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Director of Russian studies offers insight into Boston bombers

In this undated photo provided by Robin Young, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev poses for a photo after graduating from Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. Tsarnaev has been identified as the surviving suspect in the marathon bombings. (AP Photo/Robin Young)

Leon Aron, the Resident Scholar and Director of Russian Studies at AEI, said it’s not a surprise the suspected Boston Marathon bombers are from Chechnya.

Russia’s volatile North Caucasus, the two suspects’ former home, have seen two decades of brutal fighting between Russian forces and separatists bent on carving out an independent Islamic state.

There was no information on any possible links between the suspects and any insurgent group. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the 26-year-old killed in a gun battle with police in Massachusetts overnight, and his 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar, are ethnic Chechens whose family left the region long ago and moved to Central Asia, according to the Chechen government.

“They are no longer physically connected, but they somehow (people like the suspect) get radicalized even though they live outside of the place,” said Aron.

Read more:
Russia’s Caucasus have seen decades of war, terror
National security experts agree Boston bombers could be linked to Al Qaeda
The stories of 2 brothers suspected in terror attack

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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