Boston bombs: Russia, U.S. must cooperate on radical Islam, says senator

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The Boston bombing suspects, of Chechen origin, represent the need for the United States to work closely with Russia to combat radical Islam, American Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has said.

“The attacks by radical Islamic terrorists have taken the lives of innocent people throughout the world. The Chechen connection indicates we should work more closely with Russia and other nations who are also suffering the same kind of mayhem we have seen in Boston,” Press Trust India (PTI) reported Rohrabacher, who is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, as saying on Sunday.

The Boston bombings suspects were Chechen brothers. The older Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed overnight in a shootout with police on Thursday, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was captured and taken alive by the FBI late Friday.

Radical Islam elements, who are trained overseas but operating inside the United States, must be recognized with the help of foreign governments, the congressman added.

“As we pull out of Afghanistan, it behooves us to work with Russia, the central Asian Republics, and those anti-Taliban elements inside Afghanistan, to ensure that the realm of radical Islamic terrorism will not dramatically expand its power base and thus pose an even greater threat to the good people of the world.”

The brothers were “clearly influenced by radical Islam,” the Congressman said, describing as one of the brothers as being “trained with terrorist weapons by radical elements overseas.”

Chechnya, which is a Muslim-dominated federal subject of Russia, has long had separatist groups fighting against Moscow.
The Congressman said Washington should have allied itself with Moscow against radical Islamists when Chechen extremists killed over 180 children at a school in 2004, in Baslan, Russia.

Meanwhile, U.S. law enforcement sources said on Saturday that early 2011, Russia asked the FBI to investigate Tamerlan out of concern that he had embraced radical Islam and was going to travel to Russia to join underground groups.

Russia, however, didn’t renew its warning of a plot in the United States or any threat posted to U.S. interest, a law enforcement and national security source was cited as saying by Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Given that there was no recent warning by Russia, this may help shield Washington, its spy agencies and law enforcement from criticism that they failed to see the danger from the two brothers.

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