Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Were the Boston bombers right-wing extremists?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

For what it's worth, from the BBC:

One of the brothers suspected of carrying out the Boston bombings was in possession of right-wing American literature in the run-up to the attack, BBC Panorama has learnt.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev subscribed to publications espousing white supremacy and government conspiracy theories.

He also had reading material on mass killings.

Until now the Tsarnaev brothers were widely perceived as just self-styled radical jihadists.

Panorama has spent months speaking exclusively with friends of the bombers to try to understand the roots of their radicalisation.

The programme discovered that Tamerlan Tsarnaev possessed articles which argued that both 9/11 and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing were government conspiracies.

Another in his possession was about "the rape of our gun rights".

Reading material he had about white supremacy commented that "Hitler had a point".

He may have been, and his brother may still be, a Muslim, of convenience or otherwise, and maybe even a self-styled jihadist. And that -- with the implication that the violent Other, the great threat, is Muslim -- is obviously part of the simplistic narrative that has arisen in response to the bombing, so very popular in particular on the right.

But Tamerlan, at least, appears also to have been an angry, bitter young man who frequently lashed out violently at those around him. He may have been radicalized into a violent, anti-American strain, and perversion, of Islam, but any such radicalization only would have worked because it found fertile soil in the form of the Tsarnaev brothers.

In any event, it would be similarly simplistic to suggest that they were right-wing extremists along the lines of the American political spectrum.

I would just note, however, that domestic terrorism in the United States these days is almost entirely the product of right-wing extremism.

For what it's worth.

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  • Of course, whatever the facts, the narrative "Muslims are bad" has won. Like the IRS scandal, when little is known, much is printed. When much is known, little is printed.

    By Anonymous Frank Moraes, at 1:08 PM  

  • "Muslims are bad" is part of the Christian world's war against unbelievers and disbelievers and alternate believers. Reprobates, backsliders and apostates have been killed by Muslims and Jews and Christians as a matter of law.

    I have a hard time believing there are many religions that preach freedom of belief however and intolerant hard liners - or the Right Wing if you prefer - have made up nearly 100% of the prophets and all the crusaders and jihadists. God himself being the worst, of course.

    One expects no less from tribal apes.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 9:21 AM  

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