Friday, April 19, 2013

Chechen Terrorists? Facts and questions, questions, questions...

Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Mass. and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 are now, by virtue of the fact that they are being reported on, guilty.  That isn't to say that they actually performed the acts, merely that very few people will actually ask any relevant questions about the case, merely accept that the police got their 'perp' and that justice has been done.(Just taking a gander around the Weekly Standard  raises this little gem - "...Authorities still have to carefully piece together the details of how the brothers became terrorists,")

Yet any casual look into the history of law enforcement, let alone high-profile cases, reveals that police will admit that they could care less if justice is being done, merely that the guy(s) that they suspect of committing the act are bagged

Now of course this doesn't mean the opposite, that they didn't perpetrate the acts, it merely illustrates that the act of being accused/suspected is insufficient evidence to convict

The one big thing that is lacking here is the most critical as always - motive
  • "The brothers’ alleged motive in Monday’s bombings remains unclear..."
  • "...two law enforcement officials said there is a “Chechen connection” to the bombings. "
    • Other than the fact that the brothers were from a 'terrorist region' (Who isn't anymore?), what real links to terrorism are reported? I think the obvious implication is - Suspects are Chechen and Chechnya has terrorism, Therefore a 'link' has been established.
  • " the last several months, Tamerlan Tsarnaev had posted videos to YouTube indicating his interest in radical Muslim ideologies."
    • "On a YouTube channel, Tamerlan created a video file called “Terrorists,” where he posted footage that has since been removed from view. He also shared other videos of lectures from a radical Islamic cleric. In one video, Arab voices can be heard singing as bombs explode from high-rise buildings"
      • How do we know that this is his account?
      • "Radical" is a subjective term.
      • Where are the manifestos, the proclamations of  deadly intent? People who go ape like this generally leave behind some sort of proclamation before going off.
  • Why would individuals that were effectively Americanized turn on a country that they had seemingly embraced?
Tamerlan Tsarnaev
  • Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a boxer who worked out at a martial arts facility in the Cambridge area.
    • Tamerlan began boxing shortly after arriving in the United States. He registered with USA Boxing, the governing body for Olympic-style boxing, as early as 2003 and steadily rose through the ranks. By 2009, he reached the national Golden Gloves tournament in Salt Lake City, where he lost in a three-round decision bout with a boxer from Chicago.
    • Colleagues all described him as athletic, and aggressive. “He was tall, taller than most of the guys, and tough,” said Paul Barry, vice president of the New England Boxing Association in Worcester, Mass., who once judged one of Tamerlan’s bouts.Tamerlan was arrested in 2009 for assault in a domestic dispute with his girlfriend, according to, an online source of crime information.
  •  He was a 9/11 truther?
  • Tamerlan Tsarnaev's name was placed on the National Counter Terrorism Center's database.
  • Began gathering materials for the explosives at least two months ago, when he was spotted at a New Hampshire fireworks store. The store told the FBI that it sold $400-worth of fireworks in February to the accused Boston bomber. 
    • "He just wanted the biggest, loudest stuff we had in the store," said Megan Kearns, the assistant manager of Phantom Fireworks
    • Bought two large reloadable mortar kits during a two-for-one sale. She said she remembered Tamerlan because of his Russian accent. The store has since confirmed his purchase with store records.
    • The amount of gunpowder that could be harvested from the kits -- less than half a pound -- would not have been enough to detonate the Boston bombs, Phantom Fireworks VP William Weimer said.
Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev
The 'Night of Terror'
  • Witnesses reported hearing explosions and gunfire as the police apparently engaged the two men and local television footage showed one man lying spread out on the ground, with his arms out, surrounded by police.
    However, it is now thought that this man is not one of the suspects wanted by law enforcement.
    Police officials would not discuss the incident with reporters.
    When asked for information on the incident, Boston police spokeswoman Neva Coakley frantically told MailOnline, 'I don't know anything... I don't know anything at this point.'
  • Police said they had conflicting reports on whether the brothers robbed a 7-Eleven in Cambridge, near the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on Thursday night. 
    • Why rob a 7/11?
    • They don't kill an anonymous car jack victim because he's foreign. Who escaped.
      • So kill anonymous runners including foreigners, but not a foreigner who can identify you?
  • They then shot to death an MIT police officer, 26-year-old Sean Collier, while he was responding to a report of a disturbance, investigators said.
    • Ambushed the officer and shot him five times in the head
    • Why were they at MIT?
    • Why kill a security guard?
  •  Shootout with police

Boston Bombing
Apprehension and Investigation
  •  Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev is captured in a boat.
  • A single gun, a Ruger 9 mm semi-automatic handgun,  was recovered. (the serial number on the firearm was obliterated)
    • How did the brothers stage a shootout with only one gun?

My initial impression? Mixed. The initial evidence seems to lend credence to the thought that these two were at least in the area and perhaps set the backpacks. The older brother seems somewhat compromised, but where is the dirt on the younger? But add to that the increased military presence in the area and the lack of motive and I struggle to connect why they would have done it.

And that is a crucial piece of info.

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