Terrorism is by definition an attempt to advance a cause through shocking, indiscriminate violence, but if the Boston bombers were trying to make a point by callously attacking marathon spectators, it remained ambiguous on Friday.
With one of the suspects dead and police closing in on the second, there was no manifesto or claim of responsibility. Even the trail of social media posts left by the brothers did not reveal any coherent agenda.
Asked to explain their actions, their uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, angrily told reporters gathered outside his home: “Being losers, not being able to settle themselves and thereby just hating everyone else who did.”
It seemed as good an explanation as any. While there were indications the older brother had developed strong religious beliefs, the rationale for the attack may not become evident until the surviving suspect has been captured.
Their aunt, Toronto resident Maret Tsarnaev, said…
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