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All By Themselves?

The ABC story I linked in my last post is headlined, "Simple Boston Bomb Plot Hatched Without Foreign Help, Authorities Believe,"  This is its second paragraph:

For all the power of the two explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line, and for all the dramatic gun fights on the streets of Watertown, and for all the suppositions about the role of disciplined, well-trained terrorists, the college student reportedly told investigators the whole attack was devised from the Internet. The two brothers, he said, had no direction or financing from governments or rogue groups overseas.

Am I the only one skeptical of this?  First, let's state the obvious:  Simply because this is Dzhokhar's story hardly means it's true.  Second, look at the wording.  Even if he had "no direction or financing from governments or rogue groups overseas," that does not mean he had no direction or financing from rogue groups in this country that are operated, influenced and/or funded by overseas sources.

Peggy Noonan also seems to have some questions on this score.
Ms. Noonan writes on her blog:

The past few days I've looked through news reports searching in vain for one item: how did the brothers get their money? Did they ever have jobs? Who or what supported them? They had cellphones, computers, stylish clothes, sunglasses, gym equipment and gym membership, enough money to go out to dinner and have parties. They had an arsenal of guns and money to make bombs. The elder brother, Tamerlan, 26, had no discernible record of employment and yet was able to visit Russia for six months in 2012. The FBI investigated him. How did they think he was paying for it? The younger brother, Dzhokhar, was a college student, but no word on how he came up with spending money. The father doesn't seem to have had anything--he is said to have sometimes fixed cars on the street when he lived in Cambridge, for $10 an hour cash. The mother gave facials at home. Anyway, the money lines. Where did it come from?

Where indeed?

When I was in the US Attorney's Office, the received (and correct) wisdom was, "Follow the money."  It seems to me that the FBI, not to mention any interested investigative journalists, need to do just that.


Is this a good news/bad news development?

The good news would be that the terrorists had no support or direction from overseas groups.

The bad news would be that the terrorists had no support or direction from overseas groups. The ease with which disaffected youth can become radicalized through Internet postings and develop weapons of mass destruction on a shoestring budget takes our government's war on terror to a more chilling and insidious front.

Keeping terrorists out of the US is no longer our only goal.

I, too, am skeptical that the terror brothers had no outside help (interestingly, the supposed lack of any connection to an Islamic terror group dovetails conveniently with the Administration's decision to not treat the younger brother as an enemy combatant).

A large portion of my skepticism stems from the fact that the Russian gov't apparently tipped the FBI to look into the older brother. Kind of strains credulity to think that - of all the Muslims living in Russia and former Soviet republics - the Russians simply had a bone to pick with him; rather, what makes more sense is that the Russians picked him up on their radar because he had been at least communicating (if not collaborating) with Islamic terror groups or individual terrorists whom the Russians had been monitoring.

Bruce Seeliger

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