The Terrorrist Puzzle

Terrorists have killed American citizens once again. The chief suspects are listed as Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, brothers aged 26 and 19 respectively. They are Muslims from Russia who, according to authorities, detonated two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, 15 April. President Barack Obama said that whoever did the bombing will “feel the full weight of justice.” Since that statement Boston police have killed Tamerlan and captured Dzhokhar.

An air of controversy is building about the suspects, even now. An “Op-Edge” analysis piece published by Russia Today claims “that very little clarity surrounds the case.” There are questions as to how the surviving suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar, “could walk out of the boat he was hiding in … with a throat wound that he is now almost dying from.” Russia’s official media says the suspects originated from Kyrgyzstan, in the town of Tormok, which is ethnically Chechen. Back in Russia, the father of the accused brothers says that his sons are being framed.

According to Judicial Watch’s Corruption Chronicles of April 22, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was arrested and possibly convicted for domestic violence in 2009. According to a Judicial Watch source, the Obama administration could have deported Tamerlan “but evidently didn’t feel he represented a big enough threat.” Years ago, we read, “Judicial Watch uncovered critical intelligence documents detailing Al Qaeda’s activities in Chechnya, including the creation of a 1995 camp – ordered by Osama bin Laden – to train ‘international terrorists’ to carry out plots against Americans and westerners.”

The Russian twist on the alleged Boston bombers is especially interesting because this same training camp in Dagestan was mentioned by Russian KGB/FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko, who said it was a KGB/FSB-sponsored camp for training terrorist agents and Al Qaeda leaders, including Ayman al-Zawahri (who was referred to by Litvinenko as a longtime KGB agent). Following his revelations of the KGB’s involvement in training top Al Qaeda leaders, Litvinenko was poisoned with polonium-210 in November 2006. During an interview with FrontPagMag’s Jamie Glazov, a friend of Litvinenko explained, “Alexander revealed … that at least two notorious Al Qaeda terrorists are secret agents of the FSB….” Stroilov went on to say, “Contrary to the view of many in the US, Russia is anything but a reliable ally of yours in the ‘war on terror.’ The Kremlin is playing a treacherous double game: while enjoying the West’s support as an ally, it secretly supports and manipulates Al Qaeda through FSB agents of influence.”

In keeping with this theme, The Long War Journal has published a piece titled “Dagestani jihadist group issues statement on Boston bombings.” According to Vilyat Dagestan, an Islamic militant organization in Russia, “we are at war with Russia” and “not fighting against the United States of America.” Therefore, an attack by ethnic Chechens on the United States makes no sense whatsoever. If Americans want to discover the real organizers of the Boston explosions, argued the Vilyat Dagestan, “they should focus on the involvement of the Russian special services in the event.”

Quite naturally, U.S. officials have only just begun to investigate the Tsarnaev brothers and their Dagestan/Russian connections. It has been reported by NBC 4 New York that Tamerlan Tsarnaev “left New York on Jan. 12, 2012 for Sheremetyevo, Russia. He stayed overseas and returned to JFK [airport] on July 17.” What was the trip to Russia about? Why did the trip last six months, and who was Tamerlan with? Were the Tsarnaev brothers motivated by Islam? Or was there some other purpose?

Journalists are currently focused on the brother’s online activities. Time Magazine alleges that Tamerlan “appears to have created a channel on YouTube [click here] called Terrorists.” On this Website Tamerlan supposedly inserted a video of a Dagestani insurgent leader who says, “Jihad is the duty of every able-bodied Muslim.”

There are many angles to this case, but of special interest is Moscow’s attempt to warn the United States about Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Readers are encouraged to study the April 19 National Press Release of the FBI, which states: “Once the FBI learned the identities of the two brothers today, the FBI reviewed its records and determined that in early 2011, a foreign government asked the FBI for information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The request stated that it was based on information that he was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer….” The FBI subsequently checked U.S. government databases, examined Tamerlan’s Internet activity, and interviewed Tamerlan along with unnamed “family members.” No evidence of “terrorism activity” was found.

It is possible the Tsarnaev brothers were two sadly confused young men, drawn to radical religious beliefs and violent jihadist activities. That seems the most obvious explanation. But where Russia is concerned investigators should be vigilant. Russia is a country of many mysteries, of real false flag terrorist operations like the Russian apartment bombings of September 1999. Nothing is straightforward where Russia is concerned.

Jeffrey Nyquist is the President of the Strategic Crisis Center and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Political Science at the Inter-American Institute for Philosophy, Government, and Social Thought.

This article was originally published on Financial Sense on April 22, 2013. The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.