At least one relative, an uncle living in the US, told a Boston TV station Friday that the brothers were “losers” who were angry at others who were making it in America. “Anything to do with a religion is a fraud,” the uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, told Boston’s Channel 7 News, adding that the brothers had been unable to settle down and get ahead, and were angry about that.
However the young men’s roots in a violent region can’t be dismissed, some experts say.
“Chechnya has a very brutal history. You can just imagine two young Chechen boys growing up [in that violence] and then being dropped in the United States,” says Fiona Hill, an expert in Russia and its regional conflicts at the Brookings Institution in Washington. Noting how that could be “incredibly disorienting,” she adds, “And here they are in their 20s, a classic time for people to search for identity.”
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, the older brother shown wearing a dark cap in FBI photos released Thursday, appears to have posted religious videos that included references to the liberation of the Muslim regions of Central Asia before the bombings Monday and the shoot-out in Watertown early Friday in Boston where he was fatally wounded.