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 Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes 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.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More