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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs