AirTalk

Psychological pressures may have driven Boston bombers to radicalism

Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, center, mother of Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar, reportedly spoke of radical ideas with her eldest son in 2011. Anzor Tsarnaeva, the boys' father, is on the left. At right is the boys' aunt, Patimat Suleymanova

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Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, center, mother of Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar, reportedly spoke of radical ideas with her eldest son in 2011. Anzor Tsarnaeva, the boys' father, is on the left. At right is the boys' aunt, Patimat Suleymanova.

What would lead a 19-year old student to carry out a bombing plot? Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni speculates that without close family ties and the lack of parental figures, Tsarnaev came under the influence of his older brother. Tsarnaev will undergo a mental health assessment in hopes of avoiding the death penalty.

The brothers’ mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, says her sons are innocent and claims no involvement, but she is being investigated by U.S. and Russian authorities. Did Tsarnaeva's more devout interest in Islam play a role? Or did Tamerlan Tsarnaev's dashed Olympic boxing dreams radicalize him?

Was Dzhokhar Tsarnaev neurologically influenced by his older brother or did the two brothers just encourage each other? What are the psychological similarities between Tsarnaev and DC sniper Lee Boyd Malvo?

Guest:
Deborah Kotzreporter for the Boston Globe


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