23 Apr 2013

The Boston and Canadian plots: the questions that need answering

The new interview which Nick Sturdee conducted with the parents of the suspected Boston bombers is intriguing. Principally because it strengthens the evidence that at least one of the two – Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the eldest – was under rather closer surveillance by the FBI than yet admitted.

Several visits are talked about and even something of a rapport building up between agents and this young man whom they recognised – as did many others – as being personable, intelligent and with clear leadership qualities.

All of which heightens the huge question the US and Russian versions of events throw up.

How come such a man – under surveillance or at least known to, and on the radar of, the FBI – was apparently not picked up at any stage of his journey from or back to the USA?

Equally, we are asked to believe that the Russian secret service, the FSB, were so interested in Tamerlan they asked the US to get into him.

This is highly unusual. But again the FSB, Russian immigration and the whole apparatus of state apparently made no special intervention at all during his six-month trip to Dagestan and, it appears, Chechnya too, albeit for a few days.

This, we are also asked to believe, and it stretches credibility in the minds of many who know a great deal more about the ways of Washington and Moscow than me.

Curiously, all this on the day of another Big Ask from US security services – that there’s Iranian involvement in a possible attempt to bomb at train running from Canada to the US.

Note that the Canadians are rather less high-pitch than the US on all this.

So what do they mean? That the principals allegedly involved are Iranian? Or that (Shia) Iran plc is suddenly teamed up with (Sunni) al-Qaeda?

Already the potent propaganda shorthand of news-bulletinspeak is linking “Iran” and “al-Qaeda” in a smooth glissando, globally, every hour.

Again no evidence yet presented as to why, as Tehran fights al-Qaeda  bloodily year after year in neighbouring Iraq and Syria, they’re suddenly all best mates wanting to team up to give  a train the fertiliser treatment in North America?

Remember this is the same parish that swore blind the Syrian government was actively moving chemical missiles from its silos a few months ago.

It was utter cobblers – faithfully parroted by Hillary Clinton and William Hague.

And yes…WMD…Iraq…and the manufacture of consent for war of dubious legality. We’ve travelled this road more than a few times, have we not?

Yes, of course there are Sunni radicals in the Iranian context. True, Iran has allowed al-Qaeda operatives to exist in Iranian territory, closely watched.

But the quick propagandist fusion of Iran/al-Qaeda seems too quick, too glib, too convenient and just too damned far-fetched.

Once again – wait for something unfashionable and old-fashioned before we drag Iran into this – like evidence.

Too many loud statements and US rhetoric, too few facts.

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