Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – Portrait of a Terrorist
He’s the age of my son. He was a high school athlete like my son. He was enrolled in a good university, lived in a dorm, was a life guard, played soccer with his friends, was describe by a friend to CNN as, “a normal kid, he parties, he sometimes smokes – if you know what I mean. He was as American as I am – he was born and raised here. This kid was a walking angel.” Former wrestling coach Larry Aaronson told CNN: ‘There was nothing in his character, in his comportment, in his demeanor that said he would be capable of doing this. He was so grateful to be here, he was so grateful to be at the school. He was so grateful to be accepted. He was pleasant, careful, jovial – there was nothing remotely like this at all. He was a lovely, lovely kid, an outstanding athlete and never a troublemaker. Last time I saw him I spoke to him in the street around Thanksgiving. I asked if he was still wrestling and he said he was burying himself in his studies.’ I read his twitter feed from the last year. It was full of normal teenage pop culture. On April 13th, just two days before the Boston Marathon he was joking about Game of Thrones. On April 15th, he walked through a crowd of people, laid a bomb at their feet, and walked away, knowing that people would be dead or seriously injured in minutes. How could he do that? On the day of the marathon, he tweeted: Did he feel remorseful? The pictures show him feet away from the little boy he killed. The eight year old boy he killed! One of the victims woke up in the hospital and remembered a man looking him straight in the eye before dropping a bag full of explosives at his feet. Later in the day he tweeted to a friend a chilling message, Is he really trying to say that god hates victims of tragedies? Can he possibly be talking about his victims? A woman who went to his mother’s home salon for facials for many years told us that the family became increasingly religious and that the younger son didn’t believe in 9/11. And one final tweet the day of the marathon. Perhaps this is an indication that he had been “radicalized” as the media calls it. Was that what he tweeted about the day of the bombings? The day after the marathon he was back to small talk, tweeting about claritin clear, telling jokes. But he was scanning twitter for stories about the marathon bombings. He called out one twitter account for posting a photoshopped picture with a fake story. He had two words for the photo/story, “fake story”. His attitude was casual. We learned that he went back to his dorm room on campus. Worked out, partied with his soccer friends. On twitter he posted: Much has been made of two tweets, among the 1,000 on his timeline: Was this a joke? “things you don’t yell when entering a room?” or some sort of signal that he was part of the plot? His timeline is full of jokes – most of them about pop culture. This exchange last summer has people talking. But it’s hard to say what the conversation was about – they could have been talking about running the marathon. And his response was excitement about going to university in the fall. That doesn’t sound like someone who was planning a bombing as early as last August. How is a young man that seemingly is disinterested in politics, and concerned about world hunger capable of participating in the horror that occurred last Monday? How is a young man like this capable of walking away from the bombings to go back to his dorm room to party with friends? This makes no sense to me.
I don’t have trouble picturing Dzhokhar’s older brother, Tamerlan. as a terrorist. Disgruntled with the United States. Never fitting in. Disappearing for months to be “radicalized.” Reports are surfacing that he was interviewed by the FBI two years ago over his extremist ties.
His mother knew that the FBI had interviewed him. She claimed that they “controlled” him. From the article I linked to above, “The mother of the two suspects, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, told RT America on Friday that the FBI had been monitoring her oldest son for being a ‘leader’ in a religious politics movement. In broken English, she claimed ‘he was controlled by the FBI for 3-5 years. They knew what my son was doing. They knew actions, and what sites on the internet he was going. ‘They used to tell me that they were controlling him, he was a serious leader and they were afraid of him.”
Chilling. Will we be faced of years of conspiracy theories that the FBI was behind this?
But what about this nineteen year old boy who has lived in the US since middle school. He was not what he appeared to be. He idolized his radical older brother. He willingly went to the marathon with a backpack full of bombs. He dropped the bombs at peoples’ feet and walked away. He went back to his normal life, and pretended nothing had happened. He was capable of cold-blooded murder. I suppose that is all I need to understand – even if it is not understandable.