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Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.
WASHINGTON – The Mujahidin of the Caucasus Emirate in the Province of Dagestan has disavowed any association with the Boston Marathon bombing perpetrated by two individuals who originally are from the Russian North Caucasus region, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
While press reports say the two brothers who allegedly caused the bomb explosions – Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnayev – were from Chechnya in Russia, they actually are from the neighboring province of Dagestan which, like Chechnya, has Islamist militants embroiled in intense fighting with Russian security services.
In Dagestan, there is a large ethnic Chechen minority.
In addition to Chechnya and Dagestan, yet another Russian province, Ingushetia, which similarly is predominantly Muslim, is fighting the Russian police and military.
Once the marathon bombers had been identified as being from the Chechen region, U.S. President Barack Obama had been in telephonic contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin seeking assistance on the possible Chechen connection.
Russian officials say they also are checking on the brothers’ links to the Chechen fighters in the Caucasus but haven’t found any evidence to date.
“At the moment, we have no credible information about the Tsarnayev brothers’ involvement with the Caucasus Emirate movement,” one Russian security source said.
In addition, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that intelligence to date hasn’t shown any links of the brothers to Chechen militants.
The Russians two years ago had sought FBI assistance on Tamerlan, who was known to be associated with radical elements in the Chechen region. The FBI now admits that it had interviewed Tamerlan to determine his links to any possible cells in the U.S. That report then was sent back to Russian authorities.
Tamerlan then visited Dagestan for six months last year but, upon his return, the FBI reportedly never interviewed him again.
This development has raised questions among U.S. lawmakers whether the FBI dropped the ball or lacked legislative authority to pursue further questioning if there was no allegation of a crime against him.
Sunni Muslim militants from Chechnya and the other predominantly Muslim neighboring provinces in southern Russia seek to establish an independent Caucasus Emirates subject to Shariah law. It is headed by Dokku Umarov, who denies any contact with the Tsarnayev brothers.
Umarov is viewed as Russia’s public enemy No. 1 because he’s staged bombings in Moscow and across the North Caucasus over the past five years.
The Islamist militants in these particular Russian provinces are known to be associated with the Sunni al-Qaida organization.
Umarov, who is from the Russian province of Chechnya, said that there are no Caucasus Emirate cells in the United States.
Chechens have fought outside their regions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Umarov is known to be dissatisfied that Chechens from outside the region have converged on Syria where they are aiding the Syrian opposition to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is a Shi’ite Alawite. His preference is that they return to the region to fight the Russians.
There is mounting concern that these Sunni Muslim militants also are determined to set up a caliphate in Syria similarly subject to Shariah law.
Tamerlan, 26, was killed in a shootout with U.S. law enforcement authorities while Dzokhar, 19, was taken captive but was severely wounded and remains in a Boston hospital under heavy guard.
For the rest of this report and other Intelligence Briefs, please go to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin:
- Russia: Boston bombing raises concerns for 2014 Olympics
- U.S./North Korea: Reducing Korean Peninsula tension
- India: Strategic partnership with U.S. failing?
- Iran/U.S.: Experts call for Washington to lighten up
Keep in touch with the most important breaking news stories about critical developments around the globe with Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium, online intelligence news source edited and published by the founder of WND.