News / Europe

FBI Probes Exiled Chechen Rebel for Link to Bombing Suspect

Boston Bombing Suspect's Contacts With Chechens in USi
X
May 16, 2013 1:23 AM
Federal investigators have learned that the main suspect in last month’s Boston Marathon bombing met with an exiled former Chechen resistance fighter in Manchester, New Hampshire less than a month before carrying out the attack that killed three and wounded more than 260.

Boston Bombing Suspect's Contacts With Chechens in US

Fatima Tlisova
Federal investigators have learned that the main suspect in last month’s Boston Marathon bombing met with an exiled former Chechen rebel fighter in Manchester, New Hampshire less than a month before carrying out the attack that killed three and wounded more than 260.

Police in Manchester confirmed to VOA that FBI agents have searched the home of the former Chechen resistance figure, Musa Khadjimuradov, and examined the hard drives of his computers. Khadjimuradov confirmed to VOA that FBI agents came to his home on Tuesday with search warrants and also took a sample of his DNA and impressions of his fingerprints.  

Khadjimuradov also said he had had repeated contacts over the past several years with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, the Boston bombing suspect who was killed in a shootout with police April 19. Tsarnaev’s brother, Dzhokhar, 19, was captured by police later that day.
 
Police charged both Tsarnaev brothers in the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing case after identifying them on video tapes taken at  the explosion sites near the finish line of the race.

According to Khadjimuradov, the FBI first interviewed him about the case on April 29. He said FBI and Homeland Security agents had been in frequent contact with him ever since.
 
Tuesday’s FBI visit
 
He said the agents showed up on Tuesday with search warrants and began asking him about Tamerlan Tsarnaev practicing marksmanship at a Manchester shooting range (http://www.gunsnh.com/index.php), and buying large quantities of fireworks last February at a fireworks store in Seabrook, New Hampshire, about an hour’s drive away from Manchester.
 
The FBI has said its tests on the Boston bombing debris determined that the devices used explosives extracted from commercially available fireworks. According to the FBI, Tsarnaev bought $200 fireworks kit at the Seabrook store last Feb. 6, containing 24 black powder packed shells. The FBI report said the store gave him another similar kit for free as a purchase bonus.
 
“They [the FBI agents] saying he [Tsarnaev] has a shooting practice here in New Hampshire, like two or three times,” Khadjimuradov said. “So he buy fireworks here from New Hampshire, you know, and he buy some ammunition rounds here in New Hampshire. And before the attack, like three or four weeks, came to my house, so now I believe they thinking like he [was] up in New Hampshire [and] like I tried to help him or do something, you know, like that.”
 
Khadjimuradov came to the United States from Chechnya in 2004 under the auspices of the United Nations refugee program. He is paralyzed from the waist down from gunshot wounds suffered in Chechnya in 2001 and uses a wheelchair to get around.  
 
According to Khadjimuradov, he first met Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2006 at the annual gathering of the Chechen Society of Boston. He said Tsarnaev subsequently visited him three times in Manchester, the last time with his American wife, Katherine, and their young child.

He said he and Tamerlan never discussed Tsarnaev’s fervent embrace of Islam, the cause of Chechen independence from Russia or politics of any kind.
 
“Nothing, never. He never talked about the religious, politics or anything like that to me,” Khadjimuradov said.
 
Russia’s interest in the case
 
During one visit in the summer of 2012, he said Tamerlan told him of his six month stay in his native Dagestan the first half of that year. The Dagestan visit has been the subject of intense interest to U.S. and Russian investigators, who have been trying to find out if Tsarnaev had dealings with Chechen rebels while there.
 
Even before Tsarnaev’s trip to Dagestan in the first half of last year, Russia’s FSB intelligence agency had contacted both the FBI and CIA inquiring about him and warning that Tsarnaev might try “to join unspecified underground groups” if he visited the Caucasus region.
 
Though Khadjimuradov said the FBI agents told him he was not a suspect in the Boston bombing case, he said he believed their intensified interest in him stemmed from his own background in the separatist cause back in his Chechnya homeland as well as Russia’s interest in the case.
 
Before leaving Chechnya in 2004, Khadjimuradov was an aide to one of the most prominent leaders of the Chechen separatist movement, Akhmed Zakayev, who now lives in exile in London. Moscow considers Zakayev a war criminal and has asked for his extradition, but Britain has refused.
 
“Zakayev is first on the FSB black list for assassination, so now they try to get to him by labeling him a terrorist,” Khadjimuradov speculated.

VOA's Brian Padden contributed to this report. 

(In an earlier version of this story the city of Seabrook, New Hampshire was incorrectly identified as Seabook.)

You May Like

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Amy from: Chicago
May 16, 2013 4:40 PM
How much do you want to bet this guy in on public assistance as well?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid