News & Politics

Blowback: Suspect in Boston Attack Cites U.S. Wars as Motivation

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told U.S. interrogators that U.S. wars motivated him and his brother to carry out the attacks in Boston.

19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is accused of perpetrating the Boston Marathon bombings.
Photo Credit: FBI/Wikimedia Commons

The Boston bombings appear to be a case of blowback for U.S. wars overseas. 19-year-old suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told U.S. interrogators that the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were a main motivation for the attack on the Boston Marathon, which killed three people. A fourth man, a MIT police officer, was gunned down the same week by the brothers suspected of carrying out the attack.

The Washington Post reports that “the evidence so far suggests they were ‘self-radicalized’ through Internet sites and U.S. actions in the Muslim world. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has specifically cited the U.S. war in Iraq, which ended in December 2011 with the removal of the last American forces, and the war in Afghanistan.”

He also told interrogators that him and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, acted alone and not at the behest of a foreign militant organization.

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The revelation that the attack was motivated by anger at U.S. foreign policy is hardly unique to this terrorist attack. Faisal Shahzad, the naturalized Pakistani-American citizen who tried to blow up a car in Times Square, also cited U.S. foreign policy in the Muslim world as a factor in why he tried to carry out his attack. U.S. drones “kill women, children, they kill everybody,” he said in court.

Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.