The Plot Thickens in Boston
Just when you thought the drama in Boston was over—as Americans breathed a little easier given all the crazy events of this past week—new information about the bombing suspects continues to surface. And with each development, another piece of this mysterious puzzle falls into place.
I know this situation is terrible and a lot of people are suffering after Monday’s deadly attack, but the facts surrounding this case are undeniably interesting and I find myself anxiously waiting for the next media nugget to drop. Like many of you, I have questions, suspicions, concerns and—as much as I hate to admit it—even a few conspiracy theories. Now all that’s missing are answers, but here is what we know so far.
And yes, my two cents’ worth will be tossed in for good measure. It’s too hard to resist when attacks take place on American soil… my home soil.
Authorities apprehended bombing suspect two—Dzhokar Tsarnaev—on Friday night and rushed him to the hospital, where he remains intubated and in serious condition, unable to speak and thus, incapable of providing any answers. Rumor has it that despite his condition, he may be formally charged at his bedside on Sunday. Since federal charges will likely be leveled against the young suspect—in this case terrorism charges—they usually come within 48 hours of an arrest. Dzhokar may also face murder charges in Massachusetts. And though this state does not have the death penalty, he may still be executed by the feds. Either way, things are not looking good for the surviving Tsarnaev brother, and rightfully so.
PARTY ALL THE TIME
I heard something interesting about Dzhokar earlier. And if I harbored any sympathy at all for this guy—primarily for being a pawn with his brother calling the shots—this tidbit erased it from memory. After bombing the Boston Marathon, and while a huge manhunt was under way and the city shut down in fear, Dzhokar went to the campus of the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and simply went about his business. He attended classes, hung out with friends and even went to a party with some soccer teammates. One student who saw him described the new terrorist as “relaxed,” even as the dragnet tightened around him. Dzhokar split on Thursday—and we know what happened after that—but students in his dorm still couldn’t accept he may have been involved in the bombing. Even after seeing images of Dzhokar on the news, they “made a joke like, that could be Dzhokar… never.” Unfortunately, they were wrong.
What kind of cold-blooded sociopath kills innocent people, calmly returns to his everyday life and even goes to parties, seemingly unaware of his actions or their consequences?
Never mind. The question and its answer are one and the same.
New information about the eldest bomber—Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the suspect killed in the shootout on Thursday night—now seems to link him to an extremist Islamic group in the north Caucasus region, which includes his homeland of Chechnya. Authorities still believe that the brothers acted alone, mind you, but some of these new puzzle pieces have me raising an eyebrow:
- Imarat Kavkaz is an organization that formed after the Chechen insurgency of the 1990s and pulled together a number of jihadist groups by the mid 2000s. Their leader Doku Umarov was apparently involved in the bombing of a Moscow airport, but claimed to have no interest in attacking the United States. Their enemy appears to be Russia.
- The Tsarnaev brothers fled Chechnya for the U.S. and were granted asylum here. They later became naturalized citizens. This isn’t really new information, but it is definitely relevant in what’s to come.
- In 2011, Tamerlan was planning to visit Russia, but was first detained and interviewed by the FBI. As it turns out, the Russian government requested this interview and believed Tamerlan to be a radical Islamist and “true believer.” Not only that, but they claimed his personality had changed dramatically in only a year’s time. Sadly, none of this mattered and Tamerlan was allowed to travel abroad.
- During his six-month trip to Russia in 2012, Tamerlan is believed to have radicalized even more, and Homeland Security even believes that he received special training there.
- For the last several years—as evidenced by his social media presence—Tamerlan grew increasingly radical. When he returned from Russia, he set up a YouTube channel and even posted some videos under the heading “Terrorists,” but they were deleted. Fortunately, most of us know that deleting something doesn’t always remove it from your computer, so authorities were able to recover a screen grab. It showed members of the radical Imarat Kavkaz group and bam! There’s your link.
Whether or not this radical Islamist connection proves true, the fact that there could be a connection is quite troubling. The last thing anyone needs is for this to be identified as a real terrorist attack with international ties, which would in turn launch some kind of global investigation and likely result in more attacks later. At this point, it seems as if every extremist group in the Muslim world wants America dead, so no use fueling the fire, right?
I should also mention how this information about Tamerlan has me forming my own conspiracy theory, much to my chagrin. I share it only for the sake of documenting what I hope is not proven true later.
Picture this: Tamerlan and his younger brother are caught in the Chechen conflict and need a way out. America provides this, never knowing that Tamerlan already has radical views and beliefs. Granted, he may not yet be organized or belong to a specific group, but the foundation is there. And given his influence over the younger Dzhokar, it is only a matter of time before he is converted, as well. For years—allegedly—Tamerlan travels to Russia and is enlisted by the most radical group in the region, Imarat Kavkaz. They don’t give him any specific plans for an attack—only the tools and knowledge needed to plan one when the time is right—but send him home to further integrate himself into America. As time passes, Tamerlan becomes more and more disillusioned with his adopted country—perhaps in some way due to post-9/11 paranoia or the economic recession—and looks for a way to lash out. Since he’s already in Boston and knows how popular the upcoming marathon is—not to mention how well attended—he formulates a plan, convinces his brother to help and the rest is history.
This isn’t an earth-shattering or ground-breaking theory, of course, but it is very possible. And when you consider that the FBI questioned Tamerlan in 2011, knew he could have been an extremist and still let him go, it becomes even more feasible. After all, American intelligence officers received early warnings about the September 11th attacks and never acted on them. Why should this be any different?
Of course, I’m not suggesting that the federal government had anything to do with this vicious attack, but there are some who believe this to be true. And if you ask me, this is an extremely dangerous—not to mention paranoid—belief to have. Yes, the government makes a lot of mistakes and sometimes does things “We the People” cannot understand—like their recent decision to reject universal background checks with regard to gun purchases. But to think they could arrange something so complex and so heinous… something that took and changed the lives of so many innocent Americans… just doesn’t seem right. And don’t you think someone in the government would blow the whistle on something like this anyway? After all, this isn’t some evil entity we’re talking about here; it’s a conglomeration of offices, departments and organizations consisting of American citizens.
You have to assume that someone in there has a conscience.
SHOOTOUTS AND DRIVEAWAYS
I realize this is quickly becoming another very long post, but a few details about Thursday night’s shootout between the Tsarnaev brothers and police are too bizarre to ignore. The first is pretty simple: one of the bombs tossed at authorities during the high-speed chase was a pressure cooker bomb, similar to the ones used at the Boston Marathon. This obviously connects the suspects to the crime, but few doubted the police had found their men.
At one point during the chase, the brothers came to a stop, leaped from the vehicle and unloaded on the pursuing cops. Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau estimated that more than “200 shots were fired in a five- to ten-minute period,” but that isn’t the craziest part. From what I’ve heard, Tamerlan ran out of ammo and was tackled by several officers while he was still alive. Meanwhile, Dzhokar ran back to the stolen Mercedes, got behind the wheel and sped off in the direction of his brother. Officers were barely able to escape before Dzhokar ran over his brother and dragged him down the street.
If Tamerlan wasn’t dead at that point, he certainly was once he arrived at the hospital a short time later.
How someone could do such a thing to his own brother is beside me. At first, I though Dzhokar was simply ensuring his brother was dead so he couldn’t be forced to reveal any information to authorities later. Terrorists have been known to commit suicide or murder one another for this very reason, so why not expect the same here?
Then it occurred to me: Dzhokar was taken alive. Granted, he’s hurt badly and could still die from his wounds, but many expect him to recover and, hopefully, to provide answers to all our questions. If killing Tamerlan was necessary to protect their secrets, though, then why didn’t Dzhokar try to end things while hiding in that boat? I believe he had some explosives on him, so he could have easily detonated one and left our questions unanswered indefinitely. There’s something fishy going on, I think.
Or the opposite could be true: Dzhokar is simply insane and cares only for himself and his survival, even at the expense of his own flesh-and-blood. And though he should be placed under suicide watch immediately—and likely has already—I wouldn’t be surprised if Dzhokar finds a way to end his life. Either that or he will go to the other extreme: he will cooperate completely and “spill his guts” about everything… maybe for notoriety, maybe for sympathy… who knows?
As long as justice is served, though, I don’t particularly care what happens to him. But I will be waiting to hear more.
Posted on April 21, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged Boston, Boston Marathon, commentary, Crime and Justice, current-events, Federal Bureau of Investigation, news, perspectives, Terrorism, United States. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.