Sarasota News Leader

04/26/2013

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Sarasota News Leader April 26, 2013 OPINION Page 71 THE DECEASED BOSTON BOMBING SUSPECT TRAVELED A YEARS-LONG PATH INTO RELIGIOUS FANATICISM By David Staats Contributing Writer COMMENTARY Since last week's shooting death of Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the two ethnic Chechen brothers who are the prime suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, much has been written and broadcast by the news media and on blog sites speculating on their possible motives for having undertaken this act of terrorism. Thus far, only one commentator seems to have the right answers: Ruslan Tsarni, the men's paternal uncle. He called his nephews "losers," adding that Tamerlan, a convert to a radical form of Islam, had corrupted his younger brother. Reporting on the Tsarnaevs' life in the U.S. describes a highly dysfunctional family. Anzor, the father, was trained as a lawyer and held responsible positions in the Kyrgyzstan bureaucracy. He is an ethnic Chechen. His wife, Zubeidat, is an ethnic Avar. Between 1991 and 2002, they and their children shuttled between Kyrgyzstan and Dagestan. In each location, and for differing reasons, they were considered undesirables. In 2002, Anzor, Zubeidat and their younger son, Dzhokhar, immigrated to the U.S. as refugees. Their elder son, Ta- merlan, and their two daughters joined them in 2003. The family was reunited in Boston. In Boston, Anzor found work as an auto mechanic. Although skilled, he could not support his family as a mechanic. After a decade of struggling, Anzor returned to Russia in May 2012. He explained that he was leaving to seek medical treatment for injuries stemming from a severe beating he received sometime before emigrating from Russia. Zubeidat was a beautician who saw female clients only in the family's apartment. Clients praised her facials. Zubeidat followed her then ex-husband to Russia a short time later, reportedly because she was homesick. Another incentive for her to return may have been her arrest on June 19, 2012 for shoplifting clothing valued at $1,624 from the Lord & Taylor store in Natick, MA. She also attempted to disable the anti-theft tags attached to the clothes. While still in the U.S., Anzor and Zubeidat divorced. The cause was irreconcilable differences. The source of those differences was Zubeidat's embrace of conservative Islam. She encouraged Tamerlan to follow her down this path. He did.

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