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Old Home(land Security) Week in Boston: “Fee, Fi . . . Ho Hum” (Part 2)


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COMMENT: In the immediate aftermath of the Boston bombings, we posted about some of the considerations to be weighed in evaluating the event, inevitably facing oversimplification.

Shortly afterward, we posted again, noting that the usual suspects were coming into (predictable) focus in the aftermath of the event.

As more information surfaces (and more disinformation is floated), the profiles of the elements of this milieu come into clearer view.

We advise strongly against simplistic analysis, as we warned in our first post on the subject. The probability is very strong that we are dealing with a situation involving double and triple agents–a situation that will be impossible for an outside observer (and some of the inside observers) to figure out, past a point.

What is becoming obvious is that we are  dealing with an intelligence milieu involved with the Chechen guerillas and the complex, deadly realities connected with The Earth Island Boogie. The politics in the background of the bombing overlap the intersecting milieux of neo-Ottoman power politics and what we have termed “Turkish Taffy”–the cosmetic presentation of Turkey’s Islamist government of Erdogan as “democratic” and “moderate.”

In addition to his past employment by the Agency for International Development and a subsidiary of Halliburton, the alleged bombers’ uncle was married to the daughter of a former CIA officer–Graham E. Fuller, a former station chief in Kabul.

It was Fuller who was quoted in FTR #513 (among other programs) advocating a U.S. alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood, a position that was apparently realized during the Arab Spring gambit.

Formerly posted to Ankara, Turkey, Graham E. Fuller has been outspoken in defense of the Fetullah Gulen organiztion, an insidious Islamist cult with apparent intelligence connections. The Gulen organization acts as an enforcement arm of the Erdogan government in Turkey.

Noteworthy in this context is Uncle Tsarni’s founding of a Rockville, MD-based organization called the “Congress of Chechen International,” which sounds very much like  an intelligence front.

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

EXCERPT: The uncle of the two suspected Boston bombers in last week’s attack, Ruslan Tsarni, was married to the daughter of former top CIA official Graham Fuller

The discovery that Uncle Ruslan Tsarni had spy connections that go far deeper than had been previously known is ironic, especially since the mainstrean media’s focus yesterday was on a feverish search to find who might have recruited the Tsarnaev brothers.

The chief suspect was a red-haired Armenian exorcist. They were fingering a suspect who may not, in fact, even exist. . . .

. . . . Ruslan Tsarni married the daughter of former top CIA official Graham Fuller, who spent 20 years as operations officer in Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong. In 1982 Fuller was appointed the National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asia at the CIA, and in 1986, under Ronald Reagan, he became the Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, with overall responsibility for national level strategic forecasting.

At the time of their marriage, Ruslan Tsarni was known as Ruslan Tsarnaev, the same last name as his nephews Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the alleged bombers.

It is unknown when he changed his last name to Tsarni.

What is known is that sometime in the early 1990’s, while she was a graduate student in North Carolina, and he was in law school at Duke, Ruslan Tsarnaev met and married Samantha Ankara Fuller, the daughter of Graham and Prudence Fuller of Rockville Maryland. Her middle name suggests a reference to one of her father’s CIA postings.

The couple divorced sometime before 2004.

Today Ms. Fuller lives abroad, and is a director of several companies pursuing strategies to increase energy production from clean-burning and renewable resources.

On a more ominous note, Graham Fuller was listed as one of the American Deep State rogues on Sibel Edmonds’ State Secrets Privilege Gallery,. Edmonds explained it featured subjects of FBI investigations she became aware of during her time as an FBI translator.

Criminal activities were being protected by claims of State Secrets, she asserted. After Attorney General John Ashcroft went all the way to the Supreme Court to muzzle her under a little-used doctrine of State Secrets, she put up twenty-one photos, with no names.

One of them was Graham Fuller.

“Congress of Chechen International” c/o Graham Fuller

A story about a Chechen oik exec/uncle pairing up with a top CIA official who once served as CIA Station Chief in Kabul sounds like a pitch for a bad movie.

But the two men may have been in business together.

In 1995, Tsarnaev incorporated the Congress of Chechen International Organizations in Maryland, using as the address listed on incorporation documents 11114 Whisperwood Ln, in Rockville Maryland, the home address of his then-father-in-law.

It is just eight miles up the Washington National Pike from the Montgomery Village home where “Uncle Ruslan” met—and apparently wowed, the press after the attack in Boston. . . .

“In Search Of Friends Among The Foes” by John Mintz and Douglas Farah; The Washington Post; 9/ 11/ 2004.

EXCERPT: . . . .Some fed­eral agents worry that the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood has dan­ger­ous links to ter­ror­ism. But some U.S. diplo­mats and intel­li­gence offi­cials believe its influ­ence offers an oppor­tu­nity for polit­i­cal engage­ment that could help iso­late vio­lent jihadists. ‘It is the pre­em­i­nent move­ment in the Mus­lim world,’ said Gra­ham E. Fuller, a for­mer CIA offi­cial spe­cial­iz­ing in the Mid­dle East. ‘It’s some­thing we can work with.’ Demo­niz­ing the Broth­er­hood ‘would be fool­hardy in the extreme’ he warned.” . . .

“Islamic group is CIA front, ex-Turkish Intel Chief Says” by Jeff Stein; The Washington Post; 1/5/2011.

EXCERPT: A memoir by a top former Turkish intelligence official claims that a worldwide moderate Islamic movement based in Pennsylvania has been providing cover for the CIA since the mid-1990s.

The memoir, roughly rendered in English as “Witness to Revolution and Near Anarchy,” by retired Turkish intelligence official Osman Nuri Gundes, says the religious-tolerance movement, led by an influential former Turkish imam by the name of Fethullah Gulen, has 600 schools and 4 million followers around the world.

In the 1990s, Gundes alleges, the movement “sheltered 130 CIA agents” at its schools in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan alone, according to a report on his memoir Wednesday by the Paris-based Intelligence Online newsletter. . . .

. . . . Likewise, Graham Fuller, a former CIA station chief in Kabul and author of “The Future of Political Islam,” threw cold water on Gundes’s allegations about Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

“I think the story of 130 CIA agents in Gulen schools in Central Asia is pretty wild,” Fuller said by e-mail.

“I should hasten to add that I left CIA in 1987 — nearly 25 years ago — and I have absolutely no concrete personal knowledge whatsoever about this. But my instincts tell me the claim is highly improbable.”

Fuller added, “I cannot even imagine trying to credibly sell such a scheme with a straight face within the agency. As for Nuri Gundes, I am not aware of who he is or what he has written. But there is a lot of wild stuff floating around in Turkey on these issues and Gulen is a real hot button issue.” . . . .


7 comments for “Old Home(land Security) Week in Boston: “Fee, Fi . . . Ho Hum” (Part 2)”

  1. Graham Fuller is denying the CIA link to Ruslan. He’s not denying that his daughter was married to Ruslan. And he’s not denying that Ruslan lived with him in Maryland for a year. He’s just denying that Ruslan had any ties to the CIA:

    Ex-CIA Agent Denies Rumors of Ties to Ruslan Tsarnaev
    Max Rivlin-Nadler
    4/27/2013 3:45pm

    Graham Fuller, a retired CIA officer whose daughter was briefly married to Ruslan Tsarnaev (Uncle Ruslan), has come out and flatly denied any CIA connection to the Tsarnaev’s, calling the allegations “absurd.”

    Fuller’s daughter, Samantha, was married to Ruslan from the mid-to-late 1990’s, before divorcing. Ruslan lived with the retired CIA officer in Maryland for a year, but Fuller saw no interest in politics, policy, or the CIA, from Ruslan. “Like all Chechens, Ruslan was very concerned about his native land, but I saw no particular involvement in politics,” Fuller wrote in an email to Al-Monitor.

    “I doubt he even had much to say of intelligence value other than talking about his own family’s sad tale of deportation from Chechnya by Stalin to Central Asia,” Fuller wrote. “Every Chechen family has such stories.”

    The story of the Tsarnaev family, which is still being hashed out through media and family interviews (as well as government reports and suspicions about the family), is an especially complicated one that bridges the immediately post-Soviet era to the present-day “War on Terror.” Juan Cole traces the Tsarnaevs flight from Russia to the fact that Anzor Tsarnaev (the father of the alleged bombers) had been a prosecutor for the Soviet prosecutor’s office — an unpopular position among ethnic Chechens.

    Cole writes:

    ‘We were,’ she [the aunt of the suspects] said, ‘lucky to get him out of Kyrgyzstan alive,’ presumably because radical Muslims were trying to track him down and take revenge on him there.

    If he had been a Soviet era prosecutor, a lot of people in Kyrgyzstan would have had a grudge with him. Hence his abortive attempts to flee first to Chechnya in the early 90s and to Daghestan later.

    Cole hypothesizes that the two brothers, especially the older Tamerlan, were ashamed of their father’s role in the Soviet repression of ethnic Chechens and were looking to rebel against their father. Thus, he considers, the dissonance between the father and sons, the radicalization of the brothers as they searched for an identity.

    The Tsarnaev’s straddled several different worlds — ones that got them put on government watch lists, and into the homes of retired CIA officers; Ones where they were hounded by religious fundamentalists, and ones where they became them. As the press and authorities begin to sift through the family’s stories, they’re going to find contradictions and dissonance in a family that has seen the world change, drastically, in the past 20 years.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 28, 2013, 7:12 pm
  2. I am suspect of Wayne Madsen for various reasons, but he may be on to something here. I would like to see some footnotes and documentation:


    “The Western corporate media largely ignored an important story reported from Izvestia in Moscow: that Tamerlan Tsarnaev attended seminars run by the Caucasus Fund of Georgia, a group affiliated with the neo-conservative think tank, the Jamestown Foundation, between January and July 2012. The U.S. media reported that during this six month time frame, Tsarnaev was being radicalized by Dagestan radical imam «Abu Dudzhan», killed in a fight with Russian security forces in 2012. Tsarnaev also visited Dagestan in 2011.

    However, in documents leaked from the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Counterintelligence Department, Tsarnaev is pinpointed as being in Tbilisi taking part in «seminars» organized by the Caucasus Fund, founded during the Georgian-South Ossetian war of 2008, a war started when Georgian troops invaded the pro-Russian Republic of South Ossetia during the Beijing Olympics. Georgia was supported militarily and with intelligence support by the United States and Israel, and the American support included U.S. Special Forces advisers on the ground in Georgia. The Georgian intelligence documents indicate Tsarnaev attended the Jamestown Foundation seminars in Tbilisi.

    The Jamestown Foundation is part of a neo-conservative network that re-branded itself after the Cold War from being anti-Soviet and anti-Communist to one that is anti-Russian and “pro-democracy.” The network not only consists of Jamestown and the Caucasus Fund but also other groups funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and George Soros’ Open Society Institute (OSI).
    “The Jamestown Foundation is a long-standing front operation for the CIA, it being founded, in part, by CIA director William Casey in 1984. The organization was used as an employer for high-ranking Soviet bloc defectors, including the Soviet Undersecretary General of the UN Arkady Shevchenko and Romanian intelligence official Ion Pacepa. The Russian domestic Federal Security Bureau and the SVR foreign intelligence agency have long suspected Jamestown of helping to foment rebellions in Chechnya, Ingushetia, and other north Caucasus republics. The March 21 Tbilisi conference on the north Caucasus a few days before the Moscow train bombings has obviously added to the suspicions of the FSB and SVR.

    Jamestown’s board includes such Cold War era individuals as Marcia Carlucci; wife of Frank Carlucci, the former CIA officer, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of The Carlyle Group [Frank Carlucci was also one of those who requested the U.S. government to allow former Chechen Republic ‘Foreign Minister’ Ilyas Akhmadov, accused by the Russians of terrorist ties, to be granted political asylum in the U.S. after a veto from the Homeland Security and Justice Departments], anti-Communist book and magazine publisher Alfred Regnery; and Caspar Weinberger’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Kathleen Troia «KT» McFarland. Also on the board is former Oklahoma GOP Governor Frank Keating, the governor at the time of the 1995 Murrah Federal Building bombing.

    Here’s the wikipedia page for The Jamestown Foundation, and yes, Bill Casey was involved:


    The Jamestown Foundation has extensive coverage on the net, with links to other right-wing foundations.

    And here is a link to a Daily Mail.UK article :


    Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington now DENIES his nation warned the United States about Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2012
    Saudi embassy in Washington D.C. issues denial of account of a senior official who talked to MailOnline

    A letter to the Department of Homeland Security allegedly named Tsarnaev and three Pakistanis as potential jihadis worthy of U.S. investigation
    Red flags from Saudi Arabia to have included Tsarnaev’s name and information about a planned explosive attack on a major U.S. city

    Saudi foreign minister, national security chief both met with Obama in the oval office in early 2013

    By David Martosko and American Media Institute
    PUBLISHED: 22:46 EST, 30 April 2013 | UPDATED: 11:43 EST, 1 May 2013

    complete article at link

    Posted by Swamp | May 1, 2013, 9:57 am
  3. @SWAMP–

    The story you cited might well indicate a double/triple agent scenario.

    DEBKA Net Weekly–an online intelligence newsletter–has opined that the bombers had been recruited by U.S. intelligence to penetrate the Caucasian Jihadi movement.

    That MIGHT be what we’re looking at here.

    Other things to remember: Watch the “terror/jihadi” scene being used to destabilize Obama, as I predicted would happen in shows recorded between his election and his inauguration.

    In addition, remember that the Muslim Brotherhood/jihadi cadre is being used as a proxy force.

    That was the case in Afghanistan and the Balkans.

    It continues to be the case in the Caucasus.

    Rather like the Axis force of WWII, who were the West’s hit men against the USSR, the Muslim Brotherhood combatants are viewed by the transnationals (fossil fuel companies in particular) as the vehicles for grabbing hold of the mineral/fossil fuel rich areas of the central Earth Island. Those currently belong to Russia and China.

    When they turn against the U.S., they do so with the connivance of the GOP/Underground Reich faction of U.S. intelligence.

    Bizarre in appearance at first glance, this should not seem so remarkable upon reflection.

    Hundreds of thousands of Americans died fighting in WWII. That didn’t bother the American fascists. They only resented Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whom they felt got the U.S. in on the wrong side in World War II.

    Allen Dulles, Prescott Bush Sr. and the rest of “the fraternity,” as James Stewart Martin called them in “All Honorable Men” took care of that after the guns fell silent.




    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | May 1, 2013, 5:33 pm
  4. Thanks Dave, I’m tracking with your line of thought and will follow your links.

    Meanwhile, here is the original Izvestia article, translated from the original Russian. Note towards the end it states that The Jamestown Foundation asked that the Olympics not be held in Sochi. I submit this merely for the record, as I believe Izvestia is a state-run news organization:


    Tamerlane Tsarnaeva recruited via the Georgian Foundation

    One of the organizers of the terrorist attack in Boston, studied at the workshop held in conjunction with the Georgian special services Americans

    Читайте далее: http://izvestia.ru/news/549252#ixzz2S9OVZeQ2

    At the disposal of “Izvestia” has documents Counterintelligence Department Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, confirming that the Georgian organization “Fund of Caucasus”, which cooperates with the U.S. non-profit organization “Jamestown” (the board of directors of NGOs previously entered one of the ideologists of U.S. foreign policy, Zbigniew Brzezinski), was engaged in recruiting residents North Caucasus to work in the interests of the United States and Georgia.

    According to the reports of Colonel Chief Directorate Counterintelligence Department Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia Gregory Chanturia to the Minister of Internal Affairs Irakli Garibashvili, “Caucasian fund” in cooperation with the Foundation “Jamestown” in the summer of 2012 conducted workshops and seminars for young people of the Caucasus, including its Russian part. Some of them attended Tsarnaev Tamerlane, who was in Russia from January to July 2012.

    “Caucasian fund” writes Tchanturia was established November 7, 2008, just after the Georgian-Ossetian conflict, “to control the processes taking place in the North Caucasus region.” Accordingly, the Department of the Interior Ministry counterintelligence case was brought intelligence operations called “DTV”. Main purpose is to recruit young people and intellectuals of the North Caucasus to enhance instability and extremism in the southern regions of Russia.

    “In order to finance the organization was determined monthly amount of $ 33 million lari (660 thousand). Since the establishment of the organization before 1 January 2013 the amount allocated in the end amounted to 4.058 million GEL (81.1 million), “- wrote in a report Tchanturia.

    The documents referred to, and the work of the “Caucasian fund” in the three border areas of Azerbaijan and Dagestan – Balacan, Zakatalsky and Kakh.

    In addition, Colonel counterintelligence Tbilisi reports that security forces in Chechnya through Georgia “Caucasian fund” and fund “Jamestown” are sympathetic to the Georgian people, who are invited to various events in the republic under the innocent pretexts. In these seminars, the Russians are recruiting and preparing acts of terrorism.

    Deputy head of the NGO “Agency of the socio-political initiatives” Tatiev Iles, who oversees the North Caucasus Federal District, said that the activities of the “Caucasian fund” raises too many questions.

    – Where in Georgia, which exists on the loans, the extra money for some funds? – Ask the expert. – I do not exclude that this fund is affiliated with the Department of State in the North Caucasus.

    The head of the New York office of the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation Andranik Migranyan, who learned about the “Caucasian fund” from the “News”, believes that the activities of the organization, as it is depicted in the documents that fits into the policy of the Georgian authorities.

    – Saakashvili administration is conducting an overt anti-Russian line – says the analyst.

    Director General of the National Strategy Council Valery Hamsters argues that exaggerated the force of external enemy in Georgia may be beneficial to the management of the North Caucasian republics.

    – I think the danger is exaggerated Georgian factor – the expert believes. – Personally, I have no doubt that Georgia only deals with the introduction of its spies and recruit Russian citizens.

    A member of the security committee Anatoly Elected even promised according to their ability to connect to the investigation of the “Caucasian fund.”

    – Documents of which you speak, like the truth. Real friendly moves by Georgia and the U.S., we do not see, their goal is to make Russian state, which can be controlled, – the Elected.

    Jamestown Foundation has repeatedly demonstrated its interest in Georgia and the state of affairs in Russia’s North Caucasus. In 2007, the Foundation held a seminar “The Future of Ingushetia,” which was attended by former fighters of Aslan Maskhadov.

    In March 2010, the Jamestown Foundation asked the IOC to not hold the Olympic Games in Sochi, citing the tragic events of the Caucasian War of XIX century.

    In 2011, political scientists Fund predicted that Georgia in the coming year will take a leading role in the Caucasus and Russia will be serious competition as a “regional leader”.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly responded to the ongoing policy of the fund, handing over a protest note to U.S. in Moscow.

    Читайте далее: http://izvestia.ru/news/549252#ixzz2S9OqujNp

    And just to show that destabilizing Russia and the North Caucasus is a bi-partisan effort, here is some criticism from the Wikipedia article:


    It has been alleged that Jamestown is a neoconservative agenda driven think-tank with ties to the CIA and United States government. The eXile columnist Philby Burgess commented: “Most of the bitterly anti-Russian journalists who publish with these rightwing lobbies are from the small countries surrounding Russia, and they are animated by a deep hatred of their former conqueror.”[18]

    The Jamestown Foundation categorically rejects all claims that link it with the neoconservative or any other specific ideological movement. In the past, Jamestown’s board of directors has included Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to U.S. President Jimmy Carter.[19] Jamestown’s current board includes Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Bruce Riedel, who has served in the Bill Clinton White House and in 2009 was tasked by President Barack Obama to overhaul U.S. policy on Afghanistan and Pakistan.[20] On December 8, 2011, Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, State Department Counterterrorism Coordinator for the Obama administration praised Jamestown for its research and analysis of terrorism issues. In his keynote address given at Jamestown’s Fifth Annual Terrorism Conference, Amb. Benjamin remarked: “Because of its [Jamestown’s] commitment to serious scholarship and analysis on terrorism issues, I can’t think of a more appropriate place to do an end-of-year reckoning on Al-Qaeda – an assessment that is particularly timely after such a remarkable year.”[21]

    In 2007 Moscow accused the research institute of spreading anti-Russian propaganda by hosting a debate on violence in the Russia’s turbulent region of Ingushetia. According to a statement by the Foreign Ministry of Russia: “Organisers again and again resorted to deliberately spreading slander about the situation in Chechnya and other republics of the Russian North Caucasus using the services of supporters of terrorists and pseudo-experts. Speakers were given carte blanche to spread extremist propaganda, incite ethnic and inter-religious discord.”[22] The Jamestown Foundation responded by saying that Russia felt threatened by it and was trying to intimidate it. Foundation president Glen Howard claimed that “they’re intimidated by the power of the free word and this goes against the state manipulation of the media in Russia.”[22]

    Posted by Swamp | May 2, 2013, 7:59 am
  5. Graham Fuller recently gave an interview for the BBC (in Turkish) where he discussed writing a reference letter for Fetullah Gulen when Gulen was facing deportation. Fuller also reiterated his assertion that the movement has no ties to the CIA:


    Daily Sabah
    Published : 23.06.2014 15:29:40
    Updated : 23.06.2014 15:42:15

    ISTANBUL – Speaking to the BBC on Friday , former top CIA official, Graham Fuller, admitted that he wrote a reference letter for the Gülen movement leader, Fethullah Gülen, after the FBI resisted granting him permanent residency status between 2006 to 2010.

    The former top official and Middle East expert, yet claimed that there was no relation between the Gülen movement and CIA, during the BBC interview on his newly released book “Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East.”

    “The biggest critic directed towards the movement is their lack of transparency.” Fuller stated when asked about the movements recent situation. “They have been regarded as a destructive and dangerous movement for decades but their psychology is changing now after the attack of the Kemalist state regime is over, they could not join the army and were not assigned to important positions. This picture is changing now.”

    I reacted when Gülen was on the brink of deportation

    “When I wrote the reference letters to Gülen for U.S. residence permit, there were many Islamophobics and Kemalists leaked into the Turkish embassy in Washington who favor the deportation of Gülen since they thought he posed a national threat for the U.S.I reacted against that.” Fuller said explaining his letter.

    “I did not think Gülen or his movement would pose any threat against the national security of the U.S. as it was the most moderate and positive representative of the contemporary Islamic thought in the world.” Fuller added.

    “I regard the movement as a very positive force among other Islamic movements. I did not know what kind of data FBI had, but I saw that the concerns were groundless, I would write another letter again if required, I also wrote letters for other Muslims that took refuge in the U.S. during those days. I never saw any sign of a possible relation between Gülen and CIA.” Fuller stated.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 24, 2014, 4:49 pm
  6. There were a couple of new twists today in the case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, including a man that was reportedly called by one of the Tsarnaev brothers on the night they killed Sean Collier that Dzhokhar’s attorneys want to call as a witness (but who would also reportedly plead the Fifth if called). There’s also a man that spent time with the brothers three days before the bombing that has completely disappeared:

    Tsarnaev Friend Can’t Be Called As Witness. Because No One Can Find Him.

    By Hilary Sargent
    Boston.com Staff | 04.28.15 | 12:38 PM

    A Russian man who spent time with Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev just three days before the brothers detonated two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon cannot be found by either prosecutors or defense attorneys.

    A transcript of a conversation that took place before jurors entered the courtroom Monday identifies the man photographed at the Wai Kru martial arts gym on April 12, 2013 as “Mr. Dolakov.” This man’s identity had not previously been disclosed. Other associates of Tamerlan Tsarnaev mentioned during the conversation were identified as “Mr. Vakhabov” and “Mr. Kartashov.”

    Prosecutors Aloke Chakravarty and William Weinreb discussed “Mr. Dolakov,” who Tsarnaev’s defense attorneys had hoped to call as a witness.

    THE COURT: Who’s Dolakov?

    MR. WEINREB: Dolakov is another friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s.

    THE COURT: U.S. friend?

    MR. CHAKRAVARTY: U.S. friend. He was a foreign student. He’s from the Caucasus but he’s not Chechen. He knew him—knew Tamerlan somewhat but not very well. Mr. Vakhabov knew him better because he lived here for a little bit longer together. But they did various activities together including, the Friday before the bombing, they went to the gym together. He also went to the mosque.

    Defense attorney Miriam Conrad explained to Judge George O’Toole that “Mr. Dolakov” was nowhere to be found.

    “Can’t find him. Neither can the government,” Conrad told the court. “Maybe he just wants to move on with his life.”

    Wai Kru’s owner, John Allan, told Boston.com he remembers being asked to help law enforcement identify “Mr. Dolakov” in the days and weeks after the bombings.

    “They were looking for him mad hard,” Allan said.

    Allan also recalled that when “Mr. Dolakov” arrived at the gym, “Tamerlan introduced him as his brother.”

    Because they aren’t able to locate Dolakov, defense attorneys want to introduce notes from his FBI interview, according to an exchange recorded in the transcript.

    “Mr. Kartashov” was described in the transcript as another individual who the defense team hoped to call to the stand. It isn’t clear why Kartashov won’t be testifying.

    Weinreb explained to O’Toole that these witnesses “are particularly important to the defense because they tell a narrative of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s radicalization, and they date it to a point earlier than when they believe Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was radicalized, and that’s very important to their theory of the case.”

    The court transcript also revealed the existence of a third individual who Tsarnaev’s attorneys hope to call as a witness.

    In the transcript, defense attorney Judy Clarke expressed concern that “Mr. Vakhabov” will plead the Fifth Amendment if called to testify.

    What crime Vakhabov may have committed is unclear. But Weinreb offered a hint, telling the court:

    “I think it’s undisputed that Tamerlan Tsarnaev contacted him on April 18th, I believe, between the time that Officer Collier was murdered and the time that Dun Meng was carjacked.”

    An exhibit entered into evidence by defense attorneys shows a phone call made at 8:17 p.m. on April 18, 2013 from a phone used by one or both Tsarnaev brothers to the cell phone number of Viskhan Vakhabov.

    Vakhabov, 29, is listed as a Cambridge real estate agent online. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 28, 2015, 7:04 pm
  7. 651 pages of previously confidential files on Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Ibragim Todashev were released under the Freedom of Information Act. That’s a lot of information, but with only 206 of the pages released in their entirety, it looks like the primary fact that outside observers are taking from this large release of data is that there’s probably still quite a bit of information on this event that would raise the eyebrows of outside observers:

    Boston Globe
    Federal files leave questions about Marathon bomber, friend
    Government says it handled their immigration cases properly; files are heavily edited

    By Maria Sacchetti Globe Staff
    February 29, 2016

    Tamerlan Tsarnaev passed the US citizenship test three months before he and his younger brother detonated two bombs at the Boston Marathon, according to federal immigration records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

    His test results, with correct answers to questions about slavery, the Constitution, and the Louisiana Purchase, are in 651 pages of previously confidential files on the bomber and his friend Ibragim Todashev. Both men were killed in separate incidents after the April 15, 2013, bombings.

    The Department of Homeland Security provided redacted files to The Boston Globe after multiple requests spanning three years. Only 206 pages were released in their entirety, so it remains unclear why the government granted the friends legal residency and put them on the path toward US citizenship.

    But the records show that months before the bombings, Tsarnaev went to the John F. Kennedy Federal Building in Boston, swore his allegiance to the United States, and denied any links to terrorism. The records also show that Todashev told immigration officials he had left Massachusetts in September 2011, the same month he allegedly helped Tsarnaev kill three men in Waltham.

    Until now, the government had declined to release the files, citing ongoing criminal investigations. But the mystery stirred debate about why immigration officials granted Tsarnaev and Todashev refuge in the first place, and whether officials missed warning signs about their criminal activity as their cases progressed through US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

    On Sunday, the agency issued a statement saying the cases were processed correctly.

    If federal officials raised security concerns about Tamerlan Tsarnaev or Todashev, they did not disclose them in the heavily redacted immigration files. Instead, the files sketch a portrait of Tsarnaev and Todashev, both ethnic Chechens from Russia, as men struggling with unemployment and poverty while trying to cement their ties to the United States, Tsarnaev through citizenship and Todashev through a green card. They had so little income that the government waived their immigration application fees, officials said.

    Tamerlan Tsarnaev came to America as a teenager in 2003, after securing a visa in Turkey. His family had bounced between Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Dagestan in southern Russia before settling in Cambridge.

    In August 2012, after a 178-day trip to Russia, Tsarnaev stopped by the Cambridge office of Centro Latino, a now-defunct nonprofit, for help in applying for citizenship. He did not stand out; the organization helped hundreds of immigrants of all backgrounds fill out the forms every year.

    In his application, Tsarnaev wrote that he wanted to change his first name to that of an early Islamic scholar, Muaz — a move critics later said should have spurred the government to investigate further. He also disclosed a 2009 arrest for assaulting a former girlfriend, and that he was receiving government benefits and had recently traveled overseas.

    On Jan. 23, 2013, immigration officer David McCormack interviewed Tsarnaev and tested his English and knowledge of US history and government. He answered six civics questions correctly to pass: He knew that Africans had been slaves, that there are 27 constitutional amendments, and that the United States bought Louisiana from the French in 1803. He also identified “Joe Biden” as the vice president, said Congress makes federal laws, and that the colonists fought the British over “high taxes.” He correctly read a question about voting and wrote the answer: “Citizens can vote.”

    His sole error was to say that the federal court, and not the Supreme Court, is the highest court in the United States.

    Afterward, the immigration officer checked the box next to the sentence that said: “You passed the tests of English and US history and government.”

    But instead of marking the box that said, “Congratulations! Your application has been recommended for approval,” the officer checked the next box, which said, “A decision cannot yet be made about your application.”

    Reasons for the delay are unclear in the file provided to the Globe. Earlier, a federal report had said that Tsarnaev’s citizenship application was delayed because the government did not have his criminal court records from the 2009 case.

    But those records are in the file provided to the Globe. Homeland Security confirmed on Sunday that records in the file obtained by the Globe show that Tsarnaev furnished those records to the immigration officer and that the officer had recommended him for citizenship, pending a supervisor’s review because of his criminal history.

    All that stood between him and US citizenship was a supervisor’s approval, which was required, and a final swearing-in ceremony.

    Todashev’s file shows he applied for a green card twice. He received asylum shortly after arriving in the United States in 2008 from Russia. The file shows he lived in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Massachusetts, staying in Chelsea, Watertown, Cambridge, and finally Allston before moving to Florida.

    In May 2011, a top immigration official in Atlanta, Paul Onyango, denied his green card application because Todashev had not provided court records from a criminal road-rage incident in Boston. The official said he would not refer Todashev for deportation, however, which Homeland Security said was typical in such situations.

    The next year, Todashev tried again. He was issued a green card on Feb. 5, 2013, according to Homeland Security. But shortly after the bombings, a top immigration official sent the Boston immigration office a memo titled “withholding of adjudication” — suggesting a shift in his case.

    The reason is unclear, because the record is redacted.

    “The Department of Homeland Security provided redacted files to The Boston Globe after multiple requests spanning three years. Only 206 pages were released in their entirety, so it remains unclear why the government granted the friends legal residency and put them on the path toward US citizenship.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 29, 2016, 2:50 pm

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