Pro-Kremlin Media Claims “Tamerlan Tsarnaev Recruited Through Georgian Fund”

April 30, 2013
Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Photo: REUTERS/Julia Malakie/The Sun of Lowell, Mass./Handout

Izvestia has obtained some documents from the Georgian Interior Ministry’s Department of Counter-intelligence which confirms that the Georgian organization Caucasian Fund is collaborating with the American non-profit organization Jamestown Foundation (Zbigniew Brzezinski, US foreign policy ideologue, was formerly on Jamestown’s board of directors) and has been recruiting residents of the North Caucasus to work in the interests of the United States in Georgia.

According to reports from Col. Grigory Chanturia of the Georgian Interior Ministry

S main directorate of the department of counter-intelligence to Interior Minister Irakly Garibashvili, the Caucasian Fund along with the Jamestown Foundation conducted events and seminars in the summer of 2012 for young residents of the Caucasus, including in its Russian part. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was in Russia from January to July 2012, attended some of them.

“The Caucasian Fund,” writes Chanturiya, was founded 7 November 2008 right after the Georgian-Ossetian conflict “to monitor the processes occurring in the Northern Caucasus region.”  Accordingly, at the Georgian Interior Ministry’s department of counter-intelligence, an intelligence operation dubbed “Daryal” was created. The chief tasks of the fund were to recruit young people and members of the intelligentsia in the Northern Caucasus to intensify instability and extremist sentiments in the southern regions of Russia.

“For the financing of the organization, a monthly sum in the amount of 33,000 lari (660,000 rubles) was allocated. From the inception of the organization until 1 January 2013, a sum was allocated totaling 4.058 million laris (81.1 million rubles),” Chanturiya writes in the report.

In the documents he mentions the work of the Caucasian Fund in three regions of Azerbaijan bordering Dagestan — Belokan, Zakatal and Kakh.

Besides this, the Tbilisi colonel of counter-intelligence reports that through the Caucasian Fund and the Jamestown Foundation, Georgian intelligence agencies find people sympathetic to Georgia in Chechnya, whom they invite to various events in their republic under innocuous pretexts. Russians are recruited at these seminars and trained for terrorist attacks.

Iles Tatiev, deputy head of the Agency for Social Political Initiatives, which supervises the North Caucasus federal district, notes that the activity of the Caucasian Fund was provoking too many questions.

“Where is Georgia, which exists on loans, finding extra money for some kind of funds?” the expert asked. “I do not rule out that this fund is affiliated with the State Department in the Northern Caucasus.”

Andranik Migranyan, head of the New York office of the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation, when he learned of the Caucasian Fund from Izvestia, believes that the activity of the organization, as it is depicted in the documents, fits into the policy of the Georgian government quite well.

“The Saakashvili’s administration is conducting a clearly anti-Russian line,” said the political scientist.

Valery Khomyakov, general director of the Council for National Strategy objects that the exaggeration of the power of the external enemy in the person of Georgia could be advantageous to the leadership of the North Caucasus republics.

“I think that the danger of the Georgian factor is exaggerated,” the expert believes. “I personally have doubts that Georgia is busy planting their spies and recruiting Russian citizens.”

Anatoly Vyborny, member of the Committee on Security, even promised to get involved in researching the activity of the Caucasian Fund to the extent of his capabilities.

“The documents you cite appear to be the truth. We don’t see any real good-faith steps from Georgia and the USA yet; their purpose remains to make Russia into a state that can be manipulated,” believes Vyborny.

The Jamestown Foundation constantly demonstrated its interest in Georgia and in the state of affairs in the Russian North Caucasus. In 2007, the Foundation held a seminar titled “The Future of Ingushetia,” in which the former fighter Aslan Maskhadov took part.

In March 2010, Jamestown Foundation appealed to the International Olympics Committee not to hold the Olympics in Sochi, citing the tragic events of the Caucasus war in the 19th century.

In 2011, the Foundation’s political analysts forecast that in the next year Georgia would take one of the leading roles in the Caucasus and create a serious competition to Russia as a “regional leader”.

The Russian Interior Ministry had repeatedly reacted to the Foundation’s policy and has set notes of protest to representatives of the USA in Moscow.