Report: Saudi Terror Cell Suspected Early On in Boston Terror Bombings

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by Sharon Rondeau

Steve Emerson is head of The Investigative Project on Terrorism and was the first to report that a Saudi national was scheduled for a quiet deportation by the U.S. government despite indications that he might have had involvement with the Boston Marathon terror attacks

(Apr. 21, 2013) — On Tuesday, the day following the explosions at the Boston Marathon, Debkafile reported that “a cell of three Saudi nationals” was suspected of perpetrating the crime.

The New York Post reported that one of the men was hospitalized after the explosions and labeled a “person of interest,” which Boston police publicly denied.  Other media are criticizing The Post for inaccurate reporting about two suspects allegedly identified by the FBI.

The two suspects announced by the FBI on Thursday were not the two men pictured in the photo at The Post.  In a press release dated April 19, the FBI reported that two brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, born in Kyrgyzstan, were the suspects and that Tamerlan was deceased.  Both declared themselves Muslims.

Dzhokhar reportedly ran over his brother in the early hours of Friday to escape authorities.

On Wednesday evening, Steve Emerson of The Investigative Project on Terrorism reported on Sean Hannity’s program that the same Saudi “person of interest” was scheduled to be deported on Tuesday, April 23.  On Tuesday, April 16, putative Secretary of State John Kerry met with the Saudi Foreign Minister and prevented the press from covering it; on Wednesday, Obama met with the same official without the meeting having been posted on his public schedule.

Leftwing websites have attempted to discredit Emerson’s work.

Commentator Glenn Beck stated on Friday that a cover-up is being carried out by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and the Department of Homeland Security in regard to the deportation of the man, who Beck described as a “bad, bad, bad man” involved in the Boston Marathon attacks in some way.  Beck also said that the Saudi man belonged to “an important Saudi family” and that “his visa has been revoked.”

However, Beck learned through his sources that the man might not be deported as scheduled.  The man has reportedly been given a cell phone to make calls to his home in Saudi Arabia after he allegedly lost his phone in the melee following the bombings.

Keith Davies of the Forum for Middle East Understanding founded by Walid Shoebat told The Post & Email that a cover-up was being perpetrated by the government and that the bombings showed the hallmarks of a Middle Eastern terror plot. Davies also stated that a quiet deportation would be the U.S. government’s response to the Saudi government’s desire to avoid “embarrassment,” a view which Beck appeared to share.

On Tuesday, Debkafile reported that it “was alone in reporting that the FBI Boston Marathon probe pointed to Mid-East terrorists with domestic support.”

The “cell of three” referred to by Debkafile meant the hospitalized man and his two roommates, who are reportedly also from Saudi Arabia.  News reports confirmed that their apartment in Revere, MA was searched and items removed in the overnight hours between Monday and Tuesday, but on Tuesday The New York Post reported that the Saudi national had been “cleared.”

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a congressman, ”I am unaware of anyone who is being deported for national security concerns at all related to Boston,” and an ICE official called Beck’s report on the Saudi national “categorically false.”

On Thursday evening, the FBI aired surveillance video of two men, reportedly brothers, carrying backpacks shortly before the explosions occurred and named as “suspects” in the crime.  A shootout between the brothers and law enforcement took place overnight from Thursday to Friday, during which the older brother was killed.  The younger brother was captured wounded on Friday night and was hospitalized.

The brothers attended a Boston mosque “infrequently” but indicated they were Muslim in various postings online.  They immigrated to the U.S. as children from Chechnya, with the younger becoming a citizen on September 11, 2012.

The elder brother posted videos of a radical Islamic cleric who left his home country of Australia after its government began scrutinizing his sermons for violating sedition laws.

Debka cites a connection between Saudi Wahhabism, or Islamic extremism, and the Caucasus region of Chechnya, from which the Tsarnaev brothers immigrated in 2002.  On April 20, Debka wrote:

The Saudis feared that their convoluted involvement in the Caucasus would come embarrassingly to light when a Saudi student was questioned about his involvement in the bombng attacks while in a Boston hospital with badly burned hands.

They were concerned to enough to send Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saudi al-Faisal to Washington Wednesday, April 17, in the middle of the Boston Marathon bombing crisis, for a private conversation with President Barack Obama and his national security adviser Tom Donilon on how to handle the Saudi angle of the bombing attack.

Various analysts and news reports stated that the plot was most likely the work of a foreign or domestic terrorist cell, citing FBI sources, while several U.S. media outlets scrambled to convince their readers that “right-wing extremists” were to blame.  The same phenomenon occurred following the Aurora, CO theater shooting.

Debka cited a lack of security at the Marathon in the way of bomb-sniffing dogs and a helicopter to detect signs of explosives, but a runner in the race told a local television station that he saw bomb-sniffing dogs at “the start and finish lines” and people on rooftops.  “They kept making announcements to the participants do not worry, it’s just a training exercise.”  The man believes that a threat was “called in” to warrant the presence of the canines.

Citing “counterterrorism sources,” Debka reported that the brothers had “both have either gone to ground in a pre-arranged hideout or have left the United States,” neither of which turned out to be accurate.

Chechnyan Islamics have long been fighting against the Russians, and bombings and hostage-takings have been common over the last two decades in the region.  On Sunday, The International Business Times reported:

The FBI now says the pair were part of a terrorist cell, though they were not under surveillance at the time of the bombings, US Government officials said.

The brothers were carrying six bombs, a handgun and a rifle at the time of the shoot-out in which Tamerlan was killed. Three devices – thought to be pipe bombs – were detonated.

The men’s parents were contacted and stated that they believed their sons were “set up” by the FBI.  The mother reportedly said that her sons had “been counseled for three or five years” by the FBI and that she had also spoken with FBI agents.  She said Tamerlan had become involved in some type of radicalism “five years ago.”

When the interviewer asked the mother how she could explain “what the violent chase your sons were involved in,” she responded, “I never believe into it…My son never spoke about those things…They were highly intelligent…They’re afraid of him because he’s a leader…they were very afraid of him.  That’s why I think this is a setup.”  She said that “never, ever” could it have been possible that her sons were terrorists.

An uncle stated that his nephews “had put a shame” on the family name.

Tamerlan was reportedly thrown out of a Boston mosque for shouting at the imam in anger during the service.  He was arrested for domestic violence in 2009, which could have been cause for deportation.  A spokesman for the mosque said that its members will assist in ”in finding any other suspects connected to the bombs.”

Debka reported that the brothers were working as “double agents” who later “betrayed their mission and went secretly over to the radical Islamist networks.”

The FBI stated that it had received a request from “a foreign government,” reported elsewhere as Russia, to investigate Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 for alleged ties to terrorism.  The FBI asserted:

In response to this 2011 request, the FBI checked U.S. government databases and other information to look for such things as derogatory telephone communications, possible use of online sites associated with the promotion of radical activity, associations with other persons of interest, travel history and plans, and education history. The FBI also interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev and family members. The FBI did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign, and those results were provided to the foreign government in the summer of 2011. The FBI requested but did not receive more specific or additional information from the foreign government.

The foreign government had identified Tamerlan to the FBI as “a ‘follower of radical Islam and a strong believer’ whose personality had changed drastically in just a year.”  The report came prior to the finding of Tamerlan’s six-month visit to Russia, which may have included Chechnya.  Tamerlan maintained an internet page devoted to “terrorism.”

On April 20, reported:

A senior congressional aide privy to the Boston Marathon terror investigation confirmed Saturday that the FBI had been warned about alleged bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev as far back as 2011, when his apparently suspicious activities prompted Russian authorities keeping close surveillance on militant Islamic groups in the Caucuses region of the former Soviet Union to contact US counter-terrorism officials about him.

Tamerlan called his uncle, with whom he reportedly had not spoken in two years, on Thursday night, stating that he had married and had a child during the time they had not spoken, and making references to Islamic worship.

Congress has begun debating an immigration bill which would offer U.S. citizenship to approximately 11,000,000 people who came to the country illegally if they are found not to be criminals.  The Tsarnaev brothers entered the country legally as seekers of political asylum in 2002.

Davies and others have stated that the U.S. government “has been infiltrated” by Muslims.  Obama himself has cited his “Muslim faith.”

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