Posts Tagged ‘Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’

h1

Kazakh jihadists sent money abroad

May 3, 2013

The Kazakh terrorist group Jund al-Khilafah, or the Soldiers of the Caliphate, has the financial means to support militants beyond Kazakhstan’s borders, according to a think tank report earlier this year.  Jund al-Khilafah has sent money to fellow fighters in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and possibly even to Mohamed Merah, the North African terrorist who killed seven people in France last year.

The Jamestown Foundation offered this analysis in January:

…Jund al-Khilafah is based in the North Caucasus and the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region, and it carried out three separate attacks in Atyrau, Taraz and Almaty in late 2011 (Tengrinews, September 28, 2012). As evidenced by slain Tunisian-born Jund al-Khilafah amir Moez Garsallaoui’s connections to Mohammed Merah, who killed three Jews and four French paratroopers in southwest France in March 2012, Jund al-Khilafah also has international operational capabilities. There are an estimated 200 to 300 Kazakhstani militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan, many of whom have financial relationships with Jund al-Khilafah supporters in Kazakhstan (September 9, 2011). This became apparent with the sentencing of Aidos Kusanov on October 8, 2012, who transferred 380,000 tenge (approximately $2,500) to Jund al-Khilafah in Pakistan through the Aqtobe-based [Kazakh] militant group Ansar al-Din. Ansar al-Din has not claimed any attacks in Kazakhstan, but has issued numerous video statements condemning the Kazakhstani government on jihadist websites, such as hunafa.com and Kavkaz Center, and seeks to “establish links of material support” to “assist the families of the mujahideen,” according to its own propaganda (http://hunafa.com/?p=3839)…

Despite Jund al-Khilafa and Ansar al-Din’s operational links to Kazakhstan, the flow of militants and funds still appears to be from Kazakhstan to Afghanistan and Pakistan or elsewhere—not the other way around. This could soon change, however. In a November 2011 Islamic Jihad Union video statement, a Kazakhstani fighter said that that after victory in Afghanistan, their “goal” is Central Asia, while another fighter, who claimed to be the “amir,” said their “sphere of interest” is Central Asia, in particular Kazakhstan (Kavkazcenter.com, December 2011). Other experts in the region argue that the IMU and other militants are already in Kazakhstan, using the country effectively as a “terminal” linking Europe, Central Asia and Afghanistan, and therefore the militants do not want to destabilize Kazakhstan, yet (Tengrinews, September 6, 2011)…

How Jund al-Khilafah acquired the money that it was able to transfer to Afghanistan and Pakistan is unclear, although the Saudi-backed Wahhabi foundation known as the Muslim World League is active in Kazakhstan.  The MWL has financed the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist groups globally, particularly in countries at the fringes of the Islamic world.

A case in late-2011 revealed a Jund al-Khilafah suicide bomber who “was part of a group that planned to rob a number of stores, banks and currency exchanges and to attack law enforcement personnel,” and whose leader wanted operatives “to commit both jihad and economic crimes.”  Reliance on theft can sometimes be an indicator of a terrorist group with limited funds, but the ability to send surplus funds outside their home base undercuts that possibility.

Kazakhstan, with its population of young, male, ethnic Kazakhs who are increasingly falling under the spell of jihad, has come under renewed scrutiny following the arrest of two Kazakh associates of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who once launched fireworks with Tsarnaev on the banks of the Charles River, helped Tsarnaev dispose of evidence after the bombing, and subsequently lied to investigators about their activities.

How one of the two Kazakhs, Dias Kadyrbayev, who drove a BMW, obtained money for travel, rent, and tuition in Massachusetts has yet to be determined.

Advertisements
h1

Kickbacks for Tsarnaev on luxury car repairs?

April 28, 2013

During an interview with CNN last week, auto mechanic Gilberto Junior discussed Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s behavior between the time of the Boston Marathon bombing and before his capture.  The interview offered some clues on Dhokhar Tsarnaev’s financial situation.  H/t Lea Savoy:

The reference to the $900 Louis Vuitton shoes, which Junior repeated in interviews with other news outlets, raised a lot of eyebrows, but the bigger question—about why Dzhokhar was shuttling friends back and forth for repair work at Junior’s shop in the first place—has received scant attention.

One of the websites that did pick up on it, The Slate, ran the headline, “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev May Have Had Two Shady Side Businesses. Only One Involves Pot,” elaborating:

… But perhaps the more puzzling nugget in the [Boston] Globe piece is what the paper calls his “mysterious side enterprise involving repairing damaged cars”:

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev regularly brought cars to Junior’s Auto Body, a well-worn shop on the Cambridge-Somerville line, on a road lined with scrap metal and auto repair garages.

Why a 19-year-old college student was bringing cars in for work for people he said were friends remains unclear, though his father had worked as a garage mechanic before he returned to the family’s native Russia. The shop owner, Gilberto Junior, said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sometimes accompanied friends to the shop, riding in the passenger’s seat. Often, the friends told Junior they were students at MIT, he said…

It is legal for Junior to have paid possible commission fees to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for legitimate referrals.  But Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may have been skirting the law if he received cash for the referrals and failed to report it on income tax returns or student financial aid applications.  (It may be worth noting that encouraging unnecessary repairs is common scam reported by consumer advocates.)

But no large amounts of money appear to have changed hands.  Junior told the Boston Globe that “I don’t think he ever brought any friends in here that spent more than $500.”  These were minor repairs like removing dents after fender benders.  Tsarnaev’s final visit to Junior’s auto body shop provides an example of the type of work involved:

Two weeks ago, said 44-year-old Gilberto Junior, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had brought in a white Mercedes 1967 station wagon to have the damaged rear bumper repaired. He said it belonged to his girlfriend.

That was not unusual: Tsarnaev often brought in cars for wealthy friends from Boston University and MIT, Junior said, and always paid in cash.

The bigger question involves the identity of Tsaranaev’s cash-paying “friends.”  Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Welfare and drug money aided Tsarnaevs

April 25, 2013

The Tsarnaev brothers’ portfolio included proceeds from drug sales, and at least in the case of Tamerlan and Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, state welfare benefits.

CBS News reported yesterday that “Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the brothers and suspects in last week’s Boston Marathon bombing attack, may have financed their plot through drug sales, investigators believe.”

Yesterday’s Boston Herald detailed the public assistance that Tamerlan received up until 2012:

Marathon bombings mastermind Tamerlan Tsarnaev was living on taxpayer-funded state welfare benefits even as he was delving deep into the world of radical anti-American Islamism, the Herald has learned.

State officials confirmed last night that Tsarnaev, slain in a raging gun battle with police last Friday, was receiving benefits along with his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, and their 3-year-old daughter. The state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services said those benefits ended in 2012 when the couple stopped meeting income eligibility limits. Russell Tsarnaev’s attorney has claimed Katherine — who had converted to Islam — was working up to 80 hours a week as a home health aide while Tsarnaev stayed at home.

In addition, both of Tsarnaev’s parents received benefits, and accused brother bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan were recipients through their parents when they were younger, according to the state.

The news raises questions over whether Tsarnaev financed his radicalization on taxpayer money…

Some news accounts portrayed the welfare benefits as a simple failure to make ends meet—an unfortunate result of a difficult economy.  But the possibility of intentional exploitation of public benefits by Tamerlan Tsarnaev should not be cast aside as a fringe theory.

The Associated Press recently reported that “Tsarnaev became an ardent reader of jihadist websites and extremist propaganda, two U.S. officials said. He read Inspire magazine, an English-language online publication produced by al-Qaida’s Yemen affiliate.”

Observers have naturally focused on the infamous Inspire article, “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom,” for giving instructions on constructing a pressure cooker bomb.

They should also look back at an article in the January 2011 edition of Inspire entitled “The Ruling on Dispossessing the Disbelievers’ Wealth in Dar Al-Harb,” in which al-Awlaki declared that Muslims living in the non-Muslim world should poach, steal, and embezzle just as if they were living off the land by hunting and gathering wood—an activity permitted under Hanafi rulings.  That behavior is even more blessed if it is done with the intent to fund jihad.

h1

The financial affairs of the Tsarnaev brothers

April 23, 2013

Here’s a rundown of information available so far about Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s financial situations:

Revenues

  • U.S. News reports that “The larger Tsarnaev family ended up living on public assistance in Cambridge, Mass,” which in context of the article was probably around 2010.
  • Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received a $2,500 scholarship from the city of Cambridge in May 2011 to pursue higher education.
  • Tamerlan Tsarnaev was unemployed, but his wife, Katherine Russell, was working long hours as a home health care aide.  During their last conversation, Tamerlan told his uncle that he fixes cars, but he did not say whether he was earning wages.
  • Patimat Suleimanova, the Tsarnaev brothers’ aunt, said that “the brothers had stumbled upon money problems” in 2012, and that their father Anzor Tsarnaev “would send money from here when he could.”
  • Dzhokhar Tsarnaev withdrew $800 from Bank of America an ATM card stolen from the Tsarnaev’s carjacking victim on the night of April 18.

Expenses

  • Tamerlan Tsarnaev studied accounting part-time from 2006 to 2008, incurring probable tuition expenses.  U.S. News says he dropped out for financial reasons.
  • Tamerlan and Katherine Tsarnaev’s daughter was born in 2010, incurring probable medical expenses.
  • Dzhokhar was a student at UMass Dartmouth, where annual tuition, room, board, and fees cost approximately $22,255 for Massachusetts residents.
  • Tamerlan Tsarnaev travelled to Russia from January to June 2012 (where airfare normally runs at least several hundred dollars).
  • During his Russia trip, a neighbor described Tamerlan Tsarnaev as a “dandy” and that he “he dressed in a very refined way.”
  • Bombs like the ones used at the Boston marathon may have cost about $100 apiece to make.
  • During an interview with CNN, Cambridge auto mechanic Gilberto Junior said that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was wearing $900 shoes while visiting his repair shop just days after the bombings.  Junior also described Dzhokhar’s friends, who describe themselves as being Turkish, as the owners of “high-end cars.”  Junior told the New York Times that the brothers themselves also had a taste for expensive cars.

Indirect information

  • The Tsarnaevs’ mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva quit her job working at a spa within the last few years.
  • Investigators have been reexamining the 2011 murder of a former roommate of Tamerlan Tsarnaev.  Thousands of dollars in cash were left at the crime scene.
  • Dhzokar Tsarnaev once described his personal priority in life as “career and money.”
  • In June 2012, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva was arrested for shoplifting $1,600 worth of clothes from Lord & Taylor.
  • During his good-bye call to his uncle Alvi Tsarnaev, Tamerlan asked “Did you pay your mortgage?”
  • Katherine Russell Tsarnaev’s parents are selling their home, and have listed it for $467K.
  • In his initial court appearance on Apr. 22, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was asked “Can you afford a lawyer?” He answered, “No.”