Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cousin of Accused Bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev Probed as Source of Radicalization

There goes, again, the lone wolf theory.
(ABC) Investigators have widened their search into possible contacts between one of the alleged Boston bombers and extremist militants in Russia's turbulent Caucasus region. This time, they are looking into whether the suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was influenced by a distant cousin who is said to have ties to extremist Islamist groups in Dagestan.

The cousin, Magomed Kartashov, is said to be the founder and leader of a group called The Union of the Just, which reportedly promotes the application of Islamic Sharia law and has protested against the United States.

A lawyer for Kartashov confirms that Russian security agents recently interviewed her client about his links to Tsarnaev.

The possible ties were first reported by TIME Magazine, which noted that while The Union of the Just publicly renounces violence, several of its members have ties to militants

The lawyer, Patimat Abdullaeva, confirmed to ABC News that her client met with Tsarnaev last year, but denied that Kartashov was an extremist. Instead she says it was Tsarnaev whose views were extreme. She said the two met several times because they are family, but denied claims by Tsarnaev's mother to TIME that the two had a close relationship.

Kartashov is currently in jail on charges of resisting police in an unrelated matter. His lawyer expects he will remain there for at least two more months.