US officials have identified the suspects in the April 15, 2013, Boston bombings as Chechen brothers Djohar (Dzhokhar) and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, both of whom have a presence on social networking websites.
According to reports, Tamerlan was shot to death during a clash with police that involved explosives and firearms on April 19, and Djohar remains at large.
Djohar, a 19-year old, maintained a profile on a popular social networking website called Vkontakte, or VK, and on it, indicated he attended school in the capital of Dagestan, Makhachkala, from 1999-2001, and then the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, a high school in Massachusetts, graduating in 2011. He put his current city as Boston, and listed his "world view" as Islam and his "personal priority" as "career and money". Also, under groups, Djohar joined a movie and music page and two Chechnya-related pages. He posted four videos to his page, one of which is a Russian comedy clip, another a clip in which a man demonstrates various Russian accents, and the other two concerning Islam and the plight of Muslims. The first video is a Russian-subtitled production calling for support to Muslims in Syria, and the second, also Russian-subtitled, shows an Islamic cleric named Fahad al-Kandari interviewing a blind boy.
A YouTube account by user "muazseyfullah" lists its owner as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, having been created on August 17, 2012. Through his page, he has liked videos from radical Australian preacher Feiz Muhammad, and created playlists including one titled "Timur Mucuraev," which contains a video promoting jihad, sung by the Russian singer. Another playlist is titled "terrorists" and another has the name "islam."
The videos in Tamerlan Tsarnaev's "terrorists" playlist, which was created in approximately February 2013, have been removed, as the account linked to the videos has been deleted from YouTube. However, a saved page indicates that the videos are related to Dagestan and were initially uploaded by the "Vilayat Dagestan"
Both videos are 6 minutes, 16 seconds long and share the name "Amir Abu Dujana rabbanikaly - addressing the militias" [Амир Раббаникалы Абу Дуджана - Обращение к ополченцам]. Although they have been removed from YouTube.com, the following screenshot depicts the video, as shared to the vk.com social networking site on November 15, 2012:
Also, a photo gallery website belonging to a Johannes Hirn, gives a slideshow and snippets from an interview with Tamerlan. The pictures show him in a boxing ring and training. The following are copies of some of the captions:
Originally from Chechnya, but living in the United States since five years, Tamerlan says: "I don't have a single American friend, I don't understand them."
Tamerlan, 196 lbs, will represent New England in the heavyweight category at the National Golden Gloves competition in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Tamerlan, who studies at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston and wants to become an engineer, took the semester off from school to train for the competition.
If he wins enough fights there, Tamerlan says he could be selected for the US Olympic team and be naturalized American. Unless his native Chechnya becomes independent, Tamerlan says he would rather compete for the United States than for Russia.
Tamerlan fled Chechnya with his family because of the conflict in the early 90s, and lived for years in Kazakhstan before getting to the United States as a refugee.
Tamerlan says he loves the movie "Borat," even though some of the jokes are a bit too much.
Tamerlan says he doesn't usually take his shirt off so girls don't get bad ideas: "I'm very religious."
Tamerlan says he doesn't drink or smoke anymore: "God said no alcohol." A muslim, he says: "There are no values anymore," and worries that "people can't control themselves."
Tamerlan says his girlfriend is half Portuguese, half Italian girlfriend and converted to Islam: "She's beautiful, man!"
Tamerlan demonstrates a way of walking to strengthen the ankle muscles at the Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts center. A native of Chechnya, Tamerlan says: "In Russia, we used to train like this. Here nobody does it, I don't know why!"