Jamestown Foundation Responds to False Izvestia Article About Tsarnaev Link

Contact: Matthew Czekaj

The Jamestown Foundation categorically rejects the content and premise of the April 24 report by the Russian newspaper Izvestia, which suggested that Jamestown was in any way tied to Tamarlan Tsarnaev. The story presented in the Izvestia article is entirely false and groundless. Our organization has never had any contact with the Tsarnaev brothers, and we have no record or knowledge of either of them ever attending any Jamestown event in Washington, DC, or elsewhere. Furthermore, Jamestown has never hosted any seminars to train terrorists or subversive agents.

On Thursday, April 25, the Georgian government officially denounced the Izvestia report and the Ministry of the Interior pointed out that Georgian Col. Grigor Chanturia, on whom Izvestia’s reporting is supposedly based, does not even exist. According to the Georgian Interior Ministry spokesperson, “First of all, I would like to note that Grigor Chanturia—such an employee was never registered at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and this is not trustworthy information by any means. Regarding Tsaranev and the information spread about him—such a person has never been in Georgia.”

Please see reports here: https://www.georgiatoday.ge/article_details.php?id=11057

and (in Georgian) here: https://www.radiotavisupleba.ge/content/bostonis-teraktshi-echvmitanilebi/24967445.html

Wednesday’s article suggesting Jamestown was in some way complicit in training Tsarnaev is but the latest example of the unfounded rumors and falsehoods regularly featured in Izvestia’s pages. Among other instances, this Russian paper has published reports that the well-known Russian blogger Rustem Agdamov was interrogated in Norway for an alleged rape case. Norway police subsequently denied that they had any criminal proceedings in place.

See (in Russian): https://www.rusnovosti.ru/news/243570/

Additionally, the organization Mothers of Beslan has accused Izvestia of a “dirty campaign” against the victims of the 2004 terrorist attack.

See (in Russian): https://www.presscouncil.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=272&Itemid=&limit=1&limitstart=1

Finally, Jamestown wishes to clarify an incorrect point made in an April 25 article on the Foreign Policy blog “Passport” (see here: https://passport.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/04/25/russian_paper_tries_to_tie_tsarnaevs_to_georgia_and_zbigniew_brzezinski). Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski is no longer a member of Jamestown’s Board of Directors, and has not been for many years.

The Jamestown Foundation’s mission is to inform and educate policy makers and the broader community about events and trends in those societies that are strategically or tactically important to the United States and which frequently restrict access to such information. Utilizing indigenous and primary sources, Jamestown’s material is delivered without political bias, filter or agenda. It is often the only source of information which should be, but is not always, available through official or intelligence channels, especially in regard to Eurasia and terrorism.

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Founded in 1984, The Jamestown Foundation is an independent, non-partisan research institution dedicated to providing timely information concerning critical political and strategic developments in China, Russia, Eurasia and the world of terrorism. Jamestown produces three periodic publications: Eurasia Daily Monitor, Terrorism Monitor and China Brief. Jamestown research and analysis is available to the public free-of-charge via Jamestown’s website, www.jamestown.org.