Photo: Brian Glyn Williams (right) Source: brianglynwilliams.com
Brian Glyn Williams bills himself as an associate professor of Islamic History at University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. That's where his byline tends to stop, abridged as it is. Recently however, Williams has come clean about his CIA past as a field operative in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and around Central Asia in the early 2000's. He studied, of all things, the motivations of "suicide bombers," establishing himself as an expert on the subject. Professor Williams also has a longtime association with the Jamestown Foundation, created by the head of the CIA in 1984 and steered by Zbigniew Brzezinski. Williams' role as an "analyst" forJamestown Foundation is usually also omitted from his byline, when his editorials appear in such mainstream journals as the Huffington Post, The Atlantic Monthly and elsewhere. Such failure to disclose his personal connections to US intelligence and to an intelligence-connected front organization mirrors his non-disclosure concerning his personal relationship with the alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in those very same publications.
A website called Major History profiled Professor Williams in March of 2013. There they wrote, "[Brian Glyn Williams'] work has taken him to " Afghanistan to work for the Central Intelligence Agency. Williams was tasked with helping law enforcement and intelligence agencies understand the motivations and behaviors of suicide bombers"" As Williams' formal education is in history, rather than psychological profiling, this may seem a bit out of the ordinary. "[Williams'] findings about suicide bombings in Afghanistan were informed by his understanding of tribal identities as much as fervor for the Jihadist movement. He came to these conclusions after being sent to Afghanistan by the CIA to perform firsthand research on these types of attacks. This type of fieldwork is unusual for most academics but especially for historians..."
In 2008 Williams wrote a Field Report on Suicide Bombers of Afghanistan, for the Middle East Policy journal. No indication was given to readers that his specific trip to Afghanistan was as a CIA operative . That disclosure does not seem to have been made until March of 2013. In the piece, Dr. Williams, a lowly associate professor of Islamic History, said, "
Williams' elaborate 2011 defense of the CIA's drone assassination campaign is an exercise in bolstering the CIA's policies without fully disclosing his own linkages or self-interests. Writing in the West Point CTC Sentinel , "Brian Glyn Williams is Associate Professor of Islamic History at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. He formerly taught at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies." That's all that Williams discloses in Accuracy of the U.S. Drone Campaign: The Views of a Pakistani General....
FrontPage Magazine managed to locate Brian Glyn Williams after the Boston Marathon bombings and noted,
As Williams is billed as the sole academic in the US worth talking to about the Chechen wars, he should quite know all about the Islamic Jihad that has raged there since the 90's and which FrontPage describes clearly just further down in the article.
Canadian Broadcasting (CBC) reported in 2010 ,
Doku Umarov is the current leader of the Chechen insurgency, and he is known as "Russia's Bin Laden." His website Kavkaz Center is hosted in Finland. On June 29th of 2010 the US State Department designated Doku Umarov a "global terrorist." In June of 2012 Finnish prosecutors were reported to have linked the US State Department itself to funding for Doku Umarov's website operations -- the Kavkaz Center.
In April of 2013, Brian Glyn Williams suggested to his Huffington Post readers to visit the Kavkaz Center website to see that these Chechens allegedly don't target Americans. Williams claimed,
Williams, of course, knows that an Al Qaeda training camp was established in Chechnya in 1995. He suggests,
Brian Glyn Williams knows full well that Doku Umarov is a terrorist and that the bombings gleefully boasted about on his Jihad website Kavkaz Center are in fact acts of terrorism. As Umarov is officially designated a "global terrorist" by the US government itself, should Mr. Williams be supporting him, his group and his website rhetorically?
The distinction that Williams stresses repeatedly is that "they had no reason to attack distant America." The clear implication here is that terrorist attacks against Russians are of no concern and should not be of concern to readers.
Doku Umarov's Al Qaeda-connected group is famous for the massacre of almost 400 civilians at a school in Beslan, Russia in 2004. FrontPage continues its summation of more recent attacks: "
Upon reading Brian Glyn Williams suggestion in the Huffington Post to visit Kavkaz, I clicked the link and found this recent post (5/20/13):
Taken From Kavkaz Center Homepage, Source: Kavkaz Center Homepage (5/20/13)
One must infer that the above is acceptable in Mr. Brian Glyn Williams' view, as it does not target Americans. While Williams vehemently denies any connection between the Chechens and Saudi Wahabbis, the Chechen commanders themselves may see it quite differently.
In the South Coast Today report by Steve Urbon, Brian Glyn Williams described his communications with the younger Tsarnaev brother.
The "commanders" were, and are, Doku Umarov, Said Buryatsky and a distinguished gentleman named Shamil Basayev. Basayev arranged for 850 hostages to be taken at a theater in Moscow in 2002, demanding Russia give up the province of Chechnya and pull out. During the siege 130 civilians died as well as all 40 of Basayev's armed terrorists.
Williams next tells his Huffington Post readers,
To a Fox News audience,
In the South Coast Today , however,
In the Fox report Williams reiterated his recurring thesis.
In another article that Williams wrote a week after the Boston bombing, Who Are The Chechens? , he told us,
Never disclosed in Williams' one-sided portrayal of his subject matter is the United States' covert role in sponsoring, funding and encouraging Jihad against first the Soviets in Afghanistan (1979), and then in former republics of the Soviet Union including Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya and Dagestan. For all the inspiring talk of desperate "David versus Goliath" Chechen Jihadist warriors, the proxy nature of these insurgencies does not merit any mention by the professor.
Screenshot of Jamestown Foundation Website
This NGO was founded in 1984 by William Casey, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency under Reagan, as well as Zbigniew Brzezinski and exiled Soviet-bloc intelligence defectors. It was a Cold War information collection and propaganda source used to strategically weaken the Soviet Union and to advance US interests in Asia, a mission that continues today undeterred.
Zbigniew Brzezinski is famous for designing and launching the 1979 Jihad in Afghanistan that drew the Soviets into their own "Vietnam," thereby weakening Soviet Russia and draining its resources on a US-engineered and supported proxy war. The arms and fighters flowed through Pakistan and Saudi Arabia primarily, in partnership with the CIA. Radical Islamic fighters were recruited from all over the Arab world to go fight a Jihad in Afghanistan throughout the 1980s.
Brzezinski bragged about this success against the Soviets and simultaneously dismissed concerns over Islamic fundamentalism.
Currently, says SourceWatch:
Former National Security Agency officer Wayne Madsen says ,
Jamestown and Caucasus Fund were flagged by Georgian state security as holding training seminars in 2012 attended by none other thanTamerlan Tsarnaev during his trip to Russia in the first half of the year. This second connection between Jamestown Foundation and the Tsarnaev brothers bolsters the idea that the two brothers were being recruited by US intelligence and were not "lone wolves" as is presented uncritically across the US corporate media spectrum. A further connection to both the CIA and to USAID leads directly to the boys' uncle Ruslan Tsarni . That's three. And now we have reasonable suspicion to investigate further persons associated with these shady and highly-motivated organizations.
USAID, which uncle Ruslan Tsarni worked with -- or more likely for -- since the 1990s, was recently expelled from Russia for interfering in the internal politics of that country. This interference is a consistent pattern, one that has flipped multiple countries from the Russian alliance to the NATO/US alliance, including Georgia, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
Brian Glyn Williams' so-called expertise on the Chechen conflict stems directly from official US policy since the Cold War, and that is a policy to break up the Soviet Union and Russia in order to weaken it, and to therefore strengthen the US / NATO alliance and expand it into Asia. The dissolution of Chechnya and Dagestan is seen as a continuation of the break-up of the rest of the Soviet Union, despite Chechnya being a part of Russia for 150 years. The Chechen insurgency of the 1990s sprung up in similar fashion to other radical Islamic insurgencies promoted by the US and its allies throughout Central Asia. Numerous foreign fighters flooded in to fight the Russians in similar fashion to the Afghanistan Jihad, also known as Operation Cyclone.
Brian Glyn Williams' 2004 paper on the subject provides clues to his motivations, and they are far from neutral or academic. In From "Secessionist Rebels" to "Al-Qaeda Shock Brigades": Assessing Russia's Efforts to Extend the Post-September 11th War on Terror to Chechnya,Williams wrote, ""Condoleeza Rice, tellingly proclaimed "not every Chechen is a terrorist and the Chechens' legitimate aspirations for a political solution should be pursued by the Russian government.'"
In other words, the US demanded that secession and the break-up of Russia be permitted by the Russian government. When the United States itself faced secession and break-up in 1860, this was not exactly welcomed by those in power.
The strategy of defining terrorists working in the interests of US policymakers as "freedom fighters" and dismissing their atrocities by characterizing them as the work of a small "minority," seems to originate with Zbigniew Brzezinski. Williams quotes Brzezinski in the piece: "What should be done? To start with the US should not fall for Russia's entreaty that 'we are allies against Osama bin Laden'... Terrorism is neither the geopolitical nor moral challenge here [in Chechnya]."
This is an ideological foundation for ignoring terrorism whenever and wherever it suits US interests. Such has been the policy for a long, long time and in the Muslim world easily shown back to 1979. Terrorism in Chechnya is described by Professor Williams as not being from the majority, but from a minority. Essentially a straw man argument, no one would claim that terrorists are a majority in the first place. This exact argument is used by US apologists concerning Syria today in regards to the Al Qaeda connected Al Nusra Brigades operating there.
In The Atlantic on April 26th of this year, Brian Glyn Williams told American readers,
One of the most useful sources of information to debunk Brian Glyn Williams is, surprisingly enough, Brian Glyn Williams' own papers, like the 2004 piece cited above. "" President Bush went on to declare that "Arab terrorists' linked to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda organization were operating on Chechen territory and ought to be "brought to justice.'28 U. S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, went a step further and proclaimed "Russia is fighting terrorists in Chechnya, there is no question about that, and we understand that." His entire paper reads like a Cold War propaganda piece designed to dispute the assessment of even Bush and Powell and to put forth the myth that the Chechens are not in any way, shape or form linked to Al Qaeda, which is a demonstrably false premise. Williams mentions that the Taliban recognized the breakaway Chechen Emirate as a legitimate government in 2000, but he dismisses this fact as a "purely symbolic gesture."
Remember, this is the man who is currently authoring a book to destroy the idea that Chechen terrorism is in any way linked to Al Qaeda. His April 19th interview with Steve Urbon ended with, "[Chechens] are not Al Qaeda. Repeat: They are not Al Qaeda." Chechen fighters, however, are overwhelmingly radical Islamists, and this is where Williams is debunked as a tale spinner.
In the Huffington Post , April 25th, Williams wrote,
Here with Dostum and friends, the ever-objective Professor Williams found a consistent story: no Chechens.
In his 2004 report, Williams tells how this very question was essentially the purpose of his mission, his CIA assignment.
Mark Ames at NSFWCorp was first to challenge Wiliams' "Chechen Big Foot" claim. Ames compiled a list of articles to dispute Williams.
"[Defense Secretary] Rumsfeld told reporters , "There's Chinese in there, there's Chechens in there"'" Agence France-Presse, on March 22, 2002: ""Chechen fighters in Afghanistan who have thrown their lot in with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network." Even US Generals were quoted specifically referring to Chechens in Afghanistan and allied with Bin Laden. "We know the history of the Chechens. They are good fighters and they are very brutal," [US Major General Frank] Hagenbeck said. The general said he has heard of reports out of the Pentagon that a unit of 100-150 Chechens had moved into southern Afghanistan." And here is more evidence that Brian Glyn Williams claims does not exist: "General Tommy Franks, the commander of US forces, said in Moscow Thursday that Chechen fighters were among the al-Qaeda fighters taken prisoner by US troops but gave no figures." The New York Times reported, "Between 100 and 200 Qaeda and ''non-Afghan'' fighters, including Arabs, Chechens and Uzbeks, have been killed in heavy fighting so far, General Franks said..." During the battle of Tora Bora theNY Times reported Chechens as the fiercest fighters, "By all accounts, the Arab and Chechen fighters have put up the stiffest resistance."
Williams also tied his own 2003 mission to Afghanistan with official US policy changes during that time period, "
Williams' entire career aligns with this policy change. His field work was directly in service of bolstering this view and gathering evidence in support of maintaining good relations and support for Chechen "freedom fighters" who persist to this day in trying to break away from Russia. This is Brzezinski's Grand Chessboard in action.
Mark Ames at NSFW details how this very same policy of treating Chechen terrorists as "freedom fighters" directly impacted the September 11th attacks, in particular the thwarted investigation of "20th hijacker" Zacharias Moussaoui one month before the attacks.
An FBI memo already established al Khattab as an Al Qaeda terrorist, but the investigation of Moussaoui's laptop was denied to the FBI Minneapolis officers and to Coleen Rowley, the legal advisor there.
Brian Glyn Williams mentions Khattab in other articles, acknowledging his Saudi roots, funding and role in setting up training camps in Chechnya in 1995. Williams also admits that the indigenous Chechen rebel leadership made a strategic alliance with Khattab and his Al Qaeda support network in 1999. Williams himself wrote, "Although the Russian Federation had initially limited its retaliatory bombing strikes to Khattab's camps in southeastern Chechnya, the Kremlin launched a total invasion of Chechnya in October 1999. This indiscriminate invasion drove Chechnya's moderate leadership (the only force in Chechnya that might have assisted in expelling the foreign jihadis) into a strategic alliance with Khattab and his IIB." Straight from the horse's mouth. Sounding a lot like those attempting to hold Williams to account, he himself told of the foreign Jihadist infusion, Islamists who travelled into Chechnya to engage in warfare and terrorism. Wrote Williams, "Young Egyptians, Yemenis, Saudis, Pakistanis, Turks, etc. continue to make their way at great risk to Chechnya to assist the Chechens in their uneven struggle. Many of those who have fought in Chechnya have been radicalized by their experience as front line jihadis." Thorough as the good professor is, he even places Al Qaeda's number 2 at the time, and now top Al Qaeda leader Zawahiri in Dagestan. "December 1996. Ayman al Zawaheri, leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and member of Al Qaeda's ruling troika, travels to Dagestan in search of a new base of operations"" These Chechen/Al Qaeda links, many of which are admitted to by Williams himself, are striking and irrefutable... but inconvenient for current policy makers. Excerpts are taken from, "The 'Chechen Arabs': An Introduction To The Real Al-Qaeda Terrorists From Chechnya," Jamestown Foundation, Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 1 , May 5, 2005, by Brian Glyn Williams.
And for how long? How many communications? What was motivating these communications? What is the relationship between Jamestown Foundation and ongoing covert operations in the Caucasus? What was the relationship of Jamestown Foundation to Tamerlan Tsarnaev on his trip to Dagestan in 2012? What is the relationship between the brothers and their uncle Ruslan Tsarnai and to his former father in law, CIA mastermind Graham Fuller? How did individuals in US intelligence cancel threat warnings issued on Tamerlan Tsarnaev? Who hid Tamerlan Tsarnaev's threat warnings from local Boston police and from members of the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force?
Brian Glyn Williams ended his 2005 article with this statement:
Joe Giambrone publishes Politcal Film Blog (@polfilmblog), and he dares anyone to try this Hell of a Deal .