"'It seems the issue here is less that they conducted training in camps or not and radicalized in Chechnya, and more that they were involved in a social media radicalization,' he said.
"...Bayram Balci, a Caucasus region specialist at the Carnegie Endowment think tank in Washington, said the uprooting of young people at an early age can make them more vulnerable to being radicalized in later years.
"...Fiona Hill, a Caucasus specialist at the Brookings Institution think tank, said the conflict in Chechnya is used as a recruiting tool for al-Qaida.
"'Videos from Chechnya are all over the Internet. They're constantly packaged as part of the al-Qaida network recruitment,' she said.
"Frank Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University, said there were many examples of people wanting to fight for al-Qaida in their own country.
"...The bombs used in Boston, pressure cookers filled with explosives, reflect the methods advocated by Inspire, the English language magazine published by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the movement's Yemeni offshoot, which has also urged aspiring jihadists to launch attacks in their own countries.
"Brian Jenkins, author of a Rand study on the profile of jihadists in the United States, said 74 percent of those involved in such plots were American citizens...
"Many of the jihadists identified...began their journey toward radicalization on the Internet where they found resonance and reinforcement for their frustration and anger..."
She cites specific factors that appear to move some people -- primarily young men -- to radical, violent activity. Among these she mentions Salafist ideology that combines Islam with a determination to solve problems through violence, and "inspiration" provided by al-Qaeda.
Bryen, of course, mentions the influence of the Internet, which she sees as "an enabler, providing an anonymous virtual meeting place. Sites other than mosques can provide the sense of community otherwise isolated people may be seeking."
And thus, at one and the same time, Bryen identifies America's current very problematic proclivity towards avoiding hard truths, and what may well be the route taken by the Tsarnaev brothers.
It comes together neatly: I cited Bayram Balci, above, as saying that people uprooted at an early age are more susceptible to radicalism later. And here Bryen speaks about people with self-identity problems being courted by professional jihadists on the Internet.
It has been widely publicized that on a social media network said Tamerlan said he had no American friends: "I don't understand them." This, after years in the country.
"There have been more anti-US attacks and abortive attacks (not including Iraq and Afghanistan) in the last four years than in the previous seven years after 9-11.
"This is not a statistic that is widely cited at government briefings, in the main news media nor on most college campuses, because [the US] government, media and educational elites would like to pretend that the terror problem ended with Osama Bin-Laden.
"'People shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts,' asserted President Barack Obama, but he and his top aides have spent the better part of the last two years on a mistaken conclusion.
"They were wrong then, and they are wrong now, dead wrong. Terrorists often send us reminders just when we think we have beaten them.
"...There is no substitute for the tough and painstaking collection of intelligence and grinding work on the ground.
"President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and other officials in the Obama Administration have done their best to inhibit the collection of such intelligence, while they have at the same time launched probes or proceedings aimed at counter-terror warriors in the CIA and the top units of the US military.
"America was kept safe by some of that same intelligence that was gathered earlier, including massive planned attacks on Los Angeles and London. Some of that same data gathered in interrogations also led to Osama Bin-Laden himself. Yet, those efforts have ended, and American intelligence has been coasting on previous efforts.
"Meanwhile, Obama and his crew pushed the idea that America should worry more about hate crimes against Muslims and Arabs than terror by Muslims and Arabs.
"Simply put, FBI crime statistics from the last eight years show that this idea is nonsense. America does not have a problem of hate crimes against Muslims.
"...The first step in fighting terror is to realize that there is a terror problem that requires a major national effort, but some of our top “experts” on terror—especially in the Obama Administration—treat terrorists like they were business rivals.
There is a great deal of information that has yet to be acquired concerning what happened in Boston. But it's not too soon to ask some hard questions about what America's top policy-makers have learned -- are OPEN to learning -- with regard to terrorism.
The beginning comes with naming the enemy. Islam -- or jihadist radical Islam -- is at the center of the terrorist problem. To say so is not prejudicial -- it is a simple statement of fact.
Then it is necessary to take a hard look at how potential terror threats are monitored and responded to. As Widlanski makes clear, the best of intelligence must be gathered. And those who are fighting the good fight must be supported in their efforts, not undercut in the name of political correctness.
There are a host of hard questions to be asked regarding the fact that the FBI had information on these guys and yet missed the boat somehow with regard to comprehending their potential danger.
Already law makers are asking some hard questions in this regard.
"'If he was on their radar and they let him go…why wasn't a flag put on him?' Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said on CNN..."
"...'The ball was dropped,' said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) also on CNN. 'The FBI missed a lot of things…There was a lot to be learned from this guy. We're at war with radical Islamists and we need to up our game.'"
I close here with a link to an extremely serious analysis by Clare Lopez of the "History of the Muslim Brotherhood Penetration of the U.S. Government":
"Given the long history of Muslim Brotherhood activity in this country, its declared objective to 'destroy the Western civilization from within,' and the extensive evidence of successful influence operations at the highest levels of the U.S. government, it is urgent that we recognize this clear and present danger that threatens not only our Republic but the values of Western civilization.
"...This report describes how the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrated and suborned the U.S. government to actively assist, whether knowingly or not, the mission of its grand jihad. Its hard-won position at the forefront of the 21st century Islamic Awakening is possible only because of decades of patient infiltration and political indoctrination (Da'wa) in the West, and especially the United States of America, even as the grassroots work of building an organizational structure advanced steadily in the land of its origin as well. It is important to recognize the sophistication of the Brotherhood's international strategy and how the takedown of U.S. national security defenses from within was critical to the current Middle East-North Africa (MENA) campaign to re-establish the Caliphate and enforce Islamic Law (shariah)."
Lopez names names of those with close Muslim Brotherhood affiliation who have penetrated the US government:
Rashad Hussain..."the Obama administration's envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)."
Muhammed Magid..."an A-list invitee to White House iftar dinners, and a member of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 'Countering Violent Extremism' Advisory Council. In that capacity, Magid participated in a July 2012 CIA training session..."
Huma Abedin...who was "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff, has served her in various capacities since first coming to the White House as an intern in 1996...For decades, she and members of her immediate family — mother, father, brother, and sister — have been closely associated with individuals among the top ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qa'eda financial support organizations, and the Saudi royal family."
She then concludes:
"As we can see, as early as the George W. Bush administration period, the Muslim Brotherhood already had achieved an information dominance that, in coming years, would only intensify. Not only did figures associated and identified with the Muslim Brotherhood achieve broad penetration at senior levels of U.S. policymaking, but voices that warned of their true agenda (such as Stephen Coughlin's) were actively excluded. That information dominance has contributed to startling consequences, most evident in the U.S. policy towards the al-Qa'eda and Muslim Brotherhood-dominated revolutions that many call the "Arab Spring," but which in fact are more accurately termed an "Islamic Awakening." Under the Muslim Brotherhood-influenced Obama administration, U.S. policy has undergone such a drastic shift in the direction of outright support for these jihadist movements — from al-Qa'eda militias in Libya, to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and both al-Qa'eda and Muslim Brotherhood-linked rebels in Syria — that it is scarcely recognizable as American any more.
"...Given the long history of Muslim Brotherhood activity in this country, its declared objective to 'destroy the Western civilization from within,' and the extensive evidence of successful influence operations at the highest levels of the U.S. government, it is urgent that we recognize this clear and present danger that threatens not only our Republic but the values of Western civilization."