|Dad and Mom Bomb *|
By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and ERIC SCHMITT APRIL 9, 2014
WASHINGTON — The Russian government declined to provide the F.B.I. with information about one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects that would most likely have led to more extensive scrutiny of him at least two years before the attack, according to an inspector general’s report.
Russian officials had told the F.B.I. in 2011 that the suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, “was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer” and that Mr. Tsarnaev “had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups.”
But after an initial investigation by the F.B.I., the Russians declined several requests for additional information about Mr. Tsarnaev, according to the report, a review of how intelligence and law enforcement agencies could have thwarted the bombing.
At the time, American law enforcement officials believed that Mr. Tsarnaev posed a far greater threat to Russia.
The new inspector general’s report found that it was only after the bombing occurred last April that the Russians shared with the F.B.I. the additional intelligence, including information from a telephone conversation the Russian authorities had intercepted between Mr. Tsarnaev and his mother in which they discussed Islamic jihad.
Okay. Still, you know, the Russkies did have reasons not to totally trust U.S. intelligence services when it came to the Tsarnaev family.
Uncle Ruslan used to run a Chechen rebel front organization funneling donations from Al-Qaeda to the fight against Russia out of the house of his (now) ex-father-in-law, retired CIA insider Graham E. Fuller. As I blogged on May 2, 2013:
One of the big questions left hanging about the Bomb Brothers is how did their useless family get asylum in the U.S. despite going back and forth to the country they supposedly had to flee? Is it just that our overall immigration system is too lax on immigrants?
That's not a good question for the "immigration reform" marketing push, so you might think an alternative answer would be getting some media love: the Tsarnaevs had rare family connections inside the American deep state that got their asylum application some special string-pulling.
But that would be a Conspiracy Theory, so we can't dream of that.
Thus, the only reporter who seems to be following up on the deep state link is Daniel Hopsicker of Mad Cow Morning News. In "‘Uncle Ruslan’ aided terrorists from CIA official’s home," he seems to demonstrate that the Congress of Chechen International Organizations was registered in 1995 by Ruslan Tsarni (the Bomb Brother's father's brother who goes on TV to call them losers) out of the house of his father-in-law Graham Fuller, the former vice chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council then working for the RAND Corp.
And Hopsicker has a copy of a letter suggesting that Uncle Ruslan's NGO played middleman to deliver 2,500 pairs of combat boots to Chechen rebels from the Al-Qaeda front Benevolence International. They went to Sheik Fathi, a Jordanian of Chechen descent, who had spent 10 years fighting in Afghanistan.
Since the postman would presumably deliver mail for Uncle Ruslan's operation to Mr. Fuller's mailbox, it's hard to imagine that Fuller, a Central Asian expert, was oblivious to the organization's general existence, although it's hard to say how much more deeply he was involved.
Nor can we say for sure what side Uncle Ruslan was actually on. What Kipling called the Great Game can be played in many ways.
Let me make a general point about Conspiracy Theories, which is that almost nobody takes a reductionist approach to them. The typical Conspiracy Theorist is driven by the urge to put forward as complex, crazy, and omnipotent a conspiracy theory as possible. In contrast, the conventional wisdom is that conspiracies don't exist.
My impression, in contrast to both perspectives, is that conspiracies happen all the time, but most of them are pretty ineffectual. When all is said and done, more is said than done.
For example, let's assume for the minute that Fuller was involved in supplying combat boots to Chechen rebels in 1996 as part of a CIA conspiracy that went All the Way to the Top, even though the Clinton Administration was also strongly on the side of Yeltsin's Russian government. Why would the U.S. government do something to hurt its ally?
Well, one reason is in case the Chechens win, then the CIA would have a connection to the winners. "Hey, we gave you those boots, remember?"
Or, it gives the U.S. something to trade to the Russians in return for something more valuable. It's quite common for Powers to give a little aid to rebels in a rival country to strengthen their bargaining position.
NISB: National Immigration Safety Board. We need one.
By the way, here's something new on Graham E. Fuller's Wikipedia page:
Hi, I'm probably not doing this right, but I'm Graham E. Fuller, the subject of this Wiki article. Below is the complete list of my pubs, to replace the partial list that you have listed below. I'd like to make a few other corrections at some point as well. Questions were raised on the following: My birth date is 1937, and I was CIA Station Chief in Kabul from 1975-1978. I was never truly an employee of the State Dept, that was official cover. I was a CIA operations officer from 1964 to 1981. I then served as Vice Chairman of the National Intelligence Council at CIA, responsible for all long-range National Estimates until I retired from the CIA in 1987. I was a senior political scientist at RAND from 1988 until 2002.
Fuller is credited with coming up with the original idea behind the Iran-Contra whoop-tee-doo. From the New York Times in 1987:
Mr. Fuller, now 49 years old, is retiring from the agency at the end of the year. He prepared a ''think piece'' for William J. Casey, the Director of Central Intelligence, in May 1985 stating that the Soviet Union was in a better position to exert influence in Iran and that the regime of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was ''faltering.''
In his memorandum, Mr. Fuller suggested that Western nations be allowed to sell arms to Iran with a view to gaining influence.
Those conclusions were also stated in a Government-wide intelligence assessment cited by the Tower Commission and overseen by Mr. Fuller, which was prepared in May 1985 at the request of the National Security Council.
Also, Mr. Fuller was one of the most outspoken figures in the campaign to give refugee status to Imam Gulen of the Poconos. Lattice of coincidence ...