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

[1]Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. [2] (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 [11] 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 [12] 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 [13] in the Chechen jihad and its leaders.

Professor Williams has also penned a piece for The Huffington Post [14] diminishing the notion of the Chechen fighters as participants in the global jihadist network.

As we saw in FTR #710 [15], the Chechen jihad and other, similar movements in the Caucasus are receiving the active assistance [16]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 [17] 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 [18]. 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.” [19] 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. [12]

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. [13]

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. [14]

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. [16]

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.)