Bombers Were From a Chechen Town, and Were Permanent U.S. Residents
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, The 26 year old brother of Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, was killed early Friday morning in a shootout with police in a Boston suburb. Dzhokhar is still being hunted by authorities for his part in the Boston Marathon bombings, and have ‘locked-down’ the Boston area.
A few days ago, Tamerlan, told an acquaintance that he was devoted to his Islamic faith, had quit drinking because his faith did not approve it, and that his girlfriend was planning to convert. But the brothers are not Arabic, they are from Russia.
Chechnya has long fought against Russia. It has been the center for violent uprisings and bombings for decades. But Chechens have not displayed an anti-American sentiment.
“Russia’s Northern Caucasus is one of the most volatile, lawless regions in the world and a hotbed of international terrorism”, according to Heritage Foundation policy expert Ariel Cohen.
But “mainstream Chechnyan mujahedin have not traditionally been a direct threat to the United States,” said Evan Kohlmann, senior partner of Flashpoint Global Partners, a New York-based international security consulting firm. “Several other organizations do recruit Chechen fighters, however”, he said.
It is well known that the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and one of its splinter groups, the Islamic Jihad Union, both have recruited Chechen, Turks and other non-Arab Muslims to fight with them against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
This appears to fit with the assessment of the brother’s ability and training.
Several false leads have been reported to the FBI, including two by authorities in Connecticut. A search of their home revealed explosives and explosive devices the bomb squad decided not to remove. They performed a ‘controlled’ detonation. The FBI believes Dzhokhar may be wearing an explosive vest.
Police have also surrounded a three story house in West New York, NJ where they say the sister of the suspects lives.
Officials say the woman told them she has not been in touch with her brothers but calls them “smart and great people”.
She tells the Newark Star-Ledger she does not know what happened to them and says she feels sorry for those who were hurt.
An FBI official tells the paper the woman is cooperating.
The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, where Dzhokhar was enrolled as a student, was locked down today by police. Friends said they had trouble believing he could have been one of the bombers. They said “he must have been high on drugs or something”.
There are many questions, some of which may never be answered. Why did they leave the driver of the carjacked Mercedes unharmed? Why, when they learned the authorities had pictures of them, did they not attempt to leave the area or the country? Had they planned other attacks? Were they financed by a jihadist organization?
If the younger Tsarnaev is captured alive, maybe he will provide some answers. But, that is doubtful. Their actions indicated theirs is a suicide mission.
Columnist-The Guardian Express