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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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