Let's cut to the chase; the Boston bombing was a classic blowback -- the word US networks won't dare pronounce. The key question to consider is who profits from it.
If the convoluted FBI narrative of the Boston bombing is to be believed -- and that's a suspension of disbelief "if" -- here's the new Osama Bin Laden (this time captured alive); Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, a graduate from a Cambridge, Mass. High school, enrolled at UMass Dartmouth, fluent speaker of English, Russian and Chechen, former wrestling all-star, listing "career and money" on his VKontakte (Russia's Facebook) page as key interests.
The FBI narrative includes exploits worthy of the Die Hard franchise, such as Dzhokhar running over his brother Tamerlan's body -- enveloped in a suicide vest -- in a stolen SUV, and crashing a massive police barricade.
It would be so convenient to pigeonhole the Tsarnaev brothers as Chechen terrorists. But that's not the case.
Dzhokhar being a member of a few internet groups discussing Chechnya does not prove much. They have been in the US long enough to be thoroughly assimilated; Dzhokhar arrived with his family in March 2002 and Tamerlan on his own in 2004. Before that, the family lived in Kyrgyzstan and then in Dagestan, Russia, where Dzhokhar went to school No. 1 in Makhachkala, Dagestan's capital.
So far, the record is murky on whether Dzhokhar, Tamerlan, or both, went back to Dagestan, for long periods or not, after they had immigrated to the US. Some influential players are keen to use this as evidence they received tactical training in Dagestan.
So ultimately, who're you going to trust? The FBI -- whose credibility is in tatters after such blatant fabrications as The Fast and the Furious-style Iranian-cum-Mexican cartel plot to kill a Saudi ambassador?
Or the brothers' mother, as interviewed by RT? Both parents vehemently insist this was an FBI set-up; something that neatly dovetails, for instance, with what a man who trained Tamerlan in mixed-martial arts in Allston told WBZ-Boston; "I knew him... It's not the guy that they're talking about now."
Chechnya's strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, apart from displaying his trademark truculence on his favorite media platform, Instagram, has made a (crucial) point; "Any attempt to make a link between Chechnya and the Tsarnaevs, if they are guilty, is pointless. They grew up in the US, their views and beliefs were formed there. The roots of evil must be searched for in America."
Dzhokhar was born in 1993 -- just before Chechnya, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, made a bold move for independence. At first, the process was mostly secular. Slowly, hardcore jihadis took over. The Kremlin counter-attacked. A low-level jihadist guerrilla movement -- which leaked into neighboring Dagestan -- persists, fought by the Kremlin's counter-insurgency apparatus.
Chechnya's new jihadis want an emirate, as envisioned by Doku Umarov; a Chechnya-istan modeled on the Talibanistan of the late 1990s. Umarov always insists on global jihad -- from Afghanistan and Iraq to Somalia and Palestine -- against "everyone who wages war against Islam and Muslims."
Just as I have met a lot of Chechens fighting alongside the Taliban -- and then captured in Afghanistan before 9/11 - there are quite a few Chechens in Syria as part of a global jihadi brigade fighting the Bashar Assad government in Aleppo.
But that's quite a stretch to explain Boston. Especially when as recently as three weeks ago Umarov called on the Chechen Diaspora to buy a one-way ticket to wage jihad at home.
Chechens did hit soft targets in the past; it could be two Dagestani female suicide bombers blowing up the Moscow Metro in 2010, killing at least 40 people and injuring 100, or the gory outcome of the Beslan school tragedy in 2004, when no less than 334 hostages died, most of them children.
But this always had to do with Russia -- not the US.
The usual suspects, as in proverbial armchair warriors of Think Tankland in the US, are busy cataloguing the Tsarnaev brothers as "grassroots militants." So far, there's no evidence the brothers are grassroots Al-Qaeda, or even any franchise in the Al-Qaeda nebula.
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