The suspicious six-month trip of the elder Boston Terror Bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to Russia last year has raised many red flags. Primarily, the journey to post-Soviet Russia’s Islamist-ridden Northern Caucasus has generated questions about Moscow’s exact role in the Boston terror attack. What did the Russians know? Why did they not detain Tsarnaev, especially since they had given his name to the FBI?
Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz seeks to answer these questions in an article for the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research (SFPPR).
Boston Bombings: The Russian Question
SFPPR News & Analysis
By Marek Jan Chodakiewicz
May 8, 2013
It appears the Boston perpetrators, Tamerlan and his younger brother Johar (Dzhohar) Tsarnaev, were homegrown, Internet empowered jihadists. But Russia’s part in the deadly game remains murky. There is no solid evidence linking the Kremlin to the marathon bombing but too many questions remain unanswered to exclude Moscow’s involvement.
Let us consider the relationship between Tamerlan and the post-Communist secret police.
In 2011, Moscow approached Washington with a warning that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was involved in radical Islamist circles, most likely connected to the Chechen insurrection. Accordingly, the FBI talked five times to the young man and his relatives, but found nothing noteworthy. Now that we know the Russian warning about the older brother was eerily prescient we should ask on what basis the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) singled out Tamerlan Tsarnaev for the FBI’s investigation. But the Kremlin says it does not have anything specific on the perpetrator and never did. Why did Russia bother us then with investigating someone apparently lacking a track record of malfeasance? Yet it did.
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