The FBI has named two brothers, reportedly from the Chechnya region of Russia, suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing. The men were involved in a fierce firefight overnight with authorities that left Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, dead. Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19, remains at large in the in the Boston area. Here’s what Vocativ is learning about the two suspects:
The Twitter account @j_tsar belongs to Dzhokar Tsarnaev, according to reports. The hundreds of messages in the account shed light on personality and preoccupations of the the 19-year old. Alarmingly, about a dozen tweets were sent from the account after Monday’s b0mbing, including: “Ain’t no love in the heart of the city. Stay safe people.” Some others of note:
The biggest Islamic separatist group in Chechnya is distancing itself from the Tsarnaev brothers. The group, Caucasus Emirate, is fighting an insurgency against Russia to create an Islamic state in the Caucasus. The US and Russia have deemed it a terrorist organization. The Kavkaz Center, the news outlet for the group writes in an online post: “Some experts are saying that the only reason (the brothers) are being accused is because they have backpacks. Apparently the American strategy is to check everyone who was caught on camera wearing a backpack that day. The brothers by the way, apparently didn’t spend much time in Chechnya at all, and the younger brother was born in Kyrgyzstan…Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is far from the archetypal ‘Islamic terrorist.’” The Caucasus Emirate subscribes to the same Salafi-jihadist ideology as Al Qaeda, and has declared the US, Britain and Israel as enemies in the past.
Dzhokar appears to have an account on Russian social networking site ”Vkontakte” (translation: “in contact”). In his profile he lists his “world view” as Islam and his “personal priority” as career and money. He has 9 VK friends. He visited VK pages or held membership in VK groups that supported Islamic and Chechen causes. He last visited the page at 9:04pm Thursday night. Since Vocativ began monitoring his page this morning, it gained about 600 followers.
Among the videos posted on his page: one which purports to show Muslims killed by the Syrian army. Russian subtitles say, in part,“They’re killing your brothers and sisters for nothing else except for being Muslim,” and “Who will help the weak and the refugees.”There is also a video which refers to Salafist ideology, a puritanical belief system that Sunni extremists and Jihadis subscribe to.
There is a Youtube account in the name of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. One of the videos he liked is that of an Australian Muslim cleric Feiz Mohammad. The cleric is believed to have fled to Lebanon in 2004. Australian police accused him of “inciting terrorism”. He is a former boxer like the older Tsarnaev brother. Tsarnaev also commented on a video of a Russian who converted to Shiite Islam. Tsarnaev writes: “By doing so (converting to Shiite Islam) you’ve converted not because you have faith, but because of lust. Just as you’ve exited from Islam as quickly as you’ve joined it.” Radical Sunnis, or Salafists, regard followers of any other brand of Islam as “non-Muslims”.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is also listed as one of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School Greater Boston League Winter All Stars for 2011. He was a wrestler.