Boston bomb suspects' background in Chechnya

Chechnya, situated in southern Russia
Chechnya, situated in southern Russia Photo: Google Maps

During the lifetime of the two Boston bombing suspects, their homeland Chechnya has seen two Russian invasions unleash some of Europe's worst bloodshed in generations, and produced fighters who have carried out horrific attacks on civilians.

So far there has been no claim of responsibility for the attacks on the Boston Marathon or evidence made public of the motivations of the suspects, brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Video report by ITV News correspondent Lewis Vaughan Jones.

Through a trail of posts on social networks, it has been suggested that both were devout Muslims, proud of their Chechen heritage and supportive of the region's bid for independence from Moscow, which has been continuing since an initial attempt to break away from Russia in 1921.

Both men were enrolled in a school in Dagestan, a neighbouring region that was drawn into Chechnya's violence during the 1990s and has since become the focal point for a simmering Islamist insurgency.

Headmaster Emirmagomed Davydov confirms that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev studied at the school in Makhachkala
Headmaster Emirmagomed Davydov confirms that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev studied at the school in Makhachkala Credit: REUTERS/Sergei Rasulov

However, the president of Chechnya, Alvi Karimov, said the two Boston terror suspects have "no relations" with the republic and suggested the brothers may have "turned bad" while living outside the region.

In April 2009, Russia officially ended its counterterrorism operation in the Chechen region, but the fighting has continued.

Watch: Suspects uncle says pair 'brought shame upon Chechen ethnicity'