Russian intel: Tsarnaev met with suspected Chechen militant several times

posted at 8:41 am on April 23, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

CBS isn’t letting the thread drop on Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s six-month odyssey in the Caucasus, and neither are federal investigators, apparently. Russian intelligence says that the elder brother in the Boston Marathon bombing met with a suspected militant on several occasions while staying in Dagestan, and the US is taking a closer look at those contacts even as the younger brother insists the two acted alone:

The Wall Street Journal has more:

U.S. investigators are looking into a Russian intelligence report that alleged Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev met with a suspected militant during his six-month visit to Russia in 2012, according to American law-enforcement officials.

In the aftermath of the bombings, some American counterterrorism officials received information from law-enforcement officials in Makhachkala, Dagestan, detailing alleged contacts between Mr. Tsarnaev and a suspected militant being tracked by Russian officials, according to a law-enforcement official briefed on the Boston Marathon investigation.

It’s not just Tsarnaev that’s being investigated either, but also the FBI:

The accuracy of that report and whether it was shared before the attack in Boston is a subject of debate. According to one account, Russia’s security service told the Federal Bureau of Investigation about it in November. U.S. law-enforcement officials said they didn’t receive any such information and are trying to determine if it is true.

Mr. Tsarnaev’s intersection with Russia security authorities came after he was interviewed by FBI agents in the U.S. in 2011. How these contacts were handled by both countries likely will be critical in determining whether officials missed possible warning signs, and whether poor communications between the two countries hampered cooperation.

Almost immediately after the FBI’s first contacts with Tsarnaev became known, Russia insisted that they tried to warn the US about him, and that the FBI didn’t respond to them. The FBI now claims the same thing about Russian intelligence:

The FBI interview was conducted at Russia’s request and produced no suspicious links, said a senior U.S. law enforcement official. Repeated follow-up questions to Russian authorities about Mr. Tsarnaev went unanswered, U.S. officials said.

It’s possible that Tsarnaev’s six-month trip to Dagestan didn’t produce any contacts with radicals in the area, and that Tamerlan’s decision to conduct terror attacks was entirely independent.  That would make the Dagestan adventure very coincidental, though, and it’s difficult to believe that his sudden fanaticism and identification with radical Islamists on his return less than a year ago had no roots at all in his geographic juxtaposition with radical Islamists in the Caucasus.  So far, it seems that the Russians consider that theory a little fantastical, too.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

But there was no international connection. Don’t forget that.

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Def. a “homegrown” attack..

melle1228 on April 23, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Tsarnaev met with suspected Chechen militant several times

Doesn’t matter. The media has settled on a narrative. This was not a terror attack. This was an angry young man (now dead) who led his innocent brother astray. An unfortunate incident but this bombing has nothing to do with Islam, Chechnya, or terrorism.

And it may not even be Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s fault. Yes, he did an evil thing but he was a golden gloves boxer. He may have been suffering from brain trauma like those NFL players.

Happy Nomad on April 23, 2013 at 8:48 AM

But, they still will not say it!

kingsjester on April 23, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Can’t be true, Junior said they acted alone and I believe the dude in the hospital with a hole in his throat.

ctmom on April 23, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Def. a “homegrown” attack..

melle1228 on April 23, 2013 at 8:46 AM

An attack perpetrated on American soil by immigrants who have been here more than twenty minutes; criticism of Obama by anyone who can be connected to the Tea Party even if only by speculation; any way the LSM wants to define the term, so as to exclude any thought that a certain favored religious or ethnic group might be guilty of the crime.

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 8:51 AM

I can’t with that picture…

nyclakerfan on April 23, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Aw, look at that cute terrorista.

Good Lt on April 23, 2013 at 8:58 AM

My caption for the front page pic for this thread: “Wow! My Obamaphone works even in Russia! Thanks, Obama!”

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Russia went radio silent on sharing intel because…
FBI.
DEMONSTRATED.
INCOMPETENCE.
IN 2011.

socalcon on April 23, 2013 at 9:00 AM

They acted alone
pete William

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 9:01 AM

At this point, what difference does it make?

MNHawk on April 23, 2013 at 9:03 AM

missed warning signs on Obamacare…on Detroit airplane bomber..on Benghazi…on Boston…on Stimulus forecasts…

INCOMPETENCE ABOUNDS!

hillsoftx on April 23, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Or, as Chris Matthews said last night for benefit of low information, Obama voting America…

I mean, what difference does it make why they did it if they did it?

MNHawk on April 23, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Subscript on the screenshot…Aunt says older brother struggled to fit in..

My thoughts:
YouTube the SNL skits (Steve Martin) Wild and crazy guys
Really, it doesn’t appear that the Aunt ‘knew’ much- other than to stay away from the Finish line

socalcon on April 23, 2013 at 9:05 AM

I’m with Leroy Jethro Gibbs and don’t believe in coincidence either.

docflash on April 23, 2013 at 9:07 AM

…well…this will go the way of Fast & Furious and BenGhazi…

KOOLAID2 on April 23, 2013 at 9:07 AM

like, totally, acted alone duuuude.

Weight of Glory on April 23, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Jane Fonda is having regrets.

Rode Werk on April 23, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Does she really have her heart set on Boston? Cause I’m sure President Pantload could find room for him at Arlington National Cemetary.

/sarc, but you know he would if he could.

Naturally Curly on April 23, 2013 at 9:12 AM

This is where I turn in all the guns that I don’t actually have and put my trust in government to protect me, and why, because the best and brightest are now running the show.

Szell’s voice keeps whispering to me for some reason.

Bishop on April 23, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Has Obama not called Vladimir? The election’s over

drivingtheview on April 23, 2013 at 9:14 AM

“The fact is religion has been expunged from counterterrorism training,” said Sebastian Gorka, a counterterrorism specialist with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “The FBI can’t talk about Islam and they can’t talk about jihad.”

Added Patrick S. Poole, another counterterrorism specialist, about FBI policies on Islam: “I have zero doubt it affected their investigation of Tsarnaev.”

http://freebeacon.com/blind-eye/

Wigglesworth on April 23, 2013 at 9:15 AM

even as the younger brother insists the two acted alone:

He insisted that? What did he do, use lots of exclamation points?

Dusty on April 23, 2013 at 9:17 AM

The Russians have a dog in this hunt because of their ongoing battles with Chechen Islamic radicals — they want as many allies around the world for their actions against the Chechens as possible. At the same time, you’ve got the FBI, which might be in CYA mode on Tamerlan, and/or already tasked from higher-ups that we don’t want to inflame the situation by acknowledging any links the Tsarnaevs may have had to other Muslim terrorists, because the flyover country yahoos will start randomly murdering any dark-skinned Asian or Middle Eastern people they see.

So this could end up as a Putin-vs.-Obama situation on the back story of Tamerlan’s radicalization, where the Russian leader and his people are more forthcoming about factual information (which, if that turns out to be the case, is both sad and ironic at the same time, and ought to make some on the left in this country short out a mental transistor or two while trying to process the information).

jon1979 on April 23, 2013 at 9:19 AM

It’s shocking I tell you – shocking – that this administration had actionable intelligence and didn’t act on the information. Just shocking. /

rsherwd65 on April 23, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Repeated follow-up questions to Russian authorities about Mr. Tsarnaev went unanswered, U.S. officials said.

Are the Russians getting soft or just lying? Either way they don’t seem to be handling these jihadis like they used to (NSFW,Sopranos)

forest on April 23, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Years ago, the LSM decided Islam itself could not possibly be a motive. First, they used the terms ‘radical’ or (better) ‘fundamentalist’ to describe such killers. That way they could draw a parallel with Christians.

After 9/11, Americans started learning the tenets of Islam — the real nitty-gritty of what the Koran says. That trashed the narrative and other lies the LSM told itself all the rest of us.

Now, to keep alive its own narrative and continue the personal and collective delusions of liberalism, the LSM now has to totally downplay any possible connections to Islam by a terrorist. They’re so invested in their narrative that they now need to go to any extreme to keep it alive, no matter the evidence or how outrageous their other speculations.

That’s the problem with lying: One lie begets more and more, until the whole argument from the liar’s side becomes a parody. And a sick one, at that.

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 9:26 AM

even as the younger brother insists the two acted alone:

He insisted that? What did he do, use lots of exclamation points?

Dusty on April 23, 2013 at 9:17 AM

All caps.

Yes, they DEFINITELY acted alone. But apparently DHS is searching for physical evidence to prove “visa violations” by the bombers’ friends. http://www.wickedlocal.com/berkley/news/x633483276/Homeland-Security-scours-New-Bedford-apartment-complex-where-arrests-were-made-Friday#axzz2RIBodmvT

Syzygy on April 23, 2013 at 9:30 AM

According to one account, Russia’s security service told the Federal Bureau of Investigation about it in November. U.S. law-enforcement officials said they didn’t receive any such information and are trying to determine if it is true.

Really ? This should not be so hard.

Jabberwock on April 23, 2013 at 9:31 AM

…and as reported by ABC, the “videos” of Anwar Al-Awlaki were a motivating force to Tamerlan…

…which is the Feds way of drip-drabbing that the Marathon bombing was revenge for Al-Awlaki’s droning.

I’ve been saying this since Tamerlan was first named. I’ve written it in several posts.

The Obama Admin already knows this.

All they’re trying to do, is figure out what news cycle can they bury the lead under when it’s divulged.

budfox on April 23, 2013 at 9:33 AM

The Army still calls the Hassan attack workplace violence. This was decided by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs because he didn’t want to harm their diversity program. The FBI probably has a similar program and is as full of pc cr#p as the rest of those who are supposed to have our backs. Good thing they didn’t grab our guns, oh, except for those living in some very blue states.

Kissmygrits on April 23, 2013 at 9:38 AM

All they’re trying to do, is figure out what news cycle can they bury the lead under when it’s divulged.

budfox on April 23, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Hey look kids! Aren’t those two dudes trying to get married?

Yes, they are trying to bury the motives of the Tsarnaev brothers and whoever else was involved. But when you have four deaths and hundreds of injured and maimed at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, you can’t cover things up entirely with guns, gays, and illegals. Even going nuclear with war on God and/or war on women will hide the truth entirely.

Personally, I’m less concerned with the actual motives- that this was an attack by Muslims is all that really matters about that and not whatever alleged offense justifies the terrorism. All I really want to know is why the FBI and ICE failed.

Happy Nomad on April 23, 2013 at 9:41 AM

I miss J. Edgar Hoover

katy the mean old lady on April 23, 2013 at 9:41 AM

They acted alone
pete William

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 9:01 AM

All 12 of them acting alone and together. You can’t make this shit up.

dogsoldier on April 23, 2013 at 9:44 AM

If “his name was mis spelled” is a legit FBI excuse these days, we are in bigger trouble than anybody thought. I can assure you that it’s not that complicated, software can be configured to search for and recognize similar names, which would eliminate this issue as an excuse completely.

shanimal on April 23, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Yes, they DEFINITELY acted alone.

Syzygy on April 23, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Yeah, Tamerlan Tsarnaev just stepped out of his apartment one morning and there were two sophisticated IEDs sitting there by the neighbor’s trash can. The rest of the story is pretty well known.

Seriously, I don’t know why anybody is buying this lone wolf theory. It clearly is designed to hide the fact the DHS, FBI, and ICE were utterly incompetent.

Happy Nomad on April 23, 2013 at 9:48 AM

If “his name was mis spelled” is a legit FBI excuse these days, we are in bigger trouble than anybody thought. I can assure you that it’s not that complicated, software can be configured to search for and recognize similar names, which would eliminate this issue as an excuse completely.

shanimal on April 23, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Hell, the BING search engine can do that. Type in “Remingtun” and the query will come back with “includes results for Remington”.

Certainly if search engines can figure this out then a security agency with tens of billions in their budget can too.

Bishop on April 23, 2013 at 9:48 AM

[budfox on April 23, 2013 at 9:33 AM]

Well, that and the other ones, particularly the Chechen/Dagestani one. It’s really too bad Hillary resigned. They’d be raiding the film makers’ homes and dragging them off to detention by now.

Dusty on April 23, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Russian intelligence says that the elder brother in the Boston Marathon bombing met with a suspected militant on several occasions while staying in Dagestan

Tamerlan was a resident alien. I wonder what nation’s passport he traveled under because he isn’t eligible for a US one.

Happy Nomad on April 23, 2013 at 9:51 AM

CBS isn’t letting the thread drop on Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s six-month odyssey in the Caucasus, and neither are federal investigators, apparently.

So even CBS is not yet swallowing the convenient for the admin narrative of “lone wolves” acting entirely on their own without contact, guidance, or help from other jihadists?

farsighted on April 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM

[shanimal on April 23, 2013 at 9:45 AM]

If the crux of the problem is a misspelling, then as you note, the problem is bigger than that. To come back to the US he needs to show his passport and his green card. Now his passport is supposedly brand new, so there’s one or no stamps in it? The names on both ought to be spelled the same (the passport has it in English, too, right?) whether in English or Cyrillic (we do track on native language spellings too, don’t we?).

Anyway, they still have date of birth and the federal ID number for the green card, so when it’s scanned, a misspelled name is not an overriding criteria for checking or flagging.

If it was, then for how long have they been doing it wrong?

Dusty on April 23, 2013 at 10:09 AM

So even CBS is not yet swallowing the convenient for the admin narrative of “lone wolves” acting entirely on their own without contact, guidance, or help from other jihadists?

[farsighted on April 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM]

Then again, it is a story they can keep writing about and can continue to speculate about. News media is a business first and foremost.

Dusty on April 23, 2013 at 10:14 AM

It’s possible that Tsarnaev’s six-month trip to Dagestan didn’t produce any contacts with radicals in the area, and that Tamerlan’s decision to conduct terror attacks was entirely independent. That would make the Dagestan adventure very coincidental, though, and it’s difficult to believe that his sudden fanaticism and identification with radical Islamists on his return less than a year ago had no roots at all in his geographic juxtaposition with radical Islamists in the Caucasus. So far, it seems that the Russians consider that theory a little fantastical, too.

The timeline so far, as I have been able to piece it together.

2011 — The Russians warn the FBI about Tamerlan as a possible/potential militant Islamist. The FBI investigates and comes up with no supporting evidence.

January 2012 — Tamerlan departs the US for Russia.

March 2012 — Tamerlan arrives in Russia

Sometime in July-Sept 2012 — Tamerlan returns to the US

Sept 11, 2012 — Tamerlan’s brother becomes a US citizen

Nov. 2012 — The Russians claim they contacted the FBI and informed them that Tamerlan had been in contact with Islamist militants in Dagestan/Chechnya. The FBI doesn’t recall that happening.

Apr 15, 2013 — The Tsarnaev “lone wolf” Jihad Brothers blow up the Boston Marathon

Apr 22, 2013 — We are told (the now dead) Tamerlan’s surviving 19 year old brother says they “acted alone”, building bombs from internet instructions.

farsighted on April 23, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Troll Free.

For the upteenth time, from October of 2011:

Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole declared Wednesday at a conference in Washington that he had “recently directed all components of the Department of Justice to re-evaluate their training efforts in a range of areas, from community outreach to national security.” This “reevaluation” will remove all references to Islam in connection with any examination of Islamic jihad terror activity. The Obama Administration has now placed off-limits any investigation of the beliefs, motives and goals of jihad terrorists.

Dwight C. Holton, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, emphasized that training materials for the FBI would be purged of everything politically incorrect: “I want to be perfectly clear about this: training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive, and they are contrary to everything that this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for. They will not be tolerated.”

Move On (.org), nothing to talk about here!

Del Dolemonte on April 23, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Seriously, I don’t know why anybody is buying this lone wolf theory. It clearly is designed to hide the fact the DHS, FBI, and ICE were utterly incompetent.

[Happy Nomad on April 23, 2013 at 9:48 AM]

I find it plausible under the widest definition of contacts and working with. So far they have shown no evidence that Tamerlan did anything that I couldn’t do also and they’d never be able to show that a terrorist organization would ever want to associate with me.

Put yourself in the terrorist organization’s shoes. How do you know Tamerlan isn’t a plant or an unreliable wacko? Yeah, if he came to town and some local vouched for him, I might meet with him in the foyer of the Mosque after prayers and listen to him for a minute, but I’d probably just tell him if he wants to blow up Boston I’m certainly not going to stop him.

Tamerlan has no credentials. As a terrorist, I select you to recruit. I don’t take walk-ins, especially if they haven’t been to Pakeestaan!

One qualifier on that, now that I’m Mr Chechen Terrorist Bigwig and have been thinking about what I’d say, because it just crossed my mind. As Mr CTB considering this walk-in, I may ask Tamerlan, “Have killed anyone before?” If he answered, “Yes.”, I might rethink hiring him.

Dusty on April 23, 2013 at 10:31 AM

“Have killed anyone before?”

Mr. CTB speaks broken English.

Dusty on April 23, 2013 at 10:33 AM

farsighted on April 23, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Everyone in Tamerlan’s family has said the Feds contacted him at least twice. It’s hard to pinpoint when, but the allusion is after the return from Chechnya.

I’m no infowars guy, but it sure is convenient little bro can’t speak and all of hi confirmations is coming via dictation.

How great is it, that we live in a time where we have to debate whose info do we trust more, our own govt or the Russians?!?

budfox on April 23, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Troll Free.

For the upteenth time, from October of 2011:

Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole declared Wednesday at a conference in Washington that he had “recently directed all components of the Department of Justice to re-evaluate their training efforts in a range of areas, from community outreach to national security.” This “reevaluation” will remove all references to Islam in connection with any examination of Islamic jihad terror activity. The Obama Administration has now placed off-limits any investigation of the beliefs, motives and goals of jihad terrorists.Dwight C. Holton, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, emphasized that training materials for the FBI would be purged of everything politically incorrect: “I want to be perfectly clear about this: training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive, and they are contrary to everything that this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for. They will not be tolerated.”
Move On (.org), nothing to talk about here!

Del Dolemonte on April 23, 2013 at 10:19 AM

The willing refusal to recognize our enemy, whomever they are, is in direct contradiction to the Oath of Office.
The above highlighted quote renders the American populace defensless and unprotected from an attack.
This is shameful.

Troll Free, indeed

Jabberwock on April 23, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Szell’s voice keeps whispering to me for some reason.

Bishop on April 23, 2013 at 9:13 AM

???

GWB on April 23, 2013 at 11:14 AM

CBS isn’t letting the thread drop on Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s six-month odyssey in the Caucasus

That’s so they don’t have to cover Gosnell’s trial.

TulsAmerican on April 23, 2013 at 11:20 AM

The FBI interview was conducted at Russia’s request and produced no suspicious links, said a senior U.S. law enforcement official. Repeated follow-up questions to Russian authorities about Mr. Tsarnaev went unanswered, U.S. officials said.

It sounds like a Jamie Gorelick type Wall was in place here.

portlandon on April 23, 2013 at 11:22 AM

If they had been anything but Muslim the FBI would likely have caught them.

The future must not belong to those who insult the Prophet of Islam.” is a helluva motto for an American president.

And it spread throughout his functionaries like a sleeping potion.

profitsbeard on April 23, 2013 at 11:37 AM

[portlandon on April 23, 2013 at 11:22 AM]

Thanks you. I spent an hour yesterday trying to find her on Bing because I couldn’t remember her name, before giving up.

Dusty on April 23, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Well, time fro a new oversight Cabinet position, more spending, and new legislation giving them more power for investigations regardless of privacy concerns.

What? It’s what we did last time; and as I’ve learned, Government plans always repeat failures.

http://politicker.com/2013/04/bloomberg-says-post-boston-interpretation-of-the-constitution-will-have-to-change/

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday the country’s interpretation of the Constitution will “have to change” to allow for greater security to stave off future attacks.

Yeah… like that. Good job Bloomberg. You’re an idiot.

gekkobear on April 23, 2013 at 1:32 PM

The willing refusal to recognize our enemy, whomever they are, is in direct contradiction to the Oath of Office.

Jabberwock on April 23, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Not only that, knowing and understanding your enemy has been a fundamental precept of war, and of the victorious, from Sun-Tzu to Robert E. Lee, von Clausewitz, Patton, and many others in between.

It is exceedingly unwise, and potentially suicidal, to deliberately ignore and refuse to investigate and learn about some aspect of your enemy’s “beliefs, motivations, and goals”.

farsighted on April 23, 2013 at 1:44 PM

January 2012 — Tamerlan departs the US for Russia.

March 2012 — Tamerlan arrives in Russia

farsighted on April 23, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Your timeline is correct from my reading.

Where was he between January and March?

Whose/what interests does the U.S. support vis a vis the Sunni vs. Shia battle globally? Hint: ours is contra that of Russia.

Why did we plan to deport the Saudi National and then rescind it? BTW, Steve Emerson believes he’s still slated for deportation as this article is dated 7:11 p.m. yesterday:


Despite ICE telling TheBlaze that Alharbi was never being considered for deportation, Emerson maintained that there is a person slated for deportation that has “the same name” and “same build” as Alharbi.

From the same article:

“You want to know why we have terror over and over in our streets?” Beck Asked. “Saudi Arabia. It is time someone on network television says it.”

Yep. I think there’s a much bigger story here.

Opinionator on April 23, 2013 at 1:57 PM