Even before the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing were linked to Russia, the nation saw how the attacks could resonate at the Sochi Olympics. Now, as we learn more about the suspects and where they may come from, the fast-moving terror situation in America is having a ripple effect on the Games.
The Boston bombing suspects in the ongoing scene in Boston, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, are said to have been linked to the Russian republic of Chechnya. Their uncle told the AP that "that the men traveled here together from the Russian region near Chechnya." Dzhokhar is reported to have been born in Kyrgyzstan, and according to the New York Times the family lived in the region of Dagestan. A school secretary for a school in Dagestan told the RT that the family moved to that region from Kyrgzstan in 2001: "They arrived from Kyrgyzstan and departed to the US. I’m telling you they lived here for a year. Not the whole year. They arrived at the school in 2001 and departed in March 2002 … There were four of them – two sisters and two brothers… It’s written here that they are from Kyrgyzstan. The Chechens." The Tsarnaev father Anzor, talked to the AP from the Russian city of Makhachkala and said that Dzhokhar is a "true angel" and is "is a second-year medical student in the U.S," adding: "He is such an intelligent boy. We expected him to come on holidays here."
Reports of the brother's connection to the country have been widespread in Russian media this morning, though many focus on reports from the AP. The Moscow Times spoke to a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, who told them that the ministry "is studying the information that appeared in the press," but "No definite statement will be issued until all of the information has been verified." The Moscow Times notes that the family left Chechnya during the first Chechen war in the mid-90s.
In Izvestia, a broadsheet newspaper in Russia, the headline translated via Google described the "Boston bomber" as a "refugee from Kyrgyzstan." The paper seemed to disassociate the Dzhokhar from Russia:
The daily newspaper Kommersant made their headline (in translation): "In Boston Caucasian trace terrorist attack found." The weekly Argumenty i Fakty had: "Media: The natives of the North Caucasus are suspected of terrorist attack in Boston"
But, as we mentioned, Russia was involved in this story even before the suspects were connected. RIA Novosti, the state-owned news agency, reported that Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said even Tuesday that the Boston bombings presented a "clarion call" for the Sochi Olympics. Sochi is close to the conflicted region to which the Tsarnaev brothers hail, and in May Russia said it had stopped a plot to attack the the Olympics by Islamist rebels. On Wednesday RIA Novosti published a report that said: "Sochi 2014 organizers have issued unequivocal security assurances in the wake of the deadly Boston Marathon bombings, with the chief organizer promising the safest Games in history." The World Athletics Championship is also scheduled to take place in Moscow in August.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.