Boston bombing suspect interacted with US professor over ‘Chechen’ origin research
Washington: A Massachusetts professor has said that the Boston Marathon bombing suspect, who is the subject of a massive manhunt, had requested for his help two years ago for research over rediscovering his Chechen origins.
Brian Glyn Williams, a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is also a registered student, teaches the only course in the US on the Chechen wars, Fox News reports.
Stating that Tsarnaev had asked questions on Chechen history for a research project that he was doing in 2011 in the email, Williams said that the suspect was in the process of vicariously rediscovering his Chechen origins.
According to Williams, he emailed back a syllabus to Tsarnaev, adding that he did not even remember the interaction until he talked to a friend, after which he claimed to be ‘freaked out’ that he had communicated with a psychopath.
Describing a complicated picture in Chechnya, Williams said that there is a jihad element that has grown larger and more important inside the region in the wake of bloody wars with the Russians, adding that al Qaeda supports and sympathises with that group.
The detail comes amid swirling questions about Tsarnaev's motivations and roots, which is thought to be from Chechnya, though his family may be from the neighboring region of Dagestan, the report added.