Retired U.S. Ambassador Gives Perspective On Boston Terror Suspects' Ties to Chechnya

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There's relief in Boston now that the manhunt has ended.

One of the Boston Marathon bombing terror suspects has died and the other in custody.

But the investigation is far from over into the motives for the attack.

Both suspects have connections to the Russian regions of Chechnya and Dagestan.

News 3 spoke with a local expert on Russian conflicts.

Larry Napper is the former Ambassador to nearby Kazakhstan.

He says it's too soon to speculate if these two men were tied to Islamic radicalism which has plagued that region or if their ties to the Chechnya region even played a role in the attack.

CBS News is reporting Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev had lived in the United States for about ten years, but prior to that they had lived in Dagestan, which borders Chechnya in southern Russia.

This region of the world has had a history of bombings, kidnappings, and violence for decades as Russia has tried to exert its control over the region.

Larry Napper serves as Director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service.

He says it's too soon to speculate whether the cultural history of the two terror suspects played a part in the motive for the attacks, but he says we should be paying closer attention to that part of the world.

"These guys, we don't know, we don't know the backstory of them and I think it would be a mistake for us to jump to the conclusion that this is some kind of Islamic terrorist plot. It may be, but we may also find that having been here, lived here for a number of years that these guys were marginalized, alienated from American society, could not make their way into being productive citizens," said Larry Napper, U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan (Ret.).

So far investigators in Boston have not released a motive behind the bombings there Monday.

The Baltimore Sun spoke with the two suspects' uncle in Maryland and reports the brothers were born in Kyrgyzstan, but had fled from the region to escape the violence in Chechnya.

The Sun also reports they were granted asylum when they fled to the United States as refugees.