The Boston Marathon bombing suspects are no longer a threat. One is dead and the other is inside the same hospital as some of the Boston Marathon victims. Like many journalists from across the country, I stayed up all night on Thursday listening to Boston scanner traffic and updating the events as they unfolded.
While tapping away on my keyboard, there was little time to think about why the horrific act of terror was committed. In between keystrokes, I just sent prayers and good thoughts to the police, firefighters, and EMS staffers who were involved in the ongoing manhunt, as well as to those living in the middle of a neighborhood which had quickly turned into a war zone.
About 6 am on Friday, the accurate names of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects had been released. While watching live footage from the search for the second bombing suspect, the time came to learn more about the lives of the young men who had immigrated to America.
Both bombing suspects looked like the typical college kids, guys that my teenage daughter would have likely found attractive. The “Stranger Danger” school program teaches children that potentially evil individuals do not necessarily look like monsters, but sometimes we forget that fact and don’t perceive our seemingly normal neighbors as possible criminals, let alone terrorists.
The bombing suspects’ family was granted political asylum in America. Media reports about the parents stated that at least the father was once allegedly beaten by the KGB. Perhaps no bells and whistles went off about the Tsarnaev family at that time, but how deeply did the governmental agencies involved with the asylum hearing dig into the history on the adults who wanted to come live in America?
America was formed by immigrants, but dirty bombs and government entitlement programs did not exist during our nation’s formative years. We can continue our proud history of welcoming in others who cherish freedom and respect our Constitution, but we have to vastly improve the review and monitoring process.
I am most definitely not an advocate for more Big Brother tactics in America, but I do think looking more closely at immigrants before they take the oath of citizenship is called for. There are literally thousands of young foreign men and women who come to the United States on a student visas who are unaccounted for, and the governmental agencies tasked with resolving these issues merely shrug at the problem.
The Chechen Republic’s president and several relatives of the Boston bombing suspects have all publicly expressed fears that the young men have been framed.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s aunt, Maret Tsarnaev, had this to say while claiming that her nephews were innocent:
“I’m suspicious that this was staged. The picture [FBI released photo] was staged. I am used to being set up. Before I left the former Soviet Union countries, that’s how I lived.”
The elder Tsarnaev brother was investigated by the FBI after a word of warning about his suspected activities from a foreign government. An FBI source told Shep Smith of Fox News that the young man was reviewed and interviewed in 2011, and nothing was found.
The suspect’s mother claims that he told her that the FBI was monitoring all of his online activities and possibly his movements. During an interview on Friday, Zubeidat Tsarnaev claimed the FBI thought her eldest son was a leader in some type of “movement” and that he had become more religious five years ago. The now-dead suspect also reportedly told his mother that the FBI was afraid of him.
Either the FBI searched diligently and the bombing suspect was too clever to be detected, or the federal agency dismissed the investigation too quickly. Over the course of the past two years, Tamerlan Tsarnaev published multiple radical Islamic videos to his YouTube channel. He reportedly spent quite a bit of time adding music and hellfire-type moving images to speeches which surely did not indicate a love for his adopted country.
Neighbors interviewed about the Tsarnaev family indicate that the parents and children appeared to be the model immigrant family, at least as first. Some who lived nearby noted a change several years after they came to America. The mother was reportedly arrested for stealing more than $1,500 of merchandise from a Lord & Taylor store.
If current circulating research about the elder brother is correct, he became far more religious after spending six months in Russia last year. He stopped drinking and smoking and began praying five times per day. He was reportedly somewhat estranged from his American wife and young daughter.
The healthier habits and religious devotion could have been a part of a positive lifestyle change, but it obviously was not. The Boston Marathon bombing suspect also allegedly began talking about the immoral culture in America more frequently in recent years. Although I would not disagree with the decline of morality in the United States, murder is one of the most immoral acts a person could commit.
In 2009, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was the subject of a Boston University student’s (Johannes Hirn) photojournalism project. The student spotted Tsarnaev at a Golden Gloves national tournament. The essay and photos were eventually published in the college’s magazine. “People can’t control themselves. There are no values anymore,” the terrorism suspect stated during the interview.
While his sentiments unfortunately do accurately describe a growing portion of our society, they appear to indicate an increased unhappiness with America as a whole. While Dzhokhar became a citizen last year, Tamerlan could not because of a domestic violence charge, according to the father’s statement. The dad, who moved back to Russia last year, said that his eldest son had “hit a woman lightly” and still had just a green card.
The violent misdemeanor charge and the warning from the foreign government about possible terrorist ties should have been enough cause to revoke his temporary residency status. A Christian family from Germany is currently fighting deportation in Tennessee. The family was granted asylum, but Eric Holder’s Justice Department feels that the religious freedom they seek to educate their children at home is not a good enough reason to be allowed to continue living in the United States. If the family returns to Germany, they face the removal of their children from the home simply because they want to infuse their own set of values and academic standard. This family that committed no crime or words of warning from their former homeland may have to pack up and leave, yet individuals like the Tsarnaev brothers may still be lurking among us.
The immigration and naturalization system in America is chipped, if not broken entirely. Securing our borders and closely monitoring everyone who immigrates to America is a matter of national security. A more stringent immigration review will not stop homegrown terrorists like Timothy McVeigh, but as my grandma Vivian so wisely advised, “there is no need to go borrowing trouble.”
— LoriGirl ★ #2A (@conservtivemom) April 22, 2013
Wife of Boston bombings suspect “knew nothing about” his alleged involvement, her lawyer says. on.cnn.com/123moJ2
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) April 22, 2013