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Al-Qaida may laud Boston bombings

April 22, 2013 at 9:57 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, April 22 (UPI) -- Al-Qaida may capitalize on the twin bombings last week in Boston because of the Chechen rebel campaign, former CIA officer Bruce Riedel writes.

Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Chechen immigrants to the United States, are suspected of bombing last week's Boston Marathon, leaving three people dead and more than 170 injured. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died following a shootout with police and while Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured Friday.

Riedel, a former CIA officer working as a counter-terrorism export at The Brookings Institution, writes in The Daily Beast that al-Qaida is likely to embrace the attacks.

"The two Chechen immigrants apparently responsible for the terror attack on the Boston Marathon may never have had any contact with al-Qaida -- or even a single member of al-Qaida -- but they are likely soon to be lauded as 'heroes' of the global jihad," he writes.

Riedel writes that it's "much too soon" to offer speculation over the motives or intents of the brothers. Al-Qaida, however, has seen a campaign led by Chechen militants as part of a broader fight against their adversaries.

The U.S. government last year offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the location of Doku Umarov, described as Chechnya's Osama bin Laden.

The State Department accused Umarov's group of launching terrorist attacks in the region and issuing statements encouraging violence against its stated enemies, which includes the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom and Israel.

He was listed as a specially designated terrorist by the State Department in 2010.

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