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Boston terrorists, are they homewgrown or part of something larger?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 19th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Federal law enforcement agents are working to determine if the Tsarnaev brothers were radicalized abroad, or on U.S. soil. The brothers are widely believed to be responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings and are Muslims from Chechnya.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Brothers Dzhokhar, 26, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, are thought to be responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings which killed 3 and injured nearly 200 others.

Their act was obviously one of terrorism, but what remains to be determined is whether or not the men were part of a larger network, or if they acted independently. Furthermore, where did their extremist views develop, in Chechnya, or in the United States?

According to several sources, the brothers are ethnic Chechens. Chechnya is a state within Russia with a large Muslim population. That population, in the main, seeks to secede from the Russian state and there has been a long-running insurgency there.

The brothers have likely been influenced by this insurgency according to investigators who say that the younger brother, Dzhokhar, recently viewed several propaganda videos on his computer.

However, officials also say that no real connection between Chechen separatists and the brothers has been found.

It is possible the brothers developed their attitudes independently.

The brothers were, in fact, raised mostly in the United States and are probably more a product of American culture than Chechen. Chechnya's leader, Ramzan Kadyrov said as much when asked to comment. "Any attempt to draw a connection between Chechnya and Tsarnaevs -- if they are guilty -- is futile. They were raised in the United States, and their attitudes and beliefs were formed there," he said in a statement released on Friday.

Boston itself possibly had as much to do with their attitudes as Chechnya. Boston is a hotbed of racial tension. The city is known for its substantial Irish-American population. It also has a significant Jewish and Muslim population.

Those populations have experienced tensions as recently as 2008 when public dispute erupted over the construction of a mosque. That mosque was backed by Saudi funding and by groups that some say had terrorist connections.

Could a terrorist cell be working in Boston, seeking young, impressionable minds to turn towards mayhem?

That remains the great unknown, but it isn't outside the realm of possibility. So far, no connections have been made. Nonetheless, these young men were inspired by someone or some group. They probably learned how to make their bombs from some other source.

In the coming days and weeks, it is hoped we will know the answers and if those responsible are within reach, they too may also feel "the full weight of justice."

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