News that two brothers from the Russian province of Chechnya who have lived in the United States for several years were behind the April 16 bombings makes it likely that they were at least so-called “homegrown terrorists,” possibly radicalized from al-Qaeda propaganda on the Internet. There also is a strong possibility that the two men were somehow recruited and trained by al-Qaeda operatives to stage the Boston attack.
Although this story is still unfolding, the possible involvement in the Boston bombing of Chechen nationals and the type of explosives used in the attack fit the profile of al-Qaeda terrorist planning over the last few years.
The FBI revealed this morning that two brothers from Chechnya who have been living in Massachussetts, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, and his older brother Tamerlan, 26, are suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing. The two were involved in the fatal shooting of a police officer last night, a robbery and a carjacking. They reportedly threw explosives out of the windows of their car while fleeing from police. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police. A massive manhunt is underway in Boston to apprehend the younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
There have been conflicting press reports about how long the two men have been in the United States and whether they may have obtained military training abroad.
U.S.-Russia relations are on a downward spiral after both states blacklisted individuals from the other over alleged human rights violations. President Vladimir Putin’s proclamation that 18 Americans have violated human rights and are not allowed to visit Russia is farcical on its face, but shows how far the Obama administration has to go as it begins a new round of negotiations with Putin’s government on issues like nuclear arms reductions and how to deal with Iran, Syria and North Korea.
U.S.-Russia relations have never been great during Obama’s time in the White House. Putin has been an antagonist to the United States over the last year, in part to whip up Russian nationalism against the intrusions of a foreign nation and also to solidify Russia’s interests in the Middle East and elsewhere. LIGNET has little hope that Putin will suddenly warm to the United States and the latest controversy makes us even more pessimistic about U.S.-Russian collaboration in the near term.
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