Boston bombers’ uncle married daughter of top CIA official

The uncle of the two suspected Boston bombers in last week’s attack, Ruslan Tsarni, was married to the daughter of former top CIA official Graham Fuller

The discovery that Uncle Ruslan Tsarni had spy connections that go far deeper than had been previously known is ironic, especially since the mainstrean media's focus yesterday was on a feverish search to find who might have recruited the Tsarnaev brothers.

The chief suspect was a red-haired Armenian exorcist.  They were fingering a suspect who may not, in fact, even exist.

It was like blaming one-armed hippies on acid for killing your wife.

Ruslan Tsarni married the daughter of former top CIA official Graham Fuller, who spent 20 years as operations officer in Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong. In 1982 Fuller was appointed the National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asia at the CIA, and in 1986, under Ronald Reagan, he became the Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, with overall responsibility for national level strategic forecasting.

At the time of their marriage, Ruslan Tsarni was known as Ruslan Tsarnaev, the same last name as his nephews Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the alleged bombers.

It is unknown when he changed his last name to Tsarni.  

What is known is that sometime in the early 1990’s, while she was a graduate student in North Carolina, and he was in law school at Duke, Ruslan Tsarnaev met and married Samantha Ankara Fuller, the daughter of Graham and Prudence Fuller of Rockville Maryland. Her middle name suggests a reference to one of her father’s CIA postings.

The couple divorced sometime before 2004.

Today Ms. Fuller lives abroad, and is a director of several companies pursuing strategies to increase energy production from clean-burning and renewable resources.

On a more ominous note, Graham Fuller was listed as one of the American Deep State rogues on Sibel Edmonds' State Secrets Privilege Gallery,. Edmonds explained it featured subjects of FBI investigations she became aware of during her time as an FBI translator.

Criminal activities were being protected by claims of State Secrets, she asserted. After Attorney General John Ashcroft went all the way to the Supreme Court to muzzle her under a little-used doctrine of State Secrets, she put up twenty-one photos, with no names. 

One of them was Graham Fuller.

"Congress of Chechen International" c/o Graham Fuller

A story about a Chechen oik exec/uncle pairing up with a top CIA official who once served as CIA Station Chief in Kabul sounds like a pitch for a bad movie.

But the two men may have been in business together.

In 1995, Tsarnaev incorporated the Congress of Chechen International Organizations in Maryland, using as the address listed on incorporation documents 11114 Whisperwood Ln, in Rockville Maryland, the home address of his then-father-in-law.

It is just eight miles up the Washington National Pike from the Montgomery Village home where “Uncle Ruslan” met—and apparently wowed, the press after the attack in Boston.

The Washington Post yesterday called him a "media maven," while nationally syndicated Washington Post columnist Ester Cepeda , in a piece with the headline “The Wise Words of Uncle Ruslan” opined that he was her choice for "an award for bravery in the face of adversity.”

Success through indirection, mis-direction, redirection, and protection

Uncle Ruslan’s spy connections go far deeper than was already known, which was that he spent two years working in Kazakhstan for USAID.

But the mainstream media was lookng the other way.

Under the headline Did 'Misha' influence Tsarnaevs? In Watertown, doubts,” USA Today reported: “Misha. A new name has emerged in the Boston Marathon bombing case—one familiar to the family of the two young men accused of the atrocity and apparently of interest to the Russian and American security services as well.”

Ruslan Tsarni was the first to bring up the supposed man's supposed name. Or rather, he brought up a first name:  Misha. But it was enough. We were off to the races…

Attention all cars: Be on lookout for chubby Armenian exorcist

Tsarni described Misha to CNN as being "chubby, a big guy, big mouth presenting himself with some kind of abilities as exorcist . . . having some part-time job in one of the stores, not married. All of the qualifications of a loser, just another big mouth.”

According to Uncle Ruslan, Misha was the man who over a considerable period of time had radicalized Tamerlan.

It seemed strange, then, that  in contrast to his “you are there” verbal picture of the man, even with all his supposed concerns, and given his high level of education and abundant resources (Big Sky Energy was paying him in excess of $200,00 a year, according to documents filed with the SEC) Ruslan had somehow never found out just who the bad guy was.

He never got a name, something that in spook-dom is considered something of a faux pas. Then again, no one else had either.

Worse, Tsarni's vivid description seemed to be taken from personal observation, from, in other words…real life. But that isn’t possible. Tsarni had stated he hadn’t been physically in the presence of his Boston relatives since December 2005. And Misha, if he existed, didn’t show up on the scene until 2008 at the earliest.

Still,  just a few days later, the entire family began chiming in. Misha anecdotes were flying fast & furious, and the nation’s scribblers were busy uncritically scribbling down their every word.

Maybe their Twitter account got hacked again?

No performance was nearly as masterful, however, as that of the Associated Press.

“Bomb suspect influenced by mysterious radical, reported the Associated Press.

"Tamerlan's relationship with Misha could be a clue in understanding the motives behind his religious transformation and, ultimately, the attack itself," reported the Associate Press. Only to take it all back in the very next line.

"Two U.S. officials say he had no tie to terrorist groups."

The AP’s “story” about the mysterious “Misha” was 1145 words, long enough for an editor to squeeze in a caveat.

“It was not immediately clear whether the FBI has spoken to Misha or was attempting to,” the national wire service reported. “Efforts over several days by The Associated Press to identify and interview Misha have been unsuccessful.”

The big difference: when you do it, its conspiracy theory. When we do it, its informed speculation.

In any other context, this might be seen as the rankest kind of “conspiracy theory.” But, apparently, when the Associated Press does it, its news.

Then Uncle Ruslan made a clear mis-step.

 “An uncle of the alleged bombers claims that Misha, an Armenian convert to Islam, had a huge influence on the elder brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.  Describing him as an "Armenia exorcist, Tsarni said, “Somehow he just took his brain.”

Armenians are a deeply-rooted Christian community, which is proud of the fact that their country was the first in the world to adopt Christianity as state religion in 301 AD.

Moreover this is the week every year when they remember the Armenian Holocaust, when as many as 1,000,000 Armenians were slaughtered by Turkish Muslims.

In the large and close-knit Boston Armenian community, a red-bearded Armenian named Misha becoming a radicalized Muslim would stand out.

"I've never heard of him, nor has anyone that I know," Hilda Avedissian, executive director at the Armenian Cultural & Educational Centre.

So what if the guy was involved with biggest bank fraud in history?

"For an Armenian to convert to Islam is like finding a unicorn in a field," Nerses Zurabyan, 32, an information technology director who lives in nearby Cambridge told USA Today.

The report reveals that the bomber’s Uncle, made famous for his outspoken condemnation of his nephew’s which aired repeatedly on international news networks, is a well-connected oil executive who at one point worked for a Halliburton shell company used as a front to obtain oil contracts from the Kazakh State.

Ruslon Tsarni was implicated in an investigation involving the laundering and theft of $6 billion. But everybody loves Uncle Ruslon. At least most of America’s mainstream media does.

There has, to date, been no speculation at all about whether an uncle of the men suspected of the bombing who had been involved in international intrigue at the hightest levels, and who married the daughter of a top CIA official, might warrant a closer look.

It’s enough, isn’t it, to turn even reasonably rational adults into—gasp!—conspiracy theorists.

“News,” someone once wrote, “is selection. And selection is always  based on an ideology and agenda, which is something to remember next time you watch, listen or read the ‘news.’”

Too true.

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About Daniel Hopsicker

Daniel Hopsicker is an investigative journalist dubious about the self-serving assertion of U.S. officials that there are no American Drug Lords.
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