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Was the Relationship between Brian Glyn Williams and Dzokhar Tsarnaev more than Just Student and “Tutor”?

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

NB: Updated on 5/11/2013.

COMMENT: In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, we’ve highlighted the unraveling of the “two lone nuts” theory of that tragic event.

Although much has yet to come to light about the attacks, a number of things have become clear, including:

We caution, as we did from the beginning of the investigation, against simplistic analysis of the event. It is only too clear, however, that the bombers were part of an intelligence milieu that is pursuing jihad in the Caucasus.

In this context, we note that younger brother Dzokhar Tsarnaev’s high school mentor has a background in the CIA and also teaches Islamic studies at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, which Dzokhar attended.

Williams has been quoted in the media about Dzokhar’s strong interest in the Chechen jihad and its leaders.

Professor Williams has also penned a piece for The Huffington Post diminishing the notion of the Chechen fighters as participants in the global jihadist network.

As we saw in FTR #710, the Chechen jihad and other, similar movements in the Caucasus are receiving the active assistance of elements of the U.S. national security establishment.

We note in this regard that the scenario unfolding here is consistent with our working hypothesis presented in the long For The Record series on the Arab Spring.

In our visits with John Loftus, we have noted his work demonstrating that, in effect, there are two CIA’s and two State Departments. The smaller and less powerful faction of both agencies is affiliated with the Democratic Party and the larger, more powerful faction of each agency is associated with the GOP and the transnational corporations. We also note that the GOP faction of each is fascist and effectively controlled by the Underground Reich.

At this point in time, we feel that the GOP/Underground Reich faction is in control, with the Obama administration left to answer uncomfortable questions concerning the event.

For some time, we have noted Obama’s attempts at “rebooting” our relations with Russia. Support for jihad in the Caucasus cannot help that at all.

We note in that regard the GOP drumfire about Hillary Clinton’s behavior vis a vis the Benghazi attack. We believe that this destabilization was part of the intent of the so-called Arab Spring. The GOP/Underground Reich is working to neutralize Hillary before 2016.

It will be interesting to see if “Lee Harvey Obama” also catches heat for the Boston attack. 

It is against the background of the Boston attacks and the general mayhem overtaking this society that we reflect on the ascension of Michael Morell to acting director of CIA, this accomplished through the “Petraeus Coup.” We wonder if Morell is Underground Reich and to what extent he may be assisting/orchestrating some of this.”

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

EXCERPT: . . . . For now, I want to start with one of the biggest “What The Fuck?!” in the bombing story, a detail so far completely overlooked: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s high school project “mentor,” Brian Glyn Williams. Brian Glyn Williams happens to work for the CIA, on Islamic suicide bombers, Chechnya, and jihadi terrorism. Williams is also an associate professor of history at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, the university where 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was enrolled, and where he spent many of his last free hours between the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, and his arrest on April 19. . . .

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

EXCERPT: . . . . The New Bedford Standard-Times reported that Dr. Brian Glyn Williams, who teaches Chechen history at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, said he had tutored Dzhokhar in the subject when he was in high school.

“He was learning his Chechen identity, identifying with the diaspora and identifying with his homeland,” Williams said, adding that Dzhokhar “wanted to learn more about Chechnya, who the fighters were, who the commanders were.” . . . .

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

EXCERPT: . . . These articles systematically demolished the misguided notion that the outgunned, Sovietized, Sufi-mystic Chechen rebels defending their mountain homeland from the mighty Russian Federation had somehow developed a foreign policy which bizarrely led them to become the evil henchmen of the Saudi Arabian Wahhabi fundamentalist terrorist Osama Bin Laden and his Pashtun tribal Taliban allies in Afghanistan. I myself personally traveled to Afghanistan in 2003 and interviewed numerous Taliban prisoners of war held by Northern Alliance Uzbek General Dostum to see if they had ever seen a real Chechen fighter of the sort reported to be the vanguard of their armies (see my photos here). None of them had ever seen or heard of Chechens; it was like looking for the Chechen Big Foot. . . .

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

ENTIRE TEXT: An analy­sis pub­lished Mon­day by Defense & For­eign Affairs offers some cor­rob­o­ra­tion for the Georgia-hosted, U.S.-approved jihadi con­fab in Decem­ber, the men­tion of which seemed to upset some readers.

Here are the rel­e­vant excerpts from the 16-page analy­sis, which is subscription-only and there­fore not linkable:

Mean­while, Geor­gia is actively seek­ing to exploit the spread of jamaats [jihadist mini-societies] in the North Cau­ca­sus in order to go after the Russ­ian pipelines in hope of ensnar­ing the US into actively sup­port­ing a new con­fronta­tion with Rus­sia. In early Decem­ber 2009, Tbil­isi orga­nized a high-level meet­ing of jihadists groups from the Mid­dle East and West­ern Europe in order “to coor­di­nate activ­i­ties on Russia’s south­ern flank.” The Geor­gian Embassy in Kuwait, for exam­ple, arranged for travel doc­u­ments for jihadists from Jor­dan, Saudi Ara­bia and the Gulf States. (There is a large and very active Chechen/Circassian com­mu­nity in Jor­dan since the 19th Cen­tury that is heav­ily rep­re­sented in the intel­li­gence ser­vices and the mil­i­tary.) In Tbil­isi, Deputy Min­is­ter of Inter­nal Affairs Lord­kipanadze was the host and coor­di­na­tor. The meet­ing was attended by sev­eral Geor­gian senior offi­cials who stressed that Saakashvili him­self knew and approved of the under­tak­ing. The meet­ing addressed the launch of both “mil­i­tary oper­a­tions” in south­ern Rus­sia and ide­o­log­i­cal war­fare. One of the first results of the meet­ing was the launch, soon after­wards of the Russian-language TV sta­tion First Cau­casian.

The jihadists of the North Cau­ca­sus — includ­ing the Arab com­man­ders in their midst — came out of the early Decem­ber 2009 meet­ing con­vinced that Tbil­isi is most inter­ested in the spread of ter­ror­ism. The meet­ing was attended by, among oth­ers, Mohmad Muham­mad Shabaan, an Egypt­ian senior com­man­der who is also known as Seif al-Islam and who has been involved in Cau­ca­sus affairs since 1992. He took copi­ous notes. Accord­ing to Shabaan’s notes, the Geor­gian gov­ern­ment wants the jihadists to con­duct “acts of sab­o­tage to blow up rail­way tracks, elec­tric­ity lines and energy pipelines” in south­ern Rus­sia in order to divert con­struc­tion back to Geor­gian territory.

Geor­gian intel­li­gence promised to facil­i­tate the arrival in the Cau­ca­sus of numer­ous senior jihadists by pro­vid­ing Geor­gian pass­ports, and to pro­vide logis­ti­cal sup­port includ­ing the reopen­ing of bases in north­ern Geor­gia. Russ­ian intel­li­gence was not obliv­i­ous of the meet­ing. Seif al-Islam and two senior aides were assas­si­nated on Feb­ru­ary 4, 2010. The Rus­sians retrieved a lot of doc­u­ments in the process. Moscow sig­naled its dis­plea­sure shortly after­wards when the pres­i­dents of Rus­sia and Abk­hazia signed a 50-year agree­ment on a Russ­ian mil­i­tary base in order to “pro­tect Abkhazia’s sov­er­eignty and secu­rity, includ­ing against inter­na­tional ter­ror­ist groups”.

A major issue still to be resolved is the extent of the US culpability.

The same analy­sis recalls when this mis­guided approach was used in the Balkans, and out­lines how, in order to not alien­ate Mus­lims while we tried to con­tain ter­ror from the Mid­dle East, we for­ti­fied ter­ror in the Balkans and jump-started the global jihad:

Ini­tially, the US-led West­ern inter­ven­tion in the for­mer Yugoslavia was aimed first and fore­most to sal­vage NATO (and with it US dom­i­nance over post-Cold War West­ern Europe) from irrel­e­vance and col­lapse. As well, the sup­port for the Mus­lims of Bosnia became the counter-balance of the US con­fronta­tion with jihadism in the Mid­dle East. Anthony Lake, US Pres­i­dent Bill Clinton’s National Secu­rity Adviser, for­mu­lated the logic for the US-led inter­ven­tion on behalf of the Mus­lims. The US national inter­est “requires our work­ing to con­tain Mus­lim extrem­ism, and we have to find a way of being firm in our oppo­si­tion to Mus­lim extrem­ism while mak­ing it clear we’re not opposed to Islam. If we are seen as anti-Muslim, it’s harder for us to con­tain Mus­lim extrem­ism. And if we stand by while Mus­lims are killed and raped in Bosnia, it makes it harder to con­tinue our pol­icy,” Lake argued. That in the process the US would end up part­ner­ing with, sup­port­ing and arm­ing, the very same jihadist forces Clin­ton was seek­ing to con­tain meant noth­ing to Wash­ing­ton. The only thing Wash­ing­ton cared about was the image of a US ral­ly­ing to the res­cue of a Mus­lim cause.

Note that in the 90s the U.S., like Britain, per­mit­ted and facil­i­tated ter­ror­ist net­works to oper­ate in Bosnia and Kosovo for the pur­pose of Serb-killing, and along with Ger­many we trained Alban­ian and Mid­dle East­ern ter­ror­ists in Alba­nia. Sure enough, the same decade saw U.S. offi­cials par­tic­i­pat­ing in a Decem­ber 1999 meet­ing in Azer­bai­jan very sim­i­lar to the Decem­ber 2009 meet­ing in Tbil­isi, where “pro­grams for the train­ing and equip­ping of muja­hedin from the Cau­ca­sus, Cen­tral and South Asia, and the Arab world were dis­cussed and agreed upon.” The men­tion of this meet­ing comes in as the analy­sis gives back­ground on how we decided to sup­port ter­ror­ism against Russia:

By 1999, the US had given up on rec­on­cil­ing Azer­bai­jan and Arme­nia in order to con­struct pipelines to Turkey, and instead Wash­ing­ton started focus­ing on build­ing pipelines via Geor­gia.

For such a project to be eco­nom­i­cally viable, the Russ­ian pipelines would have to be shut down. Hence, in early Octo­ber 1999, senior offi­cials of US oil com­pa­nies and US offi­cials offered rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Russ­ian “oli­garchs” in Europe huge div­i­dends from the pro­posed Baku-Ceyhan pipeline if the “oli­garchs” con­vinced Moscow to with­draw from the Cau­ca­sus, per­mit the estab­lish­ment of an Islamic state, and close down the Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipeline. Con­se­quently, there would be no com­pe­ti­tion to the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. The “oli­garchs” were con­vinced that the high­est lev­els of the Clin­ton White House endorsed this ini­tia­tive. The meet­ing failed because the Rus­sians would hear noth­ing of the US proposal.

Con­se­quently, the US deter­mined to deprive Rus­sia of an alter­nate pipeline route by sup­port­ing a spi­ral­ing vio­lence and ter­ror­ism in Chechnya….The Clin­ton White House sought to actively involve the US in yet another anti-Russian jihad as if reliv­ing the “good ol’ days” of Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, seek­ing to sup­port and empower the most vir­u­lent anti-Western Islamist forces in yet another strate­gic region.

In mid-December 1999, US offi­cials par­tic­i­pated in a for­mal meet­ing in Azer­bai­jan in which spe­cific pro­grams for the train­ing and equip­ping of muja­hedin from the Cau­ca­sus, Cen­tral and South Asia, and the Arab world were dis­cussed and agreed upon. This meet­ing led to Washington’s tacit encour­age­ment of both Mus­lim allies (mainly the intel­li­gence ser­vices of Turkey, Jor­dan, and Saudi Ara­bia) and US “pri­vate secu­rity com­pa­nies” (of the type that did Washington’s dirty job in the Balkans while skirt­ing and vio­lat­ing the inter­na­tional embargo the US for­mally sup­ported) to assist the Chechens and their Islamist allies to surge in spring 2000. Cit­ing secu­rity con­cerns vis-à-vis Arme­nia and Rus­sia, Azer­bai­jan adamantly refused to per­mit train­ing camps on its soil.

Now, just to keep our — includ­ing my — heads straight, let’s remind our­selves that this exer­cise that Robert Spencer was good enough to let me engage in on these pages was not a defense of Rus­sia; it was not meant to start an argu­ment about how bad or how not-that-bad Rus­sia is. The point is that for­eign rela­tions in a mad world require find­ing enough com­mon ground with not-so-great states so that we can work together where we can work together. It’s to min­i­mize the messi­ness of things. Why, when we had Rus­sia in its his­tor­i­cally most maleable form, did we insist on pro­vok­ing and pro­vok­ing and pro­vok­ing? Why did we make a bad sit­u­a­tion like Rus­sia worse when we had an oppor­tu­nity to make it bet­ter? As with all prob­lem­atic coun­tries that we nonethe­less find areas of coop­er­a­tion with, we nar­rowed even those areas by deal­ing with the Rus­sians in the bad faith that had been their trade­mark. Simul­ta­ne­ously, we moved away from pick­ing the lesser evil in a given con­flict, and started sid­ing with the greater.

It’s a sur­real sit­u­a­tion indeed when the actions of my sav­ior coun­try put me in the posi­tion of hav­ing to “defend” Rus­sia, whose peo­ple my par­ents thank their lucky stars to not have to live among any­more. I myself am a self-proclaimed Rus­so­phobe; I just had no idea how much more patho­log­i­cal America’s Rus­so­pho­bia is. So for some­one who is loath to visit even Brighton Beach, I find myself in a sur­pris­ing posi­tion here, point­ing out where we went wrong and shoved Rus­sia back into old behaviors.

Infu­ri­at­ingly pre­dictably, one of the com­ment posters sug­gested that the line I’m tak­ing here is one that’s paid for by Rus­sia. The same “tip” was offered to Robert by a fel­low blog­ger — in that tone of pro­vid­ing “some friendly, pro­fes­sional, and cau­tion­ary advice.” The likes of which I’m all too famil­iar with by now. (One Wall St. Jour­nal fix­ture advised me, “Your views on this [the Balkans] are deeply misjudged…You’re not doing your career any favors.” Thanks. Good thing I don’t have a career, then.) It cer­tainly would be nice if any­one paid me for any­thing I do, but it wasn’t to be in this lifetime.

Regard­less, it shouldn’t seem strange for some­one to be point­ing out that our for­eign pol­icy is being guided by peo­ple with a stronger anti-Russian agenda than anti-jihad agenda. And notice where this kind of think­ing has got­ten us. Take the past two decades of West­ern pol­icy and media cov­er­age in the Balkans, which were based on infor­ma­tion that made its way into reporters’ note­books directly from the Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion of the Bosn­ian Gov­ern­ment run by the fun­da­men­tal­ist Mus­lim wartime pres­i­dent Alija Izetbe­govic. The tem­plate was used again when politi­cians, reporters, NGOs and human rights orga­ni­za­tions duti­fully repeated what was com­ing out of the KLA-run news­pa­pers and other pro­pa­ganda organs of the Kosovo sep­a­ratists. And so in ser­vice to con­sis­tency, hav­ing got­ten into this hole, we’ve kept dig­ging. With our Yugoslavia inter­ven­tion, as the Defense & For­eign Affairs analy­sis points out, we’ve ended up “demo­niz­ing the Serbs and the world of East­ern Chris­tian­ity as a whole.” Such that we’ve arrived at a place where the word “Byzan­tine” is now used to mean prim­i­tive or unciv­i­lized. While the Mus­lim world and Islamic her­itage rep­re­sent the height of cul­ture, tra­di­tion, her­itage and civilization.

One inter­est­ing thing about the reac­tions to call­ing the U.S. on its aggres­sive alien­ation of Rus­sia via, for exam­ple, the use of jihadists is the sense of out­rage and shock at the sug­ges­tion that Amer­ica would sup­port these vio­lent groups, fol­lowed imme­di­ately by a defense or jus­ti­fi­ca­tion of such tac­tics (e.g. “we *should* help the Chechens against the Rus­sians”). Mean­while, these oh-so-incendiary alle­ga­tions hap­pen to coin­cide with overtly stated inten­tions and poli­cies. (See the late Sen­a­tor Tom Lan­tos and his ilk applaud­ing the cre­ation of a U.S.-made Mus­lim state in Europe, which the jihadists should “take note of,” Lan­tos hoped.)


9 comments for “Was the Relationship between Brian Glyn Williams and Dzokhar Tsarnaev more than Just Student and “Tutor”?”

  1. The aggressive alienation of Russia makes perfect sense if the goal is to recreate the cold war nuclear standoff. The war on terror just doesn’t do it for a high tech arms race the same way as a Soviet/US scale superpower conflict. Drones are cheap, the profit isn’t the same as building ICMB’s.

    Posted by Chris | May 11, 2013, 11:59 am
  2. @Chris–

    There is a dynamic I call “Information vs. Confirmation.”

    I am in the process of disseminating INformation. Most people, apparently including yourself, are interested primarily in CONfirmation, having their beliefs, hopes, fears etc. reinforced.

    You obviously haven’t done much work with the links and admittedly detailed analysis contained in the For The Record series about the Arab Spring/WikiLeaks.

    Your analysis reflects this.


    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | May 11, 2013, 2:13 pm
  3. They probably don’t intend to create a new cold war, but if they keep up support for insurrection and terror attacks in S. Russia, and the establishment of peripheral states that undercut Russia’s oil/gas sector, it’s difficult to believe the Russians won’t react in some tangible way.

    Posted by chris | May 12, 2013, 3:31 pm
  4. @Chris–

    Yes, indeed!

    In my opinion, we are witnessing a proxy war with elements in the West (petroleum related) backing Sunni combatants and Russia trying to protect its southern flank by bolstering Shiite combatants (Iran, Syria.)

    Russia’s recent decision to sell advanced surface-to-air missiles to Syria may well be part of that.

    The Boston bombing may well have been blowback from that–perfectly acceptable to the GOP/petroleum interests.

    It will also help traditional German “Ostpolitik.”

    In this context, do read T.H. Tetens’ text “Germany Plots with the Kremlin,” available on this website.

    The current program–FTR #710 is also relevant, as are the Food For Thought posts about the Boston Marathon bombing.


    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | May 12, 2013, 4:01 pm
  5. http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/08/07/unlikely-friendship/xQao9NHjkUvtvhTcK1uwCL/story.html

    Tsarnaev friend tells of beliefs in conspiracies
    By Sally Jacobs
    | Globe Staff

    August 08, 2013

    It was a most unlikely friendship.

    The elderly man was an invalid and a lifelong Catholic recently converted to Islam. The younger man was a robust Russian immigrant, as proud of his muscled physique as he was devout in his Islamic faith. But somehow in the back row of a Cambridge mosque over a series of Friday afternoons, the boisterous boxer and the suburban senior developed a rare connection.

    “Tamerlan Tsarnaev was my friend and we talked about everything from politics to religion,” said Donald Larking, 67, who began attending the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge a couple of years ago at Tsarnaev’s suggestion. “He was very, very religious. He believed that the Koran was the one true word and he loved it.”

    Larking has been identified in news media reports as a confidant of Tsarnaev, but he has never, until now, spoken publicly about their bond, and his apparent influence on the younger man. It was Larking who introduced Tsarnaev, who has been implicated in the Boston Marathon bombings and died in a shootout with police in April, to several right-wing publications colored by conspiracy theories.

    Last year he gave Tsarnaev a subscription to The American Free Press, which has been criticized for promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, for a Christmas gift. He also loaned his young friend his own copies of “The Sovereign, newspaper of the Resistance!” which suggests on its website that US military explosives were involved in the World Trade Center collapse. But Larking said that Tsarnaev, who was 24 when the two men met, had strong political views long before then.

    “He believed that 9/11 was an inside job and that the government had pulled it off,” recalled Larking. “His mother believed that, too. He didn’t like George Bush for torturing prisoners, but he didn’t really like Obama either.”

    Investigators have speculated that Tsarnaev and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, who has been charged in connection with the bombings, were probably inspired by extremist Islamic propaganda. But Tsarnaev’s conversations with Larking suggest the elder Tsarnaev may have had a more complex political world view, colored in part by his belief in domestic conspiracy theories. The FBI declined to comment yesterday.

    Larking was introduced to the Tsarnaev family in 2011 when friends recommended Zubeidat Tsarnaev, Tamerlan’s mother, to help care for Larking’s wife, who is a quadrapalegic. Zubeidat, who supplemented her income with work as a home health care aide, worked for the Larkings in their West Newton home on weekends. At times, one of her sons covered her shift. When she returned to Russia last year, Tamerlan’s wife, Katherine Russell, took over the job.

    Larking is also disabled. In 1974, according to the family’s lawyer Jason Rosenberg, Larking was shot in the head during a holdup of a convenience store where he worked as a manager. Larking suffered some loss of mental acuity and now speaks and walks with some difficulty, Rosenberg said.

    In Larking’s several conversations with the Globe, his account seemed consistent and clear.

    In recent years, according to Rosenberg, Larking has deteriorated emotionally and has become interested in anti-Semitic and conspiracy-minded websites. But Rosenberg confirmed the accuracy of what Larking said about his relationship to the Tsarnaevs.

    Although raised a Catholic, Larking says he became disillusioned with his church years ago when it became the subject of sex abuse scandals, and he converted to Islam. Tsarnaev urged Larking to attend the Cambridge mosque, which he himself had begun to attend — albeit fitfully — a couple of years earlier.

    Because of his physical disabilities, Larking sits on a chair in the rear of the mosque while others pray upon the floor. On the occasional Fridays that Tsarnaev was present for the afternoon service at the mosque, he frequently joined Larking at the end and helped him walk to a handicap van waiting outside to take him home. Tsarnaev fondly dubbed Larking “Dawud,” David in Arabic.

    Tsarnaev also urged Larking to grow a beard saying, as Larking recalled it, “that all Muslim men needed beards. So, I said, ‘OK.’ ” When Larking began growing a beard, Tsarnaev came to his home every several weeks to trim and take care of it.

    “He was very kind,” Larking said.

    Katherine Russell, who married Tsarnaev in 2010, converted from Catholicism to Islam for reasons similar to his own, said Larking. Like him, she was deeply disappointed over the scandal that engulfed the church and she was worried that the daughter she had with Tsarnaev would not be safe in the church in which she had grown up.

    “She wanted a church with more morals,” recalled Larking. “She felt the mosque would be a safer place for her daughter to go to nursery school.”

    One of Tsarnaev’s stronger political beliefs was that America was too involved in the affairs of nations around the world and should mind its own business. He often criticized Obama for US intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq, Larking said. During the 2012 presidential campaign, Tsarnaev spoke in support of conservative Ron Paul, a fierce proponent of non-intervention overseas.

    About a year ago, Tsarnaev handed his Cambridge landlord, Joanna Herlihy, a copy of the book, The Protocol of the Elders of Zion, a tract that purports to describe a plan by Jewish leaders to take over the world. Long ago discredited, it was first published in Russia over a century ago.

    “This is a good book,” he told her, as she recalled.

    Herlihy said she warned Tsarnaev that the book was seen as “propaganda.” Still, she took the book and tried to “plow through it” this past winter, committed to understanding it enough to have a “serious conversation” with Tsarnaev. However, she never did finish the book and feels badly she missed the chance to engage him, and perhaps dissuade him, from such extreme ideas.

    “I’ve regretted it,” she said.

    A voracious reader, Tsarnaev kept many of the publications Larking shared with him in his Cambridge apartment. But when federal investigators ransacked the place after the April bombing, some residents in the building noted with interest that they left behind some of Tsarnaev’s non-Muslim extremist readings.

    “I think it’s interesting the FBI didn’t take them,” said Harvey Smith, a longtime tenant of the same building. “Maybe it’s because it didn’t fit into their thinking about him.”
    Globe reporter Patty Wen contributed to this story.

    Posted by Vanfield | August 12, 2013, 10:22 am
  6. Re: Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s friend Todashev, shot by the FBI in Orlando:

    Ibragim Todashev was ‘a very good boy who wanted to live’ dad says of son killed by FBI in Orlando



    “He said Todashev’s friends have said they were questioned by the FBI in the days before the fatal shooting, and threats were made suggesting that if the friends did not spy on local mosques, they would risk having their immigration statuses changed.”


    This suggests that Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s FBI “visits” were also about recruiting – his immigration status could have been leveraged due to a domestic abuse case against him.

    Posted by Swamp | August 13, 2013, 8:51 am
  7. Remember the shape-shifting weapon wielded by Ibrahim Todashev? If not, jump to ~2:50 here. So was it a knife? A pipe? A broomstick? No weapon at all?

    It looks like “pipe” is going to be the final answer:

    Washington Post
    FBI agent cleared in Florida shooting of suspect questioned about Boston bombing

    By Adam Goldman and Wesley Lowery, Updated: Friday, March 21, 12:35 PM

    A Florida prosecutor has ruled that an FBI agent was justified in using deadly force when he shot and killed a Chechen man connected to two brothers accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing.

    Law enforcement officials said that Ibragim Todashev, 27, a mixed-martial-arts fighter, attacked the agent with a metal pole during an interview at his Orlando apartment on May 22.

    FBI officials have said the male agent, who has not been identified, was acting in self-defense when he shot Todashev multiple times. The agent suffered a wound to the back of the head that required stitches. It’s not clear what first sparked the confrontation.

    The investigation’s conclusion seemingly brings to an end a 10-month push by Todashev’s family and several civil rights organizations for more information about the shooting.

    The FBI cleared the agent in the Todashev shooting several months ago. The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division is in the final stages of finishing its own investigation and is also expected to clear him, according to individuals familiar with that inquiry.

    Before he attacked the agent, Todashev told investigators he and Tsarnaev had participated in a slaying in Waltham, Mass., in 2011, officials said.

    Several friends and family members of Todashev have insisted that he had never previously discussed with them his friendship with the elder Tsarnaev brother or the Waltham murder.

    Questions continue to surround the shooting, which occurred 10 months ago in an apartment complex just up the street from the entrance to Disney World. According to friends and family members of Todashev, he was questioned for more than five hours in his apartment before the shooting and believed that he had been followed for weeks by federal agents.

    In the months since the shooting, several of Todashev’s close friends — including a friend who initially attended the fatal FBI interview with him, as well as Todashev’s live-in girlfriend — have said that they have been arrested, deported or barred from re-entering the U.S.

    Jeffrey Ashton, the Florida state prosecutor who reviewed the shooting, is expected to make the results public Tuesday.

    151 here we come!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 21, 2014, 12:16 pm
  8. The Boston Globe has a story that “part” of the FBI interview of Todashev was recorded on video. His confession (about the Waltham Ma. killings) may or may not be on that video.
    They consider the case closed.


    However, this article in Counterpunch details the murder scene with photographs and has a very different conclusion:


    Note that the blood stains are all at floor level, none on the walls. This suggests that Todashev was shot while on the floor, execution style.

    Also, a witness friend of Todashev’s was driven miles away from the apartment to prevent them from seeing the incedent.

    It’s a long article, but here is the conclusion:

    Was the Head Shot then a Coup de Grace?

    Teyer has their own theory. Her career in the Army recently torpedoed by the FBI, which maliciously had her listed as a “security risk,” causing her to decide to retire from the service, the unintimidated Teyer says, “My theory is that Ibragim had too much information about Tamerlan, and they didn’t want that information to come out.”

    What information would that be? Teyer, who is involved with a group fighting for the freedom of the surviving Tsarnaev brother, Dzhokhar, who faces death if convicted of the bombing, says she does not believe he and his brother Tamerlan were actually the Boston bombers, and says even if they were, they couldn’t have done it alone. “Look,” she says, “those two brothers couldn’t have come up with the idea of bombing the Marathon on their own! Someone would have had to plant the idea in their heads, and someone would have helped them plan it. Why do you think the police tried to kill Dzhokhar when he was hiding in the boat? They fired into that boat over 100 times. Why? He was already surrounded, and with Tamerlan dead, if he had been involved he would have been needed as a witness to find out if there were any accomplices or further attacks planned. Instead they tried to kill him.”

    Saying it’s clear from all that has happened — the killings and the deportations and the blocking of people from returning to the US — that the FBI is simply eliminating witnesses to something. She adds, “I don’t know what Ibragim knew about Tamerlan, but he must have known something.”

    It’s not such a wild speculation. Several news organizations have reported that all but one of the terrorist attacks between 2001 and the Boston bombing that were “disrupted” or foiled by the FBI have featured Bureau informants or undercover agents who played key roles in setting the plots in motion. Could the Boston Marathon bombing be a case of such an FBI-involved plot going somehow awry?

    A call to FBI spokesman Paul Bresson to seek an explanation for the Bureau’s extraordinary ongoing 10-month hold on the coroner’s report on this killing and on its own lengthy investigation into the agent’s shooting of Todashev, as well as for an explanation for the decision to have only one agent with Todashev during an intense interrogation has so far gone unanswered.

    A report is due out tomorrow by the Florida State’s Attorney in Orlando, Jeffrey L. Ashton, on this shooting. It is not clear what that conclusion will be. Ashton’s office send out terse note to the media over the weekend protesting an apparently FBI-leaked story claiming his investigation would also, like the Bureau, exonerage the agent in Todashev’s death. He said that his conclusion had not been reached yet, and called the leak “unfair to both the family and the agent.” A good question for Ashton, whatever his conclusion is, would be whether he had access to the witnesses who knew about the FBI’s harassment of Todashev between April 16 and his death on May 22, 2013, and especially to Todashev’s friend Taramov, the witness who was removed by the FBI from the vicinity of the shooting just before it happened. All those witnesses, were driven or deported out of the country by the FBI in the ensuing weeks after the killing, and Taramov, who left voluntarily to attend his friend’s funeral, was barred from returning to the US, despite his having a valid Green Card. Another question for Ashton would be whether his own investigators had access to the bullets removed from the Coroner’s office, and the many items removed from the apartment by the FBI.

    Meanwhile, both the ACLU’s national office and its Massachusetts office, citing the “unbroken FBI track record of clearing its agents who use deadly force,” (that’s 150 agents cleared out of 150 agent shootings of witnesses or suspects over 18 years, not counting this latest shooting, according to a report in the New York Times), has objected to having the FBI investigating its own agent in this shooting and has called for an independent inquiry into Todashev’s death.

    As Howard Simon, executive director of the national ACLU, said, in response to the Boston Globe’s report that the FBI study will exonerate its agent:

    “As we said when we first called for an investigation into Todashev’s death, secrecy fosters suspicion. The DOJ should have called for a truly independent investigation of the shooting, and they still can! There remain too many unanswered questions about what happened in that Orlando apartment last May. Until they are answered—until the public knows exactly how and why FBI agents and police officers walked into an apartment to ask questions and walked out with a 27 year-old in a body bag—we will not stop our calls for transparency and answers.”

    Posted by Swamp | March 26, 2014, 8:43 am
  9. Let’s see what’s under this rock:

    Evidence Suggested Tsarnaev Brothers Did Not Act Alone

    By Lara Salahi
    Boston.com Correspondent
    May 22, 2014 3:24 PM

    Specific evidence has led federal officials to believe that Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev did not act alone in planning the Boston Marathon attacks, according to arguments submitted Wednesday by the US Attorney’s office..

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers have requested that potentially incriminating comments he made while investigators questioned him at his hospital bedside to be scrapped as evidence in the case against him.

    In response to the defense’s motion, the prosecution filed an opposition in the US District Court in Boston to suppress the statement Tsarnaev made during his hospital stay, stating Tsarnaev was never forced to answer any of the questions investigators had asked. The report also states that the prosecution does not plan to use Tsarnaev’s statements as its main argument during the trial and sentencing phase.

    One of the filings by the prosecution stated that investigators were led to believe from the bedside questioning that “the Tsarnaevs had accomplices and that they or others might have built additional bombs that posed a continuing danger to public safety.”

    At least eight clues led investigators to this conclusion, including the “sophisticated” nature of the bombs that were built that “would have been difficult for the Tsarnaevs to fabricate successfully without training or assistance from others.” Also, no traces of crushed black powder from fireworks needed for the devices were found in any location linked to the Tsarnaevs, indicating they may not have built it themselves.

    Behavior by the Tsarnaevs, including using temporary phones, and planning another large-scale attack in New York City, also indicated the brothers did not act alone, according to prosecutors.

    These details suggest, “others might have radicalized them, directed them, trained them, assisted them, and/or concealed them; and that these others might be planning or poised to carry out additional attacks,” the report stated.

    Here’s more on the mystery of the missing black powder:

    Officials describe components in Marathon bombs
    By Travis Andersen
    | Globe Staff May 22, 2014

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his now-deceased brother used parts from Christmas lights and model cars to build the bombs that they allegedly detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, federal prosecutors said in a court filing Wednesday.

    The filing in US District Court in Boston came in response to a motion from Tsarnaev’s defense lawyers to suppress statements he made to FBI agents while he was being treated in a Boston hospital after his arrest. The defense contends that Tsarnaev was interrogated at length despite repeatedly asking for a lawyer.

    But in Wednesday’s filing, prosecutors wrote that FBI agents had grounds to question Tsarnaev at the time, since they had to determine whether any accomplices were still at large who might have posed a threat.

    “The Marathon bombs were constructed using improvised fuses made from Christmas lights and improvised, remote-control detonators fashioned from model car parts,” prosecutors wrote. “These relatively sophisticated devices would have been difficult for the Tsarnaevs to fabricate successfully without training or assistance from others.”

    Also, prosecutors said, Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, appear to have crushed and emptied fireworks containing black powder to make explosive fuel for the bombs.

    That powder is a fine material, and if the Tsarnaevs had built the bombs themselves, it was reasonable to expect traces of the powder would be found where they worked on the explosives, prosecutors said.

    “Yet searches of the Tsarnaevs’ residences, three vehicles, and other locations associated with them yielded virtually no traces of black powder, again strongly suggesting that others had built, or at least helped the Tsarnaevs build, the bombs and thus might have built more,” prosecutors wrote.

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers had not responded to the filing by Wednesday evening. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a confrontation with police in Watertown days after the April 15, 2013, bombings.

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faces several charges that could bring the death penalty.

    The blasts killed three people, including a child, and wounded more than 260.

    “In short, the facts and circumstances known to law enforcement at the time they interviewed Tsarnaev provided ample reason to believe that the Tsarnaevs did not act alone,” prosecutors wrote in the filing.

    No one else has been charged with participating in the bombings, and prosecutors wrote Wednesday that Tsarnaev admitted his own role in the blasts under questioning, but “steadfastly denied” that anyone else was involved. Authorities have not said publicly if they are seeking additional suspects in the bombing itself.

    Three of Tsarnaev’s friends face charges of obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI in allegedly removing items from his college dormitory room after the blasts and lying about it to investigators.

    Well this is going to make the prosecution of the three friends a lot more complicated since they removed fireworks from his apartment:

    Boston Globe
    Tsarnaev’s texts with friend offer new glimpse of case
    Alleges in pretrial hearing he was improperly interrogated

    By Patricia Wen
    | Globe Staff May 15, 2014

    Three hours after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s photo was broadcast as the “Bomber 2” suspect, he exchanged a series of casual text messages with one of his closest friends from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, saying, “Sorry man I’m in Boston” when asked for a ride, and responding “Yea bro I did,” when asked “u saw the news?”

    Some 300 text messages written or received by 20-year-old Dias Kadyrbayev — some translated from Russian — were made public in US District Court in Boston Thursday as part of a pretrial hearing in which the native of Kazakhstan alleges that federal agents improperly interrogated him, both before and after Tsarnaev’s capture on April 19, 2013. Kadyrbayev, who faces obstruction of justice charges, has asserted his statements about hiding some of Tsarnaev’s incriminating items should be suppressed prior to his trial.

    One important finding related to Kadyrbayev’s case lies in these pages of text messages: As early as the morning of April 19 when federal agents were beginning to realize that Kadyrbayev and his roommate, Azamat Tazhayakov, were close friends of Tsarnaev, Kadyrbayev’s family allegedly had already contacted Kazakhstan’s Consulate General’s office in New York and begun to try to protect the young man.

    Kadyrbayev’s defense attorney has portrayed his client as a naive foreign student who was defenseless against manipulative federal agents, and someone with limited English skills who never fully understood his legal rights to remain silent or demand a lawyer.

    One series of text exchanges goes to the heart of why Kadyrbayev is accused of obstructing the investigation. Around 8:45 p.m. on April 18, shortly after the FBI released photos of the suspected bombers, Kadyrbayev asks Tsarnaev, “u saw the news?” After acknowledging that he did, Tsarnaev said, “Better not text me my friend,” adding, “Lol.”

    When Kadyrbayev replies, “u saw urself in there?” and added “ahaha” and then “hahaha,” Tsarnaev responds, “If yu want yu can go to my room and take what’s there.”

    About 10 that night, Kadyrbayev sent a text to Phillipos, “come to Jahar’s!!”

    The three friends were at the dorm room that night, and, according to the indictment, Kadyrbayev found Tsarnaev’s backpack, containing some manipulated fireworks, as well as his laptop.

    He took these items, and they headed for the New Bedford apartment. There, Kadyrbayev, with Tazhayakov’s knowledge, allegedly threw the backpack in a dumpster.

    Days later, after Kadybayev allegedly admitted to federal agents what he had done, federal agents found Tsarnaev’s backpack, along with the fireworks, in a landfill.

    Also note that the fireworks taken by the three friends had the black powder scooped out:

    Texts, TV, then trouble for bombing suspect’s pals
    — May. 1, 2013 9:18 PM EDT

    Dias Kadyrbayev was driving back to his apartment when he got a call from a college buddy. A clearly anxious Robel Phillipos told him authorities had released photos of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers — and one of them looked very familiar.

    When he got home, Kadrybayev turned on the television to see a shaggy-haired Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, his friend, classmate and, by then, one of the most wanted men in the world.

    That call set in motion a series of events that on Wednesday turned three college pals into key figures in one of the largest terrorist investigations ever on U.S. soil. According to an FBI affidavit based on interviews with all three men, this is how it played out.

    The Kazhaks and Phillipos, who’d attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School with “Jahar,” as Dzhokhar was known, agreed to meet at Pine Dale Hall, their friend’s dorm. Phillipos, the 19-year-old son of a single mother, said he wanted to see for himself whether the TV reports were true.

    Tsarnaev’s roommate let them in, saying they’d missed him by a couple of hours.

    According to Kadyrbayev, the trio decided to watch a movie (he didn’t specify which one). At some point, they noticed a backpack.

    Inside, they discovered more than a half-dozen fireworks, each about 8 inches long, according to the affidavit. The black powder had been scooped out.

    Kadyrbayev said he knew instantly that his friend was indeed involved in the bombings. But instead of calling authorities, he told investigators he began thinking of ways to get rid of the evidence.

    Just in case the roommate thought he was “stealing or behaving suspiciously” by grabbing the backpack alone, Kadyrbayev decided to take Tsarnaev’s laptop as well.

    The three returned to the Kazhaks’ apartment and watched news reports of the intensifying manhunt. They discussed what to do with Tsarnaev’s things.

    As the situation’s gravity began to sink in, Phillipos — whose own text to Tsarnaev went unanswered — said everyone “started to freak out,” according to authorities. The other two men began speaking to each other in Russian.

    Boy did this story just weirdererer.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 22, 2014, 2:32 pm

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