The Boston Marathon bombings were a terrorist attack that occurred on Monday, April 15, 2013. Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in the city’s center. Three people were killed and over 170 were injured, some seriously.
Initial press and government accounts suggested a vast conspiracy, and a military-police lockdown was imposed on large sections of the Boston metropolitan area. After several days, the two men who perpetrated the crime, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his younger brother Dzhokhar, 19, were identified and captured. Tamerlan was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police, while Dzhokhar was arrested.
It soon emerged that the two brothers, rather than being agents of Al Qaeda in America, had been connected indirectly to US intelligence services. Tamerlan had come to the attention of the FBI when Russian intelligence contacted their US counterparts on at least two occasions, in January and November 2012, asking them to monitor his activities. FBI agents interrogated Tamerlan several times, but he was allowed to travel to Russia, spending six months in Chechnya and neighboring Dagestan, where he reportedly met with Islamist extremist groups, and returning to Boston. As a WSWS Perspective, “The Boston bombing and the roots of terror,” explained, this pattern was all too familiar:
Virtually every terror case in the US since 9/11 has had the FBI’s fingerprints all over it, and the Boston bombings are no exception. The federal police agency has engaged in unending sting operations, using highly paid informants to troll through mosques and immigrant communities, ensnaring hapless people in plots that would never have existed without the FBI providing the inspiration as well as the means.
In the case of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, they were handed an ideal candidate for such a sting—it is now reported that he had been thrown out of his mosque for making militant statements. Yet they supposedly dropped the case for lack of evidence. This claim lacks any credibility.
More evidence emerged of connections between the Tsarnaev family and US intelligence agencies, part of US operations in the milieu of Chechen nationalist and Islamist factions engaged in fighting the Russian government. The FBI withheld warnings about Tamerlan Tsarnaev from Boston-area police agencies, and FBI Director Robert Mueller flatly denied that the bureau had any reason to suspect Tsarnaev of terrorist inclinations.
A friend of Tsarnaev and fellow Chechen, Ibragim Todashev, 27, was shot and killed May 22 while being interrogated by police and FBI agents in his apartment in Orlando, Florida. It was later revealed that Todashev had been unarmed when he was shot seven times, including a kill shot to the crown of his head. Bill Van Auken explored the contradictions in the FBI account in an article headlined, “The FBI murder of Ibragim Todashev—the man who knew too much?” The US government subsequently detained Todashev’s girlfriend, a potential witness to his killing, blocked the release of his autopsy and induced state officials not to investigate the killing.
It subsequently emerged that the uncle of Tsarnaev brothers, Ruslan Tsarni, a long-time activist in Chechen Islamist circles, was married to the daughter of a prominent CIA official, Graham Fuller, and had conducted his operations, which included direct aid to Islamist rebels in Chechnya, from Fuller’s home in Maryland. The WSWS commented: “Thus, when the FBI was tipped off by the Russians about the Tsarnaev brothers, they were a known quantity, people connected by blood and marriage to the highest levels of the intelligence apparatus.”