After placing the city of Boston on lockdown, police captured the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings late on Friday. Nineteen-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaeva was found hiding in a boat docked in a backyard after a citywide sweep by SWAT teams, military Humvees and police dogs. The other suspect, his older brother, died after a car chase and police shootout. We get the latest news from Boston, and discuss how the brothers’ suspected involvement in the bombings and their Chechen roots will affect homeland security and beyond.

Matthew Rojansky, deputy director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Donna Leinwand-Leger, breaking news reporter for USA Today
Stephen Flynn, founding co-director of the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security and professor of political science at Northeastern University

  • Friendly

    Are we really supposed to believe the official story, even though it’s quite ridiculous to think that Chechens or people from Dagestan would attack the USA, when their only real foe is Russia?

    I smell yet another FBI set up here, with paid-for provocateurs and FBI-supplied bómbs. That is what happened in the 1993 Trade Center situation and reportedly numerous others. Did the big shoot-out with the older even happen as claimed? Was he really armed, or did they place a gun in his hand after they killed him?

    Even if these young men were really bent on doing the attack, it is well known the FBI claims to have been aware of them for years before, having contacted the mother. So why weren’t the attacks prevented?

    There are two terms for crimes like this:
    LIHOP: Letting It Happen On Purpose

    If the FBI provided the éxplosives and brainwashed the men, it is a MIHOP: Made It Happen On Purpose

    • johnqeniac

      It’s getting so I can’t tell the satire from the insanity

      • thucy

        When it comes to the FBI, it’s reached the point that many of us can’t see the badges (or even the reason) in the swirling sea of FBI incompetence.

  • Jerome

    The Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism has looked at how the FBI deliberately radicalizes Muslims and others and encourages them to attempt to perpetrate crimes they normally would not commit. If that is what happened with the Boston attack, shouldn’t the FBI operatives involved be criminally prosecuted for conspiracy to commit murder?

    Mother Jones provides a wealth of related information on their Terrorists For the FBI web page:

  • Kurt thialfad

    What are the specifics of Dzhoktar’s wounds?

    • erictremont

      He was shot in the neck, but it isn’t clear whether the bullet came from law enforcement or if it was a self-inflicted wound, according to news reports.

      • Selostaja

        Dzhokar’s injuries prevented him from calling out, a silence that was taken as refusal to negotiate. He was too weak to move, this was interpreted as resistance. They speculated he was armed and the boat was booby trapped, neither has been confirmed. Explosives were found in their house – duh. Did they fingerprint the bombs, weapons, and bullets to verify that both brothers were involved in the preparation? Since the capture, the silence is deafening.

        This situation makes me think of a couple of movies: the police stand-off in the Blues Brothers and the classic film 12 Angry Men.

  • thucy

    There’s still so much we don’t know. But amid all the flag-waving in Boston, and with the possibility that one of the “Freres Tsarnaev” was radicalized by Islamic militants…

    …is it possible that we could reflect for, oh, 15 seconds, on how our government’s senseless killing of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of Muslim civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11 may have contributed to the efficacy of said radicalization?
    By the way, our tireless Senator Feinstein, who is Sooo traumatized by the gun regulations bill failing last week? She voted for the invasion of Iraq; she voted for all those poor, uneducated women and children to be blown to bits. Why? Maybe we should ask why?

    • erictremont

      Perhaps that is what motivated the suspects but it must be kept in mind that the Chechen conflict began years before the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Furthermore, the U.S. saved countless numbers of Muslim lives in former Yugoslavia when it used military action to help bring about an end to the conflict in Bosnia in the late 1990s.

      • thucy

        I’m well aware of the situation in Yugoslavia, with personal ties to the region. I’m also aware of the timeline in Chechnya. The point of my comment stands, however, in light of the reality that Islamic radicalization isn’t confined to one country any more than inept US foreign policy is.

    • aa aa

      Muslims’ religious justification of aggressive violence against non-Muslim peoples began a long time ago: in 634 to be exact, after which date the Muslims aggressively took over about half the EasternRoman empire, and as we know from such eyewitness sources as Sebeos and “Doctrina Jaobi nuper baptizati,” justified their violent takeover on religious grounds. Yes, thucy, Muslims not only killed or enslaved many, many civilians to acquire their empire at the expense of the non-Muslim powers around them (first E. Roman & Persian, then West and East European and Indian), but justified these actions by the supposed commands of Muhammad and his companions (so-called “hadith”). Tamerlan (named for one of the most bloodthirsty conquerors of world history) posted on his YouTube account a ready-made video (“Black Flags of Khorasan”) that quotes Sahih Muslim (a canonical Sunni hadith) that justifies Muslims conquering Constantinople, and early as the 650s, again in the 670s, in 718, and many times afterwards Muslim leaders kept trying to conquer that city in order to destroy the E. Roman empire, claiming that Muhammad or his followers had commanded them to do so. All this violence against non-Muslim peoples in the seventh through seventeenth century was certainly not caused by the Byzantines or other vulnerable civilizations attacking them. On the contrary, they were usually on the losing end of Muslim leaders’ unprovoked aggression.Spare me the victimhood mantra: when it comes to Muslims it is completely misplaced: Muslims are not Mohicans or other small vulnerable groups who succumbed to much bigger and more violent groups. Rather they were among the biggest imperialists of world history. Instead of whining about the imperialist West, they should acknowledge that they, like Europeans in the Americas before the frontier closed, weakened and even destroyed a lot of weaker cultures around them, and that their imperialism was no more justified than Europeans imperialism in the New World.

      Gradually after 1700, a non-Muslim civilization, for various reasons, becomes significantly more militarily powerful than Muslim-led societies for the first time ever. Now some Muslims start whining about being the victims of violence and imperialism? Please. The problem of Islamist-inspired violence will not be solved until Muslims repudiate the religious justifications they invented for their own past and current violence, conquests and imperialism. Until all religious or ethnic groups give up the notion that their expansionist conquest and terrorism is justified but others’ is not, the problem of victimizing the innocent will not cease.

  • Bob Fry

    I’m tired of security theater, over-reaction by government and conspiracy kooks to everything visible, and under-reaction by everybody to the invisible (gun deaths, poverty, etc etc). Tired of it all! But since nothing will change soon, mentally I detach myself from the nonsense.

  • timholton

    As Wendell Berry reminded us in last year’s Jefferson lecture, “It all turns on affection.” This event reminds us that, conversely, the world stops turning on disaffection. That points to, not just the criminals in this attack but a society that breeds disaffection. In pursuing and prosecuting the perpetrators, we must remember the question that the President raised in the beginning of his remarks on Friday, but then seemed to abandon: “Why did young men who grew up and studied here, as part of our communities and our country, resort to such violence?” Seems to me this is a symptom of an epidemic of disaffection, especially among young men, that implicates primarily the character, not of individuals but of American communities and society.

    • aa aa

      Zero sympathy. Women are much more discriminated against and more disatvantaged in general, and even more so in the perps’ ethnic Chechen culture than mainstream US culture (father complained that older brother was–imagine!–legally liable for accusations of violence against his girlfriend) but one very, very rarely sees women using such violence against bystanders or other vulnerable people in such mass killings or serial killings, whether they be ideologically or personally motivated.

      Plenty of us have reason to be “disaffected” or angry, whether because of poverty,discrimination or other reasons. Stop enabling young men to feel entitled to use violence when they are disaffected or angry.

  • Sean

    Is the only downside of not reading the Miranda rights that the information obtained can’t be used to convict the suspect? Since there will be plenty of other evidence I don’t see that as a huge problem.

    • Sean

      Never mind, just answered on air.

  • Selostaja

    Dzhokar may not be anything more exotic than a compliant younger brother to his sole radicalized brother/father figure. His behavior prior to this horrific incident was one of a typical teen. I think it is very important to study him in a cultural context. The brothers may not have been joined at the hip in their beliefs. By his tweets, he sounds like he was a reluctant participant. Even his body language when walking thru the crowd showed him hanging back. If he were more involved, he might be more innovative by planting the bomb in a more distant location.

  • thucy

    Why is Ginger Gibson assuming that the younger brother deliberately ran over his brother? If he had been shot in the neck in the firefight, it’s entirely possible that his car handling skills were even worse than the average 19-y.o. male’s car handling skills.

    • Selostaja

      Dzhokar may not only be his brother’s mule but now because of the death of his radical big brother, he is left holding the bag. It may be tempting to lay this all in his lap to make the American public feel more secure. Someone had said ‘if he wasn’t guilty, why did he run?’ My guess is that he was in terror – by both his own brother and the police.

      • thucy

        I agree, then again, I’m skeptical of how my own biases, and uneven reporting, color how I view these two brothers. The available images of the younger brother were shocking – this guy is about to participate in a deadly bombing, but he’s wearing his baseball cap backward, so we can perfectly see his face. I thought: this kid, possibly inveigled by his older brother, is begging to be recognized and stopped.

  • Selostaja

    This reminds me of Patty Hearst’s conversion. Was she held responsible the crimes of her captors?

    • thucy

      When you got the Citizen Kane cash, everything’s negotiable (to a point.)

  • Gil

    Since 9-11 we have already compromised many of our civil liberties in the name of protecting domestic tranquility and fighting terrorism abroad. The Boston Marathon Bombing has severed the string of unbroken years in which we have escaped psychologically devastating attacks from foreign Muslim terrorist here at home. (Home grown Muslim terrorist are another story.) Our expectations now are that this is inevitable. But it doesn’t have to be.

    One thing that hampers our efforts to remain free of this scourge are our self imposed handicaps. What are these handicaps? Well, it is telling that these two terrorist brothers sought American citizenship. One was successful and the other was in waiting. In spite of our generosity and tolerance both of these ingrates sought to use our openness against us. It is time we come to recognize that not all peoples of the world are fit to be Americans. We make acquiring citizenship too easy. And we accept too many different kinds of people without asking how they will fit in. Nor do we demand much of them in their Americanization. Instead of letting our federal political elites determine these matters as they see fit we should insist on demanding that ordinary American voices are heard on these matters. Current immigration legislation in the works by the Gang of 8 and House versions should be stopped cold. And we should consider a Cart Blanche prohibition of Muslim immigration from every part of the Muslim world to the US.

    • thucy

      Seriously? what’s the real difference between these two Chechen losers and a loser like Adam Lanza?
      1. citizenship
      2. at present count, Lanza killed over twenty more people

      Maybe we need to start calling school shootings for what they are: domestic terrorism. Or maybe stop calling lone wolves (as the Tsarnaev Bros. may be) terrorists.
      Or maybe, if ya really want to get at the root of the problem, you make Males illegal, because they make up 99% of terrorist/serial shooters. That, of course, would be idiotic; so is insisting on viewing mass muder as something limited to immigrants.

      • aa aa

        You forgot that Lanza was probably mentally ill and killed himself, while the Boston bombers were clearly sane, though angry, deliberately put lethal force in bystanders’ way, tried to get away, and hid evidence of their immoral acts. All bespeak deliberate killing i.e. first degree murder, rather than some other shade of killing.
        If you compared Boston bombers to McVeigh, you would have an analogy (he was also sane, and out of ideological anger he deliberately put lethal force in bystanders’ way, got away and hid evidence of his wrongdoing).

        But Lanza? There’s no apt comparison…

  • Susanne

    Who shot the second bomber through the mouth and brain so he could not speak? He was cowering in the boat for hours (eg. plenty of time to commit suicide) and when he finally emerged, he could sit up on his own, hardly possible with that sort of gun wound, close to the brain stem. There seems to be one official group very interested in speaking to him, but keeping it outside the public view and yet other group(s) interested in keeping the laws of this nation intact and civilized, however brutally we are attacked, remarkably often by young men of various backgrounds (Aurora, Columbine, Connecticut elementary school). We should trust our laws and our civilization enough to allow Miranda rights and proper procedure to take its place. We are not Russia nor the Soviet Union.
    Chechnya was subject to a Stalinist-equivalent genocidal purge by Putin, suddenly now an angel? Terrorist groups are bottom feeders, that invade after a society has been reduced to total disarray. Even cursury reading of a conservative magazine such as the Economist, or Amnesty International records or those of Human Rights Watch will indicate that it was not “extremist Moslem groups” that originally caused the torture, dismemberment, bombing of entire cities, and rapacious killings in that tragic region. It became so bad that Russian soldiers defected rather than be put into that brutal capacity. Sort of like the Syrian army refusing to serve another brutal dictator engaged in murdering its own population.
    I am not asking about the sick motives of the bombers — they kill and maim for insane “reasons”. I am asking why are suddenly so eager to whitewash Putin’s name and blame Chechnya for being viciously oppressed? I am from Scandinavia, not Chechnya, so just asking…

    • aa aa

      And many Serbs in WWII Bosnia and Montenegro were subject to a genocidal campaign waged by Croat, Bosnian Muslim and Albanian-backed governments who collaborated with the Nazis, did that justify the war crimes committed by some Bosnian Serb forces in the 1990s? Russian forces have committed war crimes in Chechya, no doubt about it, but I don’t remember anything that quite held a candle to the Beslan massacre. And violence in Chechnya hardly began only with the recent Russian countercampaign. When given de facto independence in the early 1990s, local Chechen thugs squandered this golden opportunity by kidnapping civilians and engaging in other completely immoral acts. So this convinced the Russian authorities that independence of any kind would not solve the problem of heinous violence in the region. (Contrast this with Ukraine, the Baltic states, and some other non-Russian groups who were also deprived of independence and mistreated by both imperial Russia and the Soviets, especially under Stalin. Those groups did not engage in the same level of terror and kidnapping that so many Chechens recently did; too many Chechens have opted for the wrong solution to the problem of minority status in the Russian Federation).

      BTW, the “Economist” is not so much “conservative” on Caucasian and Balkan issues as consistently pro-Muslim and anti-Eastern Christian for the simple realpolitik reason that Muslims are far more numerous in the world than Eastern Christians who, being so few, do not have to be coddled when engaging in humans rights abuses left, right and center. Evidence? The “Economist” has constantly beaten the drum for 2 million Kosovar Albanians to be independent of Serbia, despite the fact that Albanians already have an independent state in which they are the majority, but it has consistenly opposed 20 million+ Kurds’ independence from Turkey or Iraq, despite having no state whatsoever of their own; it has constantly tried to force Greek Cypriots to accept the ethnic cleansing and de facto annexation of Northern Cyprus by Turkey…etc. etc. Moral consistency in political matters is not the “Economist”s strong suit.

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