Suspects' Chechan ancestry and investigation

April 19, 2013 2:30:31 PM PDT
Many questions remain about the suspects and their backgrounds.

It seems unlikely that there is any direct connection to the Jihadists in Chechnya and the bombing suspects.

But it is possible that the two brothers with Chechen ancestry may have strongly identified with the militant Muslims in the Russian Republic.

It would not be a surprise to authorities if the two brothers identified in some way with the Chechen Jihadists.

The two were born in Russia and are believed to be of Chechen ethnicity.

"Judging from the YouTube videos they seem to have sympathies with the Jihadi salaphies in Chechnya," said Ahmed al-Rahim, specialist on radical Islam.

Those Chechnyian Jihadists have a long history of bombings and hostage takings but always targeted at the Russian government.

The most recent a 2010 attack in which two female suicide bombers detonated explosives in the Moscow subway.

In 2004, Chechen militants killed 335 children and parents at a school in Beslan, Russia.

Two years earlier, hostage-takers killed more than 120 at a Moscow Theater.

But this leading expert on Radical Islam says it is unlikely that the two brothers had a direct connection to the Chechen Jihad, rather they became self-radicalized after coming to America.

"In many ways, he had all of those things that some immigrants would hope for, nevertheless, there was something apparently missing," al-Rahim said.

In the past, Muslim Chechen militants have aligned themselves with Taliban fighters and with al-Qaeda.

"There has been some association with various radical elements in Chechnya," said Bill Daley, Former FBI Investigator.

And while the brothers may have identified in some way with Chechen terrorists and radical Islam, it doesn't explain why they'd strike out against America, their adopted home.

"Too early to say whether the ethnic portion plays into it what the divergence was from the American way and what led them to do this," Daley said.

Their uncle expressed anger at the suggestion of a Chechen connection.

"No, they've never been in Chechnya. Chechens are peaceful people," said Ruslan Tsarni, the suspects' uncle.

"In looking at the videos on YouTube there's a kind of personal connection to God , very idealized notion of Islam , one separate from the life he leads one with a radical tinge," al-Rahim said.

Just days before the marathon bombing, the youngest brother tweeted the following, "how I miss my homeland #dagestan #chechnya."

His postings on a Russian-type Facebook talk about Islamic clerics in Chechnya.

Authorities will be closely scrutinizing this to see what, if any, connection might have existed and whether anyone from overseas or in the U.S. gave the brothers assistance.


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