The Mystery Deepens


By Edmond Y. Azadian

While Armenians around the country were grieving the loss of four victims and 200 wounded as a result of the Boston Marathon bombings — a story which ended in the Armenian neck of the woods of Watertown, Mass. — suddenly a bomb was also hurled in the news media calling Armenians for cover.

While investigations were continuing relentlessly and the events leading to the bombing were evolving, Armenians had to focus on the unexpected turn of events, when the bombers’ uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, interjected the name of a shadowy character called, “Misha,” who had “taken the brain” of the bombers and supposedly “brainwashed completely” the elder brother, Tamerlan. And this character is supposed to be of “Armenian descent,” converted to Islam — a rare concoction of a character, indeed.

As the authorities were after the criminal aspects of the case, Armenians had to tend to their own wounds, right on the eve of the April 24 commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.

The surviving younger bomber has confessed that the next target was Times Square in New York City. No one has yet asked the question: why was that particular target selected? Was there any connection with the Armenian Genocide commemoration to take place at that very same location a few days later?

As Armenians began to wonder and look into the implications of Uncle Tsarni’s statement, the mystery turned even darker and more complex looking like the characterization of Soviet Russia by Winston Churchill who said, “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.”

When, finally that key was found, it turned out to be a big lie. And as soon as that lie was discovered, the Soviet Empire collapsed.

Now the question is who will be able to find the key to this new mystery. As the characters of this drama are revealed the mystery gets even thicker. Only investigative journalists with connections to the darker alleys of the intelligence community may be able to get to the bottom of this “Armenian connection.”

Prominent lawyer, Mark Geragos, set the record straight with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who was harping continuously on the Armenian ancestry of the character Misha who suddenly had become a major player. Had he known the background of the characters, as we now know, he would have certainly made more of an in-depth case on the issue.

Of course, on Tuesday, April 30, Tsarni contacted the Armenian Mirror-Spectator to apologize to the Armenian community. (See story on page 1.) What is the reason for the change of heart at this juncture?

As journalists investigate this event and its aftermath, they publish more facts and information about the players in this game. Of particular interest for us here, is the character of Ruslan Tsarni who threw the “Armenian bomb” at the media. He does not seem to be a simple by-stander. His involvement and activities are entwined with oil politics and covert operations.

Ruslan Tsarni turns out to be an oil executive serving a company active in the Caspian region. He served for two years (1999-2001) as the head of the legal department of the oil company, Golden Eagle. Earlier he was a Halliburton contractor and for two years he was a consultant to USAID in Kazakhstan.

In light of the furtive lobbying campaign of the oil companies, against the passage of the Armenian Genocide resolution in Congress, Mr. Tsarni’s Armenian reference cannot be construed as coincidental. It must be deliberate especially given his legal background.

Besides his business relations, his family ties are even muddier, and he cannot extricate himself from the family web that drags him further into the shady world of covert activities.

In a revelation published in Boiling Frogs by Sibel Edmonds (April 27, 2013), it turns out that Mr. Tsarni was married to the daughter of Graham Fuller. Who is Graham Fuller? The publication writes, “A major break in the Boston terror CIA connection took place last night when I came across a post outing CIA operative Graham Fuller as the father of a woman married to the Boston terror suspects’ infamous uncle, Ruslan Tsarni. Further confirmation of this bombshell was received via mainstream reporter, Laura Rozen.”

We further read in the Boiling Frogs exposé: “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 21 photos, with no names. One of them was Graham Fuller.”

A more revealing testimony by Edmonds brings Mr. Fuller’s activities and goals closer home to Caucasus and consequently to Armenia: “You may remember one of these foreign policy makers from my State Secrets Privilege Gallery and my under oath testimony in the Krikorian case. Here is a quote from Graham A. Fuller, former Deputy Director of the CIA’s National Council on Intelligence: ‘The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.’”

Mr. Fuller’s activities do not necessarily reflect on Mr. Ruslan Tsarni, but his place in the tangle of oil politics and covert operations shed light on his statements and his intent to drag the Armenian name into this mess.

Also special attention must be focused on Mr. Fuller’s “doctrinal” ideas; while the West and specially the US are fighting radical Islam, on the other hand, that same weapon is being used to “destabilize what remains of Russian power.” That certainly implicates Armenia, where one of the last power bases of Russia is located.

Therefore, it is no surprise that Russia recently expelled most of the foreign NGOs operating in its territory. But they are still active in Armenia. And in conjunction with the infiltration of religious sects they are intent on undermining the foundations of the country. None of the foreign organizations may entertain altogether altruistic goals. They are all self-serving at Armenia’s expense.

Returning to Misha, he seems to be the remotest person to be connected with anything Armenian. But Uncle Ruslan implicates him as the main culprit in misguiding his “innocent” nephews. Misha also seems to be a shady character. Interviewed in his Rhode Island home by New York Review of Books, Misha turns out to be Mikhail Allakhverdov, a person of mixed Armenian and Ukrainian parentage. Certainly he has inherited his red beard from his Ukrainian ancestry. Then why is his Armenian parentage thrust into the news media and not the Ukrainian? What is inconceivable with Misha is that his family was persecuted as Christians in Muslim Azerbaijan and he seems to be among the 400,000 Armenians who were either murdered or deported from Baku and Sumgait. And then, one needs a psychologist’s genius to understand that after arriving in a free country, he decided to convert to the Islamic religion of his persecutors. And as if that was not enough, he acquired the power to radicalize actual, practicing Muslims.

All these incredible factors are being used to cover his main purpose and activity. Indeed, Walter Katz in The Week suggests that Misha may have been “an FBI informant” who started grooming Tamerlan for a sting operation before giving up [prematurely].” As we can see, Misha is also a character in the shadowy underworld, pursuing a mischievous mission turned sour. We can speculate on any potential goal; perhaps Tamerlan was being groomed to be involved in one of the Mr. Fuller’s operations in the Caucasus, and like Osama Bin Laden before him, he turned against his handlers. That is one of the possibilities.

As bombing victims and their families suffer, no one has an interest in digging further to find where the network of conspiracy against Armenians leads.

As Armenians we may air our anger for being hurled into this tragedy, but our resources are limited for damage control. Therefore, beyond saving the Armenian name, must we also worry about Armenia itself caught in this complex crossfire?