The Jamestown Foundation was founded in 1984 to support Soviet dissidents, today its stated goal is to provide American policy makers with strategic information on current affairs in Russia and former Soviet countries. The organization was founded
by Arkady Shevchenko, a Soviet diplomat who defected in 1978, and also by American attorney William Geimer.
It has been alleged that CIA Director William Casey also helped set the organization up, and that the Jamestown Foundation was used to help Soviet defectors earn extra money through lecturing and writing.
According to documents
received by Izvestia
a Russian language newspaper, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was recruited by Georgia's Caucasus Fund, an organization that in the past has cooperated with the Jamestown Foundation. The documents were leaked from the files of Georgia's Ministry of Internal Affairs, Counterintelligence Department.
Izvestia reports that between January and July of 2012, Tamerlan Tsarnaev the accused bomber of the Boston Marathon attended seminars conducted by the Fund of Caucasus.
On its website
the Caucasus Fund lists one of its goals as holding seminars and conferences to awake interests in the regions problems.
To awake interest for regional problems in specialists from other countries, governmental and non-governmental organizations and funds; to promote holding of international congresses, conferences, seminars and meetings on Caucasian studies - the Fund's website states.
The Caucasusian fund was founded following the Georgian-Ossetian conflict in 2008. According to Izvestia the Jamestown Foundation has taken a repeated interest in the geopolitical affairs of the Caucasus region. In 2007 the foundation held a seminar attended by former fighters loyal to Aslan Maskhadov, the third President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.
Maskhadov was assassinated in 2005 by Russia's Federal Security Services, and was alleged to have been a jihadist leader by Russia. Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother Dzhokhar are both ethnic Chechens.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly complained to the United States State Department over what it feels is the Jamestown Foundation's meddling in its domestic affairs.
As for Tamerlan Tsarnaev's attendance at the Caucasus Fund's seminar, the Georgian Interior Ministry according to RIA
declined to comment stating:
“We have neither heard nor learned anything about this,” an Interior Ministry spokesman said.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed on April 19th in Watertown, Massachusetts in a shoot out with police following the Boston Marathon bombings.
For its part the Jamestown Foundation states the allegations in the Russian media are totally groundless, that it does not run the Georgian Fund and that the Tsarnaev brothers are not connected
to any former or current government in Chechnya.