Topic: Boston Marathon Explosions
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WASHINGTON, November 14 (RIA Novosti) – Potential ties between the deadly Boston Marathon bombing and Russia’s restive North Caucasus are blurry beyond the fact that the accused perpetrators have roots in the region, a top US law enforcement official said Thursday.
“The Boston Marathon bombing suspects are from the North Caucasus, but the links, if any, between the bombing and that region remain unclear,” James Comey, director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), said in testimony before a US Senate committee.
The suspects in the April 15 attack, brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, have family ties to the mainly Muslim republics of Chechnya and Dagestan in the North Caucasus. Dagestan in recent years has been the epicenter of an Islamist insurgency featuring regular clashes between militants and federal forces.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 20, is currently in federal custody awaiting trial on murder and terrorism-related charges, while his older brother was killed during a police shootout in the days following the twin blasts near the finish line of the marathon.
The attack left three people dead and more than 260 wounded, many with missing limbs.
Comey told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in his testimony Thursday that the FBI considers the threat of North Caucasus-based militants to the United States to be “minimal.”
“They remain focused on fighting against Russian security forces,” Comey said.
He added that the Boston bombing demonstrated “the devastating potential of an improvised explosive device (IED) crafted from simple components, which could inspire other extremists to use such tactics.”
US authorities say the two brothers planted two pressure-cooker bombs laden with shrapnel and explosives in the attack.
Plans to use IEDs to bomb high-profile targets such as the Federal Reserve Bank in New York and the US Capitol in Washington over the past two years have been thwarted, “yet the threat remains,” Comey said.
US federal prosecutors this week are expected to make a recommendation on whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should face the death penalty if he is convicted in the deadly attack, The Associated Press reported.
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