APRIL 26, 2013
A classified intelligence report obtained years ago by Judicial Watch includes shocking details of al Qaeda’s operations in Chechnya and the tactics employed by Chechen terrorists, including cell phone detonation of backpack bombs.
The raw document, from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is from 1998 and Judicial Watch conducted a thorough analysis after obtaining it years later as part of an ongoing Terrorism Research and Analysis Project. It was distressing enough when JW pieced it together and published its analysis in 2005 and it’s incredibly disturbing now that “radicalized” Chechen brothers detonated bombs at the Boston Marathon.
Last week JW was the first to report that the older terrorist, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, could have been deported years ago after a criminal arrest and that his brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was granted American citizenship on the anniversary of 9/11. In that report JW also revealed that it had uncovered critical intelligence documents detailing al Qaeda’s activities in Chechnya, including the creation of a 1995 camp—ordered by Osama bin Laden—to train “international terrorists” to carry out plots against Americans and westerners.
Previous to that, JW conducted the analysis of the 1998 intelligence report for a project called Working Group on Children as Intended Targets of Terrorism at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. The intelligence report focuses largely on al Qaeda’s expansion into Chechnya and the Caucuses and reveals that bin Laden deployed an Islamist leader named Amir Khattab to Chechnya in order to organize terror training bases and expand the influence of the al Qaeda network.
The ultimate goal is to put “sleeper cells” in place, the intelligence document shows. That means operatives go about their ordinary, inconspicuous lives among the targeted population until they are activated for a specific act or in support of a particular mission. It certainly appears that the Boston Marathon bombers operated this way. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been referred to as a regular college student by those who knew him and Tamerlan Tsarnaev was an award-winning boxer with aspirations of making the U.S. Olympic team.
Chechen terrorists, namely Shamil Basayev and the Islamic nationalist gang led by terror chieftain Mosvar Baryayev, have led the way with adaptations and experiments that have been employed in terror strikes around the world, according to JW’s findings. Besides cell phone detonation of backpack bombs, among their favored tactics are hospital bombings and hostage taking, suicide bombers and multiple rail attacks.
The confirmed existence of a secure, reliable, terrorist-sponsored direct route to Chechnya from Pakistan and Afghanistan through Turkey and Azerbaijan is the most stunning information point within the 1998 intelligence report, JW found, because it dates back to the 1990s. It’s also incredibly noteworthy that al Qaeda is developing bases in Chechnya and the North Caucuses because those areas are “unreachable by strikes from the West” and therefore a “safe haven” for radical, militant Islamists to recruit, plan, train and operate.
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