Federal investigators are going to spend the coming days and weeks trying to verify Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s latest claims made from his hospital bed.
That he and his now deceased brother “worked alone”, watched “online videos” to learn how to make their pressure cooker explosives, and used their objection to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a motive to terrorize the Boston Marathon.
All in the name of defending a twisted, extremist view of Islam.
At one point or another – in one terrorism case or another over the years – we’ve heard some, or all of this before.
But there’s an important distinction that can’t be ignored in this case.
The Tsarnaev brothers do not fit the so called “traditional terrorist stereotype.”
Just as businessmen hid under Klu Klux Klan hoods in the Deep South, and child sex predators hid behind the cloth in the Roman Catholic Church, the accused marathon bombers hid where you’d least expect to find them – in plain sight.
Security expert Sal Lifrieri says this case includes several troubling variables that the law enforcement community has feared for years.
“Your traditional investigatory methods do not work. We teach recognition of observable behavior. How do you pick the guy that was carrying the bomb out in the crowd? And when you look at the short video of them, there were no significant indicators that you can key on. There were no tells as we call them. There was no death grip on the bag. There was no nervousness. There was no sweating. It was incredible how cool they were in the crowd. And they looked the part. They blended right in. And that is incredibly troublesome to us.”
The younger Tsarnaev was a regular college kid, blending in, in a college town when tens of thousands of them were milling about on one marathon day.