The Brothers Tsarnaev

We’ll look deep into their worlds for clues, motives, and the latest on the investigation.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

This combination of undated photos shows Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19. (AP)

The manhunt is over in Boston.  The funerals have begun.  Now the question of why looms so large.

Why would two young men years in this country allegedly set down bombs in the middle of men and women and children and exhausted runners and calmly walk away as their explosions tore into life and limb?  Why?

There is more that people want to know.  How would they have accumulated the guns and bomb plans and impetus to act?  To kill?  How will the surviving brother be questioned and tried?  But above all, why?

This hour, On Point:  we’re thinking about the brothers Tsarnaev.

– Tom Ashbrook


Eric Schmitt, covers terrorism and national security issues for the New York Times. (@ericschmittnyt)

Karen Greenberg, counterterrorism expert and the director of the Center for National Security at Fordham University Law School.

Kevin Brock, Retired FBI Assistant Director for Intelligence and former Principal Deputy Director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

Kermit Roosevelt, professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Boston Globe “Boston officials said today the Tsarnaev brothers were prepared to launch more violent attacks before their odyssey of terror was disrupted last week — given the large quantity of explosives and ammunition they possessed — but that all evidence thus far indicates they were acting alone and were not part of a broader conspiracy.”

NBC News “As students trickled back to the university on Sunday where surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, has been enrolled as a sophomore, the teenager’s classmates expressed disbelief over his involvement in the attack and suggested that he may have been the victim of ‘brainwashing’ by his older brother.”

The New York Times “Tamerlan Tsarnaev had already found religion by the time he landed in Dagestan, a combustible region in the North Caucasus that has become the epicenter of a violent Islamic insurgency in Russia and a hub of jihadist recruitment. What he seemed to be yearning for was a home.”

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Nov 24, 2015
This photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 shows fuel tanks  hit during the attack of Russian warplanes in Syria. Russian warplanes on Monday attacked oil extraction, transport and refinement facilities in areas controlled by Islamic State militants. (AP Photo/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

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