Boston Terror Act: Use of Double Agents is Risky Business
Dmitry MININ | 10.05.2013 | WORLD / Americas

Boston Terror Act: Use of Double Agents is Risky Business

New details are coming to light as the Boston Act investigation proceeds, but the overall picture has not become clearer. The issue has hit the interstate Russia-US anti-terror cooperation agenda. How honest are the US special services working together with Russian colleagues? Which criteria they use to distinguish «freedom fighters» from terrorists?

The US tries to conceal the mistakes and slip ups as well as the fact that Russia had warned it about the Tsarnaev brothers two years ago before the act. They want to shift responsibility onto others.

Standing right in front of Russian Federal Security Service’s headquarters building in Moscow, CNN correspondent Phil Blake reported, «the sincerity of that spirit of cooperation is now under intense scrutiny in the aftermath of the Boston attack. Officials in this building were concerned about the suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev back in early 2011. And key questions remain what did the Russians know? How did they get that information? And how much did they share?» He answered his own question, (voice-over) «U.S. officials say the FBI received some vague information and a request to investigate Tamerlan Tsarnaev. They say they did, found nothing of concern, asked the Russians for more information, and never heard anything back». Then the reporter describes the events in a way leaving no doubt the Russians were persistent enough, but their efforts hit a snag in the form of the FBI’s passive reaction. Russia also shared the information with the Central Intelligence Service. No matter, Phil Black comes to conclusion that «Whatever the FSB knew, experts we talked to agree the Russians were not trying to help the United State when they sent warnings about Tamerlan Tsarnaev. They say it's far more likely they were trying to use the FBI to get information, because they feared Tsarnaev was becoming a threat to Russia's security. The Cold War is history, but self-interest and mutual suspicion endures». (1) This is a rather controversial affirmation. He openly tries to act as a pot calling the kettle black, arrogating the US motives and behavior to the Russian side. What causes such peculiarities?

DEBKA, the Israeli website, close to security services and the USA, offered its own investigation results in the article called The Tsarnaev Brothers were Double Agents who Decoyed US into Terror Trap. It goes as following: «The conclusion reached by debkafile’s counterterrorism and intelligence sources is that the brothers were double agents, hired by US and Saudi intelligence to penetrate the Wahhabi jihadist networks which, helped by Saudi financial institutions, had spread across the restive Russian Caucasian. Instead, the two former Chechens betrayed their mission and went secretly over to the radical Islamist networks. By this tortuous path, the brothers earned the dubious distinction of being the first terrorist operatives to import al Qaeda terror to the United States through a winding route outside the Middle East – the Caucasus». (2) This route was opened by US special services.

The Tsarnaevs' recruitment by US intelligence as penetration agents against terrorist networks in southern Russia explains some otherwise baffling features of the event:

1. An elite American college in Cambridge admitted younger brother Dzhokhar and granted him a $2,500 scholarship, without subjecting him to the exceptionally stiff standard conditions of admission. This may be explained by his older brother Tamerlan demanding this privilege for his kid brother in part payment for recruitment. 2. When in 2011, a «foreign government» (Russian intelligence) asked the FBI to screen Tamerlan for suspected ties to Caucasian Wahhabist cells during a period in which they had begun pledging allegiance to al Qaeda, the agency, it was officially revealed, found nothing incriminating against him and let him go after a short interview. He was not placed under surveillance. Neither was there any attempt to hide the fact that he paid a long visit to Russia last year and on his return began promoting radical Islam on social media. Yet even after the Boston marathon bombings, when law enforcement agencies, heavily reinforced by federal and state personnel, desperately hunted the perpetrators, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was never mentioned as a possible suspect. 3. Friday, four days after the twin explosions at the marathon finishing line, the FBI released footage of Suspect No. 1 in a black hat and Suspect No. 2 in a white hat walking briskly away from the crime scene, and appealed to the public to help the authorities identify the pair.

DEBKA reports that this was a charade. The authorities knew exactly who they were. Suddenly, during the police pursuit of their getaway car from the MIT campus on Friday, they were fully identified. The brother who was killed in the chase was named Tamerlan, aged 26, and the one, who escaped, only to be hunted down Saturday night hiding in a boat, was 19-year old Dzhokhar. The websites article stresses that «Our intelligence sources say that we may never know more than we do today about the Boston terrorist outrage which shook America – and most strikingly, Washington - this week. We may not have the full story of when and how the Chechen brothers were recruited by US intelligence as penetration agents – any more than we have got to the bottom of tales of other American double agents who turned coat and bit their recruiters».

Then the website points out that it’s just a short list of some of the Chechen brothers’ two-faced predecessors:

In the 1980s, an Egyptian called Ali Abdul Saoud Mohamed offered his services as a spy to the CIA residence in Cairo. He was hired, even though he was at the time the official interpreter of Ayman al-Zuwahiri, then Osama bin Laden’s senior lieutenant and currently his successor. He accounted for this by posing as a defector. But then, he turned out to be feeding al Qaeda US military secrets. Later, he was charged with Al Qaeda’s 1998 bombings of US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es-Salaam. On Dec. 30, 2009, the Jordanian physician Humam Khalil al-Balawi, having gained the trust of US intelligence in Afghanistan as an agent capable of penetrating al Qaeda’s top ranks, detonated a bomb at a prearranged rendezvous in Kost, killing the four top CIA agents in the country. Then, there was the French Muslim Mohamed Merah. He was recruited by French intelligence to penetrate Islamist terror cells in at least eight countries, including the Caucasus. At the end of last year, he revealed his true spots in deadly attacks on a Jewish school in Toulouse and a group of French military commandoes.The debate has begun over the interrogation of the captured Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnayev when he is fit for questioning after surgery for two bullet wounds and loss of blood. The first was inflicted during the police chase in which his brother Tamerlan was killed. An ordinary suspect would be read his rights and be permitted a lawyer. In his case, the «public safety exemption» option may be invoked, permitting him to be questioned without those rights, provided the interrogation is restricted to immediate public safety concerns. President Barack Obama is also entitled to rule him an «enemy combatant» and so refer him to a military tribunal and unrestricted grilling.

According to DEBKA’s counter terror sources, four questions should top the interrogators' agenda:

a) At what date did the Tsarnaev brothers turn coat and decide to work for Caucasian Wahhabi networks? b) Did they round up recruits for those networks in the United States - particularly, among the Caucasian and Saudi communities? c) What was the exact purpose of the Boston Marathon bombings and their aftermath at MIT in Watertown? d) Are any more terrorist attacks in the works in other American cities?»

According to the Israeli source, the world will never know what exactly happened in Boston, what role the Tsarnaev brothers played and what kind of relationship existed between them and the US special services.

So the Federal Investigation Service was cunning enough saying it knew nothing about the Tsarnaev brothers in response to the 2011 Russia’s FSB warning. The perfectly knew the brothers had connections in the Caucasus, it was the FBI who sent them there after all. No matter Washington declares we are in the same boat fighting terrorism, the United States leaves a room of action when it comes to classifications. It defines on its own who is a terrorist and who is a freedom fighter depending on circumstances. If the fighters pose no threat to the United States, then why not try to use them against Russia?

With all compassion for Boston terrorist act victims, the prime responsibility falls on those, who from the very start started a provocative intrigue around the Tsarnaev brothers.


Tags: CIA  Caucasus  Russia  US