The suspects behind the Boston Marathon bombings last week, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, attended a mosque that was often visited by radical Islamists and convicted terrorists, reports revealed.
"We don't know where these boys were radicalized, but this mosque has a curriculum that radicalizes people. Other people have been radicalized there," said Charles Jacobs from Americans for Peace and Tolerance, an interfaith group that investigated the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge, Mass., which the brothers attended.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is currently recovering in the hospital from a gunshot wound to the throat, suspected to be an attempted suicide, and has only been able to communicate through writing. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a shootout with police early Friday morning.
The young men, who are ethnically from Chechnya but lived for the better part of the last decade in America, are still posing a puzzle for authorities trying to figure out what allegedly drove them to commit the attack. Three people lost their lives when two explosives went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon last week, and over 200 were injured.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that the brothers might have been radicalized from extremist Islamic websites, which is also where they learned how to build the pressure cooker explosives that they used, but they were not connected to a specific organization.
USA Today noted that the mosque they attended in Cambridge might offer some strong evidence for their radicalization as well. Authorities have noted that several people who have visited the Islamic Society of Boston have been suspected of terrorism – including the mosque's first president, Abdulrahman Alamoudi, who was convicted of an assassination plot against a Saudi Arabian prince.
The mosque has denied responsibility for the actions of the brothers, and argued that it cannot be blamed for the beliefs and practices of its worshippers.
Yusufi Vali, executive director at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, noted that both the FBI and the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have been conducting monthly meetings for a number of years at the mosque, in partnership with the Muslim American Society.
The Islamic Society of Boston mosque was founded in 1982 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard and several other Boston-area schools students. A sister mosque was opened in 2009.
Meanwhile, Fox News reported that U.S. officials are making their way toward southern Russia to interview the parents of the Tsarnaev brothers who briefly lived in America with their children before going back home. The mother is scheduled to be interviewed later on Wednesday in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, and authorities hope to get more information about the brothers and the things that influenced them.