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Close to 300 more were injured by flying shrapnel, with many losing a leg, or an arm, or an eye; a scene of unbelievable carnage that conjured up images of Baghdad, Kabul or Tel Aviv.An uneasy panic settled over Boston when it was revealed that the Tsarnaev brothers were not, as many assumed, connected to a terrorist group, but young men seemingly affiliated with no one but themselves.Though Islam is the dominant religion of the North Caucasus, religion played virtually no role in the life of Anzor Tsarnaev, a tough, wiry man who'd grown up during Soviet times, when religious worship in Kyrgyzstan was mostly underground.In Dagestan, where Islam had somewhat stronger footing, many women wear hijabs; Zubeidat, though, wore her dark hair like Pat Benatar.His little brother, Jahar, had earned a scholarship to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and was thinking about becoming an engineer, or a nurse, or maybe a dentist – his focus changed all the time. Since the bombing, friends and acquaintances of the Tsarnaevs, as well as the FBI and other law-enforcement officials, have tried to piece together a narrative of the brothers, most of which has focused on Tamerlan, whom we now know was on multiple U. and Russian watch lists prior to 2013, though neither the FBI nor the CIA could find a reason to investigate him further. To the contrary, after several months of interviews with friends, teachers and coaches still reeling from the shock, what emerges is a portrait of a boy who glided through life, showing virtually no signs of anger, let alone radical political ideology or any kind of deeply felt religious beliefs.They were Muslim, yes, but they were also – especially Jahar, who became a naturalized U. At his arraignment at a federal courthouse in Boston on July 10th, Jahar smiled, yawned, slouched in his chair and generally seemed not to fully grasp the seriousness of the situation, while pleading innocent to all charges.Anzor is from Chechnya, the most vilified of the former Soviet republics, whose people have been waging a near-continuous war since the 18th century against Russian rule.Dzhokhar's mother, Zubeidat, is an Avar, the predominantly Muslim ethnic group of Chechnya's eastern neighbor, Dagestan, which has been fighting its own struggle for independence against the Russians since the late 1700s.
Payack, who'd been near the marathon finish line on the day of the bombing and had lost half of his hearing from the blast, had hardly slept in four days. Later that morning, he received a telephone call from his son. "Dad, that's Jahar.""I felt like a bullet went through my heart," the coach recalls.He was found just after 6 p.m., though it would take nearly three more hours for FBI negotiators to persuade him to surrender.The following morning, Payack received a text from one of the agents with the FBI's Crisis Negotiating Unit. "Maybe by telling Jahar that I was thinking about him, it gave him pause," Payack says.He'd heard Payack's televised appeal, told him he'd invoked the coach's name while speaking with Jahar. "Maybe he'd seen himself going out as a martyr for the cause. We Muslims are one body, you hurt one, you hurt us all," he continued, echoing a sentiment that is cited so frequently by Islamic militants that it has become almost cliché.But all of a sudden, here's somebody from his past, a past that he liked, that he fit in with, and it hit a soft spot."When investigators finally gained access to the boat, they discovered a jihadist screed scrawled on its walls. government is killing our innocent civilians," he wrote, presumably referring to Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then he veered slightly from the standard script, writing a statement that left no doubt as to his loyalties: "Fuck America."n the 12 years since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, there have been more than 25 plots to strike the United States hatched by Americans, most of which were ill-conceived or helped along by undercover operatives who, in many cases, provided their targets with weapons or other materials.