Boston bombing duo – neither sleepers nor professionals

I don't believe the Tsarnaev brothers were either sleepers nor professionals.  If the two brothers were members of a sleep cell, then they would have maintained low profile prior to the attack, but they didn't. The older one – Tamerlan – granted interview,  posing for photos that went with the entire photo gallery posted on line.  Nor they appeared to have been trained professionally as evidenced by poor execution of the attack and poor planning of the exit strategy.
The younger brother – Dzhokhar reportedly got a scholarship from the City of Cambridge to pursue higher education, so he must have been well integrated. Tamerlan was not well integrated –  he reportedly confessed to having no Americans among friends because he didn't understand them and he was very focused on religion, professing his radical views on Internet.  Tamerlan might have professed radical views even before relocating to the United States in 2002, but I think he arrived at the idea of conducting a terrorist attack against America while already in the United States. Given his affinity for online communications, which reportedly included an youtube account with Islamist videos, he may have crossed the threshold between radical views and actions while communicating with Islamists on internet. Or he could have done so when travelling to North Caucasus from USA, if reports of such trips are true. And once Tamerlan had decided to cross the line, he should have not much trouble having his younger brother join the plot since Chechen traditions require younger relatives to obey older male relatives. Tamerlan's power of convincing is also evident from the fact that his U.S. girlfriend converted to Islam to marry him.
The Boston marathon bombing doesn't only reaffirm the long-known convergence of U.S. and Russian vital interests in countering the threat of terrorism, but also demonstrates that this threat is at times is posed by representatives of the same broad network of militant Islamists.This convergence only underscores the need for sustained and robust counter-terrorism cooperation between USA and Russia, which seems to have waned in the past several years.


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