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Boston Bombing 'Suspect 2,' Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, On Social Networks

Written by Memri

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Profile On VK.com

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had an account under the name of "Djohar Tsarnaev" on VK.com [1] (in Russian ВКонтакте), a social network service available in several languages, Personal Photo of Dzhokhar on VK dot comPersonal Photo of Dzhokhar on VK dot combut popular particularly among Russian-speaking users around the world. Dzhokhar only posted three public posts on VK.com, all of them dated March 19, 2012, though it appears that he last logged into his account on April 18 at 9:04 pm from his mobile phone.

In the first post, Dzhokhar published his personal photo. In the second post, he wrote a joke on the discrimination against people from Dagestan, Chechnya and Ingushetia.

The third post was a video from YouTube that features a young man making fun of different Caucasian accents.

The video contains a message in Russian and English saying that "Islam is not a religion of terror! Judge Muslims on Islam, and not vice versa!"[2] Above the video, Dzhokhar writes in Russian transliterated into English "sil'no zamutil bratishka," i.e. "You're making too much of a fuss, bro".

On his personal profile, Dzhokhar writes "Islam" under "world view" and that his "personal priority" is "career and money."

He specifies that he speaks English, Russian and Chechen. Dzhokhar mentions that he graduated in 2011 from the public high school Cambridge Rindge & Latin School in Boston and that from 1999 to 2001 he attended School No.1 in Makhachkala [3], the capital of the Republic of Dagestan.

He joined three communities on VK.com: "Chechens." "Чечня -Все про Чеченскую Республику!" (Chechnya – All about the Republic of Chechnya!) and "M&Ms - Music & Movies."

Snapshot of Dzhokhar's VK.com page

Snapshot of Dzhokhars VK page

He has just four friends on VK.com (one of the profiles of his friends, Dias Kadyrbaev, does not exist anymore; it was removed on April 20, 2013[4].  One of his friends, Vladimir Ediny Οgurtsov (his last post is dated August 21, 2012) published posts from the group "Ля `иЛяhа`иЛля-Ллаh-пусть звучит в наших сердцах" (There is no God but Allah - [to enter] into our hearts), to which Dzhokhar was also subscribed.

Dzhokhar subscribed to five groups: "Salamworld : моя религия – Ислам" (Salamworld: My religion – Islam", "ИСЛАМ. МУСУЛЬМАНЕ. ISLAM" (Islam. Muslims. Islam), "Даканцаа))" (Dacantsa, a humorist page), Корпорация Зла (Evil Corporation, a satirical page with cynical jokes and some advertisements of different items like shoes or baking recipes.) and "Ля `иЛяhа`иЛля-Ллаh-пусть звучит в наших сердцах". The three groups dealing with Islam are not jihadist pages.

Jihadi Video On Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's VK.com Account

Dzhokhar uploaded three videos to his personal page, two of which are in Arabic with captions in Russian. The first video in Arabic is an emotional video supporting jihad in Syria and was upload on April 9, 2013 at 2:10 am. Under the video there is a link to the same video on YouTube[5] with captions in English. The video on YouTube, published on May 2012, includes the text: "Syria is calling will you answer. An emotional plea to anyone with a heart. We are awaiting the support. LIKE & SHARE THE VIDEO. Bismillah." The video with Russian caption was originally uploaded on YouTube by a person calling himself "Hakhabar."[6] Hakhabar's YouTube page features a black Salafi banner. Click here to view this clip on MEMRI-TV.

Under the video added by Dzhokhar with Russian captions, there is a reference to an Islamic group on VK.com, Крепость Мусульманина[7] (Muslim Fortress), which contains a jihadi nasheed [8] (taken from a YouTube channel called "SoldierofAllah13"[9], this channel also appears on VK.com[10]) and Anti-American rhetoric. This page is dedicated to the anonymous stories of Muslims. The majority of them are about the obstacles met by Muslim women and especially about the problems relating to the hijab.

Image published on Muslim Fortress

Image published on Muslim Fortress[11]

The second video in Arabic with Russian captions was also uploaded on April 9, 2013 at 2:10 am and features a sheikh talking to a blind man who finds comfort in Islam. The video was uploaded to YouTube by a person named "Ibn Musa ash-Shishani," who writes on his profile that he is from Saudi Arabia and as a personal profile photo has a black Salafi banner. His YouTube page contains videos on Islam with Russian captions [12], including Osama Bin Laden's videos.

The third video is a humoristic one in Russian where a group of men surround a girl on a bicycle but only for the purpose of inquiring about the bicycle itself.

Dzhokhar also uploaded four songs to VK.com by Blue Foundation (a Brooklyn-based band), Shaggy (Jamaican-American singer), Cash Out (American rapper) and Эльдар Иразиев (Eldar Iraziev, a humorist from Dagestan).

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Twitter Account

In general, the impression from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Twitter account (@j_tsar) is of a regular American college student. The younger Tsarnaev rarely tweeted about Islam or politics. However, in hindsight, some tweets appear meaningful.

One interesting account Tsarnaev followed is "Ghuraba" (http://twitter.com/Al_firdausiA), an account aimed at providing "Islamic insight" to English-speaking Muslims in the west. The term Ghuraba ("strangers") is a popular concept among Muslims in Western countries, as it speaks to their feeling of being outsiders in the societies they live in. In one instance, Ghuraba tweeted a recommendation to listen to the sermons of Anwar Al-Awlaki: "Listen to Anwar Al-Awlaki (a shahid iA) [a martyr, Allah willing], the hereafter series, you will gain an unbelievable amount of knowledge." Another tweet on the Ghuraba account reads: "I want the highest levels of Jannah [paradise], I want to be able to see Allah every single day for that is the best of pleasures."

 Ghurba and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Tweet

Tsarnaev also followed an account called "Hadith of the day," which contains assorted texts from the hadith literature.

On the day of the bombing Tsarnaev tweeted: "There are people that know the truth but stay silent & there are people that speak the truth but we don't hear them cuz [because] they're the minority."

Jahar 1

Tsarnaev chose a roaring lion for his profile picture. The image of a lion is prevalent among jihadis. He referred to this on one occasion, writing: "Do I look like that much of a softy. I got these frail ass kids trying to come at my neck. Little do these dogs know they're barking at a lion."

Jahar 2

On April 7 Tsarnaev wrote: "If you have the knowledge and the inspiration, all that's left is to take action."

Jahar3

Evidently, Djohar saw himself as a soldier of good. He tweeted a version of a quote attributed to Edmund Burke: "Evil triumphs when good men do nothing."

Jahar4

In a similar vein, on March 10 he wrote: "Never underestimate a rebel without a cause."

Jahar5

In one of his rare tweets on religion, Tsarnaev replied to the account @muftimenk: "But when we consider prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w) [may Allah pray for him] as our role model, that's when we achieve true success and a path to Jannah [paradise]."

Jahar6

In another tweet, Tsarnaev said that he ceased arguing with people who equated Islam with terrorism: "I don't argue with fools who say Islam is terrorism, it's not worth a thing. Let an idiot remain an idiot."

Jahar7

Endnotes:

[1] http://vk.com/id160300242

[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lgTvAMP2Ak

[3] Russia Today, citing a school spokesman, reports that the Tsarnaev family moved to Dagestan from Kyrgyzstan in 2001. Dzhokhar studied there for just one year and made no particular impression, good or bad, on the teachers. "He arrived at our school in the first form and departed in the second," Irina Bandurina, the secretary at Makhachkala’s School No.1, told RT. "They arrived from Kyrgyzstan and departed to the U.S. I'm telling you they lived here for a year. Not the whole year. They arrived at the school in 2001 and departed in March 2002... There were four of them – two sisters and two brothers... It's written here that they are from Kyrgyzstan. The Chechens." Russia Today, April 19, 2013

[4] Dias, who is from Kyrgyzstan, posted "What's up man?" on Dzhokhar's wall on March 13, 2012.

[5] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBNyQF0FbYA

[6] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz2m0dbRaj8

[7] http://vk.com/assalamu_a

[8] http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bCgRMJRG-gk . The nasheed contains text in Russian about the story of a Muslim girl who was walking home alone late at night. She met a stranger who looked at her persistently, and, becoming afraid, she began reciting a prayer - Ayatal-Kursi. When she arrived at home, she told parents about the incident. They told her to go to the police. When she arrived at the police station, that stranger, who was accused of raping two other girls, was there. The policemen asked him why he raped the two girls but hadn't raped this Muslim girl. He said "How could I do it if there were two big men with her?" These men are considered Allah's angels. The video recommends, therefore, learning the Ayatal-Kursi.

[9] http://www.youtube.com/SoldierOfAllah13

[10] http://vk.com/soldierofAllah13

[11] http://vk.com/assalamu_a , January 28, 2013

[12] http://www.youtube.com/user/noxcho17?feature=watch

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