William Plotnikov and six others died in a firefight with Russian forces in the southwestern republic of Dagestan in July 2012, while Tsarnaev was visiting the region, the source said. The 23-year-old Plotnikov had been born in Russia, but his family moved to Canada when he was a teenager.
The source said Plotnikov’s body was prepared for burial by a local imam on July 14. Tamerlan Tsarnaev flew out of Dagestan two days later, arriving in New York on July 17. Investigators are looking into the possibility he left because of Plotnikov’s death, the source said.
Tsarnaev’s parents live in Makhachkala. Possible links between Tsarnaev and Plotnikov and Nidal were first reported by a Russian magazine, Novaya Gazeta.
And the source said that about a month before he returned to the United States, Tamerlan Tsarnaev applied for a Russian passport at a government office in Dagestan, telling authorities he had lost his existing passport. According to the source, Tsarnaev left Dagestan before his new passport arrived. It’s not clear whether he traveled on an existing Russian or Kyrgyz passport. http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/29/us/boston-attack/index.html
From Vancouver Sun, adopted hometown for Graham Fuller, the top CIA operative who is now an adjunct faculty member at Simon Fraser University in nearby Burnaby, British Columbia, mere miles from and across the US/Canadian border where Uncle Ruslan lived for a period of time in Ferndale, Washington. CIA top brass never retire, they just morph, change their names, and start anew.
In what could be a major breakthrough in the attempt to understand how Tamerlan Tsarnaev, himself a skilled boxer, became radicalized and turned to violence, Moscow’s respected Novaya Gazeta newspaper revealed his links with William Plotnikov, who was killed in a battle with security forces in the troubled southern Russian republic of Dagestan last year. http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Canadian+boxer+linked+Boston+bomber/8307761/story.html
The account in Novaya Gazeta said that one of Mr. Tsarnaev’s contacts was Mahmoud Mansur Nidal, who was killed on May 19 after a standoff with Russian authorities at an apartment house in Makhachkala. Surrounded by Russian security forces, Mr. Nidal took several hostages, according to the news agency Interfax, and at one point threw a grenade at the authorities. The hostages were released after some negotiation, but Mr. Nidal refused to surrender and was shot dead, Interfax reported.
Another possible contact was Mr. Plotnikov, a Russian émigré to Canada who became disenchanted with life there, converted to Islam and then moved to Dagestan to join the Muslim insurgency. He had been trained in boxing by a well-known Russian coach in Canada and was known among the Muslim rebels in Dagestan as “The Canadian.” Mr. Plotnikov became a member of the Mujahideen of the Caucasus Emirate and had briefly been detained by Russian authorities.
Studies on radicalization suggest that converts are particularly vulnerable to extremist ideologues, who prey on their ignorance and zeal. According to a study on the RCMP website, conversion “can create an emotional experience that is easy for radicalization agents to manipulate.” As newcomers to their beliefs, converts may also feel the need to prove themselves to the group, a New York Police Department study said.
“You see it’s just like the Christians,” Mr. Plotnikov said. “There are Catholics, there are Orthodox, there are Seven Day Adventists. The same thing in Islam. Islam has lots of movements. Whatever he chose, it was not approved by his friends. And he was told that, ‘You went the wrong way.’ But like it says, blessed are those who believe. So he was programmed. He knew where he was going, he knew the aims. http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/08/20/dagestan/