BOSTON SHOOTINGS -- HOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE BROTHERS?

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    Apr 19, 2013 11:58 PM GMT
    This article from the Wall Street Journal (re-posted below) seems to show that they were mentally normal, relatively assimilated, and had a reasonable social life. What do you think changed them?

    U.S. NEWS Updated April 19, 2013, 7:15 p.m. ET
    Two Brothers' Lives Veered Off Course
    Disbelief Surrounds Allegations Involving Family Who Fled Chechnya Conflict
    By ALAN CULLISON, PAUL SONNE and JENNIFER LEVITZ


    Where did the alleged bombers of the Boston Marathon come from? What were their career aspirations? What can we learn from their online media presence? WSJ's Jason Bellini has "The Short Answer."
    The two Chechen brothers wanted in the Boston Marathon bombing set about building American lives after coming to the U.S. about a decade ago.

    Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 years old, became a successful Golden Gloves boxer. His younger brother, Dzhokhar, 19, was a nursing student and became an American citizen just last year, on Sept. 11.

    But a close examination of the Tsarnaev family's life in the U.S. shows a hopeful immigrant trajectory veering off course.

    On Thursday, a dragnet of cinematic proportion played out in Boston's eerily quiet streets after the two brothers were branded as the architects of Monday's Boston Marathon bombings. A midnight gun battle in Watertown, Mass., left Tamerlan dead, and police put Boston on lockdown after Dzhokar eluded capture in the wee hours of Friday. As of late Friday, he remained at large.

    Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani comments on the hunt for one of two brothers of Chechen background suspected in Monday's Boston Marathon bombings, and whether the U.S. is in a better state to prevent terrorism now in 2001.

    On Friday, details from their lives emerged through interviews with neighbors and relatives, and from their online activities. Acquaintances recalled the brothers as strong students and avid athletes. They left few clues suggesting they would be capable of the gruesome acts the police say they committed.

    But the patriarch of the family, a talented auto mechanic named Anzor Tsarnev, never found steady work. Tamerlan, his eldest son, failed to make a career out of boxing, dropped out of community college for lack of money and struggled to find work.

    Living on public assistance in a multifamily house in Cambridge, the family began to fray, friends said. The parents separated. Anzor Tsarnaev returned to Russia, battling a brain tumor.

    The brothers' mother, Zubeidat K. Tsarnaev, 45, was arrested last June for allegedly stealing $1,624 in clothes at a Lord & Taylor store in Natick, Mass. She was charged with two counts of malicious/wanton damage and defacement.

    Along the way, Tamerlan's attitude seemed to sour.

    "I like the USA," he told the Lowell Sun newspaper in 2004 while competing in a boxing tournament shortly after arriving in the U.S. "America has a lot of jobs." But a caption a later accompanying an online photo of him a few years later reads: "Originally from Chechnya, but living in the U.S. since five years… I don't have a single American friend, I don't understand them."

    Ruslan Tsami, an uncle of the two brothers, told reporters outside his Maryland home Friday that his nephews were "losers" who were unable to settle into American life "and thereby just hating everyone who did." He said he didn't think there was an ideological motive. "This has nothing to do with Chechnya," he said. He also indicated there was a rift between him and his brothers. "It's personal," he said, "I didn't like them."

    Tamerlan Tsarnaev, at right in photo, in a 2009 Golden Gloves boxing match in Salt Lake City.
    The boys' mother said in television interview with the Russian state-run news channel RT Friday night that anyone calling her son a loser is a loser himself. "I am really sure, like I am 100% sure, that this is a setup," Ms. Tsarnaeva said. She also said that she had been contacted by the FBI about her older son, before Monday's deadly attack, as he grew more religious.

    Another relative—Matel Tsarnaeva, the paternal aunt of the brothers—echoed the mother's comments. "Nothing points out that my nephews did [the bombings]…I demand evidence," she said.

    Photos: FBI Releases

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    Federal Bureau of Investigation/Associated Press
    This photo released Friday by the FBI shows a suspect that officials identified as Mr. Tsarnaev.
    The Tsarnaev family, which included two boys and two girls, had come to America to seek refuge from unrest in Chechnya. A separatist rebellion there, with elements of radical Islam, had been crushed by the Kremlin under presidents Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin.

    Before arriving in the U.S., the family had been split for a time. The Tsarnaevs fled Chechnya after the beginning of the violence there in the early 1990s and for a time lived apart the neighboring province of Dagestan and the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

    U.S. law-enforcement officials said the two brothers came to the U.S. at different times. Dzhokhar arrived with his parents in 2002, just before he turned 10. Tamerlan arrived on his own around 2004. The family was granted legal permanent residence in the U.S. in March, 2007, a law-enforcement official said.

    An aunt, who already lived in the U.S., helped them get established. Soon they moved into a house in a poorer neighborhood near the border of Boston's Cambridge and Somerville suburbs. There they faced headwinds that many immigrant families encounter.


    Associated Press
    Younger brother, Dzhokhar, in an undated photo after graduating from Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School.
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    One problem was money. The father was unable to find steady work as a mechanic. He struggled to make ends meet by fixing cars on the street for $10 an hour, a practice that prompted neighbors to complain.

    Tamerlan excelled in school but dropped out of Bunker Hill Community College because of money, according to the family's landlord, Joanna Herlihy. In an interview published in a Russian newspaper Friday, the father also recounted his younger son's problems with money, which he said he tried to solve by working as a lifeguard between studies.

    Ms. Herlihy, who speaks Russian and helped tutor the children, said Tamerlan's boxing dreams eventually crumbled. "His back was in really bad shape and he couldn't get into the Olympics, and that was the last thing he really worked hard at," Ms. Herlihy said.

    Dzhokhar excelled as a student at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School. "I know this kid to be compassionate. I know this kid to be forthcoming," said Larry Aaronson, a retired history teacher at the high school. "Every conversation I had with him—he was generous, compassionate and thoughtful."

    A former classmate there said, "His brother and family weren't really Westernized, but Dzhokhar was really integrated into our school community. He was a normal American kid."

    Attorney Andrea Kramer said Friday her sons played on the varsity soccer tea
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    Apr 20, 2013 12:30 AM GMT
    So nobody else wants to talk about the news????
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    Apr 20, 2013 12:33 AM GMT
    BUMP
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    Apr 20, 2013 12:36 AM GMT
    There are several threads on the bombers in the the News and Politics category, but for some reason they're not on the home page. There's one with almost 400 replies and over 5000 views, but it has been buried all day.