YSU Professors Offer Views on Bombing Suspects

Boston bombing suspects
Boston bombing suspects

As the manhunt for a second suspect from Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing continues, speculation is running wild as to the backgrounds of both men and what their possible motive might have been.

Ever since Monday afternoon’s bombing, many have been trying to guess whocould perpetrate such a crime and why they would do it. Those questions multiplied almost exponentially once the public learned where the two brothers were born.

Both  Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev are originally from a portion of southern Russia near the border with the republic of Chechnya, but authorities believe the two came to this country a decade ago and actually attended school in Massachusetts. A Youngstown State University professor who specializes in international politics said at this point, no one knows for sure what led them to allegedly plant bombs at this week’s Boston Marathon.

“It’s possible that they’re part of a larger Chechnya Diaspora in terms of Chechans who left the country because they do exist in Europe and the United States and North America. It’s also possible that they’re inspired by Islamist Jihadism,” said YSU Political Science Professor Dr. Keith Lepak.

Reports claim both men, who just 24 hours ago were being labled as “Suspects 1 and 2,” are Muslims and experts said there have been growing instances of Chechans working with fundamentalist groups like Al Qaeda.

One of the suspects was reportedly killed in a gunfight with police overnight, and Lepak said if the remaining suspect is killed as well, the public may never know why alll this happened this week.

Dr. Brian Bonhomme teaches Russian history at YSU and doesn’t believe the backgrounds of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev provide any easy answers.

“Chechnya has a long history of confrontation with Russia. It doesn’t have a history of confrontation with the U.S.,” Bonhomme said. “I have absolutely no idea what motivated them, though I would be interested to see what turns out. Personally, I would be surprised if the fact that they’re Chechan is actually relevant.”

And Lepak, who specializes in international politics, believes this week’s attack won’t likely be the last.

“The United States should be prepared for different kinds of Muslims from different areas of the world appearing here with different kinds of motives,” Lepak said.

He said not understanding a motive for Monday’s bombing is concerning.

“We are unused to this kind of violence, whereas in many other areas of the world, including some of these areas we’ve been involved in recently, these kind of events are almost daily if not weekly events,” Lepak said.

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