The “Chechen Connection”, Al Qaeda and the Boston Marathon Bombings by Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research Editor’s Note
Global Research will be publishing a series of articles and reports with a view to promoting “Boston Truth”. The underlying objective is to confront and challenge the official version of events concerning the Boston bombings as well as the twisted and convoluted interpretations of the mainstream media.
We invite our readers to endorse “Boston Truth” and spread the word on social media, independent media and blog sites.
Nine thousand heavily armed police including SWAT teams were deployed in a manhunt to capture a 19 year old student at U-Mass, after his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the alleged Boston Marathon terror mastermind was shot dead by police allegedly after a car chase and shoot out with police.
Prior to the conduct of a police investigation, the 19 year old student has already been designated as “guilty”. The fundamental legal principle of “innocence until proven guilty” has been scrapped. In the words of President Obama (a graduate of Harvard Law School), the Boston 19 year old student is “guilty” of heinous crimes (without evidence and prior to being charged in a court of law):
“Whatever hateful agenda drove these men [suspects] to such heinous acts will not, cannot, prevail. Whatever they thought they could achieve, they’ve already failed…. Why did young men who grew up and studied here as part of our communities and our country resort to such violence?” (emphasis added)
Coupled with the alleged anthrax and ricin letters in Washington D.C. which mysteriously surfaced in the immediate wake of the Boston tragedy, both Washington and the media have underscored the Tsarnaev brothers tenuous ties to Chechnya’s militant jihadist insurgency.
According to the Wall Street Journal, quoting expert scholarly opinion:
”…the Chechen [family] background is maybe a part of what leads them [the two suspects] to do what they do,” said Lorenzo Vidino, an expert on Chechen militants at the Center for Security Studies in Zurich.” … A profile on the Russian social-networking site Vkontakte that appears to belong to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev includes a propaganda clip rallying jihadists to go to Syria to fight alongside rebels there, citing sayings from the Prophet Muhammad. [Amply documented, it just so happens that the jihadist foreign fighters in Syria are recruited by the US and its allies] (Wall Street Journal, op cit.)
What is implied is that even if the suspects are not tied to a Muslim extremist network, their embedded cultural heritage and Muslim “background” incites them –quite naturally– to commit acts of violence. How does this concept –which routinely associates Muslims with terrorism– repeated ad nauseam in the Western news chain, affect the human mindset?
While the identity and motives of the suspects are currently being examined by police investigators, the Tsarnaev brothers have already been categorized –without supporting evidence– as “Radical Muslims”.
Across the land, Muslims are being smeared and demonized. A new wave of Islamophobia has been set in motion.
The Creation of A New Legend: “The Chechen Connection”
A new legend is unfolding: “The Chechen Connection” is threatening America. Islamism homegrown in the Russian Federation is now being “exported to America”.
Plastered on news tabloids across the United States, the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings on Patriots’ Day are relentlessly compared to September 11, 2001.
According to the Council of Foreign Relations:
Law enforcement agencies at all levels have made advances in surveillance and policing since the September 11, 2001 attacks, but security risks persist. Many counterterrorism experts call for a renewed focus on the ability of the United States to weather and recover from such incidents… (emphasis added)
Is the Boston tragedy being used by Washington to usher in a new wave of police state measures directed against different categories of “domestic terrorists?
Is this catastrophic event being applied to foster public reaction against Muslims?
Is it being used to build acceptance of America’s holy crusade –initiated during the Bush administration– directed against a number of Muslim countries, which allegedly “harbor Islamic terrorists”?
According to the powerful Council of Foreign Relations (which exerts a pervasive influence on both the White House and the State Department), the Boston bombings once again “raise the specter of terrorism on U.S. soil, highlighting the vulnerabilities of a free and open society”. (Ibid)
Counter terrorism and Martial Law –implying the suspension of civil liberties– rather than civilian law enforcement are the proposed solutions. In the words of Secretary of State John Kerry, ‘‘I think it’s fair to say this entire week we’ve been in pretty direct confrontation with evil.’’
The unfolding mass media consensus (including that of Hollywood) is that America is once again under attack. This time, however, the alleged perpetrators are “Muslim terrorists” not from Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia but from the Russian Federation:
If a connection between the marathon bombing suspects and Chechen separatists was established, it would mark the first time militants from the former Soviet republic have launched a deadly attack outside Russia. Chechen insurgents deny any link to marathon bombing – U.S. News
“The Chechen Connection” has become embedded in a new media consensus. The American Homeland is potentially threatened by Muslim terrorists from the Russian Federation, who have links to Al Qaeda.
There is also a foreign policy agenda behind the bombings. The White House has hinted that if the “Chechen brothers” had links to radical Islam, the administration “could expand intelligence-gathering efforts overseas, as well as widen surveillance and screening measures in the United States.”
Moreover, the new terrorist narrative now involves jihadists from the Russian Federation rather than from the Middle East.
There are geopolitical implications. Will the Chechen Connection be used by the administration as a renewed pretext for pressuring Moscow? What kind of media propaganda is likely to emerge?
Al Qaeda and the CIA
The American public is misled. The media reports carefully overlook the historical origins of the Chechnya jihadist movement and its pervasive links to US intelligence.
The fact of the matter is that the jihadist movement is a creation of US intelligence, which has also led to the development of “political Islam”. While the role of the CIA in support of the Islamic jihad (including most Al Qaeda affiliated organizations) is amply documented, there is also evidence that the FBI has covertly equipped and incited would be terrorists within the US. (See James Corbett, The Boston Bombings in Context: How the FBI Fosters, Funds and Equips American Terrorists, Global Research April 17, 2013)
The CIA’s agenda starting in the late 1970s was to recruit and train jihadist “freedom fighters” (Mujahideen) to wage “a war of liberation” directed against the pro-Soviet secular government of Afghanistan.
The “Islamic Jihad” (or holy war against the Soviets) became an integral part of the CIA’s intelligence ploy. It was supported by the United States and Saudi Arabia, with a significant part of the funding generated from the Golden Crescent drug trade:
“In March 1985, President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 166 … [which] authorize[d] stepped-up covert military aid to the Mujahideen, and it made clear that the secret Afghan war had a new goal: to defeat Soviet troops in Afghanistan through covert action and encourage a Soviet withdrawal. The new covert U.S. assistance began with a dramatic increase in arms supplies — a steady rise to 65,000 tons annually by 1987 … as well as a “ceaseless stream” of CIA and Pentagon specialists who travelled to the secret headquarters of Pakistan’s ISI on the main road near Rawalpindi, Pakistan. There, the CIA specialists met with Pakistani intelligence officers to help plan operations for the Afghan rebels.”(Steve Coll, The Washington Post, July 19, 1992.)
Mujahideen from a large number of Muslim countries were recruited by the CIA. Jihadists from the Muslim republics (and autonomous regions) of the Soviet Union were also recruited.(For further analysis see Michael Chossudovsky, Al Qaeda and the “War on Terrorism”, Global Research, January 20, 2008)
Al Qaeda and the Chechnya Jihad
Chechnya is an autonomous region of the Russian Federation.
Among the recruits for specialized training in the early 1990s was the leader of the Chechnya rebellion Shamil Basayev who –in the immediate wake of the Cold War– led Chechnya’s first secessionist war against Russia.
During his training in Afghanistan, Shamil Basayev linked up with Saudi born veteran Mujahideen Commander “Al Khattab” who had fought as a volunteer in Afghanistan. Barely a few months after Basayev’s return to Grozny, Khattab was invited (early 1995) to set up an army base in Chechnya for the training of Mujahideen fighters. According to the BBC, Khattab’s posting to Chechnya had been “arranged through the Saudi-Arabian based [International] Islamic Relief Organisation, a militant religious organisation, funded by mosques and rich individuals which channeled funds into Chechnya”.(BBC, 29 September 1999).
The evidence suggests that Shamil Basayev had links to US intelligence as of the late 1980s. He was involved in the 1991 coup d’Etat which led to the break-up of the Soviet Union. He was subsequently involved in Chechnya’s unilateral declaration of independence from the Russian Federation in November 1991. In 1992, he led an insurgency against Armenian fighters in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. He was also involved in Abkhazia, the largely Muslim breakaway region of Georgia.
The first Chechnya war (1994-1996) was waged in the immediate wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was part of a US covert operation to destabilize the Russian Federation. The Second Chechnya war was waged in 1999-2000.
Broadly speaking the same guerrilla terrorist tactics applied in Afghanistan were implemented in Chechnya.
According to Yossef Bodansky, director of the U.S. Congress’ Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, the insurgency in Chechnya had been planned during a secret summit of HizbAllah International held in 1996 in Mogadishu, Somalia. (Levon Sevunts, “Who’s Calling The Shots? Chechen conflict finds Islamic roots in Afghanistan and Pakistan”, The Gazette, Montreal, 26 October 1999.)
It’s obvious that the involvement of Pakistan’s ISI in Chechnya “goes far beyond supplying the Chechens with weapons and expertise: The ISI and its radical Islamic proxies are actually calling the shots in this war.”(Ibid)
The ISI is in permanent liaison with the CIA. What this statement signifies is that US intelligence using Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) as a go-between was calling the shots in the Chechnya war.
Russia’s main pipeline route transits through Chechnya and Dagestan. Despite Washington’s condemnation of “Islamic terrorism”, the beneficiaries of the wars in Chechnya were the Anglo-American oil conglomerates which were vying for complete control over oil resources and pipeline corridors out of the Caspian Sea basin.
The two main Chechen rebel armies (which at the time were led by the (late) Commander Shamil Basayev and Emir Khattab), estimated at 35,000 strong, were supported by CIA and its Pakistani counterpart the ISI, which played a key role in organizing and training the Chechen rebel army:
“[In 1994] the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence [in liaison with the CIA] arranged for Basayev and his trusted lieutenants to undergo intensive Islamic indoctrination and training in guerrilla warfare in the Khost province of Afghanistan at Amir Muawia camp, set up in the early 1980s by the CIA and ISI and run by famous Afghani warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. In July 1994, upon graduating from Amir Muawia, Basayev was transferred to Markaz-i-Dawar camp in Pakistan to undergo training in advanced guerrilla tactics. In Pakistan, Basayev met the highest ranking Pakistani military and intelligence officers: Minister of Defence General Aftab Shahban Mirani, Minister of Interior General Naserullah Babar, and the head of the ISI branch in charge of supporting Islamic causes, General Javed Ashraf (all now retired). High-level connections soon proved very useful to Basayev.” (Ibid, emphasis added)
Following his training and indoctrination stint, Basayev was assigned to lead the assault against Russian federal troops in the first Chechen war in 1995. His organization had also developed extensive links to criminal syndicates in Moscow as well as ties to Albanian organized crime and the KLA. (Vitaly Romanov and Viktor Yadukha, “Chechen Front Moves To Kosovo”, Segodnia, Moscow, 23 Feb 2000)
The Chechen insurgency modeled on the CIA sponsored jihad in Afghanistan has also served as a model for several US-NATO sponsored military interventions, including Bosnia (1992-1995), Kosovo (1999), Libya (2011), Syria (2011- ).
Chechen Rebels: US Covert Operation to Destabilize the Russian Federation
The 1994-1996 Chechen war, instigated by the main rebel movements against Moscow, served to undermine secular state institutions. The adoption of Islamic law in the largely secular Muslim societies of the former Soviet Union served US strategic interests in the region.
A parallel system of local government, controlled by the Islamic militia, had been implanted in many localities in Chechnya. In some of the small towns and villages, Islamic Sharia courts were established under a reign of political terror.
Financial aid from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States to the rebel armies was conditional upon the installation of the Sharia courts, despite strong opposition of the civilian population. The Principal Judge and Ameer of the Sharia courts in Chechnya was Sheikh Abu Umar, who “came to Chechnya in 1995 and joined the ranks of the Mujahideen there under the leadership of Ibn-ul-Khattab. … He set about teaching Islam with the correct Aqeedah to the Chechen Mujahideen, many of whom held incorrect and distorted beliefs about Islam.” (Global Muslim News, December 1997).
The Wahabi movement from Saudi Arabia was not only attempting to overrun civilian State institutions in Dagestan and Chechnya, it was also seeking to displace the traditional Sufi Muslim leaders. In fact, the resistance to the Islamic rebels and foreign fighters in Dagestan was based on the alliance of the (secular) local governments with the Sufi sheiks:
“These [Wahabi] groups consist of a very tiny but well-financed and well-armed minority. They propose with these attacks the creation of terror in the hearts of the masses. … By creating anarchy and lawlessness, these groups can enforce their own harsh, intolerant brand of Islam. … Such groups do not represent the common view of Islam, held by the vast majority of Muslims and Islamic scholars, for whom Islam exemplifies the paragon of civilization and perfected morality. They represent what is nothing less than a movement to anarchy under an Islamic label. … Their intention is not so much to create an Islamic state, but to create a state of confusion in which they are able to thrive.( Mateen Siddiqui, “Differentiating Islam from Militant ‘Islamists’” San Francisco Chronicle, 21 September 1999)
The second Chechnya war was launched by Vladimir Putin in 1999, with a view to consolidating the role of the central government and defeating the US sponsored Chechen terrorists against the Russian Federation.
The 19 year old suspect is being used as a patsy. He was not even born in Chechnya. While he and his brother had no connection to the jihadist movement, the US media is carefully crafting a “Chechen Connection” pointing to an inherent behavioral pattern associated with Muslims:
The brothers spent 10 years in the U.S. during a formative period of their lives, exhibiting normal behavior for first-generation immigrants, said Mitchell Silber, a former intelligence official in the New York Police Department. “The question is, what catalyzed the change? Was it Chechen nationalism? Did it start with Chechen nationalism and somehow migrate to a pan-Islamist jihad cause?” (Renewed Fears About Homegrown Terror Threat,” WSJ April 20, 2013)
There is evidence, however, from the testimony of family members that the Tsarnaev brothers were on the radar of the FBI for several years prior to the Boston bombings and were the object of recurrent threats and harassment. Confirmed by the Wall Street Journal, the FBI had “interviewed” Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011. (Ibid)
What is abundantly clear is that the US government is not committed to fighting terrorists.
Quite the opposite. US intelligence has been recruiting and grooming terrorists for more than thirty years, while at same time upholding the absurd notion that these terrorists, who are bona fide CIA “intelligence assets”, constitute a threat to the American Homeland. These alleged threats by “An Outside Enemy” are part of a propaganda ploy behind the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT).
What is the Truth?
The development of an Islamist terrorist militia in different countries around the World is part of an intricate US intelligence project.
While the Tsarnaev brothers are casually accused without evidence of having links to Chechen terrorists, the important question is who is behind the Chechen terrorists?
In an utterly twisted logic, the protagonists of the ‘Global War on Terrorism” directed against Muslims are the de facto architects of “Islamic terrorism.”
The “Global War on Terrorism” Mindset
The “war on terrorism” mindset builds a consensus: millions of Americans are led to believe that a militarized police apparatus is required to protect democracy. Little do they realize that the US government is the main source of terrorism both nationally and internationally.
The corporate media is Washington’s propaganda arm, which consists in portraying Muslims as a threat to national security.
At this juncture in our history, at the crossroads of global economic and social crisis, the Boston bombings play a central role. They justify the Homeland Security State.
The evolving US Police State is thereby upheld as a means to protecting civil liberties. Under the guise of counter-terrorism, extrajudicial killings, the suspension of habeas corpus and torture are rightfully considered as a means to upholding the US Constitution.
At the same time, the terrorists –created and supported by the CIA– are used to participate in “False Flag” terrorist acts with a view to justifying the conduct of a global military crusade against Muslim countries, which so happen to be major oil producing economies.
“Massive Casualty Producing Events”
Former CENTCOM Commander, General Tommy Franks, who led the invasion of Iraq in 2003, had outlined a scenario of what he described as “a massive casualty producing event” on American soil, (a Second 9/11) . Implied in General Franks statement was the notion and belief that civilian deaths were necessary to raise awareness and muster public support for the “global war on terrorism”.
“[A] terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event [will occur] somewhere in the Western world – it may be in the United States of America – that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event.” (General Tommy Franks Interview, Cigar Aficionado, December 2003, emphasis added)
While the Boston bombings are of an entirely different nature to the “catastrophic event” alluded to by General Tommy Franks, the administration appears, nonetheless, to be committed to the logic of “militarizing our country” as a means to “protecting democracy.”
The Boston events are already being used to galvanize public support for an extended domestic based counter-terrorism apparatus. The latter would be implemented alongside extrajudicial assassinations against so-called “homegrown self radicalized terrorists”:
“U.S. counterterrorism policy has since 2001 focused largely on killing terrorists overseas or preventing them from getting into the U.S. But the Boston bombings show how the diffusion of terrorist tactics easily transcends borders. Countering small groups of individuals inside the U.S. can be a bedeviling assignment.
Bruce Riedel, director of the Intelligence Project at the Brookings Institution, a nonpartisan Washington think tank, said the Boston attack was likely a harbinger. “We are likely to see this as the future face of terrorist threats to the United States,” he said, adding that the case of a small number of radicalized participants who have lived in the U.S. and execute a plot is “the counterterrorist community’s worst nightmare, homegrown, self-radicalizing terrorism that learns its skill set off the Internet.” (WSJ, April 20, op cit)
The “terrorist massive casualty-producing event” was upheld by General Franks as a crucial political turning point.
Do the Boston Bombings constitute a point of transition, a watershed which ultimately contributes to the gradual suspension of constitutional government?