Excerpts: Boston Bombers motivation. Kerry/Abbas to meet in Istanbul 20
April. "Friends of(rebel) Syria" core group April 20, 2013
+++SOURCE: Naharnet (Lebanon) 20 April ’13:”Bombers’ Path to Boston May
Have Begun Online”, Ageence France
SUBJECT: Boston Bombers’ motivation
QUOTE:”a new generation of jihadists who are radicalized on line and strike
in their own countries”
FULL TEXT”The two brothers suspected of the Boston bombings, Chechens who
grew up in America, fit the profile of a new generation of jihadists who are
radicalized online and strike in their home countries.
The motivations of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, killed early Friday[19 April], and
brother Dzhokhar, 19, who is wounded and in police custody, remain unclear,
President Barack Obama said shortly after the second brother was captured on
"Why did young men who grew up and studied here as part of our communities
and our country resort to such violence?" Obama asked.
"How did they plan and carry out these attacks? And did they receive any
help? The families of those killed so senselessly deserve answers."
Despite the many unknowns, analysts said the brothers' turn to extremism
seemed to have been stoked, not by the years of unrest in their native North
Caucasus region of Russia, but on the Internet.
"The Chechnya issue is less relevant than the radicalization process," said
Seth Jones, associate director of the International Security and Defense
Policy Center at the RAND Corporation, a Washington think tank.
"It seems the issue here is less that they conducted training in camps or
not and radicalized in Chechnya, and more that they were involved in a
social media radicalization," he said prior to the arrest of Dzhokhar.
The Tsarnaev brothers, ethnic Chechen Muslims, arrived as refugees in
Cambridge, near Boston, with their families around a decade ago, according
to family members. Dzhokhar would have only been about 10 years old.
Bayram Balci, a Caucasus region specialist at the Carnegie Endowment think
tank in Washington, said the uprooting of young people at an early age can
make them more vulnerable to being radicalized in later years.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev had a YouTube page in his name, created in August 2012,
where he favorited several Islamist videos in a category entitled
It had links to videos of a radical Australian preacher, Feiz Mohammad, and
a playlist entitled "terrorists," according to the Washington-based SITE
Fiona Hill, a Caucasus specialist at the Brookings Institution think tank,
said the conflict in Chechnya is used as a recruiting tool for al-Qaida.
"Videos from Chechnya are all over the Internet. They're constantly packaged
as part of the al-Qaida network recruitment," she said.
Dzhokhar used Twitter and VKontakte -- the Russian equivalent of Facebook --
where his profile identifies "Islam" as his world view, lists information
about Chechnya and Islam, and relates jokes about the unfair treatment of
Muslims in the Caucasus.
Ben Wittes, an expert on terrorism and national security at Brookings, said
the attack in Boston could be construed as domestic but have international
"The difference is really a question of who, if anyone, the Boston suspects
were really in touch with and who, if anyone, may have been directing what
they were trying to do and successfully did," Wittes said.
The Fort Hood shootings in 2009, where U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan is
accused of killing 13 soldiers and military support personnel, unfolded in a
similar gray area between domestic and international militancy.
Hasan, born in the United States to Palestinian parents, was said to have
had contacts with Anwar al-Awlaqi, the American-born radical cleric later
killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen.
Frank Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George
Washington University, said there were many examples of people wanting to
fight for al-Qaida in their own country.
"Specifically, you've had a number of examples and cases where people who
were trying to fight overseas have been turned back around to attack their
homeland," he added.
The bombs used in Boston, pressure cookers filled with explosives, reflect
the methods advocated by Inspire, the English language magazine published by
al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the movement's Yemeni offshoot, which has
also urged aspiring jihadists to launch attacks in their own countries.
Brian Jenkins, author of a Rand study on the profile of jihadists in the
United States, said 74 percent of those involved in such plots were American
citizens, of which 49 percent were born here and 29 percent were
"Many of the jihadists identified in the cases discussed here began their
journey toward radicalization on the Internet where they found resonance and
reinforcement for their frustration and anger," he wrote.
+++SOURCE: Naharmet (Lebanon) 20 April ’13:”[US Sec. of State] Kerry to Push
U.S. Peace Efforts at Abbas Meeting”, Agence France Presse
SUBJECT: Kerry/Abbas to meet in Istanbul 21 April
QUOTE:”a U.S. –led peace push focusing on the Palestinian economy steps up”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Palestinian president Mahmoud
Abbas in Istanbul on Sunday,[21 April] the State Department said, as a
U.S.-led peace push focusing on the Palestinian economy steps up.
Kerry and Abbas, who have met several times recently, will "continue the
conversation that they've been having for several weeks now about how to get
both sides back to the table," a State Department official said.
Kerry warned Wednesday[17 April] that time was slipping away to reach a
peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, stressing for the first time
that there may only be a year or two left.
The top U.S. diplomat is working on a plan to try to boost the Palestinian
economy as part of efforts to restore trust between the two sides. The plan
will be discussed in the talks with Abbas, the State Department official
Abbas was visiting Turkey on Saturday and Sunday[20,21 April] for talks with
top officials including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has sparked
concern by announcing his intention to visit the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip next
month, after a trip to the United States.
Abbas's West Bank-based nationalist Fatah movement, a long-time rival to the
Islamist Hamas, has criticized Erdogan's Gaza trip as fostering
Kerry, in Istanbul on Saturday[20 April] for a meeting of core members of
the "Friends of Syria" group backing the Syrian opposition, was also due to
meet Erdogan on Sunday [21 April].
+++SOURCE: Naharnet (Lebanon) 20 April ’13:” ‘Friends of Syria’ Talks on Aid
to Rebels Start in Istanbul”, Agence France Presse
SUBJECT : “Friends of(rebel) Syria” core group
QUOTE:”new non-lethal military support for rebel fighters”
FULL TEXT:A meeting of the 11-member core group of the "Friends of Syria"
began in Istanbul on Saturday[20 April], with U.S. Secretary of State John
Kerry set to announce new non-lethal military support for rebel fighters.
The United States, which is taking part in the talks along with European and
Arab nations, has indicated it could for the first time agree to supply
defensive military gear to the rebels, but not the weapons the opposition
The meeting began with talks among top diplomats from the 11 countries: the
United States, Britain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab
Emirates, Italy, Germany, France and Turkey.
The group was then to hold a working dinner with key members of the Syrian
opposition, including the head of the Syrian National Coalition, Ahmed Moaz
Ahead of the talks, a senior U.S. official said Kerry would discuss the aid
increase with the opposition leadership.
The assistance would be for "moderate opposition groups, including the
Syrian opposition Coalition, local councils, civil society organizations and
the Supreme Military Council," the State Department official told reporters.
The official said the aid to rebel fighters could go "beyond military food
rations and medical kits to include other types of non-lethal supplies," but
said the details still needed to be worked out.
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA