News / USA

Experts Caution Against Rushing to Conclusions in Boston Bombings

This combination of photos provided on April 19, 2013 by the FBI shows a suspect that officials have identified as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, being sought by police in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings.This combination of photos provided on April 19, 2013 by the FBI shows a suspect that officials have identified as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, being sought by police in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings.
x
This combination of photos provided on April 19, 2013 by the FBI shows a suspect that officials have identified as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, being sought by police in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings.
This combination of photos provided on April 19, 2013 by the FBI shows a suspect that officials have identified as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, being sought by police in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings.
Chechnya, located in the north Caucasus region, has been a thorn in Russia’s side for centuries. First czars, then Soviet leaders and Russian presidents fought independence movements there. Now Chechnya is under the iron-fisted rule of Moscow’s pro-Russian leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.

Charles King, a Caucasus expert at the Wilson Center, said “It is certainly the case that the North Caucasus have been over the course of the last 20 years and one would say even over the course of the last 200 years, a rather violent place where secessionist movements have been relatively common. It was a region of the Russian Federation described as the single greatest security threat to the Russian state by the Russian authorities some time ago.”

For more than a decade, Chechen militants engaged in terrorist acts: from blowing up airliners, bombing the Moscow metro, seizing a theater in the Russian capital or a school in North Ossetia.

But analysts - including King - caution not to jump to conclusions about the Boston bombings, allegedly carried out by Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev, two brothers who are ethnic Chechens and came to the United States at least eight years ago.

“We don’t know much at this point about the political motivation for their alleged action,” said King. “We don’t know much about the way in which they might have become radicalized - and I think probably at this point speculating about the real Chechen angle on this would be kind of speculating about the Scots-Irish angle on someone like Timothy McVeigh.”

King said “We do not focus on the specific ethnic background of perpetrators - in a way, there is a more frightening side of this - it is the domestic American angle rather than the international one.”

Robert Legvold of Columbia University said there is no evidence of an international conspiracy.

“There are no reports that the older brother had gone off to some kind of an exercise in Pakistan or places that some of these Americans have gone to that have gotten involved with al-Qaida or related groups,” said Legvold. “Certainly to assume that Chechnya or anybody else in Chechnya has anything to do with these two, that seems to me to be completely off base.”

Legvold cautioned about U.S. media reports about the alleged bombers. “The majority of Americans don’t have a clue as to what Chechnya is or where it is, or what this is all about,” said Legvold. “So there are going to be some unfortunate associations done in the public on the U.S. side. The media is already confused about this kind of thing a bit.”

Experts said during these times of heightened tensions, cooler heads must prevail.

Andre de Nesnera

Andre de Nesnera is senior analyst at the Voice of America, where he has reported on international affairs for more than three decades. Now serving in Washington D.C., he was previously senior European correspondent based in London, established VOA’s Geneva bureau in 1984 and in 1989 was the first VOA correspondent permanently accredited in the Soviet Union.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: michael wind from: florida
April 21, 2013 9:16 AM
the fact is that fbi failed to prevent the tragedy,and is failing to curtail russian mafia in south florida,where their criminal activities are epidemic.


by: JW from: PA
April 21, 2013 8:49 AM
This article is entitled "Experts Caution Against Rushing To Conclusions In Boston Bombings"......ummmm experts from the Wilson Center? Charles King? The same Wilson Center that goes to great pains in its North Korea Project to advise all of us "westerners" that we are simply incapable of understanding why the Democratic Peoples Republic Of Korea (North Korea) is what it is and does what it does? Experts? Robert Legvold? From the Watson Center? The same Watson Center that hawks books called "America...The Smuggler Nation"....That Watson Center?
It is one thing to opine....it is yet another thing to preface that opining with the word "expert" and then the expert opining suddenly codifies into near gospel imprimatur.....as if no one else involved in this Boston matter thus far is an expert in anything. If you want to take a ride on the smug uppery academic train of thought...then by all means people...hop on board this squeaky wheeled article and when you're finished reading it.....you too might become an expert....the "caution and conclusion" part however cannot be so easily imparted...hence the experts cited in this article do not post caution signs....but instead they choose to plant a "Yield" sign.


by: T.J.McBearsNY from: NY
April 20, 2013 7:18 AM
I was reieved it wasn't the aryans or milita groups as many in the media were suggesting--let alone the scandinavian gangs like the ones seen here all over the streets of Brooklyn. Living near the projects here in NY, I was very concerned about these things.


by: Henry Armstrong III from: US
April 20, 2013 6:04 AM
It is in the normal course of events for outsiders to understand and then underestimate the power and lack of education coming from the think tanks. While Russia may hold sway over the predominantly Chechnya countryside it is within the bounds of revolutionary terrorism ideologue to believe that the suicide vests, the political events cited,the initial investigation into a Saudi point to Palestinian and Syrian as well as Sino-Russian oligarchies for the attack.


by: KB from: USA
April 20, 2013 5:31 AM
To me its simple, they have been fighting over there for many yrs and now they see that if the USA invades they will bring democracy and freedom..

So the fastest way to free themselves from Russia is to make an enemy of the US get invaded and let us free them and rebuild them.

Far fetched... about as far fetched as normal americans blowing up a federal buildings or mailing bombs to politicians... oh wait


by: ctyh from: ca
April 20, 2013 2:08 AM
first of all, they did NOT grow up in chechnya... their parents had ties to dagestan, which neighbors chechnya and did not see nearly as much separatist violence. and they also moved to the US at an early age and grew up here... Why do they need a political and religious motivation just because they are not "white" and are muslim?

Did anyone ask if adam lanza was trained by militants? or question if he had any ties to radical religious groups? well so far there is no evidence that these two had any of these either... but the media really enjoys to spin a narrative where white americans are isolated cases of mental illness and when it's some other ethnic group there's always a deep seated motivation based on their culture or politics and mental illness is not even once considered...


by: Proud USMC from: USA
April 19, 2013 6:04 PM
the problem is Islam!!! the terrorists are ordinary Muslims - not "Islamic extremists..." - just ordinary Muslims... this Islamic ideology is the poison that corrode the mind... hate disfigures these Muslims all over the world... we must acknowledge it and confront it. imagine the same Muslims killed 300 Russian children in Beslan... 300 children!!! - that's Islam

In Response

by: rexrobot
April 21, 2013 10:28 AM
It is people like you in whatever faction who propagate hate based on some stupid category. Remember the US now has a law against "hate crime" which originally was introduced to fight anti-semitism but can theoretically be turned around to prosecute any hate crime.

In Response

by: Bob from: Vermont
April 20, 2013 6:43 AM
Proud USMC: the kind of comment you made displays only your ignorance and bigotry. There are lot's of nasty Muslims...and Christians and Jews. But sweeping generalizations like yours are just beyond stupid. If you really read something about Islam..the real original Islam, you would know it's about peace.

Comments like yours are evil and are potentially the cause of more bloodshed. Grow up and do some more reading.

So far we have no connection between the brothers and any religious or terrorist groups. It's possible that they were just like Timothy McVeigh: sick and angry.


by: bill from: florida
April 19, 2013 6:02 PM
In my opinion the older brother was involved with one or more terrorist groups based in the middle east. Make no sense on their own to declare war on the U.S.


by: david le from: il
April 19, 2013 5:25 PM
sometimes those truly involved fund desperate and easily influenced family connections.


by: AmericaJoe from: USA
April 19, 2013 5:22 PM
It doesn't matter that the brothers have been in the states for eight years. Growing up in Chechnya shaped thier views of right and wrong. The ability to without regret take the lives of men, women, and children unknown to you is not the norm in the USA. That is only normal in places where people grow up without freedoms. If they had the intent to express political or religous views why did they not take a trip to one of the Russian embassies, or another foreign related position...

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid