Saturday, August 27, 2016

Caucasus Report

Tsarnaev Case Highlights Communication Breakdown Between Daghestani Agencies

Tamerlan Tsarnaev waits for a decision in a boxing match during the Golden Gloves National Tournament of Champions in Salt Lake City, Utah, in May 2009.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev waits for a decision in a boxing match during the Golden Gloves National Tournament of Champions in Salt Lake City, Utah, in May 2009.
The Boston Marathon bombings have served to corroborate many observers’ previously unsubstantiated hunch that one reason for the Russian security services’ inability to contain the North Caucasus insurgency is that the various agencies responsible fail to share information among themselves.

In this particular case, Daghestan’s Center for the Struggle Against Extremism apparently failed to share its file on Boston suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev with other agencies.

Over the past week, Daghestan’s Security Council Secretary Magomed Baachilov and Interior Minister Abdurashid Magomedov have both gone on record as saying there is no evidence that, during his extended visit to Makhachkala last year, Tamerlan Tsarnaev had any contact with insurgency recruiters.

The independent Russian-language weekly “Chernovik” on April 22 quoted Baachilov as saying he has no information to indicate Tsarnaev was recruited by the insurgency.

Magomedov for his part similarly affirmed that his ministry is not aware of any contacts between Tsarnaev and members of the insurgency. Magomedov reportedly added that Tsarnaev had spent “only three or four days” with his parents in Makhachkala, although Russian and Western media say he remained there for several months, from late January until July 2012.

Russian journalist Irina Gordienko has demonstrated that both men were wrong in their suppositions.

In an article published on April 27 in "Novaya gazeta,” she quotes an unnamed Center for the Struggle Against Extremism staffer as saying that the agency opened a file on Tsarnaev in April 2012 after he was seen repeatedly in the company of Makhmud Mansur Nidal, 18, a suspected insurgency recruiter. Nidal was killed in May 2012 during an antiterror operation in Makhachkala.

After Nidal’s death, according to Gordienko’s sources, Tsarnaev became a virtual recluse. He left Daghestan two months later, just days after the death in a special operation in Kayakent Raion of William Plotnikov, a Canadian citizen whom Tsarnaev may have met in Toronto in 2009 and with whom he corresponded by e-mail.

Plotnikov reportedly converted to Islam and traveled to Daghestan. He was detained in Izberbash in December 2010 on suspicion of links with the insurgency but subsequently released. It was apparently as a result of questioning him that Russian security forces first asked their U.S. counterparts for information about Tsarnaev.

On the basis of Tsarnaev’s contacts in Makhachkala, Gordienko’s contact in the Center for the Struggle with Extremism advanced the same hypothesis as I did last week: that Tsarnaev may have traveled to Daghestan with the intention of joining the insurgency but that the potential recruiter (Nidal) was initially wary of him. That specialist explained that potential recruits are “quarantined” for several months while their suitability is assessed.
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Comment Sorting
by: Jack from: US
April 30, 2013 12:24
Tsarnaev brothers were peaceful Sunni Muslim activists who were brought into US by US government. They lived on US taxpayers money which US government generously gives to Sunni Muslim activists and to Israel. Sunni Muslim activists are best friends of Hillary Clinton and of John McCain. They did what they were inspired to do by Koran and by Hillary Clinton
In Response

by: Conan from: Virginia
April 30, 2013 22:32
They were classified as refugees. So, given American policy of giving welfare to refugees, there we have it. So, you're a little off there, Jack.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
May 02, 2013 06:13
:-))) Ah, ok, now it turns out that the stupid ones are the Daghestani agencies and not the US govtl agencies who have spent 12 years waisting zillions of dollars on implementing "anti-terror" measures only in order to see this Boston marathon literally explode into their faces. And now we know that the ones responsible for this humiliating failure are the stupid Daghestani bureaucrats :-))).
The level of "analysis" on this web-site is just spectacular. Please, guys, keep entertaining the readership :-)).

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.