Boston Bombing Suspects Inspired by Muslim Cleric | Newsmax

Anwar al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki

The younger of the two brothers accused of the Boston Marathon bombings has said  that the pair were inspired by watching online videos of Anwar al-Awlaki, an  American citizen who was killed by a U.S. drone strike.
Dzhokhar  Tsarnaev, 19, told investigators that he and his older brother Tamerlan were  motivated in part by the radical Muslim cleric who was killed by the U.S. in  Yemen on September 30, 2011, reports The Wall Street Journal.
U.S. government officials  said that al-Awlaki was a senior talent recruiter and motivator who was involved  in planning terrorist operations for al-Qaida.  He reportedly played a role in  the radicalization of the so-called underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab  of Nigeria, who pleaded guilty of trying to blow up an American-bound airplane  on Christmas Day, 2009.
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Al-Awlaki had  many of his videos posted on YouTube until they were removed following a request  from Congress in November 2010. According to CNN, however, the Dagestan wing of  the Caucasus Emirate, a jihadist group fighting to create an Islamic state in  the region, also posted videos of al-Awlaki.
The Tsarnaev brothers, of  Chechen origin, spent much of their childhood in Dagestan before emigrating to  the U.S. with their family in the early 2000s. Investigators, however, have  reportedly not found evidence of direct contact between the Tsarnaev brothers  and the cleric.
They are still trying to determine whether the brothers  carried out their alleged attack on their own or had help from others.  Of  particular interest is a six month trip that Tamerlan made to Russia in 2012.  That came after Russian law enforcement officials told their American  counterparts that they suspected him of having become radicalized.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a shootout with police on April 18, three  days after the bombings, while Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was badly wounded in the  exchange of gunfire, was captured the next day. He is currently in a prison  hospital at Fort Devens, Mass.
Tsarnaev told interrogators that he and  his older brother had considered carrying out an attack on July 4 but instead  chose April 15, Patriots’ Day in Mass., because the bombs were ready earlier  than expected, according to several reports.
He said the brothers built  their pressure-cooker bombs in the older brother’s apartment in Cambridge,  Mass., which he shared with his wife, Katherine Russell, and their child.
Female DNA and fingerprints found on a bomb fragment recovered from the  attacks do not match the widow, reports CBS News. The FBI collected DNA and hair  samples from Russell at her parents’ home in North Kingstown, Rhode Island on  Monday.
Russell is not a suspect and has not been charged, but  investigators want to question her further to find out what, if anything, she  knew about her husband’s plans.
On Wednesday, prosecutors charged two  19-year-old college friends of the younger brother, Dias Kadyrbayev and Axamat  Tazhayakov, both from Kazakhstan, with helping to hide evidence of the bombs by  discarding a backpack containing gutted fireworks.  They also charged a third  friend, 19-year-old Robel Phillipos, with lying to prosecutors. None of the  three has entered a plea.
According to an affidavit unsealed Wednesday,   after seeing the widely released surveillance video of the suspects,  Kadyrbayev  sent his friend a text saying that he resembled one of them,  to which Tsarnaev  responded, “LoL, you better not text me.”
He also texted Kadyrbayev to  say “Come to my room and take whatever you want,” said the affidavit, noting  “Kadyrbayev knew when he saw the empty fireworks that Tsarnaev was involved in  the marathon bombing. Kadyrbayev decided to remove the backpack from the room in  order to help his friend Tsarnaev avoid trouble.”

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