December 16, 2013

Bomb Brothers: The Full(er) Story

The Boston Globe has published an in-depth story of the Tsarnaev family, including asking a key policy question: Why were they here?
The Globe’s five-month investigation, with reporting in Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Canada, and the United States, also: 
■ Fundamentally recasts the conventional public understanding of the brothers, showing them to be much more nearly coequals in failure, in growing desperation, and in conspiracy. 
■ Establishes that the brothers were heirs to a pattern of violence and dysfunction running back several generations. Their father, Anzor, scarred by brutal assaults in Russia and later in Boston, often awoke screaming and tearful at night. Both parents sought psychiatric care shortly after arriving in the United States but apparently sought no help for Tamerlan even as his mental condition [hearing voices in his head] grew more obvious and worrisome. 
■ Casts doubt on the claim by Russian security officials that Tamerlan made contact with or was recruited by Islamist radicals during his visit to his family homeland. 
■ Raises questions about the Tsarnaevs’ claim that they came to this country as victims of persecution seeking asylum. More likely, they were on the run from elements of the Russian underworld whom Anzor had fallen afoul of. Or they were simply fleeing economic hardship. 
In any case, the family from which two alleged bombers emerged very likely should not have been here at all. .... 
[Anzor, the dad] would later say in interviews that he also earned a law degree, but the university in Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, where his three sisters and one of his brothers earned law degrees, has no record that Anzor received a diploma. Friends say he was more likely just taking classes. 
Anzor and family members have also said that he worked for a district prosecutor’s office in Bishkek, but the Kyrgyz Interior Ministry has no record that Anzor ever did. More likely, according to Uzbek Aliev, a leader of Tokmok’s Chechen diaspora, he had some kind of unpaid internship. 
But the internship provided Anzor with something perhaps more valuable to him than a law degree — an ID card from the prosecutor’s office. This, according to friends, helped him ward off corrupt officials and extortion gangs seeking to get in on his main livelihood: “Shuttle trading,” moving consumer goods to meet free market demand in the ruins of the Communist economy. 
One product Anzor traded in was tobacco, according to Badrudi Tsokaev, a longtime family friend. Anzor and an uncle would transport tobacco from a factory in southern Kyrgyzstan and to buyers elsewhere in the former Soviet Union. It was a good business, but a dangerous one. Gangsters were also drawn to the tobacco trade. 
It is possible that threats from such criminals prompted Anzor’s hasty departure, with his family, from Kyrgyzstan. His wife would later suggest as much, but that wasn’t the story Anzor told. 
In interviews with Russian journalists after the Boston bombing, Anzor said that the family had been the victims of oppression of ethnic Chechens. Anzor, according to family and friends in the United States, suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and often woke up screaming or weeping in the middle of the night. 
But some associates believe that Anzor exaggerated his narrative of persecution. Among them is Aliev, the deputy head of the Chechen diaspora. While Chechens faced hardships in Kyrgyzstan, he said, “there was no special treatment, bad treatment, for Chechens” in Tokmok when Anzor lived there. 
Some experts have also raised doubts about Anzor’s claim. Kathleen Collins, a University of Minnesota associate professor of political science who worked in Kyrgyzstan in the mid-1990s, said that Chechen community leaders complained about harassment in Kyrgyzstan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States — and after the Tsarnaevs left Kyrgyzstan for Zubeidat’s homeland of Dagestan in southern Russia.

Taking a look at the life of Tamerlan and Dzhokar’s grandfather sheds light on their violent roots. 
Mark Kramer, program director of Harvard University’s Project on Cold War Studies, who has testified in a number of asylum cases from the region, says he sees, “no basis for their being granted asylum at all.” 
So, too, do associates of the family in Kyrgyzstan scoff at the notion of such persecution. As the family friend Tsokaev, put it, “He made that up … so that the Americans would give him a visa.” 
Zubeidat told a different story of the origins of her husband’s nervous disorder and nightmares to a health care aide in the United States who worked with Zubeidat for over a year caring for a disabled couple in West Newton. The aide said Zubeidat told her that Anzor had “tried to prosecute” some members of the Russian mob involved in an illegal trading venture. “When the case was over, the mob came and took Anzor for one week and tortured him so severely that he almost died. When they were done they dumped him out of their truck in the middle of nowhere,” said the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity. 
“Zubeidat went to the hospital and when she saw how horribly beaten he was she said that she realized they had to get out of the country,” the associate said. 
The mob, according to this account, took one macabre, parting shot. Before Anzor could leave the hospital, someone took the family’s German shepherd, cut off its head, and deposited it on the Tsarnaevs’ doorstep. 
“Zubeidat said that is why they left,” added the aide. 
Back in Kyrgyzstan, there is still another account of why the Tsarnaevs wanted to go to America, and it, too, has nothing to do with persecution. 
“We watched all these films, saw how beautiful Hollywood was,” said Nurmenov. “It seemed that life was good there. [Anzor] told me, ‘Let’s go to America. Why should we sit here and rust?’ One day I found out that he was going away. He said, ‘You can get a visa to America. It’s easy.’ And then later he left.”

We need a National Immigration Safety Board that inspects policies and implementation after disasters like this, much like the National Transportation Safety Board uses plane crashes to order improvements in procedures.

By the way, there's little mention of the role of Uncle Ruslan, who used to be married to CIA insider Graham Fuller's daughter. I've always thought it likely that that somehow played a role in the Tsarnaevs' getting refugee status, but it never comes up in this article.

Also, the reporters didn't come up with anything new on the ritual murder on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 of three of Tamerlan's dope-dealer buddies, or the FBI shooting of a Chechen "refugee" while being questioned about the triple murder.


Anonymous said...

Bring more Chechens to Liberal cities please.

Drawbacks said...

OT, other than the connection to "brothers," Mark Ndesandjo is now promoting his self-published novel, and you can join his 20,000 followers on Weibo:

Drawbacks said...

You may well want to suppress that link to Obama's brother, Steve. I only put it on because I stumbled on a video interview with him on the Time website.
Also, he has 200,000 Weibo followers, not 20,000. Easy to go an order of magnitude awry when you're talking China.

Anonymous said...

You sound like an anti-Chechite.

countenance said...

Yes, we need a NISB. But it would be staffed with open borders hacks.

As for this random act of journalism in the Boston Globe, yes, I'm happy. But who did they endorse for their special Senate election earlier this year? Open borders all way Ed Markey, both in the general against his equally open borders anchor baby Hispanic Republican "opponent," and in the Democrat Primary versus a Democrat that at least made some noises in the direction of immigration patriotism.

"Boston Strong." Yeah, spare me.

Chicago said...

They should have been born in Mexico. That way they could have just paid a coyote to take them through and then they could have made their way to a 'sanctuary' city. Why bother with all that paperwork and bothersome questions when it can just be dispensed with? Illegals here can now get driver's licenses.The mayor of this 'sanctuary' city recently publicly fasted for 24 hours in support of the illegal alien lobby. The president of the US of A invited some illegals to come visit him at the White House and staged an event where some illegal youth questioned him in public regarding his stance on immigration so that he could look like some tender-hearted hero. The German home schoolers got deported, though, in order to demonstrate how tough we really are.

bjdubbs said...

The WASP wife Russell, the WASP sponsor Fuller, the three bedroom Cambridge apartment, Cambridge Latin school, working at Blodgett pool . . . it seems almost as if the family has some WASP godfather looking out for them.

Anonymous said...

"Or they were simply fleeing economic hardship".

That exact same statement applies to 99% of so-called "refugees" to all western countries.

Even those who DO flee war zones pass through many safe and peaceful - BUT POOR - countries on their way to the RICH west.

The "refugee" scam is the biggest racket out there and has let hordes of unsavoury and undesirable people from the third world become a burden upon the west. Just look at the Tamils in Canada or Iranians and mid-easterners in Australia.

Anonymous said...

"The German home schoolers got deported, though, in order to demonstrate how tough we really are."

The German home schoolers got deported because they are white.

Education Realist said...

Jesus, what a train wreck of a family. For some reason, Tamerlan's story makes me sad. The other kid not so much.

Parcheetos said...

"We need a National Immigration Safety Board that inspects policies and implementation after disasters like this, much like the National Transportation Safety Board uses plane crashes to order improvements in procedures."

Only if it is made independent of the Washington Political Machine. And its Principle Aims should be to serve Americans and to objectively improve the lot of Americans. In fact, we could require periodically assessing their performance based on some objective measures like whether the economy improves.

Ferrett said...

"For some reason, Tamerlan's story makes me sad. The other kid not so much."

Then you're clearly not a girl

James Kabala said...

"Cambridge Latin school"

Understandable confusion, but it should be corrected every time it comes up - Cambridge Rindge and Latin is a standard public high school. In fact, if Wikipedia can be believed, it came close to losing its accreditation a decade ago.

Anonymous said...

My phone isn't amenable to comments so I haven't done many lately but no one had given your credit for the title yet so I'll painstakingly tap my way into noting that they provide a fuller story but not The Fuller story.

Well done.

Moshe Rudner

Dartangnan19 said...

The last weekend WSJ has a story by an American who knows the family.

Anonymous said...

Again, Cambridge Rindge & Latin was created by the merger of Cambridge Latin (solid middle-class school) and Rindge Tech (ghetto dumping ground). It was busing without busing, and the white parents with means tuned elsewhere, leaving the cesspool where the sub-literate Patrick Ewing matriculated.

The "Latin" does add a certain touch, though, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Steve, im jewish and a big fan. You seem to buy the official story of 911. But how did buildings 7 come down when it wasnthit? From debris? Bullshit me thinks. Its super fishy. Crazy they would be that audacious but i cant understand it . Though if it wasnt natural it was a very quiet metjod that brought t down. I understand the risks of acknowledging building 7 but still....

David said...

It's always useful to remember that immigrants aren't always saints or heroes. Some are villains; more are simply screw-ups. But this fact is a bland truism that makes no heart beat faster. It isn't as exciting as the Narrative. People want villains or heroes instead. People want to feel a rush of adernalin.

The real story about acting to increase immigration, as we know perfectly well, is that, absent quality control, it's mostly a slow slide into self-destruction, like increasing one's food intake without regard for nutritional value. In this analogy it's true that, if you are very undiscriminating, you might occassionally find yourself gagging on a razor blade (like the Boston brothers or the 9-11 hijackers); mostly, though, you'll just get increasingly fatter and less healthy.

Anonymous said...