As the manhunt for the escaped Boston Marathon bomber ends, the world reacts to the aftermath of an attack that killed four people and injured more than 180.
Kadyrov denies Chechen connection to Boston bombing
Chechnya’s president, Ramzan Kadyrov, angrily denied speculation that the suspected Boston Marathon bombers had any connection to an Islamist insurgency in Russia’s restive North Caucasus region. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and his brother, Tamerlan Tzarnaev, 26, are both ethnic Chechens. Dzhokhar is still on the run, possibly hiding out in Watertown, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. Tamerlan was killed late Thursday night in a shootout with police.
“We know nothing about the Tsarnaevs; they never lived in Chechnya, they lived and studied in the United States,” Kadyrov told RIA Novosti. “It has become a tradition to blame everything on Chechens, even a tsunami.”
But RIA Novosti, Russia’s state-owned news-agency, did not carry inflammatory remarks Kadyrov made online in which he seemed to blame the U.S. for the attack. “The root of evil should be looked for in the United States,” he said. “[The brothers] grew up and studied in the United States and their attitudes and beliefs were formed there,” Kadyrov said. “Any attempt to make a connection between Chechnya and the Tsarnaevs is in vain.” Those comments appeared in a short Reuters piece in South Africa’s Daily Maverick.
Meanwhile, The Moscow Times reports that boys’ uncle, who lives in Moscow, begged Dzhokhar to “turn yourself in and ask forgiveness from the victims, the injured . . . [for the] forgiveness of these people.”
You can read more about the situation in Chechnya and the North Caucasus in our earlier piece here.
Praise from Israel
Meanwhile, an editorial from Israel praises Americans for their response to the tragedy in Boston.
“Israelis are, regrettably, intimately familiar with the challenges faced right now by Americans of coping with the physical and psychological effects of terrorism,” writes The Jerusalem Post. “This time it was Israelis turn to be inspired by another people’s refusal to be intimidated by a cowardly act of terrorism.”
The piece goes on to discuss how Israeli medical expertise, gathered at the scenes of bombings in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and elsewhere, made its way back to hospitals in Boston, particularly the Massachusetts General Hospital. Israeli doctors have more than a decade of experience treating victims of improvised bombs packed with nails, ball-bearings and other lethal projectiles, like the ones used in Boston .
“Love of freedom is seen by terrorists as a weakness because fear of losing this freedom can be exploited,” the editorial concludes. “But terrorists fail to see that it is precisely this freedom which makes America – and Israel – so great and so resilient to the threat of terrorism.”
Canadian leader speaks too soon?
Finally, in Canada, critics called a statement by the opposition party leader, Justin Trudeau, “poorly timed and misinformed,” in the words of an editorial in Canada’s Globe & Mail.
Trudeau, the 41-year-old leader of Canada’s Liberal Party, said the day after the attack that “we have to look at the root causes. Now, we don’t know now if it was terrorism or a single crazy or a domestic issue or a foreign issue. But there is no question that this happened because there is someone who feels completely excluded. Completely at war with innocents. At war with a society. And our approach has to be, where do those tensions come from?”
The editorial argued that Trudeau should simply have expressed sympathy for the victims of the attack and left it at that. For now the motivations of the Tsarnaev brothers remain a mystery. But as we here in Boston hunker down in our houses and apartments it’s hard not to ask: “Why?”