Ex-CIA agent Graham Fuller denied any connections between the CIA and the Boston bombing suspects after reports surfaced about his daughter once being married to the suspects’ uncle, Ruslan Tsarni.
Fuller confirmed that his daughter, Samantha A. Fuller, was married to Ruslan for three to four years in the 1990s, when his surname was then spelled Tsarnaev.
Fuller, former CIA officer in Turkey and vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council, told Al-Monitor that internet rumors about “possible connections between Ruslan and the Agency through me are absurd.”
“Samantha was married to Ruslan Tsarnaev (Tsarni) for 3-4 years, and they lived in Bishkek for one year where Samantha was working for Price Waterhouse on privatization projects,” said Fuller, who retired from the CIA in 1987. “They also lived in our house in [Maryland] for a year or so and they were divorced in 1999, I believe.”
He described Ruslan as an interesting son-in-law, but said he was homesick and moved back to Central Asia after the couple divorced.
“Like all Chechens, Ruslan was very concerned about his native land, but I saw no particular involvement in politics, [although] he did try to contact other Chechens around,” Fuller said. “He also felt homesick and eventually went back to Central Asia after the divorce. His English was shaky. (We always spoke Russian together).”
Fuller said he thinks he met father of the suspects, Aznor Tsarnaev, once in Kazakhstan, but he admitted his daughter knew the family better.
Of the Boston bombing, Fuller said: “I for one was astonished at the events, and to find myself at two degrees of separation from them.”
“I doubt [Ruslan] even had much to say of intelligence value other than talking about his own family’s sad tale of deportation from Chechnya by Stalin to Central Asia,” Fuller noted. “Every Chechen family has such stories.” Josef Stalin deported all Chechen men, women, and children from the Caucasus to Central Asia in February 1944.