An infographic exploring what we think we know about Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev

New from Chartgirl: "Tamerlan Tsarnaev: What We Think We Know About Who Knew What and When."


  1. So they really knew very little until he actually did something. More than that it seems they were expecting him to bugger off overseas and join up there, not make his own bombs back home.

  2. It seems like it is pretty hard to seperate the “runs his mouth over the phone to his mom about Jihad” from the “he is definately going to attack a bunch of spectators in boston”
    So… to be safe, we should all just surrender more civil liberties.

  3. So it turns out that the best way to avoid the state security apparatus is to have a difficult-to-spell name.

  4. the size of this chart is really hindering my desire to read it.  Either the text is too small or the whole thing is too large.

  5. I’m confused: How was it established that he had ties to radical groups? According to the chart, the only actual data is 1) He once mentioned jihad to his mother, 2) He flew to Russia and back. The FBI investigation revealed nothing, and even if the FBI or CIA had info that he had traveled to Russia, wouldn’t that have to be paired with further data to imply radicalization?

    To me, this all seems like more fuel for the Tamerlan cult-of-infamy. Just like all the other “reporters” selling ads with “terror”.

  6. Tamerlan Tsarnaev: What We Think We Know About Who Knew What and When: Not What They Knew, but What We Think We Now Know What They Knew

    tl;dr –
    We know Russia knew. We know Boston knew nothing. We think the FBI knew what Russia knew, but we can’t know, because we’re not  allowed to know what the FBI knows. Now the CIA knew everything, but some of what they knew was wrong. So if the FBI knew what the CIA knew, then some of it was wrong, and even though Russia thought they knew what everyone knew, we now know they thought they didn’t know what the FBI knew because the FBI didn’t even know what they knew. But again, we can’t know for sure: the FBI thinks that letting us know what they know would allow terrorists to misdirect them. The FBI, thinking they knew what we don’t know, thought they knew what everyone knew, and ironically ignored the one person they thought they knew about who didn’t know what they knew about him. Neither their knowing nor his not knowing effected his actions: even if he knew what they knew, he would have known they didn’t know, and detonated a bomb anyway. So the idea that us knowing what the FBI knows would allow terrorists to know what they don’t know and use that blind spot to plan attacks undetected is a dumb reason to keep us in the dark. It’s not like we don’t know now what they knew, and a lot of good that does us now that it happened.

    1. The Russians never knew enough to even make it clear he was a terrorist sympathiser, as far as they have revealed. And why would we trust them concerning a Chechen?

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