Is There Much More to the Tamerlan Tsarnaev Story than Meets the Eye? What is the Meaning of the Ritualized 9-11 Tenth Anniversary Murders of Three Young Men–One that Tamerlan Called his “Best Friend”?

Radicalized into an extremist form of Islam over the Internet and by perhaps also meeting with extremists in Dagestan and even in Boston it appears that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was the main instigator behind the Boston marathon bombings–bringing his younger brother along with him into his murderous acts.

As the facts of the case are still being uncovered it looks like Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a young man who came out of the Chechen conflict was perhaps carrying traumatic memories in his heart and was well aware of the civilian casualties and human rights atrocities there–even having lived through some of them. And perhaps feeling sympathy for Muslims in other parts of the world who also live under oppression, he fell prey to the al Qaeda militant jihadi ideology that claims Muslims are under attack by western powers and urges Muslims to do something about it.

From his Internet record it appears that on his road to extremism Tamerlan felt particular empathy for the rebel uprising in Syria that was being crushed with a high civilian death toll by Assad, as was the Chechen uprising crushed by Putin. We know that Tamerlan entered this country a vulnerable individual–an asylum seeker with likely sympathy for Muslims under attack and somewhere–either in his Internet browsing, trip to Dagestan or even in Boston–he encountered a virulent ideology espoused by a worldwide terrorist group as well as social support for buying into a sick narrative.

Tamerlan was also stymied in his pursuit of the American dream. His father, a former official in the Kyrgyz prosecutor’s office struggled to make it here–demoted to a car mechanic working outside in the cold. His parents divorced, his mother was arrested for shoplifting and they both left the country. Excelling as boxer, Tamerlan found his dreams dashed as well. In 2010 he was blocked from continuing to compete by his immigration status following a change in the boxing tournament rules. Once a flamboyant, cocky upstart known to enjoy partying, Tamerlan became dejected and retreated into a conservative form of Islam–rejecting those who had rejected him–and he then slipped somewhere along that path into extremism.

But is this the whole story in his case?

It appears not so, as the reopening of a triple homicide in Boston, occurring on 9-11-2011 is also raising some other troubling questions about Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

The homocides involve the murder of three young men–two Jewish and the third, Brendan Mess–a young man who Tamerlan had formerly introduced at his boxing gym as his “best friend”. The men were murdered in their apartment on a highly symbolic date–the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 al Qaeda attacks. There was with no forced entry–it appears the young men opened their door to a familiar person. $5000 was left on the scene of the crime indicating it was not a robbery. And the men each had their throats slit–in the same manner in which Mohamed Boyeri of the Netherlands ritually murdered Theo van Gogh, a man who Boyeri viewed as an apostate. Some reports state that the three were nearly beheaded–a crime common among Chechen terrorists. And marijuana was sprinkled over their bodies. It seems the crime was meant to convey a message–about the corrupting power of the west, drugs and a militant jihadi answer–of annihilation and destruction.

Tellingly, after the murder of his “best friend” Tamerlan did not attend the funeral and self isolated–he stopped going to the gym. He was already at that time a “revert” for a couple of years to a more conservative form of Islam than is practiced in his home country–except by extremists–and he had backed off of drinking, changed his dress and lifestyle. He had also argued with some of his family members about his views of Islam, expressing extremist’s views, calling one uncle an infidel and telling them that Allah had a plan for him–that he no longer had a need to concern himself with work or studies. And within three months of the murders he disappeared to Dagestan only to reemerge in July 2012 apparently with an ugly plot forming in his mind.

Is there a connection between the 9-11 murders of Tamerlan’s “best friend” and his roommates? Was theirs a ritualized Takfiri murder similar to beheadings carried out by al Qaeda affiliated groups throughout the world, Chechen terrorists and others expressing their murderous rage at the west? Had Tamerlan–perhaps like many trauma survivors or those stressed by immigration–tried to calm his nerves by drinking or using drugs? But then after having lived outside of Islamic rules in the west later decided to clean up by “reverting” to a conservative form of Islam, fall into extremism and in doing so blamed the west for corrupting him–then seeking to destroy it? Or was he angry about his brother’s marijuana use and striking out at those who may have supplied him?

Certainly the April bombings point to a young man who was filled with a self righteous hatred that allowed him to strike out at innocent men, women and children–maiming and killing them with no sense of conscience. Did this hate have some of its origins in either his or his brother’s drug use and a wish to destroy those who he blamed for corrupting him?

These are questions that still remain unanswered but beg to be more thoroughly investigated by the authorities.

2 thoughts on “Is There Much More to the Tamerlan Tsarnaev Story than Meets the Eye? What is the Meaning of the Ritualized 9-11 Tenth Anniversary Murders of Three Young Men–One that Tamerlan Called his “Best Friend”?

  1. Stephen Bryen

    There is no evidence whatever that Tamarlan had any traumatic memories about a place where he never lived. These guys were middle class kids who seem to have had a significant income from unknown sources. I think you have to be careful ascribing motives. On the triple murder issue, there is likewise no proof, not even any evidence. Likewise, there is less and less confidence in the facts that are being put out, what is being withheld, and whether the investigation is legitimate. The government’s strong desire to have the public believe these terrorists were homegrown and independent disgruntled young men without outside influence, training, and financing is a story that also seems to be lacking any foundation except the ideological and political needs of the administration to escape responsibility for their failing to deal with a case about which they were repeatedly warned by the Russian services. This is an even bigger failure than 9/11 because the dots were connected and both the FBI and CIA and maybe others, totally flubbed it, and therefore bear responsibility for what happened.

  2. Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. Post author

    Thank you Stephen. It’s been reported that different spellings caused some of the “flub ups” as you put it–which makes me wonder why these people wouldn’t be designated by all known identifiers including passport numbers…and then any of these and all would be flagged into action.
    As for the traumas–there IS evidence from Tamerlans family members and his teachers in Krygyzstan that Tamerlan did spend time in Chechnya and fled the first war there and that he was already as a small boy reactive to firecrackers. Likewise one does not have to directly experience traumas to be deeply affected by them. I lived with a Chechen for a year and everyday as she recounted her deeply traumatic experiences of living under carpet bombing, witnessing human rights atrocities, fleeing under bombardment etc. I felt traumatized listening to stories of what she had personally lived through. It was emotionally upsetting to listen to and often made me angry and I’m not Chechen and I am also experienced and trained to listen to traumas…Imagine if it were your family members recounting such horrors…to you as a child. And we know that Tamerlan went back to Dagestan AND had family members living there–Dagestan is a very rough place where extremism abounds and traumatic experiences in the continued fights between rebels/terrorists and government continues to this day. He certainly could have been profoundly affected there as well–perhaps solidifying what he already felt.
    As for the triple murders I raise the question because they appear to be so symbolic and now that we know of the friendship of one of the victims to Tamerlan, and that many murders of so called “apostates” by those holding militant jihadi views are carried out in this manner it should be carefully reinvestigated… A similar murder — a beheading of a policeman was carried out in Dagestan in recent years as well…
    Much food for thought. I don’t know the answers but I do know what questions I’d like answered… Thank you for your comment! Anne


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