No reports of link between Boston bombers, Caucasus militant group

Moscow, April 23 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The Russian branch of Interpol has said it had no information on any links between the two men suspected of the deadly bombing at the Boston marathon and a militant organisation based in Russia’s North Caucasus.

“We are not searching for anyone, we have received no tip-offs,” said Interpol Russia official Dmitry Yershov. “We do not have this information.”

US media reports have suggested that investigators are searching for links between Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the two men suspected of the April 15 bombing of the Boston marathon, which killed three and left 180 people injured, and the Caucasus Emirate militant organisation.

The head of the militant group, Doku Umarov, has claimed responsibility for a number of terror attacks in Russia in recent years, including twin suicide attacks on the Moscow subway in 2010 and the deadly bombing of a Moscow airport in 2011.

A spokesperson for investigators in Dagestan, a southern Russian republic plagued by Islamist violence, also said there was no indication that the two suspects had links with militants there.

“If this young man had indeed been mixed up in something, and if his activities undermined the country’s security, he would not have left the country,” said Security Council spokesperson Magomed Baachilov.

And a spokesperson for the republic’s Security Council said it had no information that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been involved with militant groups.

US media reports said Tamerlan had been in Russia at the beginning of 2012 and had visited both Dagestan and neighbouring Chechnya.

Russian officials said Tamerlan Tsarnaev had applied for a replacement for a lost Russian passport while he was in Dagestan in June 2012, but had left the country before he received it. The brothers had reportedly lived in the US for about 10 years before the bombing.

A Chechen law enforcement spokesperson also dismissed reports of a link between the two brothers and Umarov.

Both men are believed to have spent a number of years in Dagestan before leaving for the US.

A page on VKontakte, Russia’s answer to Facebook, which bore Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s name and a photo resembling him, said that the page’s author studied in Dagestan from 1999 to 2001. There has been no confirmation yet that the VKontakte page belonged to the suspected bomber.

Twenty-six-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in hospital Friday. His 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar, was captured alive but seriously wounded that same night. They are suspected of having planted two bombs along the course of the Boston marathon that killed three and injured around 180 others when they exploded April 15.

–IANS/RIA Novosti


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