FBI: Tsarnaevs Acted Alone

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Here’s the latest on the Tsarnaev brothers:

Accused Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has told FBI investigators that he and his brother were operating alone and did not receive assistance from outside terrorist groups, officials said Tuesday.

….Investigators separately have tentatively concluded that his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who died early Friday morning after a shootout with police, did not meet with Islamist militants during his six-month visit to Russia last year, according a senior U.S. counter-terrorism official.

Experts say the brothers increasingly appear to have been self-radicalized “lone wolf” operators who worked independently, using bomb recipes gathered from websites.

I’m not really sure what this means, and obviously Dzhokhar might be lying. But apparently the current state-of-the-art thinking among interrogators is that the Tsarnaevs were motivated by “extremist Islamic beliefs”—specifically by “the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan”—but acted on their own.

There sure is something odd about that six-month trip to Russia, though. The story we’ve been told is that the Russians warned the FBI back in 2010 that Tamerlan might be connected with Islamic radicals. The FBI checks it out and finds nothing. Then Tamerlan goes to Russia in 2012. So what happened then? Did the Russians track him while he was there? If so, did they pass anything further along to the FBI? If not, why not? They’re the ones who were supposedly convinced that Tamerlan was up to no good. So what happened?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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