Tells Russian interviewer FBI was monitoring older son; FBI admits it
Both parents say internet use was monitored
MOSCOW, April 20 (Reuters) – One of the two ethnic Chechens suspected by U.S. officials of being behind the Boston Marathon bombings had been under FBI surveillance for at least three years, his mother said.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva told the English-language Russia Today state television station in a phone interview, a recording of which was obtained by Reuters, that she believed her sons were innocent and had been framed.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a shootout with police and his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar was captured after a day-long manhunt.
“He (Tamerlan) was ‘controlled’ by the FBI, like, for three to five years,” she said, speaking in English and using the direct English translation of a word in Russian that means monitored.
“They knew what my son was doing, they knew what sites on the Internet he was going to,” she said in what Russia Today described as a call from Makhachkala, where she lives in Russia’s Dagestan region after returning from the United States.
Tsarnaeva echoed the boys’ father, Anzor, who said on Friday that he believed they had been framed. Both suggested in separate interviews that the FBI had made no secret of the fact that at least one of the brothers was being watched.
“I do not believe that my sons could have planned and organised the terrorist act, because they knew U.S. national security services were keeping an eye on them,” Anzor Tsarnaev told Russia’s Channel One television.
“They (the security services) said ‘We know what you eat, what you read on the Internet’,” he said, without making clear how the security officers had made contact.
In her interview with Russia Today, Tsarnaeva suggested FBI officers had visited her home when she still lived in the United States and told her that Tamerlan “was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him.”
“It is really, really a hard thing to hear. And being a mother, what I can say is that I am really sure, I am, like, 100 percent sure, that this is a set-up,” she said.
She did not say whether the FBI had started to take an interest in Tamerlan although she also referred to the security services’ interest in what Internet sites he visited.
U.S. government officials have said the brothers were not under surveillance as possible militants.
But the FBI said in a statement on Friday that in 2011 it interviewed Tamerlan at the request of a foreign government, which it did not identify.
It said the matter was closed because interviews with Tamerlan and family members “did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign”.
The FBI statement was the first evidence that the family had come to security officials’ attention after they emigrated to the United States from Dagestan about a decade ago.
It is not clear when Tsarnaeva and her husband left the United States. (Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)
FBI interviewed dead Boston bombing suspect years ago
CBS News/ April 19, 2013, 6:44 PM
The FBI admitted Friday they interviewed the now-deceased Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev two years ago and failed to find any incriminating information about him.
As first reported by CBS News correspondent Bob Orr, the FBI interviewed Tsarnaev, the elder brother of at-large bombing suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, at the request of a foreign government to see if he had any extremist ties, but failed to find any linkage.
Both Tsarnaev brothers were legal permanent residents of the U.S. There is no evidence so far that either brother received any tactical training.
CBS News correspondent John Miller reports it is likely Russia asked to have the elder Tsarnaev vetted because of suspected ties to Chechen extremists.
The FBI is likely to have run a background check, running his name through all the relevant databases, including those of other agencies, checking on his communications and all of his overseas travel. Miller reports that culminated in a sit-down interview where they probably asked him a lot of questions about his life, his contacts, his surroundings. All of this was then written in a report and sent it to the requesting government.
This is an issue they’ve had in the past. They interviewed Carlos Bledsoe in Little Rock, Ark., before he shot up an Army recruiting station in 2009. They were also looking into Major Hasan Nadal before the Fort Hood shootings.
However, the FBI has maintained in those incidents that they took all the steps they were asked to and were allowed to under the law.
Although the FBI initially denied contacting Tsarnaev, the brothers’ mother said they had in an interview with Russia Today.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said her son got involved in “religious politics” about five years ago, and never told her he was involved in “jihad.”
She insisted the FBI “knew what he was doing on Skype” and that they counseled him “every step of the way.”
Tsarnaeva, who is a U.S. citizen currently in Russia, told Russia Today the FBI had called her with concerns about her elder son, although she did not specify when exactly she was contacted.
“They used to come [to our] home, they used to talk to me … they were telling me that he was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him,” Tsarnaeva said. “They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets from these extremist sites… they were controlling him, they were controlling his every step…and now they say that this is a terrorist act!”
Some of numerous cases where FBI actively participated as agent provocateurs, targeting poor Black communities:
LIBERTY CITY SEVEN, FLORIDA
“The charges centered around the group’s belief that they were being offered money by someone in Yemen to help their mission in Liberty City, provided they supported the al-Qaeda jihad. The FBI agents represented themselves as representatives of al-Qaeda (but who were actually undercover FBI agents), and persuaded Batiste to provide plans for a stated intention to destroy the Sears Tower in Chicago, the FBI field office in Miami, and other targets. Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation John S. Pistole described the group’s plot as more “aspirational than operational”; the group did not have the means to carry out attacks on such targets. The group had no weapons and did not seek weapons when they were offered. The group had no communication with any actual al-Qaeda or other terrorist operatives.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_City_Seven
IMAM LUQMAN ABDULLAH, DETROIT
“Family members of Imam Luqman Abdullah, along with religious and civil rights leaders, have reacted with shock and anger to the U.S. Department of Justice’s exoneration of four FBI agents who shot the Imam to death Oct. 28, 2009.
Imam Abdullah, leader of the Masjid El-Haqq mosque in Detroit, sustained 21 gunshot wounds, a broken arm, and numerous lacerations to his face and upper body, which one medical examiner said resulted from police dog bites. Sixty-six federal agents, as well as local and international law enforcement officials, were involved in the raid which ended with his death. . . .
The raid culminated a two-year FBI undercover investigation of the Imam’s mosque, which turned up no terrorism-related charges, only petty theft and weapons-related violations. The indictment was issued the day before the Imam’s death and was based largely on reports by FBI-paid infiltrators of alleged conversations with the Imam and his followers. Almost none of of the conversations were taped.”
ALLEGED BRONX TERRORISM PLOT 2009
“On May 20, 2009, US law enforcement arrested four black Muslim men in connection with a plot to shoot down military airplanes flying out of an Air National Guard base in Newburgh, New York and blow up two synagogues in the Riverdale community of the Bronx. The terrorist ring, led by James Cromitie, was tried and all were convicted.
The FBI’s use of two informants, and offers of money and food incentives to the convicted men in the case has led some to accuse the FBI of entrapment. All four are appealing.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_New_York_terrorism_plot