Rather a grandiloquent title for what’s presented as a sad band of feckless dreamers and failed hustlers, but full marks to the Boston Globe for putting in the time and effort and money that led to this report:
… Federal investigators have suspected that Tamerlan, the 26-year-old boxer from southern Russia who is believed, along with his brother, to have set off the deadly Boston Marathon bombs in April, was motivated, if not deliberately directed, by real life jihadist revolutionaries on the other side of the globe. But an investigation by the Boston Globe suggests that Tamerlan was in the perilous grip of someone far more menacing: himself.
The Globe corroborated with several people who knew him just how plagued Tamerlan felt by the inner voices. Some family acquaintances feared for his mental health, among them a doctor concerned it could be schizophrenia. The Globe’s five-month investigation, with reporting in Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Canada, and the United States, also:
■ Fundamentally recasts the conventional public understanding of the brothers, showing them to be much more nearly coequals in failure, in growing desperation, and in conspiracy.
■ Establishes that the brothers were heirs to a pattern of violence and dysfunction running back several generations…
■ Casts doubt on the claim by Russian security officials that Tamerlan made contact with or was recruited by Islamist radicals during his visit to his family homeland.
■ Raises questions about the Tsarnaevs’ claim that they came to this country as victims of persecution seeking asylum. More likely, they were on the run from elements of the Russian underworld whom Anzor had fallen afoul of. Or they were simply fleeing economic hardship.
In any case, the family from which two alleged bombers emerged very likely should not have been here at all. But once they arrived the promise of a fresh start quickly soured; the chaotic ways that had long marked this clan only intensified…
Taken together, these findings suggest that the motivation for the Tsarnaev brothers’ violent acts is more likely rooted in the turbulent collapse of their family and their escalating personal and collective failures than, as federal investigators have suggested, on the other side of the globe. It is a portrait that makes the plot that yielded the carnage of April 15 seem less complicated, and the horrific outcome less preventable.
If the truth is that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his rangy teenage brother acted out of private motives, reinforced by the fervent entreaties of the Muslim militants whose voices and images boiled on their computer screen, they would join the ranks of homegrown murderers such as the Colorado movie theater shooter and the Oklahoma City bombers…
The report presents the elder Tsarnaevs as the kind of marginal, alienated losers we’d call ‘trailer trash’ if they were born in America. People who loudly dream of moving beyond their humble beginnings by any means necessary, legal or illegal, but whose achievements can’t stretch beyond flashy clothes, imprudent couplings, substance abuse, and local notoriety. Not exactly a ripe target for the OMGmuslinterristsgonnaeatourbabies!!! alarmists… but I guess it will make the anti-immigrant paranoids happy.