Tsarnaev linked to Canadian boxer-jihadi?

posted at 8:41 am on April 30, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Connection or coincidence? The FBI and Russian investigators have begun to plumb the potential links between former Gold Gloves boxer-turned-terrorist Tamerlan Tsarnaev and a now-dead Canadian boxer-turned jihadi named William Plotnikov. Plotnikov fought in Dagestan for an Islamist terrorist network and was killed by Russian forces just days before Tamerlan returned to the US. CNN has more on Plotnikov:

The New York Times reported yesterday on the interest in Plotnikov, but also that Russian investigators now seem pretty sure that Tamerlan’s six-month sojourn wasn’t just intended to catch up with family:

On Saturday, the Russian investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported that Mr. Tsarnaev had sought to join the Muslim insurgency in Dagestan and had been in contact with several rebels who were killed by Russian authorities in late spring of 2012 while he was staying in Makhachkala, the regional capital. Mr. Tsarnaev left Dagestan in July 2012, just two days after a shootout between militants and the police in which several militants were killed, including William Plotnikov, 23, a Russian-born Canadian. Investigators are trying to determine whether Mr. Tsarnaev and Mr. Plotnikov met, one official said on Sunday. …

Experts on the effort by Russian authorities to contain the Muslim insurgency in Dagestan and elsewhere in the North Caucasus region said that if officials were aware of Mr. Tsarnaev’s arrival in Dagestan in January 2012, he probably would have been under scrutiny throughout his time there.

Under this theory, Plotnikov — or his network — might have been recruiting Tamerlan to fight in Dagestan when the network got taken down by the Russians, which led Tamerlan to return to the US. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, however. Presumably, these particular terrorists in Dagestan thought of the Russians as their biggest enemy, and if they had convinced Tamerlan to fight, it would have been against the same Russians.

But would Tamerlan have agreed to stay there to fight in the first place? He had a wife and child in the US, whom he left behind for six months to travel to Dagestan for some reason; if he wanted to stay, why not bring them with him? It seems a little more likely that if Tamerlan was making contact with these terror networks, it was to be able to return to the US to carry out their attacks.  The reason he would have fled after the raid that killed Plotnikov is (a) to avoid getting arrested if Russians connected him to the group, and (b) to conduct his attack against the US. The timing could still be coincidental, but the “coincidences” are beginning to stack up.


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Did they meet at the welfare office?

Bishop on April 30, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Did they meet at the welfare office?

Bishop on April 30, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Na, that that “lone wolf Jihadists” convention that has no connection to anything.

Well, I mean its connected to the TEA party and Republicans. But that’s about it.

Gatsu on April 30, 2013 at 8:47 AM

The reason he would have fled after the raid that killed Plotnikov is (a) to avoid getting arrested if Russians connected him to the group, and (b) to conduct his attack against the US. The timing could still be coincidental, but the “coincidences” are beginning to stack up.

I recall reading somewhere that as a non-citizen but permanent legal US resident he could only stay out of the US for six months without endangering his US residency status.

Don’t know if that is true. But if it is he had to return about that time. He left the US in January 2012. His six months were up some time in July.

That’s not to say he didn’t move up his exact departure date due to extenuating circumstances.

farsighted on April 30, 2013 at 8:49 AM

The Lone Wolves have a pretty big pack.

Electrongod on April 30, 2013 at 8:50 AM

So it WAS boxing!

thebrokenrattle on April 30, 2013 at 8:53 AM

No wonder why Obama and Holder had White Hat Mirandized before the FBI could expand the Lone Wolves Terror Cell.

Steve Eggleston on April 30, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Steve Eggleston on April 30, 2013 at 8:54 AM

I still have this itching feeling that the Saudi kid had something to do with this.

Either that, or it’s from trying to have a discussion with Armin the arse the other day.

kingsjester on April 30, 2013 at 8:57 AM

So why not bomb the Moscow Marathon?

Oh I just remembered. The Russians shoot these vermin on sight and they don’t hand out free money to anyone.

Come to Amerika comrades, it’s like a candy store for terrorists.

fogw on April 30, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Surely concussions are to blame here /

iceman1960 on April 30, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Did they meet at the welfare office?

Bishop on April 30, 2013 at 8:44 AM

:)

petefrt on April 30, 2013 at 8:59 AM

I recall reading somewhere that as a non-citizen but permanent legal US resident he could only stay out of the US for six months without endangering his US residency status.

Yeah, like INS would give a flying fark about that nowadays. Door’s open, come on in everybody!

Bat Chain Puller on April 30, 2013 at 9:02 AM

“Why are we giving these bombers air time? Why are we giving them fame? Why are we still talking about this “crime”? It doesn’t help Obama.”
-concerned lib

unseen on April 30, 2013 at 9:03 AM

I still have this itching feeling that the Saudi kid had something to do with this.

.

kingsjester on April 30, 2013 at 8:57 AM

I’m still wondering why Obama having the ability to make this country energy independent and cut off the flow of oil money to the islamists in Saudi Arabia is dragging his feet.

unseen on April 30, 2013 at 9:05 AM

So boxing is a gateway sport for becoming an Islamic terrorist?

Look, many of these details are less important at this point than the fact that the Russians clearly had Tsarnaev on their radar. They told the FBI, CIA, and apparently the DHS and yet the administration wasn’t interested. This is a failure of leadership and heads should roll.

Happy Nomad on April 30, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Did they meet at the welfare office?

Bishop on April 30, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Eyewitness news is reporting to us Live from the
home of a Canadian Citizen….reportedly a man
by the name of Dave Rywall…

ToddPA on April 30, 2013 at 9:09 AM

the connection is easy to see. ISLAM. They most likely met during prayers.

unseen on April 30, 2013 at 9:10 AM

They told the FBI, CIA, and apparently the DHS and yet the administration wasn’t interested. This is a failure of leadership and heads should roll.

Happy Nomad on April 30, 2013 at 9:07 AM

the heads should have rolled on sept 12, 2001 instead bush gave some of them medals…sickening. Many of the same people that were at the helm on 9/11 are still there.

Mueller from the FBI should have been fired on 9/12/01 yet he is still there. The CIA should have been gutted and replaced yet its still there. In fact DHS was invented to stop these things…it failed…it should be disbanded.

unseen on April 30, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Did they meet at the welfare office?

Brevity is the soul of wit. You rock, Bishop.

BigAlSouth on April 30, 2013 at 9:21 AM

“Speed Bump” wasn’t a citizen and i know that residents waiting to apply for citizenship cannot even leave the country- not even to go to pass through canada for a few minutes on a road trip. not sure about resident aliens though because most of the people i have known here as ‘undocumented law breakers’ weren’t playing by the rules- but even they wouldn’t leave the country for fear they couldn’t get back in.

mittens on April 30, 2013 at 9:22 AM

If Tamerlane was returning to fight why would he bring his family into a war zone, particularly when his enemy, the Russians, are not known for playing by the rules we use in A’stan. As for going himself, if he believed in his cause, why not? Leaving family behind is the soldier’s lot.

xkaydet65 on April 30, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Is that a real gun he’s holding, or a piece of wood? It doesn’t look real. Anyway, if their real beef is with Russia, why didn’t they go after Russian targets in this country, instead of the Marathon?

Ward Cleaver on April 30, 2013 at 9:36 AM

They told the FBI, CIA, and apparently the DHS and yet the administration wasn’t interested. This is a failure of leadership and heads should roll.

Happy Nomad on April 30, 2013 at 9:07 AM

What low to mid level analyst in the FBI or at DHS would dare to push for anything more based on what the Russians told us. They would risk incurring the wrath of CAIR. They would risk being labelled a bigoted profiler and having a big black mark placed on their record.

The system is rigged for failure.

At the same time one or more of the same low level folks are the ones who will be scapegoated. There was an earlier report that a customs official forgot to put something in writing, with a CYA memo, after mentioning Tamerlan to the FBI. Or something like that.

farsighted on April 30, 2013 at 9:36 AM

I am more then slightly distressed with the effort by or press to somehow humanize these terrorists as a means of avoiding discussion of their true motivation- islamist extremism.

I think it goes without saying that a man who places a bomb clearly meant to kill and maim innocent men, women and children is a monster. I say that without any qualifiers or excuses for his behavior. These people knew what they were doing. They read about it, studied techniques, conversed with like minded people and made decisions based on knowledge. We call that making an informed decision, no matter how foolish, disgusting and despicable it is.

I am more than tired of the effort led by liberals to ensure that no person is responsible for their actions or decisions. It’s always the fault of someone else. Bull.

We’ve been treated to a variety of specious, disgusting speculation about how one terrorist was a boxer and ergo, may have had some brain injury that led him down this path. Really? Are all boxer’s now potential terrorists? Where’s the proof that such conjecture has any basis in reality?

Ditto, terrorist #2. We just didn’t welcome them enough or treat them right. Even thought they were given over $100,000 in US taxpayer assistance and went to some of the best schools in the region. Double bull. Especially as the terrorist who survived lines up the top (low-life) lawyers in the country to defend him. Will the people of Boston get the same level of support?

These two were terrorists and most likely shared the same philosophy as their mother. But it’s our fault? Not even close.

The people of Boston deserve better than this tripe.

Marcus Traianus on April 30, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Really? Are all boxer’s now potential terrorists? Where’s the proof that such conjecture has any basis in reality?

(snip)

The people of Boston deserve better than this tripe.

Marcus Traianus on April 30, 2013 at 9:36 AM

So now the FBI will be hunting down a cult of Canadian jihadi boxers? This is sounding more and more like the setup to an MST3K episode. Where is Zap Rowsdower when we need him?

“Mr. President, what do these terrorists all have in common?”

“They’re all from Saskatchewan. And they’re all members of Islamic Jihad, Saskatoon Chapter, which is kind of like the Canadian equivalent of the NRA. But, let me be clear, Islam has absolutely nothing to do with the motives of these terrorists.”

JimLennon on April 30, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Plotnikov fought in Dagestan for an Islamist terrorist network

At first I read this as the terrorist network sponsored him in the boxing ring. :)

Tsarnaev linked to Canadian boxer-jihadi?

He’s just as guilty as whoever inspired him. He’s no pawn.

Paul-Cincy on April 30, 2013 at 10:14 AM

But would Tamerlan have agreed to stay there to fight in the first place? He had a wife and child in the US, whom he left behind for six months to travel to Dagestan for some reason; if he wanted to stay, why not bring them with him?

Ed – stop with the “he’s rational like you and me” crap.

williampeck1958 on April 30, 2013 at 10:50 AM

The timing could still be coincidental, but the “coincidences” are beginning to stack up.

“These are not the droids you are looking for. Nothing to see here. Move along.”

Bruno Strozek on April 30, 2013 at 10:55 AM

if the feds care enough, they’ll be able to link them.

Remember, as my buddy (who has knowledge of these things) pointed out. There is no way the older bomber could have went to Russia, walked into the terrorist camp and said, “Hi, I’m Biff from Boston and I want to be a terrorist!” They would make him disappear. He HAD to have an intro. Just like here with drug gangs, mafia, biker gangs, etc.

Jeezz, even the boyscouts had a handshake.

archer52 on April 30, 2013 at 11:43 AM

I bet Tamerlan saw up close and personal that the Russians do not employ the same rules of engagement when dealing with Chechen freedom fighters and decided that a coward terrorist might be better off than a brave freedom fighter. Guess he was wrong. Either that or he didnt like his Chechen welfare benefits as much as US

jaywemm on April 30, 2013 at 11:54 AM

The entire welfare system is a joke and the libs know it, but they need to feed their chattel for the votes on election day.

Bishop on April 30, 2013 at 11:35 AM

They know it? they designed it like this in purpose, much like the idiots in the European countries with high immigrant population. At least in Europe most immigrants got there legally (the white guilt) or came as gasterbeiters and stayed. All of the Lomdon bombers were on welfare, some on and off, some in perpetuity. Here the best example is the USDA advertising food stamps to Mexico embassies and distributing Spanish fliers with instructions for illegals on how to get food stamps. USDA: ‘we don ‘t check immigration status for food stamps’.

jimver on April 30, 2013 at 12:53 PM

jimver on April 30, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Another amazing coincidence:
They are both

Dead.

BigAlSouth on April 30, 2013 at 1:47 PM

No wonder why Obama and Holder had White Hat Mirandized before the FBI could expand the Lone Wolves Terror Cell.

Steve Eggleston on April 30, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Yep! Boy, that sure would have upset Janet “One-off” Napolitano if the FBI interrogators questioning Dzhokhar in his hospital room had somehow gotten him to blurt about any potential ties he or his brother may have had to any possible broader plot, or even to links with some foreign jihadi training and/or “commiseration” activities his brother may well have had while in a hotbed of terror like Dagestan, let alone any connection either one or the other of these brothers might have had here in the United States (or elsewhere in North America), or given them any leads or evidence of further participation by any others on any level, in the Boston Marathon terror attack!

Sheesh . . . it was bad enough that the Canadian law enforcement just (April 22d) successfully broke up a terror plot to destroy a train heading from the U.S. into Canada, a plot that was allegedly masterminded by an Islamist named Chiheb Esseghaier, who himself had links to al Qaeda in Iran, and who had personally traveled there to connect up during the past two years!

Trochilus on April 30, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Presumably, these particular terrorists in Dagestan thought of the Russians as their biggest enemy, and if they had convinced Tamerlan to fight, it would have been against the same Russians.

But would Tamerlan have agreed to stay there to fight in the first place? He had a wife and child in the US, whom he left behind for six months to travel to Dagestan for some reason; if he wanted to stay, why not bring them with him?

It makes perfect sense. Tamurlan didn’t get along well with his missus – there were reports of lots of screaming and nagging on her part. So it makes sense he would go to Dagestan to join the “resistance” there.

However, once he saw the “resistance” get ground up by Russian security services, it was perfectly rational to get the hell out of Dodge(estan) and return to the friendly confines of Cambridge — where he could put his training to use in a less immediately dangerous setting.

(If he’d cared about his wife and kid, he would not have become a terrorist in Dagestan OR Boston, now would he?)

stuiec on April 30, 2013 at 3:17 PM

What this story is missing is that this William Plotnikov jihadi was a convert.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Plotnikov

He was born in Siberia where there is not even a trace of Islam, to a Christian family, and converted to Islam years after moving to Toronto.

AlexB on April 30, 2013 at 3:34 PM

I am more then slightly distressed with the effort by or press to somehow humanize these terrorists as a means of avoiding discussion of their true motivation- islamist extremism.

. . .

We’ve been treated to a variety of specious, disgusting speculation about how one terrorist was a boxer and ergo, may have had some brain injury that led him down this path. Really? Are all boxer’s now potential terrorists? Where’s the proof that such conjecture has any basis in reality?

. . .

The people of Boston deserve better than this tripe.

Marcus Traianus on April 30, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Very interesting.

Now, I took the NY Times story on the boxer-bomber to be a not-so-subtle effort aimed at somehow blaming the Olympic participation rule change for precipitating his radicalization . . . i.e., the rule change that took away Tamerlan’s eligibility to continue his participation in the run up to a future U.S. Olympic effort.

To me, the NY Times version of the story was strongly implying that the rule change had somehow precipitated his ultimate decision to ruin his own life, and that of his “impressionable” younger brother, and, further, to wantonly destroy the lives of dozens of other entirely innocent people and their families and loved ones, by placing bombs which instantly killed several bystanders at an unrelated athletic competition, bombs which further permanently maimed many others, and which altogether injuring nearly two hundred others — none of whom had any connection whatsoever to that rule change.

Of course, the point is the same. Somehow, there must be an obscure explanation for these horrific events, one which transcends the patently obvious one!

They were “brainwashed” by some mystery character . . . the Olympic rule-makers done ‘em wrong . . . Tameran had encountered one too many punches in the ring . . . we brought it on ourselves by our foreign policy . . . delays in the investigation were the NRA’s fault . . . anything but the obvious explanation!

And then, of course, there was the penultimate example of willful media denial by the joy-legged one himself!

“What difference does it make why they did it if they did it!”

Trochilus on April 30, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Here is the link to that NY Times story blaming the rule change and, therefore, his future disqualification, for his (and his brother’s) turning instead to violent jihad . . .

A Battered Dream, Then a Violent Path

BOSTON — It was a blow the immigrant boxer could not withstand: after capturing his second consecutive title as the Golden Gloves heavyweight champion of New England in 2010, Tamerlan Anzorovich Tsarnaev, 23, was barred from the national Tournament of Champions because he was not a United States citizen.

The cocksure fighter, a flamboyant dresser partial to white fur and snakeskin, had been looking forward to redeeming the loss he suffered the previous year in the first round, when the judges awarded his opponent the decision, drawing boos from spectators who considered Mr. Tsarnaev dominant.

From one year to the next, though, the tournament rules had changed, disqualifying legal permanent residents — not only Mr. Tsarnaev, who was Soviet-born of Chechen and Dagestani heritage, but several other New England contenders, too. His aspirations frustrated, he dropped out of boxing competition entirely, and his life veered in a completely different direction.
. . . .

So, he decided instead to plant bombs in order to kill and maim people at the Boston Marathon . . .

Got that?

Trochilus on April 30, 2013 at 4:30 PM

And here is the CBS News version, with his trainer, John Allen, saying that the disqualification is what set him off.

. . .
Entertainment Tonight’s Rob Marciano uncovered exclusively a boxing documentary that shows the alleged Boston bomber in 2010.

On Monday, for the first time, the public got to hear his voice.

On the video, Tsarnaev looks into the camera, cocky, smiling and ready to fight.

“He’s a machine. A clean, clear, technique, knows what he needs to do and just does it,” trainer John Allen said.

Allen was Tamerlan’s trainer. They worked out at Wai Kru in Allston, Mass. He said Tsarnaev was the best in New England, with dreams of going to the Olympics.

But in 2010 Tamerlan was disqualified from competition for not being a U.S. citizen. Also weighing heavily was a pending domestic violence charge, Marciano reported.

When asked out the charge, Allen told Marciano, “He kept it from me. He gave me the impression that the reason he unable to go to the Olympics was because he couldn’t become a citizen, because of mishandling of paperwork. He felt that it was done on purpose so that the guy he beat could go to the Olympic trials.”

Marciano: “Do you think that this road block in his boxing career set him on the wrong path, set him on the path to these bombings?

Allen: “Absolutely.”
. . . .

Trochilus on April 30, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Disappointed boxer? This is like saying that Hitler was a frustrated painter.

Maybe Tsarnaev wasn’t that complicated? He was a young lout with no education and no goals. How hard is it to believe his radical mission gave him some structure to his idleness. Not much of a consolation for the rest of us, because our security aparatus seems to have no learning and no goals either.

virgo on May 1, 2013 at 1:42 AM