Several major news outlets and commentators covering the bombing have played down or ignored the jihadist links of the two Boston bombers by suggesting their motives are not known.
Islamism is the political ideology that calls for violent or nonviolent jihad, or holy war, in the advancement of the goal of world Islamic revolution and the creation of a caliphate or Islamic state controlled by Sharia law that critics say is a totalitarian, anti-democratic creed and the key driver for groups such as al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Investigators believe Tamerlan Tsarnaev became a jihadist sometime in the 2011 time period and after a visit to Russia last year. Dzhokar Tsarnaev’s radicalization path has yet to be revealed. However, his social network page listed his worldview as “Islam.”
“The command of Dagestan Vilayyat points out that Caucasus mujahideen are not fighting against the United States. We are at war with Russia, which is responsible not only for the occupation of the [North] Caucasus but also for monstrous crimes against Muslims,” according to a statement by the Dagestani Vilayyat, as Islamist separatists are called.
Novosti in Moscow reported on Monday that Tamerlan visited the southern region of Dagestan in 2012 to apply for the replacement of a lost passport.
Republican leaders criticized the FBI for not pursuing early leads linking Tamerlan Tsarnaev to terror. Rep. Mike McCaul (R., Texas) said on CBS Face the Nation Sunday that the terrorists’ motivation in the Boston bombing is “the big question.”
McCaul said he believes the brothers were radicalized in the 2009 and 2010.
“When you look at the foreign travel, particularly the older son who did travel to see his father in the Chechen region, January to July 2012, he spent six months over there and I think the real question investigators have right now is what was he doing over there for six months?” he said.
McCaul said his committee would seek to find out what happened and what may have gone wrong in the FBI’s handling of the case.
“Why weren’t Customs flags put on this individual when he traveled abroad?” McCaul asked.
Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.) also criticized the FBI on Fox News Sunday, noting the 2011 interview with Tsarnaev is “the latest in a series of cases … where the FBI is given information about someone as being a potential terrorist.”
“They look at them, and then they don’t take action,” King said. “Again, I’m wondering, again, is there something deficient here? What was wrong? … I don’t want to be a Monday morning quarterback. They did a great job of resolving the case. But as far as getting information in advance and not seeming to take proper action, this is the fifth case I’m aware of where the FBI has failed to stop someone who ultimately became a terrorist murderer.”