Saturday, April 20, 2013

EDITORIAL >> Terrorists in our midst

Critics of U.S. immigration policies will cite the terrorist attacks in Boston as more evidence that it’s difficult to keep track of potential troublemakers who move to our country.

The young Tsarnaev brothers, who killed and maimed several people at the Boston Marathon on Monday and a campus policeman at a nearby college campus Thursday night, benefited from America’s generous immigration policies but viciously turned on a nation that welcomed them from the turmoil in the former Soviet republics.

Their families had moved around a lot, settling for a while in Kyrgyzstan, where Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was born. He wore the dark cap in the much-publicized video near the finish line. He was killed Thursday night in a showdown with police after his brother, Dzhokhar, 19, apparently ran over him in a stolen SUV. The teen, who was born in Dagestan, wore a white cap in the marathon video. He was shown wearing a gray hoodie at a convenience store holdup Thursday night, apparently after the pair had run out of food and water. He was taken into custody Friday night.

Authorities are probably questioning their relatives, who a decade earlier had moved to Massachusetts and Maryland. The extended family had escaped the war in predominately Muslim Chechnya, which was fighting for independence from Russia. Investigators will want to know if the terrorists’ families alerted authorities when the suspects’ pictures were publicized Thursday. If the relatives remained quiet, their immigration status could come up for review and they could be deported back to Chechnya or to wherever they came from.