The Brothers Tsarnaev: Clues to the Motives of the Alleged Boston Bombers

The land of their ancestry is fertile ground for rebellion and jihad but not everything that has emerged so far wraps up their motivations in a neat theory

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AP

From left: Tamerlan, 26, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.

As police continue to search Boston for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old believed to be partly responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings along with his older brother Tamerlan, a key question remains unanswered: What motivated the brothers?

Each of them has left possible clues online.

Tamerlan, who was killed in a shootout earlier today, appears to have been sympathetic to Islamist radicalism. Five months ago, he appears to have created a channel on YouTube called Terrorists. The channel features videos from the one of the leaders of the insurgency in Dagestan, who goes by the name Amir Abu Dudzhan. YouTube appears to have removed two of the videos but in a third features Dudzhan calling for jihad. Holding a Kalashnikov rifle, he says, “Jihad is the duty of every able-bodied Muslim.” Among the other videos on his channel is one of Timur Mutsuraev, the bard of the Chechen resistance in the 1990s; it features his song “We Will Devote Our Lives to Jihad.”

The younger brother, Dzhokhar, attended school from 1999 to 2001 in the Russian republic of Dagestan, a war-torn part of Russia next to Chechnya, according to his page on the Russian social-networking site Vkontakte. But even though Dzhokhar’s page indicates an interest in conflicts and causes that have at times been connected to terrorism, no solid evidence has emerged to suggest that he is motivated by religious or nationalist causes.

On his Vkontakte page he posted video messages sympathetic to the cause of Chechen independence — but Chechen independence from Russia is a cause that has the support of secular as well as Islamist activists. He also expresses sympathy for rebel fighters in Syria and elsewhere. One video bears the Russian title For Those Who Have a Heart. It shows people being brutalized by uniformed men in a country the video identifies as Syria. “They are killing your brothers and sisters without any reason,” the Russian subtitles of the video read. “Simply because they say our Lord is Allah.” The conflict in Syria, however, is almost entirely fought by Muslims on both the rebel and government sides—although the war is increasingly marked by sectarianism, with the Sunni Muslim majority making up the bulk of the rebel forces and the Alawite minority generally supporting the government of Bashar Assad.

Another video on his page seems at first glance to suggest a sympathy for Salafi Islam, an extreme form of Sunni Islam. The video is posted from a blog named Salyafi Street — but it turns out to be about a young blind boy who thanks God for his blindness because it will mean greater mercy for him when God’s judgment comes.

Such videos are relatively common among Muslim youth throughout Russia — and in the ethnic Chechen diaspora — and Tsarnaev’s page contains much lighter fare as well. It features clips from a Russian sketch comedy show that plays on the accents of men from Chechnya and other regions of the Russian Caucasus. In many ways, the page seems to be that of a normal ethnically Chechen kid.

It’s unclear when Dzhokhar left the Caucasus region and moved to the U.S. An uncle told CNN that the family lived for some time in Kyrgyzstan before moving to the U.S. According to classmates interviewed by CNN, he went to high school in Cambridge and worked at Harvard University. One of his acquaintances recalled a conversation Dzhokhar had with a classmate during which Dzhokhar allegedly said, “In relation to acts of terrorism, he said it was not a serious issue if you come from a place where I come from,” the acquaintance, Eric Machado, told CNN. “Those comments raised a red flag in my head.”

In 2011, Dzhokhar appears to have won a city of Cambridge scholarship of $2,500. In February 2011 he was the Cambridge student of the month for his wrestling prowess; wrestling is the national pastime of Chechnya and the Caucasus.

The Associated Press spoke to Dzhokhar’s father, who was in the Russian city of Makhachkala, which is the capital of the Russian republic of Dagestan. “My son is a true angel,” Anzor Tsarnaev told the AP. In a separate interview with the Russian news agency Interfax, their father said, “Dzhokhar is a second-year medical student in the U.S. He is such an intelligent boy. We expected him to come on holidays here.”

74 comments
libertyfreedompatriot
libertyfreedompatriot

"Clues to the Motives" -- as if there's any doubt??

The motive is Islam, period. Killing infidels is explicitly condoned in the Koran. These two Chechen thugs added their own twist: killing innocent children. Like other Chechen militants, they are fine with using children as military pawns (see Beslan, 2004). Scumbags, pure and simple.

HaroldT
HaroldT

What a deafening silence from Mosques in condemming the Boston terrorist attack.

Wake up to the Muslim threat !

CrossWinds
CrossWinds

Matthew 23:15....

15 "How terrible it will be for you, legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You travel over sea and land to make one convert. But when they’ve been converted, they become twice the child of hell you are.

PrinceEllington
PrinceEllington

I’m glad they caught the TRAITOR. This great country gives him asylum from his former country and this is how he repays America? The entire of city of Boston shut down and sporting events cancelled and postponed. Bomber suspect also revealed his true feelings of America on his twitter a year ago.  This controversial tweet has not been published on any media outlet.  You can read more at: http://www.basketballworld24.com/2013/04/boston-bomber-reeks-havoc-in-boston.html

dklloyd
dklloyd

It is extreme versions of every religion and national movements that cause harm and killing.

jacktrout24
jacktrout24

In my opinion the motive of those two brothers that committed such heinous acts was because their mother and father were deported back to Chechnya because the mother was caught stealing $1600 worth of clothes in a department store in Boston. I think the brothers then changed their attitude towards the USA and felt compelled to do something in their families honor against the United States and the people.I can only speculate, but it seems the older brother influenced the younger brother into doing this for the sake of what happen to their family. A horrible and horrific event that calls out for anyone that speaks about terrorist acts to be apprehended and questioned immediately. Those innocent families and bystanders as do all true Americans deserved to enjoy a peaceful gathering without the threat of being harmed by these cowardly acts. My families thoughts and condolences are with the families and victims who were effected by this and I hope the pain is less everyday, but I doubt it.

UdaiSingh
UdaiSingh

Did USA invited the Boston bombings on it self

BBC report of 20th April says “In an interview on Russian television, the mother of the two suspects said the FBI had been in contact with her son for several years.

What one is to make out of it. These are deep waters but all that has been done in last few days reveals a lot. Did US authorities destroy the Tsarnaev brother’s home to eliminate evidence of FBI’s several years long association with TamerlanTsarnaev.

Any opportunity to belittle, malign or humiliate Russia and Putin brings the worst out of Americans.

Russia’s war on terror in Chechnya was to be portrayed in poor light and to this end all means, fair or foul were acceptable nee welcome.

American authorities , media and other powerful anti Russian forces including Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) , Pakistan etc have been pumping money, arms and ammunitions’,  terrorists’, positive media coverage on Chechen extremists’ bent upon  destroying un Islamic government at Moscow & Grozny.  

Pakistan has been running terrorist training camps for exporting jihadist ideology since Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Finance and arms for these terror camps were provided by USA and it’s closest ally in middle east KSA. This establishes a three decade long troika of continuing terror training by Pakistan, USA & KSA. These terrorists were after all Ronald Reagan’s Freedom Fighters.

It comes as no surprise that some of the terrorist operating / killed in Kashmir were Chechens, who by no stretch of imagination can have any interest in the state of Kashmir. Also Afghan, Yamani, Saudi  and Pakistani jihadists have been operating in Chechnya and southern Caucasus.   Hence it is from the mainly Pakistan mentored jihadist common pool that most of the terrorists emerge.  As a major supplier of weapons’ and money to Pakistan, USA is complicit in this enterprise, to say the least.

Assertion by  the mother of the two suspects that the FBI had been in contact with her son for several years should not be taken lightly . Was he being leaned on by FBI to cause terrorism in Russia ? Has FBI sent him to Pakistan for training ?

Were the Boaston Bombing Brothers  FBI operators who turned hostile and bit the hand that fed, sheltered and looked after them. If yes it will be repetition of David Hadley saga - a former FBI double agent who  masterminded Mumbai attacks in 2008.

Did US authorities destroy the Tsarnaev brother’s home to eliminate evidence of FBI’s several years long association with TamerlanTsarnaev.

cubebee
cubebee

Imagine this terrorist hid someplace that denied conventional access. POTUS orders his takeout  by a Drone plane. The terrorist is killed successfully.  But collateral damage inevitably includes innocent American lives including women and children. Could we live with that ? Does the end justify the means? Happens all the time on the Af-Pak border..

NevadaSummer
NevadaSummer

what a waste, and intelligent teenager and a good boxer turned monster by islamist, he broke his father's heart, he had high hopes for him. radical islam ruin lives.

quotesnotes
quotesnotes

The former Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, claims that MC is the greatest British PM since Churchill. If that is true, we must not forget the following two facts: 1. This iron lady, a shop keeper's daughter, when she was an unknown local candidate for MP,advocated to abolish offering a class of milk to all  impoverished pupils by the local primary schools; this lady, cunning and shrewd, obviously knew how to rise to power not by popularity but by public outcry. Second, if Howard's claim has any merits, that definitely sets the bar of CRUELTY  higher for the next super great British PM, starving and expelling all poor pupils may be on the card next around?   

www.qnpress.blogspot.com.au

QUOTES&NOTES - A Periodical Of Reading Notes by james farmer

Plato I Plutarch I Aristotle I Hume I Smith I Confucius



Read more: http://world.time.com/2013/03/22/crisis-in-cyprus-threatens-e-u-role-and-legitimacy/#ixzz2Qy8RjrQm

kualla
kualla

What exactly does  "Jihad"  stand for or mean?  Anyone that knows the true definition?

MordecaiKucai
MordecaiKucai

Wrong concept of Jihad or almost stupid interpretation. Give a smile to your neighbor is already a jihad. You're the one who try to make a friendship. Working hard to make sure your family well fed is jihad too. 

This stupid people creating a shortcut to heaven forgetting that if you didn't do good to people regardless race or religious or contributes good deeds to society how come Allah will accept you?


AndrewGonzales
AndrewGonzales

Sean Collier who was a Boston police officer was killed by two armed brothers and then were chased down which lead to a fire fight in Boston. Now the brother that escaped is now possibly hiding in some ones' backyard boat which may or may not be under a weather cover/rain coat in Boston, Massachusetts. It is now 6:53 CT in Dallas,Tx

glennra3
glennra3

Please, folks, do not allow the lack of information concerning the motives behind these attacks keep you from rushing to judgment to grind your own personal axes.  By all means, give free reign to your prejudices and continue appealing to the lesser demons of our nature. 


What is the internet for if we can't play amateur psychologists and kitchen table philosophers by typing in the first knee-jerk reactions that spring to mind?  After all, by next week we will have forgotten this entertainment and move on to the next vehicle for expressing our ignorance.

rihannk
rihannk

How can Islam ever be about about peace if they have their minions running around killing innocent people? How can killing innocent people ever be justifiable under peaceful means? The brothers Tsaernev are despicable, vile and evil human beings for plotting, planning and carrying out these attacks in and against the US.  They are dastardly cowards for taking a cheap shot at a soft target.  Islam is the only religion that  goes around and blow people up in the name of their god.  Islam is the only religion that tolerates hatred and violence against women   The US is waging a LEGITIMATE war against these despicable human drivel and can hopefully rid the world of the evil that they do.  

rihannk
rihannk

How did the US even allow this scumbags to get into their country in the first place??  Mother arrested, terrorist videos on youtube??  Bad, bad apples.


DonPorter
DonPorter

Apparently one brother escaped (approx. 10,000 law enforcement) after a fire fight & running over his own brother.  How did he get away ?

 Major lockdown !!

7swild
7swild

I'm sure our foreign policy concerning Islamic nations has nothing to do with the fact that we are becoming targets for back lash. Do we really believe we can meddle in the affairs of nations that have existed since before the discovery of the Americas without meeting resistance? I for one can't blame the world abroad. Our foreign policy is the equivalent of a toddler trying to tell an adult how to run their house. If we want to stop attacks like Benghazi, TWC, and the Boston Marathon, the first step is stepping back and letting the Islamic nations of this world deal with their own problems without us feeling the need to interfere with the way they have done things for THOUSANDS of years.   

bk9001
bk9001

It is yet another example of Islam is fit only for caveman and animals.

libertyfreedompatriot
libertyfreedompatriot

@dklloyd Why then does Islam produce a disproportional share? Answer: killing infidels in explicitly condoned in the Koran.

RhondaToler
RhondaToler

I think your question is very interesting, although many will criticize it I am sure.  It is also interesting that the mother said that 911 was an inside job, and his son knew all about it. However, I did not hear her say they were in contact with him, I thought she said they were watching or following him for years. Which would imply they were in deed watching him after the tip of the foreign government. What jumps out at me the most, is that the tip of the foreign government said he had changed drastically since 2010, and he visited Russia in 2012.  So that means he was radicalized in the US, so it is important to find out and investigate all he was in contact with for the past 3 years. 

glennra3
glennra3

@UdaiSingh 

You should write short stories.  Lots of imagination...absolutely no facts.

glennra3
glennra3

@quotesnotes


Did you know that "bookkeeper" is the only word in English language with three consecutive double letters?


I thought I'd bring it up since we are talking about things that have absolutely nothing to do with the topic of this article.

glennra3
glennra3

@kualla 

If only you had some device at your disposal that would allow you to just type in the word you are looking for and instantly come up with definitions and articles.


I'll bet somebody could make a lot of money if they invented such a machine.

Realislam
Realislam

As an educated and totally free Muslim woman I hate terrorism. Please educate yourselves on Islam through reliable sources  not through Tv and news. Real Islam is not the one you learn from these terrorist attacks. Also Islam never tolerates hatred and violence against women. If you want to have some real information you may refer to the following link and tons of similar information are available on the web. Some muslims may not be applying the rules correctly. They may be applying their cultural learnings. You can`t say that Islam promotes terror or any other unacceptable behaviour because of radical people.God bless all people. ://www.islamswomen.com/articles/do_muslim_women_have_rights.php

mizalexa
mizalexa

My religion is Islam, my whole family are muslims, in South East Asia muslims do not tolerate hatred and violence against women as much as anybody else. We despise terrorists and truly sad for Boston. I have a friend who died because of extremist terror and a friend who died in Iraq serving US. 2 of them were not related but had the same religion, Islam. And none of them or me or us ever taught or learned in our school or our society or in the mosque or in the quran and our prayers that we read everyday to hate, kill and terrorize people or abuse women. We all saddened and our hearts and thoughts are for Boston, Iraq, Palestine and all of those in the world, regardless of their race, beliefs or religion, who are the victims of individuals misconception and stupidity.

And concluding something adverse about any religion is just ignorant, and the terrorists and extremists, they have one thing (among others) in common, ignorance of other people's beliefs and lives.

RhondaToler
RhondaToler

He was a kid when he entered this country, and it is clear he was radicalized inside the US. That is what concerns me. 

SteveBloomberg
SteveBloomberg

@7swild if you invite large numbers of Muslim people into the West and meddle with their countries overseas invariably some will resort to terrorism. Reducing the number who come to the West would be a sensible measure and also to stop meddling in their countries.

curt3rd
curt3rd

So this is our fault that terrorist attacked, kill, and maimed inocent people?  Everyone blames all their problems on the Evil U.S. then turns around with their hand out asking for money, asking for us to solve their problems,asking for food, ect....   Hell, these 2 idiots came to this country as refugees. Most people would just say thank you.  This is not our fault. 

LamSam
LamSam

Not only Islam, all Abrahamic religion.

LamSam
LamSam

Not only Islam, all Abrahamic religion.

glennra3
glennra3

@bk9001 

Simple-minded people need simple-minded answers.


Whatever helps you sleep at night.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

@bk9001 If you blame Boston on all Muslims, , then let's blame all Catholics on Oklahoma City and Sandy Hook on all gun owners.

usbworks
usbworks

@bk9001 

I was saying the same thing about Catholicism when the IRA was planting bombs in Belfast to blow up innocent Protestants. But I was wrong to blame all Catholics. Just the Irish are animals.

UdaiSingh
UdaiSingh

@RhondaToler Glad you have an eye for details.

 Many questions are hanging out there seeking answers

1- Who was paying for MIT education and partying ( which is not cheap for a third world family) of the younger brother.

Remember family lives in non opulent flat in Dagestan, elder brother was totally  living off his 70 hours/ week working white wife.

2 - How the family moved in & out of US unhindered, number of times?

 Ex President of India, a 70 years old man was detained at US airport.

3 - Father says elder son was generally sleeping at home, but he was touring Chechenya. Neighbours say elder son was repairing / remodelling house. Who is telling truth ?

4- Brothers had enough arsenal to arm a minor army. Who gave money? Can foreign origin youth keep buying huge quantity of weapons unhindered

quotesnotes
quotesnotes

@glennra3 @quotesnotes 


Philosophy is the engineering of our thinking, I suppose we might never understand the sick mindset of those evil bombers, history and philosophy is the only chance to start the inquiry. Thank you for your note. 

SteveBloomberg
SteveBloomberg

@WhiteWookiee @glennra3 the motives are reasonably clear aren't they? This isn't a new phenomenon. There have been a number of other attempted bombings in recent years by those who subscribe to radical Islam. 

ricardo_lion
ricardo_lion

@mizalexa   In Boston Muslim terrorists killed innocent people.  Palestine: More than 80% judenrein:  The autocratic Muslim Arab kingdom of Jordan, given by GB to one family from Arabia, conquered in a defensive war from Egypt (not "Palestine", just the name of a region, never a country) and given to the local Arabs and the most of Judea and Samaria (reconquered in the same defensive war from Jordan, not "Palestine", but later given by stupid Israeli politicians to Egyptian Muslim Arab terrorist Arafat and his corrupt PLO) - In those parts Muslim Arabs are killing each other ("Black September", Fatah x Hamas, etc.). The 20% of Palestine called Israel, the Jewish (the religion of Jesus), democratic (rights for all) and civilized (no civil war, hanging of gays, women stoning, "honour" killing of girls, etc.) is defending from Muslim Arab bloody dictatorships, medieval kingdoms and jihadi groups supported by Iran.  In Iraq:  Muslim Arabs killing Muslim Arabs and Muslim Kurds.

RhondaToler
RhondaToler

There are many other questions as well.  Where is the SUV full of bullet holes? Where is the owner of the SUV?  The man who owned the boat he was found in has gone into hiding? The Saudi man who was originally detained and questioned in the hospital has been deported, and was visited by the 1st lady, and Saudi Ambassador.  Why were heads of state visiting this guy? There was supposedly a man stopped and asked to strip naked.  Who was this  man and where is he now? There are a lot of questions. One of the most important things I noticed about the back pack.  It is very clear the back back carried by the younger brother was white or gray with black trim.  There are several photos floating around, one of a brown bag next to the mail box, and another of a back pack by the fence near the little boy who was killed.  It is not white with black trim, it is black with silver trim.  Where are the photos of him planting the bomb? The back pack he was carrying was white or gray. I am not convinced of anything related to this story, and we will never know.  

UdaiSingh
UdaiSingh

@glennra3 @UdaiSinghWhat was the nature of FBI interview (???) that lasted over several years. FBI trained him well over SEVERAL YEARS .  Pl comment

Agreed Russia is in a hole, please leave them alone.

Why prop up puppet Mikheil Saakashvili in Georgia.  

glennra3
glennra3

@UdaiSingh @glennra3

Why let your lack of knowledge keep you from offering your opinions?  You obviously aren't letting that stand in the way of your flights of fancy about the two men who carried out the Boston attack.


"Everyone" knows the U.S. is doing everything to humble Russia?  Give me a break.  Russia has humbled itself.  You think Americans are worried about a nation that hasn't yet figured out the mechanics of the flush toilet.


When I visited Russia and Ukraine in 2000 I left in amazement that America at one time thought that this nation was a worthy Cold War rival.  



UdaiSingh
UdaiSingh

@glennra3 @UdaiSingh As I know little about JFK death , no comments.

Everyone knows FBI & USA is doing everything imaginable to humble Russia & Putin in Chechenya, and winning Islamic indulgence as additional benefit. 

Remember what Reagen did  in Afganistan- arouse Islamic fervour to defeat Soviet.  It is pay back time folks now.


glennra3
glennra3

@UdaiSingh @glennra3 


And how exactly do you go from an FBI interview to the FBI sending these boys to Pakistan to train them to carry out terrorist attacks on Russia?


Care to share your thoughts on who really killed JFK while you are at it?

libertyfreedompatriot
libertyfreedompatriot

@glennra3 Yes, they are. How much clearer could they get? And that was even before the younger brother plainly stated that they were motivated by Jihad. 

Frankly, you write well but aren't too bright.

rihannk
rihannk

@mizalexa  Sadly your statement is not entirely true.  From memory I recall the Bali bombings, bombings in India and Thailand as all being committed by radical Muslims.  The radical element is unfortunately all over the world.  

ricardo_lion
ricardo_lion

@mizalexa   I forgot to mention Somalia, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan (300,000 black Christians killed by Muslim Arab militias in Darfur), Egypt, Afghanistan, etc.  The god invented in Arabia by Mohammed 1,500 years after Judaism, 650 after Jesus is not the One from the Bible.

mizalexa
mizalexa

Okay so we agreed then that it is 'muslim terrorists', yes. Because we muslims in SEA especially in Singapore live in peace and you can do your research how Singapore has different races and religions live together in harmony. Muslim in my side of the world and those in the places that you just mentioned, praise the same God, read and learn from the same holy book, yet we in this side do not go around killing people and terrorise. So what is the problem then, individuals misconceptions of a religion and belief, sadly by its own followers. I believe that those extremists gain nothing but God's wrath.