Professor: Boston suspects likely not part of terrorist group - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Emory professor: Boston suspects likely not part of Chechen terrorist group

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Investigators are trying to find out whether there's a link between the two brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings and any other groups. FOX 5's Paul Yates talked with an Emory University professor about the brothers' origins in a part of Russia.

The suspects were identified by law enforcement officials and family members as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, ethnic Chechen brothers. They lived near Boston and had been in the U.S. for about a decade, an uncle said.

They came from a Russian area near Chechnya, which has seen separatist wars and Islamic insurgency.

Emory history professor Matt Payne, who has studied the region, said that while there is much that is still unknown, he think it's unlikely that the suspects were part of a Chechen terrorist group.

"Whatever happened to them, I think it's important not to generalize the other Chechen communities around the world or Chechens who might be here in America. Most of them are very grateful to be here," Payne said.

Payne believes other influences were at work.

"This seems to have most likely have been lone wolves who were radicalized viewing things on the internet and things like that," Payne said.

The professor says the U.S. often underestimates the impact of foreign reporting on military strikes, including a recent NATO attack in Afghanistan that left civilian casualties, including children.

"Those pictures were all over the Muslim press and they're all little children and, you know, I can see that creating a possible emotional trigger. But at this point we should really emphasize that it's very hard to know," Payne said.

Thousands of people were displaced following separatist fighting in Chechnya, including the family of the suspected bombers.

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