MOSCOW, April 19 (RIA Novosti) – The two suspects in the deadly bombing of this week’s Boston Marathon hailed from a Russian region near Chechnya, the Associated Press reported on Friday, citing an unidentified source. Media speculation has been rife that the suspects' family hailed from Chechnya itself, though a number of reports say the two spent most if not all of their lives outside the restive Russian republic.
One of the two suspects in the April 15 bombing, which left three people dead and almost 200 injured, was killed earlier today, police said, after the fatal shooting of an officer at Boston's Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US media reported.
The Reuters news agency, citing a national security official, identified the surviving Boston bomb suspect as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Boston police have posted a "wanted" notice for the man on its Twitter feed, saying the "suspect [is] considered armed & dangerous."
Reuters, citing the same official, identified the dead suspect as Tsarnaev's brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26. The brothers had been in the United States for several years, the official said. The AP, citing a man identified as the Tsarnaevs' uncle, reported the brothers had lived in the United States for 10 years.
Boston officials have told all city residents to stay indoors while the hunt for Tsarnaev continues, US media said.
CBS News said the two men were from “Chechnya or Turkey."
A person named Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears on a list of 45 people awarded Cambridge City scholarships in 2011.
A page on VKontakte, Russia’s answer to Facebook, in the name of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, with a photo bearing a resemblance to one of the men in images released by US authorities of the blast suspects, says he studied at a school in Makhachkala, the capital of Russia’s republic of Dagestan, which borders Chechnya, from 1999-2001, and graduated from the Cambridge Ringe & Latin School in 2011.
The page lists the languages spoken by the young man as English, Russian and Chechen, and identifies his worldview as “Islam” and his personal priorities as “career and money.”
There was no way of confirming that the VKontakte page belonged to the suspected bomber.
Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Chechnya was ravaged by two brutal wars between federal troops and local forces in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The republic’s capital, Grozny, was devastated by some of the most intense aerial bombing of an urban area since World War II during the first of the two wars, which began in 1994, around the time Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was born. While the first war hinged on separatism, the second had a strong Islamist strain.
However, the region, especially Grozny, has experienced a period of relative calm in recent years since the Kremlin appointed a former anti-Moscow fighter, Ramzan Kadyrov, to rule the region. Kadyrov and his personal army have been accused of human rights abuses, but he denies the charges.
Kadyrov was also reported last week to have been placed on the secret section of a US list of Russian officials subject to visa bans. He laughed off the report and said he had no intention of traveling to the United States, in any case. He also sharply criticized Washington’s foreign policy.
A State Department official said last week that while the Russians named publicly on the list were subject to visa bans and US asset freezes, those on the secret part of the list would not be subject to asset freezes.