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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tsarnaev confesses, say wars in Iraq, Afghanistan motivated crimes

Washington Post: The 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has told interrogators that the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan motivated him and his brother to carry out the attack, according to U.S. officials familiar with the interviews.

From his hospital bed, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has acknowledged his role in planting the explosives near the marathon finish line on April 15, the officials said. The first successful large-scale bombing in the post-Sept. 11, 2001, era, the Boston attack killed three people and wounded more than 250 others.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe an ongoing investigation, said Dzhokhar and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed by police as the two attempted to avoid capture, do not appear to have been directed by a foreign terrorist organization.

Rather, the officials said, the evidence so far suggests they were “self-radicalized” through Internet sites and U.S. actions in the Muslim world. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has specifically cited the U.S. war in Iraq, which ended in December 2011 with the removal of the last American forces, and the war in Afghanistan, where President Obama plans to end combat operations by the end of 2014.
Investigators say the two had no ties to international terrorism. The right is trying to spin this in a way that allows them to score political points off it, but it’s hard to see how it’s going to work. They want to connect terrorism and American opposition to Bush’s wars in a way to smear the left, but who’s going to buy that? Remove Republican numbers (who already are on board anyway) and Bush’s legacy of war is tremendously unpopular — meaning they’re saying the majority of Americans are allied with terrorists. And this is supposed to win those people over to their side somehow.

Yeah, I don’t think they’ve thought this whole idea through.

[photo from Dept. of Defense]

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