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Boston bombing search continues; families nostalgic
“Boston is the wrong city to mess with.”
This past Friday, Black Hawk helicopters and a heavily armed police force descended on a Boston suburb in search of an ethnic Chechen suspected of being involved in the Boston Marathon bombings.
The two men, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, legally immigrated to the United States with their family in 2002 after living in Russia.
Tamerlan studied engineering four years ago at Bunker Hill Community College, and Dzhokhar was a former all-star high school wrestler and current freshman in college. However, reports indicate that he was failing many of his first year coursework.
“I think that [some people can become terrorists] because in some twisted way, they think that what they’re doing will solve the social or political injustice that they think has been thrown upon them,” said Callen Young, a junior student at UAB majoring in social work.
“They think the violence and hurt will bring change.”
The bombing, which President Barack Obama described as “an act of terrorism,” was the worst such attack on American soil since the plane hijackings of September 11, 2001.
“When I first found out that there were bombs, I was shocked because I couldn’t believe something like this would happen at a marathon,” said Lauren Bradshaw, a current sophomore pre-nursing student. “I wanted to know what happened and if it was related to terrorism.”
Bradshaw went on to say that her initial reaction upon hearing of the bombings was that this event was most likely an act of terror.
The FBI has released reports indicating that the two bombs were placed in pressure cookers and concealed in backpacks that were placed near the finish line of the race, where thousands of people annually gather.
The search for the fleeing suspects led police to Watertown, where a late night barrage of gunfire took place in the early hours of Friday morning. Police shot and killed Tamerlan, but an unidentified MIT agent was also killed in the gunfire.
Previously, The two brothers lived together in Boston and struggled to make ends meet, according to their uncle Ruslan Tsarni, in an article appearing in the Chicago Tribune.
In response to these events, Ramzan Kadyrov, the Russian-installed leader of Chechnya, criticized police in Boston for killing an ethnic Chechen and blamed the brothers’ suspected violence on their American upbringing and influence.
“They grew up and studied in the United States and their attitudes and beliefs were formed there,” Ramzan Kadyrov said in comments posted online. “Any attempt to make a connection between Chechnya and the Tsarnaevs is in vain.”
Looming questions currently remain unanswered as to whether or not the Boston bombings were a domestic or foreign terrorist attack.
“As much as it hurts to hear and say, violence and terrorism can come from any nation in the world – even your own,” said Young.
Although police were able to shoot Tamerlan, Dzhokhar was able to successfully flee the scene unscathed, and police are continuing to pursue him, as of Friday, April 19.
Because of this, city officials urged Watertown and its neighboring cities to temporarily shut down its daily activities in order to remain safe. Amtrak responded by suspending train service between New York and Boston indefinitely, and the Boston Red Sox suspended their scheduled game in historic Fenway Park.
“We believe this to be a terrorist,” said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis in a statement released by Reuters. “We believe this to be a man who has come here to kill people. We need to get him in custody.”