In a newly released FBI interview, Tamerlan Tsarnaev claims he was approached by four mysterious men claiming to be FBI agents before the Boston attacks, corroborating earlier statements by his mother.
MINNEAPOLIS – Four years ago, much of the United States watched in horror as the annual Boston Marathon became the site of a terror attack – an attack that claimed three lives, injured more than 260 people, and captivated the news cycle for months. Much of the subsequent news coverage focused on the Tsarnaev brothers, the alleged culprits, and their apparent connection to Islamist extremism – leading some to label the tragedy as an act of “Islamic terror” and resulting in a new wave of Islamophobic incidents.
While the Tsarnaev brothers were Muslims, a newly released interview made public by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has revealed the eldest Tsarnaev brother and alleged “mastermind,” Tamerlan Tsarnaev, denied having any Islamic extremist views. In the 2011 interview, Tsarnaev told investigators that he felt “respect for all religions,” arguing that “any religion makes your life feel better.” He also said that he had never read Islamic extremist material on the internet, had never traveled to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj, and didn’t even have other Muslim friends.
Not only that, but the interview also details four mysterious men – who claimed to be from the FBI – had contacted him. Tsarnaev told investigators that he had been approached by four young and handsome men in suits who said they wanted to speak with Tamerlan. They had told Tsarnaev that they would return the following day, though they failed to do so.
This aspect of the interview corroborates previous testimony given by the Tsarnaev’s mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, who said that her sons had been “set up” as the FBI had been following them and monitoring their entire family for years.
In 2013, she told RT:
“They [FBI agents] used to come [to our] home, they used to talk to me…they were telling me that he [the older Tamerlan] was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him. They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets from these extremist sites… they were controlling him, they were controlling his every step…and now they say that this is a terrorist act! Never ever is this true, my sons are innocent!”
If the Tsarnaev brothers were the victims of FBI entrapment gone awry – a possibility that this latest interview seems to suggest – it certainly wouldn’t be the first time that the agency had done so, not by any means. For example, in 2010, the FBI spent months offering encouragement, support and money to 19-year-old Somali-American Mohamed Osman Mohamud, then convincing him to detonate a bomb at a crowded Christmas event in Portland, Oregon, only to arrest him at the last moment and celebrate the success of their “counter-terrorism efforts.” Then, a year later, the FBI yet again saved the United States from its own manufactured terrorist plot by arresting 26-year-old American citizen Rezwan Ferdaus after spending months providing him with plans and materials to attack the Pentagon, U.S. troops in Iraq, and the Capitol Building using “remote-controlled” and explosive-ridden model airplanes.
Indeed, very few terrorist plots busted by the FBI actually involve the agency’s uncovering of an actual plot already under way and then infiltrating to stop it. Instead, the pattern – as noted by journalist Glenn Greenwald – has been seeking out young Muslims who “they think harbor animosity toward the U.S. and who therefore can be induced to launch an attack despite having never taken even a single step toward doing so before the FBI targeted them.”
As noted by journalist Trevor Aaronson in an extensive piece on the matter, the FBI has adopted this “proactive” approach in order to justify the billions of dollars it spends every year “fighting terrorists.” The result has been the creation of a network of more than 15,000 informants who infiltrate Muslim communities to create false terror plots – a dangerous policy carried out just so the bureau can claim it is “winning” the war on terror. Seeing as the war on terror – by design – can never be won, the entrapment and creation of “terrorists” to justify increasingly burgeoning defense and counter-terrorism budgets seems like it will continue to be FBI policy for years to come.