He had recently become a more devout Muslim. Could he then have been motivated by the Qur'an's exhortations to wage war against unbelievers? That seems fairly obvious -- except to the government and mainstream media.
"As manhunt ends, new questions emerge in Boston bombings," by Kevin Johnson, Donna Leinwand Leger and Gary Strauss for USA Today, April 20 (thanks to all who sent this in):
...Tamerlan occasionally commented on a certain alienation he felt in America. "I don't have a single American friend. I don't understand them," he was quoted as saying in a photo package that appeared in a Boston University student magazine in 2010.
He identified himself then as a Muslim and said he did not drink or smoke: "God said no alcohol." He said he hoped to fight for the U.S. Olympic team and become a naturalized American.
As a boxer, he was known for his nerve. "He's a real cocky guy," said one trainer who worked with him, Kendrick Ball. He said the young man came to his first sparring session with no protective gear. "That's unheard of with boxing," Ball said. But he added: "In this sport, you've got to be sure of yourself, you know what I mean?"
More recently, Tamerlan - married, with a young daughter - became a more devout Muslim, according to his aunt, Maret Tsarnaeva. She told reporters outside her Toronto home Friday that the older brother had taken to praying five times a day.
Tamerlan attended Bunker Hill Community College in nearby Charlestown as a part-time student for three semesters from 2006 to 2008. He studied accounting.
Anzor Tsarnaev, said Dzhokhar is "a true angel" and "an intelligent boy." In subsequent media interviews, he said his sons had been framed for Monday's bombings.
Ruslan Tsarni, an uncle who had not spoken to his brother's sons since December 2005, urged Dzhokhar to turn himself in to authorities. Meeting with reporters Friday outside his home in Montgomery County, Md., Tsani said he believed the brothers may have been recently "radicalized."
Albrecht Ammon, 18, lived directly below the apartment of the two suspects. He said he recently saw Tamerlan in a pizzeria, where they argued about religion and U.S. foreign policy. He quoted Tsarnaev as saying that many U.S. wars are based on the Bible, which is used as "an excuse for invading other countries."
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is believed to have dropped a backpack laden with explosives at the site of Monday's second explosion. He was pictured wearing a white baseball cap in video images released by the FBI Thursday.
His page on the Russian social networking site Vkontakte says he attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, graduating in 2011. He won a $2,500 college scholarship from the city of Cambridge. On the website, his world view is described as "Islam" and he says his personal goal is "career and money."
Larry Aaronson, a neighbor and retired history teacher at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, got to know Dzhokhar while taking photos of the high school wrestling team and other school activities.
"It's completely out of his character," Aaronson said of Dzhokhar's alleged role in the bombings. "Everything about him was wonderful. He was completely outgoing, very engaged, he loved the school. He was grateful not to be in Chechnya."
Dzhokhar was not overtly political or religious, Aaronson says. "He spoke and acted like any other high school kid."
Aaronson says he can't reconcile the young man he knows with the characterizations he's seeing in the media. "I cannot do it," he says. "I mean this from the deepest part of my heart: It's not possible it's the same person. It's just not possible."...
The Times also reported that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was interviewed by the FBI in 2011 when a foreign government asked the bureau to determine if he had extremist ties. The government knew that he was planning to travel there and feared that he might be a risk, the Times reported an unnamed government official as saying.
The official would not say which government made the request....