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From the Caucasus to Boston and Beyond


From the Caucasus to Boston and Beyond

Abstract: 

It will almost surely be borne out that Dzhokhar and especially Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the alleged perpetrators of the deadly Boston Marathon terrorist attack, were inspired though perhaps not recruited by global jihadists. Either way, the Tsarnaevs' tale offers several lessons about the complex nature of the global jihadist revolutionary movement both in Russia and around the world. First, we need to purge 'Chechen' rebels and the 'Chechen fight for independence' from our lexicon in connection with the Boston Bombings, the Caucasus, and terrorism. The Tsarnaevs were surely influenced by their Chechen heritage and the violence in the North Caucasus. The elder brother Tamerlan traveled to Russia for six months beginning in January 2012 and did go to Chechnya. However, media have focused less on his travel to Russia's Republic of Dagestan at the time and the brothers' half-Dagestani Avar ethnicity. Avars are the largest ethnic group in the republic, plagued for nearly a decade by growing jihadism.

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Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Hahn, Gordon. 2013. "From the Caucasus to Boston and Beyond." April 29. www.start.umd.edu/news/discussion-point-caucasus-boston-and-beyond

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