Russia Distances Itself From Chechen Brothers

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from The Wall Street Journal,

A Russian intelligence official told the Interfax news agency that Russian security services couldn’t have provided meaningful operational information to the U.S. about Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhkokhar Tsarnaev because the brothers didn’t reside in Russia.

“Seeing as the Tsarnaev brothers didn’t reside in Russia, our security services couldn’t have provided meaningful operational information to our foreign partners,” Interfax quoted a “source in the Russian security services” as saying Saturday.

Since a high-profile manhunt in Boston shined the spotlight on the two bombing suspects, Russia has started distancing itself from the Tsarnaev brothers, whose parents are currently in Dagestan, a republic in the south of Russia that borders Chechnya.

“Their presence in Russia is minimal,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told The Wall Street Journal on Saturday morning. Ramzan Kadyrov, the current President of Republic of Chechnya in southern Russia, decried “any attempt” to connect the brothers with Chechnya in a statement Friday night. “They grew up in the United States. Their attitudes and beliefs were formed there. One must look for the root of the evil in America,” Mr. Kadyrov said. The Federal Security Service spokesman on Saturday immediately pointed out that one of the alleged bombers was a U.S. citizen.

The comments come a day after a U.S. official told The Wall Street Journal that the FBI interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 at the request of the Russian government but found no suspicious information and closed the matter.

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