Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.) shed some light on Chechen Islamic extremism and its link to the Tsarnaev family Wednesday on CNN.
Royce revealed the mosque frequented by the Tsarnaev family in southern Russia has produced a "series of radical jihadists":
ERIN BURNETT: Let me ask you, I know today you had a hearing on the role of Chechnya in terror, as you mentioned. The mother here of the two brothers was added to the TIDEs, the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database back in 2001. It's one the databases, one of several we have in this country to track potential terrorism. Same time that her son, Tamerlan's, name was added to that. As you're probably aware, she has told CNN this week the bombings were fake, that the blood was paint. And I just ask you this — because female terrorists are not unknown in Chechnya. The Black Widows was a well-known group. As you're aware, they were involved in the 2002 Moscow theater siege with 115 hostages. And the horrible, the Beslan school attack in which 334 people were killed including many children. Is it possible she knows what her sons were doing?
ED ROYCE: This we don't know. We hear she's been added as a person of interest in this investigation. We do know that in the past she denied reportedly that Osama Bin Laden was involved in the World Trade Center bombing. She defended his innocence in that and made the argument that that was something the United States had — had perpetrated upon itself in order to blame Bin Laden. So I think it's pretty clear. The other point is the particular mosque in southern Russia that this family frequented, that the oldest son was attending. Out of that mosque, you have a whole series of radicalized jihadists who have at one time or another have gone through the region, received obviously some encouragement. It is a jihadist ideology that is preached there. And so it will be interesting trying to get the answers to this. I am — I am concerned at the fact that after only 16 hours of — and not enough of that 16 hours, by the way, was available for questioning.
ERIN BURNETT: Right. I understand he wasn't — right. right.
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ED ROYCE: They are quite concerned about that because they were trying to get other leads out of this. And now of course, the individuals in custody and — the individual's in custody, and he's no longer talking.