Virtually unremarked in the mainstream media uproar about the Boston Marathon deaths was their connection to past American foreign policy blunders: the CIA’s Arab Afghan Legion, and one of its targets, the Islamic areas of the old Soviet Union. The Agency successfully destabilized Chechnya and Dagestan, once home to the Tsarnaevs, the bomber family, and, apparently, achieved a similar result in Boston as well, helping move America further towards a police state. Graham Fuller, a high CIA official whose daughter married Ruslan Tsarnaev, uncle of the alleged bombers, was quite familiar with the project to recruit and train terrorists for use in the U.S.S.R. And the Tsarnaevs had also lived as refugees in Kazakhstan, another Muslim region in which the American government had helped create unrest. It would be good to see the real story unfold, especially the close links between the CIA, the Tsarnaevs, and the strife-torn regions of the Soviet Union.
The Legion were Muslim recruits from all over the Arab world and South Asia that President Jimmy Carter, his National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Kasimierz Brzezinski, and their successors sent to Afghanistan and then the Soviet Union. Conceived by the CIA and sold to Carter and Zbig, the intent was to destabilize the U.S.S.R. In a secret memo to Carter on December 26, 1979, Brzezinski wrote that the Russian invasion of Afghanistan gave the U.S. a chance to “sow shit in [the Soviets’] backyard.” America “would pay for the shit, the Pakistanis would deliver it, and the Afghans would do the actual sowing. Years later, the blowback from the operation would result in a worldwide shit storm.” (America and the Islamic Bomb; David Armstrong and Joseph Trento; Hanover: Steerforth Press; 2007, p. 90).
According to Peter Dale Scott in The Road to 9/11 (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press 2007, pp. 70-71), Carter’s National Security Advisor, son of a displaced Polish aristocrat, set up a Nationalities Working Group to exploit Muslim dissatisfaction within the U.S.S.R. At the center of this group were the disciples of a Russian count, Alexandre Benigsen, who viewed fundamentalist Islam in Central Asia as a great threat to the Soviet Union. (Citing Alexandre Benigsen and Marie Broxup, his daughter, The Islamic Threat to the Soviet State; New York: St. Martin’s Press 1983). The group worked with Saudi intelligence to contact Soviet Muslims visiting Mecca for the Haj (a ritual pilgrimage required of all Muslims at least once in their lifetime, if they are able). (Citing Robert Dreyfuss, Devil’s Game, How the U.S. Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam; New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt 2005, 254).
Scott concluded that the Langley-supported opposition to the Soviets in Afghanistan was the “worst conceived” covert operation. (The Road to 911; p. 114). Some of the “disastrous details” were “to sponsor an ‘Arab Afghan legion’ and then expand the “resistance campaign into an international jihadi movement.” (p. 115). Besides educating Afghan Arabs in helicopter destruction, George Crile noted that their CIA training also included “urban terror with instruction in car bombings… and assassination.” (Scott, The Road to 911, p. 118, citing George Crile, Charlie Wilson’s War; New York: Atlantic Monthly Press 2003; 335).
Noting Graham Fuller’s opposition (a former CIA official whose daughter, Samantha, married Ruslan Tsarnaev, uncle of alleged Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev; cf. WayneMadsenReport and Daniel Hopsicker’s MadCow Morning News), Scott wrote “Casey [Director of Central Intelligence William J. Casey, Reagan Administration] startled his Pakistani hosts by proposing that they take the Afghan war into enemy territory—into the Soviet Union itself…Pakistani intelligence officials—partly inspired by Casey—began independently to train Afghans and funnel CIA supplies for scattered strikes against military installations, factories, and storage tanks within Soviet territory…” (Scott, The Road to 911, p. 136, citing Steve Coll, “Anatomy of a Victory: CIA’s Covert Afghan War”; Washington Post, July 19, 1992.)
“Casey ignored repeated warnings that the religious fanaticism he was helping unleash would eventually pose a threat to U.S. interests. He instead persisted in his view that the unholy partnership between Christianity and Islam would endure and could be used to bludgeon the Soviets throughout the region. In fact, in mid-decade [the 1980s], Casey unleashed mujahideen raids across the border into the Soviet Union [with half the world’s arsenal of nuclear weapons] in the hope of inciting Islamist uprisings by Soviet Muslims.” (The Untold History of the United States; Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick; Gallery Books; New York, N.Y.; 2012; p. 461)
As time went by, the American program of causing unrest continued to spread, with combatants sent to Kashmir in Northern India and Chechnya in the U.S.S.R. The ISI (Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence) sent “Islamist fighters to Central Asia and the Caucasus…When Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan became independent of Moscow in 1991, the ISI played a pivotal role in supporting Islamist armed insurgencies which destabilized them.” (Scott, The Road to 911, p. 148, citing Loretta Napoletani, Terra Incognita: Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Networks; New York: Seven Stories Press 2005, 89). The Arab Afghans worked to fight the Russians in the contested region of Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as liberate the Muslim areas of Chechnya and Dagestan. (Scott, p. 164). Pakistan’s ISI, worried that the Frankenstein’s Monster they had helped create would destabilize their own country, worked to find them other employment. They then trained and armed Arab Afghan combatants to fight in Chechnya. (Scott, p. 164, citing Levon Sevunts, “Who’s Calling The Shots?”; Montreal Gazette, October 26, 1999).
But has any of this shown up on the morning news?
The Lone Ranger and The Lone Gunman have now been joined by The Lone Bomber—if we can believe Ray McGovern’s “fawning corporate media” and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. However, it was America’s CIA which worked to create, train, arm, and aim the Arab Afghan Legion at the Muslim areas of the U.S.S.R. And there are no official, hard looks at how the unhappiness of Chechens and Dagestanis might translate to locking down an entire city and suspending the Bill of Rights. But, in Bean Town (or anywhere else), no one’s doing anything other than to shout “USA! USA!” and welcome martial law, warrantless searches, and jailing people in their own homes. History is not important because Americans don’t read, think, or question anything about yesterday. As Ali Mohamed, FBI Informant, CIA Agent, and Alleged Terrorist said: Americans see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear.
This article is a portion of a to-be-published book, Spooks On A Spit: The State Department, The CIA, And The Arab Afghan Legion.