I wrote the preceding post before 6 AM and awoke just now to discover that the facts on the ground haven't changed -- one suspect is dead and another is on the run, despite an area-wide curfew. The 19 year-old fellow still at large seems pretty damned resourceful. At this moment, there are indications that he has taken a hostage
. (Note: That link goes to a constantly-updated Reddit page maintained by someone who is listening in on the police scanners.)
But there's one stunning development: The alleged perps -- brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were Chechens
. If you claim you saw that
one coming, you're either a liar or a confederate. (Tamerlan, the elder brother, is the one who died last night.)
Speaking of confederates, I just saw a fascinating ABC interview with a mechanic who fixed a white Mercedes for one of the suspects. The most intriguing information did not seem to register with the interviewer, who asked no follow-up questions (as is par for the course in American journalism): The Tsarnaevs seemed to have plenty of money and plenty of friends.
Those two facts speak to the likelihood of a wider conspiracy.
The brothers are legal residents who have been in the U.S. since 2002-2003
. Earlier reports suggested that they had been here only a year.
We do not yet have a reasonable story concerning the events of last night. Apparently, the brothers set off an explosion, then robbed a 7-11 quite a few blocks away, killed an MIT cop some blocks away from that, then jacked a car and drove to Watertown. (They let the driver live; they deposited him in Cambridge after they helpfully identified themselves as the marathon bombers.)
If these guys had plenty of money, as the mechanic said -- and as is certainly indicated by the fact that they owned a Mercedes and lived in a ritzy area -- then why would they rob a 7-11?
The father of the two boys, Ansor Tsarnaev, lives in Makhachkala, Russia. (Actually, that city is the capital of Dagestan, which is a semi-autonomous region.) ABC reached him
The father of suspected Boston Marathon bomber called on his son today to give up peacefully, but warned the U.S. that if his son is killed "all hell will break loose."
He thinks that his sons were not behind the bombings.
"If they kill my second child, I will know that it is an inside job, a hit job. The police are to blame," the father told ABC News. "Someone, some organization is out to get them."
Apparently, conspiracism has become a popular fallback position all over the world.
The brothers, like many other Chechens, have embraced Islam
The brothers have substantial presences on social media. On Vkontakte, Russia’s most popular social media platform, the younger brother, Dzhokhar, describes his worldview as “Islam” and, asked to identify “the main thing in life,” answers “career and money.” He lists a series of affinity groups relating to Chechnya, and lists a verse from the Koran, “Do good, because Allah loves those who do good.”
The NYT gives us an interesting aspect of their history:
The older brother apparently traveled to Turkey in 2003. The Turkish interior minister, Muammer Guler, confirmed reports that he had arrived there on July 9, 2003, with three others carrying the same surname, and left the country 10 days later from Ankara, the capital, the semiofficial Anatolian News Agency reported.
“It is estimated that they were a family,” Mr. Guler said. “We established that they had no connection with Turkey.”
Remember the mechanic -- the one who fixed that white Mercedes? He said that the brothers told him that they came from Turkey.
A number of recent news accounts tell us that Al Qaeda has been active in Turkey. See here
. The politics are bizarre, since Al Qaeda uses Turkey as a base for aiding the rebellion in Syria, a rebellion also aided by the U.S. -- which means, in essence, that America and Al Qaeda are secretly working together to oust the Assad government. Yet Al Qaeda sympathizers in Turkey have also plotted terrorist actions against U.S. and Israeli interests.
Here's a Turkish police website on Al Qaeda
On November 15-20, 2003 four suicide attacks were performed in Istanbul against HSBC Bank, British Consulate and two Jewish Synagogues, Neve Şalom and Beth Israel, as a result of which, (61) people –among them (4) were suicide bombers- died and (647) people were injured.
That was a mere four months after Tamerlan's visit to Turkey. Could there be a connection? (Here is the Wikipedia page
on the 2003 attacks.)
Here's an important interview
with the uncle of the two accused perpetrators. Ruslan Tsarni clearly doesn't much admire his nephews:
“He put a shame on the Tsarni family. He put a shame on the entire Chechen ethnicity,” the uncle raged. “It has nothing to do with Chechnya.” To reporters questions, he answered: “We’re Muslims, we’re ethnic Chechens,” and he went on: “Of course we’re ashamed. They’re children of my brother. Who had little influence of them.”
This wasn’t the classic testimony of a family member, declaring love for the accused and shock at the accusation. Although he hadn’t seen his nephews since 2009, Tsarni declared flatly:
“I didn’t like them. I just wanted my family to be away from them.”
And a second time, he attributed their alleged crime to “being losers. Not being able to settle themselves. And thereby just hating everyone who did. Anything else to do with religion, with Islam, it’s a fraud; it’s a fake.”
The uncle portrays the two as loser loners who didn't fit in. But the mechanic said that they had "lots of friends."
So who are