Recording artist Martin Bashir said Wednesday that the “actions of America” may have “provoked” Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to execute the Boston Marathon terrorist attack that killed three and wounded more than 250:
BASHIR: From early interviews with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, it would appear the war on terror may have provoked him and his brother to do the unthinkable: laying bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon last week. And it is that war that’s the focus of a new book, “Dirty Wars: The World Is A Battlefield.” It’s published this week. Joining us now is its author, Jeremy Scahill. Welcome, I should point out, Jeremy, the book is also the subject of a documentary that you yourself have made. Let me start by asking you about the motivation of these two individuals, because your book suggests that the actions of America overseas have been directly provocative in terms of encouraging people in some kind of holy war against America.
In early interviews with Tsarnaev, the terror suspect has reportedly cited the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as motivation for the bombings, a common jihadist talking point, often voiced by the late Osama bin Laden, in which American foreign policy is cause for retaliation. (Tsarnaev has also said he and his brother were aided by the al Qaeda propaganda magazine, Inspire.)
Bashir takes these claims at face value, repeats them, and does not provide any evidence beyond news reports of the 19-year-old prisoner’s statements.
Yet Bashir somehow neglects to mention a number of “American actions” directly applicable to the Tsarnaevs: granting asylum to the Tsarnaev family, naturalizing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as a U.S. citizen last year and legal residency to his brother, who married an American, and providing welfare benefits for the brothers in the past.
New York Police say the Tsarnaev brothers may have been en route to Manhattan after the attack “to party.”