Who are the bombers?
The two brothers who apparently carried out the bombing in Boston are from a very troubled part of the old Soviet empire.
And it’s an area that is now a hotbed of radical activity.
But is that the cause of their anger or is there something more?
Historically, Chechnya was in that region of the old USSR that straddled Asia and the Middle East. The population is largely Muslim and when the old Soviet Union began to break up in 1990, they announced their independence.
The Russians occupied and through the rest of the 90’s, terrorist bombings and guerilla warfare were the order of the day, ushering in the strongman era of Vladimir Putin.
After a peace treaty, there was relative calm until the 2000’s when the fighting became more Jihadist, and the terrorist acts inside Russia more violent.
An uneasy truce was reached in 2009.
It was in the early 2000’s that the Tsarnaev family emigrated to the US and were granted asylum.
But there are fewer than 200 Chechen refugees in the US, most in Boston and Los Angeles.
And despite many friends and teachers who describe the boys as happy-go-lucky brothers. Dzokar’s page on a Russian social media site like Facebook, contains angry, pro-jihad entries. This video of his brother Tamarlane, named for the 15th century Muslim conquerer, looks angry, but is actually just the older brother doing various Russian accents.
He was also an aspiring boxer who competed in the golden gloves, and was extremely religious.
Apparently the older brother travelled back to the region and experts say, may have influenced Dzokar.
Their father Aznor, who is in Russia right now, expressed his disbelief that his sons could be behind the bombing.
His brother, their uncle Ruslan Tsarni expressed disgust, calling his nephews losers.
Since there is no particular hatred of the US in Chechnya, some speculate this may have more to do with fundamentalist religion than ethnic anger.
Their motivation may never be completely known, but gradual radicalization seems apparent.
Sadly, it seems no one noticed until it was too late.