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RFE/RL's Experts Report on Boston Marathon Bombers and Ties To North Caucasus Region

Patimat Suleimanova, aunt of Boston Marathon bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, holds a photo from the family archive at her house in Makhachkala, 22Apr2013
Investigators are looking into possible ties between Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Chechen brothers suspected of staging the Boston Marathon bombing, and Islamist insurgents in the North Caucasus. RFE/RL's journalists are reporting from key locales in the mix.

# Aslan Doukaev, director of RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service, offers insight into the two brothers and their ancestral homeland. (Aslan can be reached at doukaeva [at] rferl [dot] org; and will participate in an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit Tuesday April 23 at 11:00 am Eastern/5:00 pm Prague time).

# The region’s biggest militant group, the Caucasus Emirate -- classified by Washington as a terrorist organization -- has denied involvement in the bombing. But Ivan Sukhov, a journalist and respected North Caucasus expert, says the suspects nonetheless may have been influenced by Islamic rebels in the volatile Russian region. Analyst Liz Fuller of "Caucasus Report" and correspondent Claire Bigg have two reports. (Liz can be reached at lizfuller644 [at] gmail [dot] com. Claire can be reached at biggc [at] rferl [dot] org)

# Although many relatives linked to the Tsarnaev family in Daghestan are declining to talk to journalists, the men's father gave an interview on April 21 to correspondent Tom Balmforth and the Associated Press, via telephone from an undisclosed location in the Daghestani capital, Makhachkala. The elder Tsarnaev calls the situation "a clear set-up." (Tom can be reached at balmfortht [at] rferl [dot] org).

# Residents in the Kyrgyz village of Tokmok, where the extended Tsarnaev family lived for generations, talk about the young men's early ties to Russia's North Caucasus republic of Chechnya. They also express disbelief that the Tsarnaev boys they remember could have carried out such a horrific attack. Report by correspondent Bruce Jacobs and video produced by Ulanbek Asanalyev, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service. (Venera Djumataeva, director of RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service can be reached at djumataevav [at] rferl [dot] org)

# Employees at School No. 1 in the Makhachkala remember the Tsarnaev brothers, who attended the school in 2001 and 2002.

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