« | »

Tamerlan/Mom Spoke Of Jihad, ‘Misha’ Revealed

From CBS News/Associated Press [sic]:

Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev caught on Russia wiretap

April 27, 2013

WASHINGTON – Russian authorities secretly recorded a telephone conversation in 2011 in which one of the Boston bombing suspects had a conversation with his mother of a radical nature, officials confirmed to CBS News correspondent Bob Orr Saturday, days after the U.S. government finally received details about the call.

In another conversation, the mother of now-dead bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was recorded talking to someone in southern Russia who is under FBI investigation in an unrelated case, officials told The Associated Press.

Mom sure gets around.

The conversations are significant because, had they been revealed earlier, they might have been enough evidence for the FBI to initiate a more thorough investigation of the Tsarnaev family.

As it was, Russian authorities told the FBI only that they had concerns that Tamerlan and his mother were religious extremists. With no additional information, the FBI conducted a limited inquiry and closed the case in June 2011…

The news media are now trying to blame the Russians for withholding information.

In the past week, Russian authorities turned over to the United States information it had on Tamerlan and his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva…

In early 2011, the Russian FSB internal security service intercepted a conversation between Tamerlan and his mother of a radical nature, officials confirmed to Orr.

The two discussed the possibility of Tamerlan going to the Palestinian territories, but he told his mother he didn’t speak the language there, officials, who reviewed the information Russia shared with the U.S., told the AP

But an Associated Press report from yesterday said "federal officials say Russian authorities intercepted her phone calls, including one in which she vaguely discussed jihad with her elder son."

Family members have said Tamerlan was religiously apathetic until 2008 or 2009, when he met a conservative Muslim convert known only to the family as Misha. Misha, they said, steered Tamerlan toward a stricter version of Islam.

Two U.S. officials say investigators believe they have identified Misha. While it was not clear whether the FBI had spoken to him, the officials said they have not found a connection between Misha and the Boston attack or terrorism in general…

And here is more about the mysterious ‘Misha,’ via the New York Review of Books of all places:

‘Misha’ Speaks: An Interview with the Alleged Boston Bomber’s ‘Svengali’

By Christian Caryl | April 28, 2013

[A]ccusations [have] set off a frenzied search for what some reports have called an Islamic Svengali, and over the past few days, the FBI has said it has located and has been talking to “Misha,” though his identity has remained unknown.

Today I was able to meet “Misha,” whose real name is Mikhail Allakhverdov. Having been referred by a family in Boston that was close to the Tsarnaevs, I found Allakverdov at his home in Rhode Island, in a lower middle class neighborhood, where he lives in modest, tidy apartment with his elderly parents. He confirmed he was a convert to Islam and that he had known Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but he flatly denied any part in the bombings. “I wasn’t his teacher. If I had been his teacher, I would have made sure he never did anything like this,” Allakhverdov said.

A thirty-nine-year-old man of Armenian-Ukrainian descent, Allakhverdov is of medium height and has a thin, reddish-blond beard. When I arrived he was wearing a green and white short-sleeve football jersey and pajama pants. Along with his parents, his American girlfriend was there, and we sat together in a tiny living room that abuts the family kitchen.

You see? He’s just as American as apple pie. And he is very peace-loving.

Allakhverdov said he had known Tamerlan in Boston, where he lived until about three years ago, and has not had any contact with him since. He declined to describe the nature of his acquaintance with Tamerlan or the Tsarnaev family, but said he had never met the family members who are now accusing him of radicalizing Tamerlan. He also confirmed he had been interviewed by the FBI and that he has cooperated with the investigation:

"I’ve been cooperating entirely with the FBI. I gave them my computer and my phone and everything I wanted to show I haven’t done anything. And they said they are about to return them to me. And the agents who talked told me they are about to close my case," [Allakverdov said]. 

An FBI spokesman in Boston declined to comment on an ongoing case. Allakverdov’s statements, however, seemed to bear out recent reports that the FBI have not found any connection between “Misha” and the bomb plot.

The FBI sure are quick when it comes to finding no connections.

One question is why members of the Tsarnaev family have made accusations about Allakverdov. A close friend of the family in Boston said that Misha was not known to have visited Tamerlan at home. I interviewed Allakhverdov in Russian and it seems likely that in whatever contact the two men had, they would have spoken Russian.

In many ways, Allakhverdov’s parents seem typical former-Soviet émigrés who had embraced middle class life in the United States. His father is an Armenian Christian and his mother is an ethnic Ukrainian. The family had lived in Baku, Azerbaijan, but had left in the early 1990s for the United States to escape growing persecution of Armenian Christians there.

So Misha’s parents came to the US under asylum to escape Muslim persecution. (Which has gone on for many centuries, including the Armenian holocaust.) And yet Misha converted to Islam.

The family was welcoming to me but very nervous. “We love this country. We never expected anything like this to happen to us,” his father said…

That’s what some of the Tsarnaev family said, too.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 29th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Tamerlan/Mom Spoke Of Jihad, ‘Misha’ Revealed”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Mom’s a jihadist
    Uncle Ruslan married a CIA Kabul station chief’s daughter
    Misha’s actual name is the same as a legendary head of the KGB and means ‘Allah-Lover’

    Spy v. Spy is less complicated

  2. canary says:

    Bomber’s mom defends Misha, and get’s credit for bomber’s radicalization


« Front Page | To Top
« | »