The information is still coming in regarding the Boston bombers. This is something that is simply too hard to understand in simple terms. There are lots of unanswered questions regarding motivation. I remain wary of any conspiracy theory regarding possible Saudi influence (at least the influence of the Saudi clan in charge!!), yet there is one little piece of information that needs further exploration. This relates to the family’s reason for leaving Chechyna or Dagestan or Krygztan or wherever they were living prior to coming to the USA as “refugees”.
It has taken me a long time to realize that the Chechens are a criminal class. That realization has come at the expense of a lot of lives lost as well as many who have been maimed for life in a series of bombings and acts of terror in Russia and in Chechnya. One could say that the attack on the school children in Beslan sealed it for me with regard to Chechnans. I think that the issue of Chechyna is very relevant as to why these brothers involved themselves in a jihad plot. What I am getting at is that I think that there was a two-fold reason for what they have done.
The Chechen issue is not about Islam but it is about Nationalism and it is about the establishment of their own State. At least that is what some would like us to believe. Chechens have committed horrendous crimes, not in the name of Islam, but in the name of “freedom”. It sounds a lot like the fight by the original IRA when ordinary people took on the British military in order to gain their freedom from being ruled in Ireland. That effort, known as the Easter Uprising, led to the partition of Ireland and to the formation of Eire and Northern Ireland. The push for freedom in that situation is something that I understand. However, I do not believe that the Chechen situation is the same. The goals are simply not the same thing.
In the past I have seen articles on the leaders of the Chechens who are the “freedom fighters” and they are hard line Muslims. Anyone who does not toe the line for the leader is killed. Torture is something that is known rather than unknown. It seems that the older of the brothers spent time with these criminals, and very likely learned how to make bombs whilst he was staying with them.
I have serious questions about most of the relatives of this family. Even the uncle, who seems ok and who is happy to live in America is somewhat suspect to a degree. The important question that I have relates to the father, who is now living in Dagestan. Why was he beaten up by the KGB? I do not believe it was due to him being a Muslim but what if it was due to the father being involved with the Chechyn Nationalist movement? If this was the case, is is possible that he influenced his own son in some way? His threats were rather ugly and I simply have doubts about him. At the same time I have some concerns regarding the mother because she has a bit of a criminal history too, because she was arrested for stealing clothing.
From what I was reading this morning the radicalization of the oldest began in 2008. At that time he became a “devout Muslim”. People do need to understand what it means to be a “devout Muslim” because there is an important link. That radicalization that began in a Boston mosque continued when he also returned to Russia for a period of time.
The Chechen angle is important for another reason and I think that it is where the FBI made an error of judgement regarding Tsarnaev. We can assume that it was Russia that made the request and it was Russia that passed on information regarding Tsarnaev’s activities when he was in Chechyna. The question becomes: why did the FBI close the file? Why is it that the FBI did not monitor Tsarnaev? One possible answer is that the FBI failed to realise that the Chechen issue was not simply a Russian situation, and that it was bound to spill over because of the link between Chechens and Islam. This is precisely what has happened. Chechen Nationalism linked with radical Islam within Tsarnaev and that made him more likely to become a jihadist.
There is a home grown element that cannot be ignored. One of the Tsarnaev brothers had become a US citizen. In this respect he has the same status as Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood murderer. The home grown element that I am referring to is not so much the US influences but the fact that the FBI and other agencies turned a blind eye with regard to possible, or should that be probable Islamic influences. The home grown element that I am referring to is that the FBI had become too PC. My reference to Nidal Hasan is not what you think either. It is a reference to the fact that the authorities failed to monitor Nidal Hasan when he was seen to be communicating with Anwar al-Awlaki, and in this case the FBI failed to monitor the older Tsarnaev brother, thus they missed a golden opportunity to ensure that the brothers could not carry out their bombing.
I would have thought that the spy agencies would have been monitoring anyone who visited the web sites of any of the most radical of the imams around the world. In the past that would have included Anwar al-Awlaki but now it also includes the Lebanese-Australian Feiz Mohammed. On top of that they should have been monitoring anyone who had been reading the Inspire magazine.
In this particular case I think the bigger failure was the held belief that the Chechen issue was confined to Russia. The remainder follows on from this faulty belief.