UPDATE: Who are Boston bombing suspects Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev?

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, arrived in the United States from Chechnya in 2002 at the age of 8, CNN reports. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen on September 11, 2012, which is said to be a coincidence – naturalized citizens cannot chose the dates of their naturalization.

His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, came to the United States at age 20. He was killed in a showdown with police Thursday night. Family members described him as a religious man who was also the father of a 3-year-old child.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev posted links to Islamic websites and others calling for Chechen independence on what appears to be his page on a Russian-language social networking site.

Abusive comments in Russian and English flooded Tsarnaev’s page on VK, the Russian social media site, on Friday after he was identified as a suspect in the bombing of the Boston marathon.

Police launched a massive manhunt for Tsarnaev, 19, after killing his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, in a shootout overnight. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was also sought as a suspect in the bombings.

Mother Jones reported that a YouTube user by the name of Tamerlan Tsarnaev posted an Islamic prophecy video in July 2012 (see video above), but it is not confirmed that the YouTube user was the suspect.

Credit: Reuters
Credit: Reuters

On the site, the younger Tsarnaev identified himself as a 2011 graduate of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, a public school in Cambridge, Mass. According to the profile, he went to primary school in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, a province in Russia that borders Chechnya, and listed his languages as English, Russian and Chechen.

As his world view, Tsarnaev listed Islam, and his “personal priority” is “career and money.”

The profile also featured links to videos of fighters in the Syrian civil war and to Islamic web pages with titles like “Salamworld, my religion is Islam” and “There is no God but Allah, let that ring out in our hearts.” There were also links to pages calling for independence for Chechnya, a region of Russia that lost its bid for secession after two wars in the 1990s.

The page revealed a sense of humor around his identity as a member of a minority from southern Russia’s restive Caucasus, which includes Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia and other predominantly Muslim regions that have seen two decades of unrest since the fall of the Soviet Union.

A video labeled “tormenting my brother” shows a man resembling his dead brother Tamerlan laughing and imitating the accents of different Caucasian ethnic groups.

He posted his own joke: “A car goes by with a Chechen, a Dagestani and an Ingush inside. Question: Who is driving?”

The answer: the police.

Elsewhere on the Internet, a photo essay entitled “Will box for passport” showed the older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev practicing boxing at a gym. The captions identify him as a Chechen heavyweight boxer, in the United States for five years.

“I don’t have a single American friend,” one caption quotes him as saying. “I don’t understand them.”


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