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Report: Tamerlan Tsarnaev Had Extremist Literature

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Tamerlan Tsarnaev's 2009 booking photo. (Image courtesy: Cambridge Police)

Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s 2009 booking photo. (Image courtesy: Cambridge Police)

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Boston Marathon Bombings

 

BOSTON (CBS) — The alleged mastermind of the Boston Marathon bombings was in possession of right-wing American literature, according to research conducted by the BBC.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the elder of two brothers blamed for carrying out the attack, subscribed to publications featuring white supremacist views and government conspiracy theories. He also was reading about mass killings, according to a BBC report broadcast Monday titled “The Brothers Who Bombed Boston.”

Contrary to the BBC report, U.S. officials from FBI investigators to President Barack Obama have described Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as disillusioned Chechen immigrants who adopted radical jihadist beliefs.

The BBC report is based on months of interviews conducted with friends of the bombers.

Those interviews revealed Tamerlan Tsarnaev possessed articles arguing that both 9/11 and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing were government conspiracies. Another article claimed the U.S. government was orchestrating “the rape of our gun rights.” A white supremacist article asserted “Hitler had a point.”

The elder Tsarnaev, who was killed in an armed confrontation with police days after the marathon bombings, also had literature that examined the motivations for mass killings.

His reading material did include literature linked to jihadist themes, the BBC found. Articles in his possession also discussed civilian deaths linked to U.S. drone strikes against terrorist targets overseas and terrorism detainees at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured soon after the Watertown shootout that claimed his brother’s life. He is facing a slew of charges, including use of a weapon of mass destruction.

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