Last week's series of events in Boston was the stuff of Hollywood movies. An iconic marathon on Patriot's Day... 2 bombs go off killing 3 and injuring over 100... wild speculation as to the culprits... photos released... said culprits do a Thelma and Louise, with one brother down and the other wounded and hiding... a city on lock down as hundreds of police scour neighborhoods looking for the second brother, who is finally found hiding and bleeding out in a boat in someone's backyard with a possibly self-inflicted gun shot wound.
Except, of course, that it was all real. The released photos and video were all it took for acquaintances of the two to put names to faces. Once that happened, the rest of it was only a matter of time. Left to their own devices and with few options, they tried to escape, but were unable to. With one brother dead and the other incommunicado in the hospital, the big question still remains: why?
It seems pretty clear the older brother (Tamerlan) was the "brains" behind the operation. In the video, he is walking in front with his younger brother trailing behind. During the shootout with police, he apparently had a bomb strapped to his chest. He was known to be cocky and occasionally violent, and alienated in America. There's still no clear reason why he decided to do this, and we will never be able to ask him.
The younger brother (Dzhokhar) is the bigger mystery. He had friends with whom he played soccer. Being raised here since he was 7, he was as American as anyone born here. He liked American music, skateboarded, and was - according to some reports - a bit of a stoner. He was attending college, and living in the dorm. Everyone that knew him said that it did not at all seem like the kind of thing he could possibly be involved in. They were all shocked. They said they saw him at school acting as if nothing had happened.
How could this be? Did he really have ice in his veins? Was he really able to put on such a good front leading up to and after the bombing? Even his relatives were couldn't believe the younger brother was involved.
There is one possible explanation, although it is certainly a long shot, and totally unsubstantiated. It will very likely be proven wrong. But - it IS a possible to explain it if you are willing to use a little imagination:==== Perhaps the younger brother didn't know that they were the ones who planted the bombs. ====
Most people know I am not one to subscribe to paranoid conspiracy theories, so this kind of wild guess is a little out of the norm for me. Nonetheless, it would explain a lot:
- It would explain why he was so calm after the bombing.
- It would explain why he made no attempt to hide is face on that day, unlike his older brother who wore dark sunglasses and had his cap bill-forward
- It would explain the cognitive dissonance between friends' understanding of him, and what we are being led to believe he has done.
- It would explain why the older brother chose to go out in a blaze of glory, and he ran off and hid inside a boat, waiting to die.
- If the gunshot wound in the throat was self-inflicted, it might explain that as well - realizing what he had done and what the prospects for his future held.
Tamerlan's boxing coach has said the Dzhokhar followed his older brother around "like a puppy". One of their uncle's has said that Tamerlan used and ruined his younger brother. It's entirely feasible that Tamerlan never told Dzhokhar that the backpacks contained bombs, and that Dzhokhar was just an unsuspecting mule.
The biggest question mark here is how would Tamerlan be able to leave the backpacks behind without arousing his brother's suspicion (both during and after the event)? It's possible that there was a third person and Tamerlan gave one of the backpacks to that third person to place. It's also possible that they set the packs down to watch some of the race, and then Tamerlan sent his younger brother off on an errand, buying himself time to leave one of the packs behind and then go drop the other one. It's definitely the wild card in this theory.
Nonetheless - as a theory, it is certainly plausible, as plausible as the idea that a skateboarding stoner going to college who played soccer with friends would suddenly go Jihad and then act like nothing happened. I can (and probably am) wrong, but I'll check back in once the facts come out.