“Focus Turns to Hunt for Bombing Motive” — Wall Street Journal, April 20
Yes, it’s such a mystery!
…In recent years, as discord rippled through their family, both brothers displayed signs of growing extremism.
Maret Tsarnaev told reporters at a press conference on Friday in Toronto that her nephew Tamerlan recently went from praying no more than once a day to praying five times a day. A neighbor and family friend in Cambridge said Tamerlan became a devout Muslim within the past few years.
“He started talking about religion,” said the family friend, who asked not to be identified. “He grew a long beard.”
The friend said Tamerlan urged him to be more observant, asking, “Why don’t you become a better Muslim? Why don’t you pray, why don’t you do your Islamic duties?”
When the friend joked about the beard, he said, Tamerlan became upset, asking “Why are you making fun of my religion?”
A next-door neighbor on Norfolk Street in Cambridge said he too noticed a change in Tamerlan’s appearance about a year ago when he began wearing long white linen garments. The neighbor, who asked not to be identified, characterized it as a striking change for the once hip-looking, urban young man, but said it only lasted a month.
Online, it appears, Tamerlan toyed with extremism. A YouTube account created in Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s name in August 2012 includes in one playlist a video dedicated to the prophecy of the Black Banners of Khurasan, which is apparently embraced by Islamic extremists.
In another video, featured on a playlist entitled “terrorists,” a speaker holds an assault rifle and wears camouflage fatigues while flanked by armed men wearing masks.
“There will always be a group of people who will stick to the truth, fight for that truth,” the speaker says in Russian with an accent common to the Caucasus region that includes Chechnya. “And those who won’t support them will not win.”…