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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. [1] (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 [10] 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 [11] 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 [12] in the Chechen jihad and its lead­ers.

Pro­fes­sor Williams has also penned a piece for The Huff­in­g­ton Post [13] dimin­ish­ing the notion of the Chechen fight­ers as par­tic­i­pants in the glob­al jihadist net­work.

As we saw in FTR #710 [14], the Chechen jihad and oth­er, sim­i­lar move­ments in the Cau­ca­sus are receiv­ing the active assis­tance [15]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 [16] 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 [17]. 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.” [18] 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. [11]

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. [12]

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. [13]

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. [15]

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.)