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

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: jcbloom from: Phoenix
April 19, 2013 5:20 PM
Thank you for a well-considered, sane article in the midst of all the uninformed vitrol. Unfortunately, soon this article's comments section will be deluged by right-wing, racist trolls spewing their lies. Ah well.

by: Bryant from: MacDonald
April 19, 2013 5:18 PM
Re: "The majority of Americans don't have a clue as what Chechnya is or where it is ...." Sounds like you have little knowledge as to who Americans are and what they know. Any one who has read a newspaper in the past 20 years knows what is happening over there and knows of the radical Islamic movement that has taken hold. If McVeigh had been a member of the IRA, recently immigrated, and bombed a Protestant Church his Irish background, if any, would have been relevant.

by: Martina C. from: USA
April 19, 2013 5:13 PM
hey, the same "experts" told us that it could have been Catholic Choir Boys... or Girl Scouts... or Jewish Accountants... or Mormon Missionaries... but it couldn't be Arabs or Muslims... no.
we ask the "experts" to shut up..!! we are the experts when it comes to our own security

by: Big Mac from: Denver
April 19, 2013 5:11 PM
First I would like you to ask the victim's families and the victims themselves not to rush to conclusions in the bombings. If they give a statement saying that they won't, I'll follow suit. Is it a deal "experts"? I don't care what's going on or what has happened in the past in Chechnya. There have been numerous situations like theirs all over the world in the past, but they don't move here, get disgruntled and start blowing Americans up. No excuse whatever the case is or yours.

by: chas from: Lamborghini
April 19, 2013 5:00 PM
"The majority of Americans don’t have a clue." Nuff said.

by: Ron from: Mass
April 19, 2013 4:59 PM
You have got to be kidding me, "Caution Against Rushing to Conclusions in Boston Bombings", really?

by: seaoatsdave from: Florida
April 19, 2013 4:56 PM
Mr. Legvold said “The majority of Americans don’t have a clue as to what Chechnya is or where it is, or what this is all about." Obviously he is referring to the low information voter. Because many of us do remember the wars that occurred there in the 1990s and that is was religious and politically based. Many Americans are getting frustrated with the low-expectations put upon us by the media and elected officials. Time to raise those because much of this country is made of well educated and informed people!

by: skiimaan from: usa
April 19, 2013 4:51 PM
So far, the best quote in the news that I've read
"Any attempt to make a connection between Chechnya and the Tsarnaevs, if they are guilty, is in vain," Mr. Kadyrov said in a statement on Instagram. "They grew up in the United States. Their attitudes and beliefs were formed there. One must look for the root of the evil in America."

by: D Daniels from: midwest
April 19, 2013 4:50 PM
Since when did the press care if they got it right. The press in the United States has gotten to the point it just wants to sway readers and listeners to them , Even if they have to tell a lie to do it, I mean what the heck who gets hurt as long as we get those ratings.
Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs