by Wayne Madsen
Wayne Madsen Report
April 24, 2013
Although the FBI ignored multiple warnings from Russian law enforcement that one of the two accused Boston Marathon bombers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, may have posed a terror threat to the United States, the FBI had intercepted a major Islamist financial support operation run through an Islamic charity linked to Saudi Arabia.
The FBI, which is in a major cover-up mode, initially stated that it received one inquiry from Russian law enforcement in 2011. After interviewing Tsarnaev, the FBI cleared him of any terrorist links. However, after a closed hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee on April 23, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) said the FBI was alerted “multiple times” about Tsarnaev’s contacts with radical Islamist groups. Burr said that at least one of those contacts was after October 2011.
The FBI stated that it was unaware that Tsarnaev traveled to Russia in 2012 because his name had been misspelled on the airline passenger manifest. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano confirmed the FBI’s excuse but noted that her department was, nevertheless, aware of Tsarnaev’s 2012 trip to the autonomous Russian republics of Dagestan, where his parents live, and Chechnya.
Committee chair Senator Dianne Feinstein, whose mother and maternal grandparents were Russians who practiced the Russian Orthodox faith, said committee members should not “jump to conclusions” about the FBI’s misspelling of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s name and the inability of Homeland Security to have shared its intelligence with the FBI.
In September 2004, the same year Tsarnaev arrived in the United States and gained residency status, the U.S. Treasury Department cited the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, a Saudi charity, had direct links to Osama Bin Laden. The Ashland, Oregon branch of the charity was subjected to warrantless wiretaps under the National Security Agency’s STELLAR WIND program, which contributed to the decision by the government to declare the group “a specially designated global terrorist” organization and seize and freeze its assets. A federal judge in March 2010 ruled the warrantless wiretaps against the group as a violation of its constitutional rights. A federal appeals court in September 2011 ruled that the designation of Al-Haramain as a terrorist group was valid but that the Office of Foreign Assets Control improperly seize the group’s assets.
One of the Saudi charity’s attorneys was Thomas H. Nelson of Zigzag, Oregon. Nelson was a co-founder of Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights.
On September 2010, a federal jury in Eugene, Oregon convicted the head of Haramain’s Ashland chapter, Perouz Sedaghaty, aka Pete Seda, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Iran and a professional tree surgeon, of filing a false tax return and criminal conspiracy to send money to Chechen Islamist guerrillas via Saudi Arabia. The Haramain case proves that the FBI and Justice Department, under the Obama administration, took serious the links between Americans and the Chechen Islamist rebel cause. Just a year later, in 2011, the FBI changed tack and ignored the seriousness of Russian law enforcement inquiries about Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s ties to Chechen and other Islamist terrorists.
The following is the statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Oregon, dated September 27, 2011:
EUGENE, OR—In September 2010, a federal jury in Eugene, Oregon convicted Perouz Sedaghaty, a/k/a Pete Seda, on two felony charges, both relating to Sedaghaty’s attempt to covertly send $130,000 from the United States to Chechnya, where the money was provided to violent religious extremists. Sedaghaty, 53, is the former U.S. head of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, Inc., which was headquartered in Ashland, Oregon before it was declared a Specially Designated Global Terrorist organization in 2004 by the United States government. Al-Haramain’s parent organization in Saudi Arabia and several of its worldwide satellites have been similarly branded as supporters of terrorism by the United States.
Sedaghaty was convicted of filing a false tax return and criminal conspiracy based on his attempt to hide the trail of a $150,000 donation that Al-Haramain received in 2000 from Egypt. The $150,000 was wire transferred by an Egyptian donor from an account in London, England to an Al-Haramain account in Oregon. Sedaghaty and a fugitive co-defendant named Soliman Al-But’he, controlled the Oregon bank account. Sedaghaty and Al-But’he converted $130,000 of the funds into traveler’s checks and the remainder was withdrawn in the form of a cashier’s check. The funds were hand carried by Al-But’he from Oregon to Saudi Arabia. The traveler’s checks were cashed for Saudi Riyals at the Al Rajhi bank and were ultimately smuggled into Chechnya. Al-But’he deposited the cashier’s check into a bank account in Saudi Arabia. In attempting to account for the funds with the Internal Revenue Service—which monitors charities to assure they are not using funds for improper purposes—Sedaghaty falsely reported in Al- Haramain’s tax return that most of the $150,000 was used by Al-Haramain to purchase a building in Missouri.
Today, United States District Judge Michael Hogan ordered that Sedaghaty spend 33 months in federal prison and that he begin serving his sentence within 60 days.
United States Attorney Dwight Holton stated that the government is satisfied whenever a defendant who conceals money that is provided to terrorists goes to prison. “Money is the lifeblood of terrorism. We stand ready to aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone involved in terrorist funding or who tries to conceal financial transactions involving money that goes to support terrorists.”
Marcus Williams, Special Agent in Charge, Pacific Northwest Division of IRS – Criminal Investigation, added “IRS Criminal Investigation will always be there to partner with the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and all other law enforcement in investigating those who become involved in financial transactions with funds that end up in the hands of violent extremists.”
“Money drives the violence that is at the very heart of terrorism,” said Greg Fowler, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “The FBI and our partners are always going to go after those who funnel funds that end up with violent groups. In the end, this case shows that strong partnerships between law enforcement agencies can result in a safer and more secure nation for our citizens.”
The prosecution was led by Assistant United States Attorneys Charles Gorder and Christopher Cardani. The IRS, Criminal Investigation, and the FBI investigated the case. U.S. Attorney Holton praised the joint efforts of the Department of Justice, the IRS, the FBI, ICE, as well as other agencies that helped prepare the case and obtain evidence from around the world, including the Departments of State and Treasury.
U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan ruled that Sedaghaty could remain free while his conviction was being appealed. Earlier, upon Sedaghaty’s conviction, Hogan stated that
while he was sure the Haramain money went to Islamic “fighters” battling the Russian army in Chechnya, there was no proof directly linking Pete Seda to terrorism. Therefore, Hogan declined to invoke the “terrorism enhancement” provision in sentencing guidelines that could have sent Sedaghaty to prison for eight years. 2011 saw a change in U.S. policy toward Chechen terrorism with the FBI’s refusal to follow up with the Russians on Tsarnaev’s ties to Chechen terrorists and Hogan’s decision to not throw the full terrorism book at Sedaghaty for helping to arms Chechen terrorists. For their part, federal prosecutors never revealed what happened to the $150,000 that Al-But’he smuggled into Saudi Arabia that was destined for the Chechen terrorists.
Chechen terrorist financier Perouz Sedaghaty aka “Seda”
Testifying from Russia by video link, Col. Sergey Ignatchenko stated his agents found had documented evidence that Haramain funded Islamic guerrillas fighting against Russia in Chechnya.
One of Sedaghaty’s employees at Haramain in Ashland was Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, an American Jew who had previously converted to Islam. In 2006, Gartenstein-Ross again converted, from Islam to Christianity and began working with the FBI as an undercover informant to collect evidence against Haramain. According to a New York Times report dated October 27, 2006, Gartenstein-Ross said he “stopped shaking hands with women, listening to music, wearing shorts, and playing computer games. He grew a full beard, endorsed the gay-bashing and conspiracy theories of his mentors, and found himself praying for the victory of mujahedeen, or Muslim holy warriors, around the world.” Gartenstein-Ross joined the Saudi Wahhabi sect of Islam, the faith’s most radical sect. Garstenstein-Ross, a Wake Forest graduate, converted to Islam while on a summer trip to Venice, Italy in 1997. Garstenstein-Ross, who was recruited to Haramain by Sedaghaty, has since become a neo-conservative spokesman on counter-terrorism and his work was highly praised by then-Senate Homeland Security chairman Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.
Gartenstein-Ross is not alone as a Jewish member of groups affiliated with “Al Qaeda.”
Adam Yahiye Gadahn, born Adam Pearlman to an American Jewish family in Oregon, converted to Christianity and then to Wahhabi Islam. Pearlman, now kn own as “Azzām al-Amrīki” or “Azzam the American,” is now the number two man in charge of “Al Qaeda,” ranking just behind its leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Another radical Muslim who runs a radical Islamist website from Morocco is Yousef al-Khattab, who was born Joseph Leonard Cohen in Queens, New York and grew up in a Jewish family before attending Orthodox rabbinical school in Israel. He converted to Islam in2000.
The case against Sedaghaty was almost tossed out after it was learned that the FBI failed to disclose to defense attorneys that it had paid two confidential informants, Richard and Barbara Cabral, who traveled with Sedaghaty on the hadj Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in 1999 and worshiped at Sedaghaty’s home in Ashland and later provided statements to the FBI. Richard Cabral died in March 2008 before Sedaghaty’s trial commenced. Barbara Cabral did testify against Sedaghaty and stated that Sedaghaty had asked her and her husband for contributions that were to go to the Chechen mujahedeen.
Oddly, Sedaghaty’s adopted name of “Seda” is a Portuguese name adopted by many Sephardic Jews of Portugal and Catalonia. Seda is the metonymic occupational name for a silk merchant, “seda” being Portuguese for silk.
A local Ashland school teacher, Dave Lewis, was murdered in 2008 in an arson attack on his home near Ashland Municipal Airport. There were local suspicions that Lewis’s murder might have been connected to U.S. government contracting activities at the airport involving a number of dubious sole-source Pentagon contracts to a company called Sky Research, which runs an aviation wing and specializes in the detection of unexploded ordnance (UXO).
Postscript: On April 22, 2013, the editor appeared on the Alex Jones Infowars radio and webcast program where the Big Oil and possible intelligence links to Tamerlan and Dhokhar Tsarnaev’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, were discussed. The next day, the Associated Press carried a story in which the Tsarnaev’s ex-brother-in-law, Elmirza Khozhugov of Almaty, Kazakhstan, was quoted as saying Tamerlan “took an interest in Infowars, a conspiracy theory website.” It is obvious that many members of the Tsarnaev clan had connections to U.S. intelligence, which has been so burned by the revelations of government involvement in the Boston Marathon bombing that it has seen fit to continue to use its contacts inside the family to attack those who question the U.S. government’s connections to a series of false flag terrorist attacks inside the United States and abroad.
Additional information is being revealed about the extent of U.S. intelligence liaison with the Chechen diaspora community in the United States and abroad. U.S. government funds have directly or through National Endowment for Democracy (NED) funds supported the operations of the American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus (ACPC), formerly the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC), and the Kavkaz Center in Helsinki. Another Finland-based Chechen group accused of terrorist ties by Moscow, the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (RCFS), which was barred from attending the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe conference in Vienna in 2007 over strong U.S. diplomatic protests, receives finding from NED. The society was close to ex-Chechen Republic President Aslan Maskhadov, who died in Chechnya.
Chechen exile groups also helped the Republic of Georgia and the CIA recruit Chechen mercenaries to fight against Russian and South Ossetian troops in broder skirmishes against South Ossetia. A November 12, 2006 ITAR-TASS report from the South Ossetian Interior Ministry stated: “. . . We have reports that the Georgian special services have recruited a large number of mercenaries from among Chechens – Kistinians as well as Asian nationals, who have received special training at rebel camps in Afghanistan.”
The Kavkaz Center regularly carries messages from the Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus, designated a terrorist group by the State Department. The same cast of neo-con characters who support the Iranian Mohajedin-e-Khalq (MEK), once designated a terrorist organization by the State Department with the label later dropped, support the Chechen jihadist guerrillas. These include the one-time head of the Bosnia Defense Fund Richard Perle who permitted millions of dollars raised in Arab and Muslim countries to “bleed” over to help affiliates of “Al Qaeda” during the Bosnian civil war. A number of neo-cons and anti-Russian players (well over 85 percent) who support the jihadists in Chechnya and, in the past, supported jihadists in Afghanistan fighting the Soviet Union, and, more recently given their support to jihadists in Libya and Syria, are Jewish and strong supporters of Israel. The names Perle, Gaffney, Ledeen, Adelman, Abrams, Kristol, Decter, Solarz, and Soros should be on the lips of every Bostonian and Marathon runner and visitor affected by the April 15 terrorist bombing. Perhaps a Boston boycott of these individuals from ever appearing at Boston’s numerous campuses is in order, especially where an honorarium is involved. These individuals are, beyond anything else, coin-operated.
French intelligence has discovered that U.S.-supported Chechen jihadists have recruited French citizens and residents of mainly North African descent to fight in Chechnya. In 2002, French police arrested a number of the “Chechen Network” terrorist ring in the Paris banlieus (suburbs) of Courneuve and Romainville. One of the principal members of the French Chechen Network is Said Arif, a former Algerian army officer who planned to launch a chemical attack on the U.S. naval station in Rota, Spain. The incident is among several by Chechnya-linked jihadists to attack U.S. targets. The neo-con supporters of the Chechen jihadists have made a point of denying the Chechens have ever targeted the United States, a contention that is a bald-faced lie.
Wayne Madsen on RT being interviewed about the Chechen Militant Groups three years ago –
WMR’s intelligence sources have suggested that the Chechen-linked attack on the Boston Marathon was a dry run for a major Chechen terrorist attack on the 2014 Winter Olynpics in Sochi in southern Russia, near the border with the self-declared Republic of Abkhazia, which is hotly contested between Russia and Georgia. In 2012, Russian intelligence discovered links between Georgian intelligence and Chechen terrorists. Georgia’s intelligence agency has been supported by the CIA and Mossad. Ten arms caches discovered in Abkhazia by Russian security forces were linked to Caucasus Emirate chief Doku Umarov and Georgian intelligence. The caches included arms, explosives, ammunition, Igla and Strela anti-tank guided missiles and launchers, a mortar,, a flamethrower, grenade launchers, a dozen improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and topographic maps of the Sochi region.