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Before Boston bombing, Tsarnaev’s wife searched for “wife of mujaheddin”

Complicit. “‘Wife of Mujahedeen’: Jury Hears New Details About Boston Bomber’s Wife,” by Michele McPhee, ABC News, April 28, 2015:

In the months before the Boston Marathon bombing, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s wife, Katherine Russell, searched the Internet for “wife of mujahedeen” and “what are the rewards for wives of mujahedeen,” according to testimony in the bomber trial Tuesday.

After the April 2013 attacks, Russell, who now uses her married name Karima Tsarnaeva, exchanged texts with her best friend about the carnage at the finish line and wrote, “Although a lot more people are killed every day in Syria and other places. Innocent people.”

“I thought it was strange she was bringing that up in this situation,” the friend, Gina Crawford, told the court Monday. Crawford said she had been interviewed by the FBI twice in 2013.

Katherine Russell has not been charged in connection with the April 15, 2013 bombings that killed three, left another 17 amputees, and wounded more than 240 others. Law enforcement officials told ABC News they are continuing to investigate what role, if any, she played in the conspiracy.

Russell’s name has been brought up several times during the penalty phase of the trial by ’s defense team as they try to save him from the death penalty by painting his older brother Tamerlan as the architect of the attacks.Tamerlan, 26, was killed in the early hours of April 19, 2013 when he was shot in a wild firefight with police and then hit and dragged by his brother as Dzhokhar fled in a stolen SUV from the scene in the Boston suburb of Watertown. Tamerlan’s death capped a two-day crime spree that started with the murder of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, the carjacking of a Cambridge businessman, and the bomb and bullet battle in Watertown. Dzhokhar was discovered hours later hiding and wounded in a dry-docket boat.

“The man who conceived, planned, and led this crime is beyond our power to punish,” defense attorney David Bruck told the court in his opening statement Monday, referring to Tamerlan. “Only the 19-year-old brother [Dzhokhar] who helped is left.”

PHOTO: A runner is on the ground as police officers draw their guns after the second explosion near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
PHOTO: A runner is on the ground as police officers draw their guns after the second explosion near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.

Katherine Russell’s mother Judith, a nurse, also took the stand for the defense Monday and said that her daughter met Tamerlan at a nightclub while she was a student at Suffolk University. Katherine brought Tamerlan home to meet her mother in a meeting that left Judith Russell unimpressed, she testified.

“He didn’t really seem interested in getting to know us, so it didn’t start off on a really good feeling,” Judith Russell told the court. “We weren’t real happy with her choice in the relationship.”

After Tamerlan traveled to Russia in 2012 the couple’s interest in Islam intensified, she said. With Tamerlan, she said, it bordered on “obsession.”

“She was covering and he started to grow his body hair,” Judith Russell said. “There was progression of his belief system and passion.”

After Tamerlan was killed, Judith woke up to her other daughter crying. Judith asked Russell’s sister, “I wanted to know what was going on, and she said, ‘Katie thinks that Tamerlan’s dead.’”…

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Of course they do. Authorities are aware that they’re out there, but they’re hamstrung in their ability to track their activities by the politically correct willful ignorance about their motives and goals, imposed by the Obama Administration in October 2011 — as I explain at length in my book Arab Winter Comes to America. And so there is one certainty: there will be more jihad attacks like the one at the Boston Marathon, while FBI agents are busy engaging in “outreach” with jihad terror-tied mosques.

“More Boston bomber types lurk, officials warn,” by Kelly Riddell for The Washington Times, April 14:

The Boston Marathon bombings last year put a new face on terrorism: that of young, U.S.-raised misfits in search of a cause for which they can kill and die thousands of miles away from hotbeds of Islamic radicalism.

Feeling disenfranchised and alone, these youths often seek community online, placing themselves into a guerrilla’s mindset by consuming information on specific movements and gradually becoming self-radicalized, counterterrorism researchers say. Al Qaeda, becoming increasingly diffuse and decentralized, tries to help these individuals in their process through online magazines such as Inspire and jihadist postings on YouTube.

“Al Qaeda still exists, but its ability to reach into the U.S. is very limited — mainly because of the job law enforcement has done,” said Christopher Swift, an adjunct professor of national security studies at Georgetown University. “On the Internet, [al Qaeda’s] looking for someone who is isolated, atomized — that they can indoctrinate but don’t have to take responsibility for — someone [to] whom they can push out the ideological source code and have act in their name. We’re going to see this ‘lone wolf’ model proliferate.”

Law enforcement officers have taken note.

“We have to have a recognition — and we do — that terrorists are more agile, they’re not restricted by nation-states and borders, they can flow information in and out of different areas of the world at will,” said Michael Steinbach, deputy assistant director of the FBI’s counterterrorism division. “No longer does somebody in country X need to travel to a terrorist hotbed to get trained and get their orders. You can really do everything that needs to be done without leaving your home, let alone the United States.”…

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the two brothers accused of the Boston Marathon bombings, seemed to have become radicalized in 2011 while he was living in a suburb of the city, according to a congressional report released in March.

By all accounts, Tsarnaev was a volatile young man, accused of domestic violence against a girlfriend, and was thrown out of his local mosque several times for getting into shouting matches with preachers because they encouraged worshippers to celebrate American holidays, according to the report.

When law enforcement personnel searched Tsarnaev’s computer, they found a YouTube account with various Russian-language videos on Islam and playlists of jihadist instructions. One 13-minute video, titled “The Emergence of Prophecy: The Black Flags of Khorasan,” detailed a jihadist prophecy that at the end of the world a holy army would rise out of the region historically associated with Afghanistan and sweep across the Middle East to Jerusalem, according to the congressional report.

Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police in a Boston suburb days after the bombings.

Briefly raised in the Russian republic of Dagestan, an epicenter of Islamic insurgency, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, seemingly had no specific investment in their former homeland’s battles, Mr. Swift said, but they were inspired and ideologically driven by al Qaeda’s call for global jihad via the Internet.

“If you look at the Tsarnaev brothers, they hadn’t been to Chechnya since they were kids — this wasn’t about what Russia’s done to Chechnya and the suffering of the Chechnyan people,” said Mr. Swift. “These individuals already had some other issue, and then went online and glommed onto this understanding of the world. The Internet gives people who are already vulnerable [to jihad] a pathway and a recipe to follow.”

Swift is wrong. Tamerlan was in that region as an adult, trying to join “underground groups” because of his commitment to “radical Islam” — as the Russians told the FBI.

Not all background information has been released on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as he awaits trial on multiple federal charges, including the denotation of two improvised explosive devices — built with pressure cookers and packed with shrapnel — that exploded near the end of the finish line of the Boston Marathon last year….

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by Ike Pius. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.