, Malika, who refused to give her last name.

    The FBI agent who shot Todashev, who also practiced mixed martial arts, has not been publicly identified but is from the agency’s Boston division, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

    U.S. media reported that Todashev implicated himself and Tamerlan Tsarnaev in an unsolved 2011 triple homicide in a Boston suburb that investigators believe was drug related. Authorities were investigating possible connections between Tsarnaev and the crime.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 23, 2013, 12:09 pm
  6. Deep in this article is a damned good explanation of (partly) why radical Republicans are courting radical Islam.

    Most of the story details how the Tsarnaev family was traumatized by war and relocation, and eludes to meddling by The Jamestown Foundation and other U.S. NGO’s.

    The entire article requires a subscription, but I will post the entire text if requested.

    The important part of this excerpt is about Graham Fuller and radical free-market politics:


    Chechnyan Power
    By Mark Ames


    “Uncle Ruslan represented the positive side of the American Dream for the Tsarnaev extended clan. Uncle Ruslan had a knack for making all the right choices; Anzor, not so much.

    In 1995, the same year Anzor Tsarnaev fled Chechnya with his family and returned to Kyrgyzstan, his younger brother Ruslan was working as a consultant for Arthur Anderson on a USAID contract to develop capital markets structures in Kazakhstan, whose huge untapped oil reserves were the source of an undeclared pipeline war that I wrote about in my last series of articles. In the late 1990s, Uncle Ruslan joined the Kazakh office of American law firm Salans Hertzfeld, where he serviced multinational oil companies tapping into Kazakhstan’s rich oil, gas and mineral resources.

    Uncle Ruslan married into geopolitical royalty — Susan Fuller, the daughter of one of the most powerful CIA Cold War figures, Graham Fuller. Tamerlan and Dzhokhar’s father, on the hand, married a crazy Avar from Dagestan — at least, that’s how Uncle Ruslan put it in no uncertain terms, and with some justification, according to people whom I’ve spoken to who knew Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, and according to numerous other reports.

    ***Uncle Ruslan’s father-in-law, Graham Fuller, had been forced into retirement from the CIA in the late 1980s over his role in the Iran-Contra scandal. Although never convicted of a crime, Graham Fuller has been named as the architect of the policy rationale used to justify the Iran-Contra operation, under which US arms were illegally sold to Ayatollah Khomeini’s armed forces. Profits from those illegal arms sales were used to make illegal arms purchases for the CIA-backed Contra forces fighting in Nicaragua.

    At Harvard, Graham Fuller studied under Zbigniew Brzezinski, chairman of the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya. In 1978, when Brzezinski was Jimmy Carter’s token Cold War hawk in the White House, Graham Fuller served as CIA station chief in Kabul, where Brzezinski hatched his now-famous plot to sow chaos in Afghanistan and draw in a costly Soviet invasion.

    Fuller later explained:

    “I was interested in understanding the soft underbelly of the Soviet Union, which is why I wanted to serve in Afghanistan.”
    The 1978 coup in Afghanistan, Fuller’s last year in Kabul, sparked a series of violent backlashes and power-struggles that eventually drew in the hoped-for Soviet invasion in late 1979.

    Fuller comes from that faction of CIA Cold Warriors who believed (and still apparently believe) that fundamentalist Islam, even in its radical jihadi form, does not pose a threat to the West, for the simple reason that fundamentalist Islam is conservative, against social justice, against socialism and redistribution of wealth, and in favor of hierarchical socio-economic structures. Socialism is the common enemy to both capitalist America and to Wahhabi Islam, according to Fuller.

    According to journalist Robert Dreyfuss’ book “Devil’s Game,” Fuller explained his attraction to radical Islam in neoliberal/libertarian terms:

    “There is no mainstream Islamic organization…with radical social views,” he wrote. “Classical Islamic theory envisages the role of the state as limited to facilitating the well-being of markets and merchants rather than controlling them. Islamists have always powerfully objected to socialism and communism….Islam has never had problems with the idea that wealth is unevenly distributed.”
    Some people who have come across the incredible coincidence of all these high-powered CIA names and the Chechen Tsarnaevs as proof of some sort of Masonic conspiracy. Most journalists are already freaked out enough by the simplest details of the Boston Marathon bombing and the FBI murder of Ibragim Todashev during his interrogation. They don’t want to go anywhere near this.

    As I’ve argued already, I think there’s a far simpler and more obvious explanation for this: Chechnya is a small land, its people number just over a million. In the United States, there are only a few hundred Chechen political refugees, maybe a few thousand immigrants at most. Yet the region they come from has been, since the end of the Cold War, the real ground zero of a major geopolitical and energy resource battle between the West, Russia and the Gulf Kingdoms. By the law of averages, in a world as small and important as Chechen separatism and Caspian oil, coincidences like this are made far more likely than most people understand.”

    Posted by Swamp | June 14, 2013, 6:41 am
  7. What happens in Florida stays in Florida:

    Boston Globe
    Fla. officials won’t investigate Todashev death
    By Maria Sacchetti
    | Globe Staff

    July 31, 2013

    Florida’s law enforcement commissioner has refused to investigate the fatal shooting of a Chechen man in Orlando by a Boston FBI agent, days after the top prosecutor in Massachusetts also declined to look into the case.

    “If Massachusetts state officials have the authority to send law enforcement officers out of state to investigate crimes, then it’s unclear why state officials wouldn’t have the authority to investigate what those officers do,” said Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. “After all, the governing principle of this state isn’t ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.’?”

    Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, said Bailey’s refusal to investigate makes it likely that Todashev’s family will have to file a lawsuit to find out how he died.

    “It is extremely disappointing, given the incompatible and inconsistent explanations coming from the FBI, that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement would defer to them, allowing the only investigation to be the FBI investigating itself,” Simon said. “A person was killed at the hands of law enforcement in Florida, and our state’s government has chosen to evade their responsibility to explain to the people of Florida how that happened.”

    Todashev’s family and friends and the Council on American-Islamic Relations have also called for an independent inquiry into his death. The council has urged the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to investigate, saying in a letter to the department in June: “It seems unlikely that the agents were justified in using deadly force against a single unarmed suspect.”

    Shootings by FBI agents are typically investigated only by the FBI with the Justice Department, but independent inquiries are not unprecedented. The Michigan attorney general and the Dearborn police conducted their own investigations into the 2009 shooting of a Detroit imam by the FBI. Both inquiries found no evidence of wrongdoing by the agents.

    In contrast to past shootings involving FBI agents, however, the FBI has refused to divulge details of the Todashev case over the past two months.

    Instead, conflicting reports about what led the agent to shoot Todashev have emerged in news reports. Some said that Todashev was armed with a blade. Another said he was unarmed. Still another said that Todashev attacked the agent with a pole or a broomstick.

    Todashev was allegedly about to sign a confession implicating Tsarnaev and him in a 2011 triple slaying in Waltham, according to news reports. Tsarnaev, 26, died after a police shootout days after the Marathon bombings. His brother, Dzhokhar, is facing federal charges in the explosions.

    In addition to its refusal to provide details on the Todashev case, the FBI has also barred the medical examiner from revealing the cause of death.

    Immigration officials have also detained Todashev’s former roommate and a potential witness, Tatiana Gruzdeva, for immigration violations since May 16. At a hearing later that month that was not disclosed to the public, a federal immigration judge ordered the 19-year-old Gruzdeva to return to Russia by July 1 and ordered her to remain jailed until she left. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a Homeland Security agency, later extended her stay 30 days.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 1, 2013, 7:18 am
  8. Uh…:

    The New York Times
    F.B.I. Said to Conclude It Could Not Have Averted Boston Attack
    Published: August 1, 2013

    WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. has concluded that there was little its agents could have done to prevent the Boston Marathon bombings, according to law enforcement officials, rejecting criticism that it could have better monitored one of the suspects before the attack.

    That conclusion is based on several internal reviews that examined how the bureau handled a request from a Russian intelligence agency in 2011 to investigate whether one of the suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had been radicalized during his time in the United States.

    F.B.I. officials often review how the bureau has handled investigations after attacks, and they have sometimes acknowledged mistakes.

    After the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, which left 13 people dead, the criticism of the F.B.I. was far more pointed. The F.B.I. appointed one of its former directors, William H. Webster, to conduct a formal review into how the bureau handled its investigation of the gunman before and after the attack.

    That review, which found that the bureau had made mistakes in handling intelligence information, resulted in recommendations for changes that the F.B.I. could make to its information sharing and training.

    In the Boston case, the F.B.I. has no plans to appoint an investigator to examine its procedures. But inspectors general from four federal agencies, including the Justice Department, said that they would be working together on their own investigation into how the government handled intelligence before the attack. The F.B.I. has been cooperating with the inspector generals by giving them investigative files and the opportunity to interview agents.

    A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment, citing the investigation by the inspectors general.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 1, 2013, 12:43 pm
  9. Shocking:

    5 August 2013 Last updated at 00:21 ET
    Tamerlan Tsarnaev had right-wing extremist literature
    By Hilary Andersson BBC News, Washington

    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.

    ‘A Muslim of convenience’

    The Tsarnaev brothers, ethnic Chechens, spent their early years moving around a troubled region of Russia torn by a violent Islamic insurgency.

    But for the last decade they lived in Cambridge, near Boston.

    The brothers’ friends told us Tamerlan turned against the country and became passionate about Islam after becoming frustrated when his boxing career faltered because he did not have American citizenship.

    Their friends wouldn’t all speak openly because they were afraid of being wrongly viewed as associated with terrorism.

    ‘Mike’ spent a lot of time in the brothers’ flat.

    “He (Tamerlan) just didn’t like America. He felt like America was just basically attacking all Middle Eastern countries…you know trying to take their oil.”

    A spokesperson for Tamerlan’s mosque in Cambridge, Nicole Mossalam, said Tamerlan only prayed there occasionally. She portrayed him as an angry young man who latched onto Islam.

    “As far connecting with the Islamic community here, to actually praying, being involved, doing acts of charity….all of those were pretty much lacking.

    “I would say he was just a Muslim of convenience,” she said.

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Tamerlan’s younger brother who has been charged with the bombings, scrawled a note shortly before his capture stating “We Muslims are one body. You hurt one you hurt us all.”

    The brothers had been reading militant Islamic websites before the bombings.

    Friends say the younger brother smoked copious amounts of pot and rarely prayed.

    ‘Tito’ told us Dzhokhar’s older brother dominated him and didn’t approve of his “party lifestyle”.

    “He (Dzhokhar) was intimidated, that would probably be the best word. He took him very seriously. He was an authority.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 5, 2013, 6:43 am
  10. @Pterrafractyl–

    Not only does this not surprise me, but I would have bet that such a connection existed–IF I were a gambler.

    4/15/2013–Tax day and Patriot’s Day, a Massachusetts state holiday.

    Islamists and neo-Nazis have carried on the tradition of Nazi/Islamist collaboration dating back to the days of the Grand Mufti.

    Keep up the great work!



    Posted by Dave Emory | August 5, 2013, 4:30 pm
  11. And now we have a new “Misha“-like figure in Tamerlan’s life: an elderly disabled man, Donald Larking, that hired the family for day to day help in 2010. Larking was reportedly a fan of publications like the American Free Press. Tamerlan and Larking became quite close, with Tamerlan frequently taking Mr. Larking to the Cambridge mosque ‘to get of the house’. Note that Tamerlan reportedly already met Misha and developed an interest on obtaining a copy of the Protcols of the Elders of Zion back in 2008/2009, so Tamerlan’s experience with Mr. Larking would have built on that prior interest in far-right thought.

    The Wall Street Journal
    Updated August 6, 2013, 7:25 a.m. ET

    Boston Bombing Suspect Was Steeped in Conspiracies
    Extremist Publications Found at Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Home Go Beyond Radical Islam

    BOSTON—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.

    Tamerlan Tsarnaev was 26 years old when he died on April 19 in a firefight with police. His 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has pleaded not guilty to federal charges. The brothers are also suspected of killing a police officer.

    The previously unreported connection between Mr. Tsarnaev and the elderly man adds a new complexity to a case that authorities have described as homegrown terrorism. Although investigators say the immigrant brothers built their bombs with the help of an al Qaeda online magazine, the lives of the two men had become largely Americanized.

    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.

    Mr. Larking couldn’t be interviewed, said his lawyer, Jason Rosenberg. The shooting damaged the executive function area of Mr. Larking’s brain, he said, making it difficult for his client to make decisions and impairing “his awareness of the realities of the world.”

    Ms. Tsarnaev began asking Tamerlan Tsarnaev or his brother to care for Mr. Larking when she wasn’t available to work. Mr. Larking’s wife, Rosemary, a quadriplegic, also needed help at home. Mr. Tsarnaev seemed to have found a kindred spirit in Mr. Larking. They became friends and had animated talks about politics, people close to the Larking family said.

    Mr. Larking also gave him his readings, they said. A Wall Street Journal reporter recently visited Mr. Tsarnaev’s apartment in Cambridge, Mass. and read a stack of newspapers, mostly borrowed from Mr. Larking, that allege nefarious conspiracies.

    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.

    Government investigators say Islamist radicalism was Mr. Tsarnaev’s motive in planting explosives near the finish line of the race. He frequented jihadi websites, authorities said, and he and his brother built their pressure-cooker bombs with the help of al Qaeda’s online magazine Inspire, which published an article titled “How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.”

    “They were jihadi autodidacts and no one person shaped all their thinking,” said Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. “Their readings are going to be a lot more eclectic than someone sitting with like-minded terrorists at a camp somewhere.”

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation declined to comment for this article.

    Terror experts said extremist U.S. literature and Islamist readings may reach vastly different audiences but the themes are largely the same. Both suggest wide-ranging plots by the U.S. and Israeli governments; that time is running out before an intended apocalypse, and heroes must act before it is too late.

    Mary Ellen O’Toole, a former profiler for the FBI, said she doubted that Mr. Tsarnaev’s extremist American readings would have formed his opinions but they could have reaffirmed them.

    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.

    “He was fascinated with it, he was beginning to think that all sorts of things were connected by a conspiracy of some kind,” Mr. Khozhugov said. “If you had a conversation with him, you’d get a feeling that he was still searching, and I’d get the idea that he was going in the wrong direction.”

    Mr. Tsarnaev’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, said his nephew’s personal setbacks may have also played a role in his turn to religion and conspiracies. Mr. Tsarnaev had few prospects academically or professionally. Before the bombing, he was a stay-at-home father.

    The Larkings’ lawyer, Mr. Rosenberg, said the Tsarnaev family grew close to the couple. The father, Anzor, often came to work with his wife and told the Larkings, ” ‘If you ever have trouble with anybody, let me know and I’ll kill him. We Muslims don’t fool around,’ ” Mr. Rosenberg said.

    Reached by phone in the Russian province of Dagestan, the elder Mr. Tsarnaev denied he ever use the word “kill” but said he reassured Rosemary Larking that he would defend the couple “if anyone gave them any problems.”

    Anzor Tsarnaev said his son and Mr. Larking became close because the younger man was raised to respect elderly people.

    “That’s the way he was taught, to take care of old people, the weak ones, for everyone,” said Mr. Tsarnaev, who insisted his sons were innocent and framed by a “criminal group.”

    Tamerlan Tsarnaev also began taking Mr. Larking to the mosque in Cambridge, where worshipers noticed Mr. Tsarnaev gingerly escorting the older man. Mr. Larking told worshipers at the mosque that Mr. Tsarnaev was his “close friend,” said Nicole Mossalam, a spokeswoman for the mosque.

    Mr. Rosenberg said Mr. Larking made frequent visits to the mosque as a way to “get away from the house.” He said he was able to say things to Mr. Tsarnaev without being told they were “wrong or untrue.”

    After the marathon bombing, Mr. Rosenberg said, Mr. Larking recognized the two brothers in photos circulated by the FBI. Mr. Larking immediately had a health aide call authorities and identify them.

    Mr. Larking has since “sunken into depression and anger,” Mr. Rosenberg said. Mr. Larking continues to attend the Cambridge mosque and believes Mr. Tsarnaev was the victim of a conspiracy, Mr. Rosenberg said.

    Mr. Larking is “in complete denial about what happened,” said Ms. Mossalam, the mosque spokeswoman.

    “He is a vulnerable member of our community and we want to make sure that everyone knows he is a very sweet and innocent man,” she said. “I don’t think that he ever thought that his views would ever cause anyone harm.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 6, 2013, 8:39 am
  12. Wonder how we missed this one?

    From Bloomberg News:

    Bombing Suspect’s Uncle Accused Kazakh President of Fraud
    By Erik Larson – Apr 22, 2013 9:14 PM PT .

    The uncle of the suspects in last week’s Boston Marathon bombing told a London court in 2010 that Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev had overseen the theft of state assets worth billions of dollars.

    Ruslan Tsarni, who is from Kyrgyzstan, the former Soviet republic to the south of Kazakhstan, worked “in various capacities” with a closely knit network of associates led by Nazarbayev’s son-in-law from 2000 to 2008 that regularly engaged in fraudulent business practices, he said in a witness statement to the High Court in London in December 2010, when he was 39 years old. Tsarni said he moved to the U.S. in 2008 after working for the Kazakh group. He is now a U.S. citizen living in Montgomery Village, Maryland.

    50:06 April 22 (Bloomberg) — White House Press Secretary Jay Carney talks about the U.S. prosecution of Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the wounded 19-year-old man charged with the bombing of the Boston Marathon and the FBI’s handling of a 2011 Russian tip on Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the elder of the two brothers now linked to the bombing. Carney, speaking at the daily White House press briefing, also discusses the outlook for immigration and gun-control legislation. (Source: Bloomberg)
    .The claims against Nazarbayev, who has ruled Kazakhstan for more than two decades, were made in a defense statement for Mukhtar Ablyazov, the former chairman of BTA Bank (BTAS) accused of running a $6 billion fraud at the lender. The former executive is now on the run after being sentenced to 22 months in prison for contempt of court in the London case.

    In televised statements after his nephews Tamarlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were named as suspects in the April 15 terrorist attack that killed three and wounded more than 170, Tsarni called the brothers “losers” who had “put a shame on the Tsarni family.”

    Tamarlan, 26, was killed in a battle with police, while 19- year-old Dzhokhar was captured later that day. Dzhokhar was charged yesterday by U.S. prosecutors with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death.

    Family Connections
    Tsarni’s statement to the U.K. court, made more than a year before Ablyazov went into hiding, shows the brothers’ family was at one time well connected in the region and gives a link between the accused bomber’s relatives and one of the highest- profile commercial lawsuits in the U.K. and Kazakhstan in recent years.

    Lucy Bradlow, a spokeswoman in London for Almaty, Kazakhstan-based BTA Bank, declined to comment on Tsarni’s claims. Ablyazov has made similar allegations against Nazarbayev in his own defense papers and the government and the bank have denied them.

    In his witness statement in defense of Ablyazov, Tsarni said Nazarbayev gave his “blessing” and protection to the group that rigged auctions of state assets, seized banks to sell for a fraction of their value to pre-determined buyers, and engaged in tax fraud and money laundering. Tsarni isn’t a party in the bank’s U.K. lawsuit against Ablyazov.

    Tsarni said some members of the group are now in senior management positions at BTA Bank.

    Lender’s Default
    BTA, the biggest Kazakh lender before defaulting on $12 billion of debt in 2009, filed a series of civil suits against Ablyazov and ex-Chief Executive Officer Roman Solodchenko claiming they siphoned money from the bank using fake loans, back-dated documents and offshore companies. Both men have denied the claims.

    Ablyazov was sentenced to 22 months in prison in February 2012 for violating a 2009 court order in the bank’s lawsuit by failing to reveal all his assets, including a house in the British countryside and a London mansion. He failed to appear at the hearing and his whereabouts are unknown.

    BTA, which was seized by the Kazakh government in 2009, sued Ablyazov in Britain after he fled there to avoid prosecution over the fraud allegations.

    The group “has been looting the bank of anything that they can get their hands on following the forced takeover,” Tsarni said in the filing.

    Seizing Assets
    “Very soon after Mr. Ablyazov’s forced departure from Kazakhstan in early 2009, there were those within the regime who were intent on taking the opportunity of seizing whatever assets he held within the country that were connected to BTA,” Tsarni said.

    Tsarni didn’t say how he was connected to Ablyazov or came to make the filing in his defense. The allegations of state fraud also didn’t help Ablyazov in court.

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found hiding in a covered boat in the back yard of a suburban Boston home on April 19. His capture ended an unprecedented manhunt by federal and state authorities that shut down Boston and surrounding cities.

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is in a Boston hospital recovering from wounds sustained in a battle with police — the same confrontation that led to the death of his 26-year-old brother. A police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was shot to death during the search. Another officer was wounded by gunfire.

    Lawyer, Consultant
    Tsarni grew up in Tokmak, Kyrgyzstan, and graduated from the Law School of Kyrgyz State University in 1994, he said in the statement. He became a legal consultant for a year for a U.S. company that was contracted by USAID under the organization’s program to assist Kyrgyzstan with economic reforms and “promote private enterprise,” he said.

    Tsarni provided training on international standards of corporate governance and management, according to the filing. He was also an associate at an Almaty-based law firm, he said.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Larson in New York at elarson4@bloomberg.net


    Now an update:

    Prosecutor General’s Office: BTA Bank former head faces up to 13 years in prison in Kazakhstan


    6 August 2013, 20:44 (GMT+05:00)

    BTA Bank former head Mukhtar Ablyazov in Kazakhstan faces up to 13 years in prison with confiscation of property, official representative of the Kazakh Prosecutor General’s Office Nurdaulet Suindikov said at a press conference today.

    “Ablyazov is accused of committing several crimes: establishing and leading a criminal group, theft, legalization of funds obtained through crimes, illegal use of bank funds and so on,” Suindikov told media. “The maximum sentence is up to 13 years of imprisonment with confiscation of property.”

    “On July 31 the French bureau of Interpol informed about the detention of Ablyazov in France, Suindikov said. “Kazakhstan’s National Bureau of Interpol immediately sent an official confirmation of searching for Ablyazov by French colleagues.”

    He was remanded in custody the same day until the municipal court determines the procedural status. On August 1, the court of Aix-en-Provence town authorized Ablyazov’s detention up to 40 days in accordance with the French criminal procedure legislation.

    Suindikov added that according to the court’s decision, Ablyazov will stay in a prison of Luynes town until all procedures relating to extradition are over. On August 2 the Kazakh Prosecutor General’s Office sent a letter to France to extradite Ablyazov home.

    Ukrainian and Russian law enforcement agencies sent a confirmation about searching for Ablyazov and the intention of the French authorities to extradite him to these countries.

    “These processes are independent of each other,” he added. “Nobody is entitled to interfere or influence the decisions made by the competent bodies of other countries relating to the search and intention to seek extradition of accused persons,” Suindikov added. “The extradition of persons suspected of committing crimes is regulated by the internal legislation of the countries where they are hiding, as well as international agreements.”

    As for the prospects for Ablyazov’s extradition to Kazakhstan, official representative of the Kazakh General Prosecutor’s Office said that a positive trend of extraditing the individuals, accused of crimes, from European countries on the basis of reciprocity, that is, even in the absence of bilateral agreements has recently appeared.

    Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at agency@trend.az


    So what if Ruslan was testifying on behalf of Ablyazov because some of the looted Billions were part of a slush-fund for U.S. NGO ops in the region?

    Here’s part of a summary from a legal office:

    The chronicles of the JSC BTA Bank litigation
    Monday, 03 December 2012 00:00 Macfarlanes LLP



    “The litigation at the heart of the cases discussed in this article concerns the claim of JSC BTA Bank (the Bank) against its former chairman, Mr Ablyazov (A) and his associates, which commenced in August 2009 (the Proceedings). The Bank is one of the largest banks in Kazakhstan and was effectively nationalised on 2 February 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis. Until its nationalisation, as well as chairman, A was the beneficial owner of the majority of the Bank’s shares. In January 2009, A (and some of his associates) fled to the UK. Various criminal prosecutions are pending against him (and his associates) in Kazakhstan, and at least nine sets of UK civil proceedings have been issued. 

    The Proceedings revolve around the Bank’s claim that A orchestrated a ‘scheme of misappropriation’, through which several billion US dollars were extracted from the Bank in 2008. The Bank’s case is that the whole scheme was a sham carried out by and for the benefit of A and his associates, who channelled the money through a number of companies. A denies these claims and considers them to be an attempt by the president of Kazakhstan to take control of his assets in support of a politically motivated claim against him, as he is a leading figure in Kazakhstan’s democratic opposition. A claims to have been subjected to torture while imprisoned in Kazakhstan and two unsuccessful attempts to assassinate him.”
    The core litigation is under the control of Teare J, who has described it as an ‘extraordinary case’ ‘being fought by means of the forensic equivalent of trench warfare’. Before even reaching trial on the substantive issues, the litigation has produced in the region of 50 interim applications and a substantial volume of new case law. While the facts of the Proceedings are extraordinary, many of the decisions relating to the enforcement of freezing orders are essential reading for practitioners of fraud litigation. This article summarises some of the more high-profile decisions and focuses, in particular, on the Bank’s attempts to enforce freezing orders (and ancillary disclosure orders) obtained against A and his associates.”
    “A filed a witness statement in connection with his disclosure obligations under the freezing order. The material contained in his witness statement was subject to a ‘lawyers’ eyes only’ restriction and could not be viewed directly by the Bank (the LEO restriction).”

    Wonder if that witness statement was Ruslan… 

    Posted by Swamp | August 8, 2013, 9:31 am

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