April 20th, 2013
03:45 PM ET

Older brother in Boston bombings grew increasingly religious, analysis shows

By Tim Lister and Paul Cruickshank, CNN

(CNN)–Tamerlan Tsarnaev appears to have become increasingly religious in the last three or four years, according to an analysis of his social media posts and the accounts of family members. But there is so far no evidence of active association with international jihadist groups.

In August 2012, soon after returning from a long visit to Russia, he created a YouTube channel with links to a number of videos. Some include sermons or interviews with radical preachers. Two videos under a category labeled "Terrorists" were deleted. It's not clear when or by whom.

Tsarnaev's YouTube channel had the address "muazseyfullah," which happen to be the names of two prominent militant leaders among Islamist groups in Russia's north Caucasus, an area that includes Chechnya and Dagestan. Seyfullah also translates as "sword of Allah."

It is possible that the account he created has at some point been interfered with, but there is no such obvious sign.

One video talks about his beliefs, prayers and ablutions as a good Muslim. He speaks about leading a meaningful life; almost the very last word is "peace." Another video is in praise of Muslim women who pray and dress conservatively.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Islam

soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. SAAB

    so refreshing to see decent blogs on this page !!! on other belief page, muslims are rioting, going wild

    April 20, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  2. Observer

    This horrendous event is just another example of the dangers of religious fanaticism.

    April 20, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • SAAB

      I have to see there is some truth in what you say; Boston kids were never religious, according to Uncle, but they got somehow influenced by Armenian muslim cleric few years back, and here the results, one dead,other behind bar rest of his life, if not hanged. Thanks to religion [of peace].

      April 20, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • Basically

      Don't believe Uncle.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Societal fanatics of extremist ways need no religions to be a ridiculing tempest via other socialized groupings.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • SAAB

      @llamb, can you say in plain English? you understand, not everyone is proficient like you !!!!

      April 20, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Vic

      !Know Your Dangerous Ideologies!


      April 20, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • lol??

      Don't attend any international futbol events either.

      April 20, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • lol??

      See even I could understand LL. He wasn't talkin' Semitic.

      April 20, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
  3. Saraswati

    Interesting...if you look at all the stories, he was charged by the police with hitting his girlfriend in 2009 and appears from that time on to have become increasingly religious. So often the story that men who want to control their women and blame them for their own violence turn to conservative religions that support their world view.

    April 20, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • clarity


      April 20, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • clarity

      Oops – that's a yup, not a yuo – lol.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • lol??

      Why do gays play the roles?

      April 20, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
  4. lionlylamb

    Faulty egoistic anomalies are mere perpetuations of strewn accolades misgivings. The loving of tenderness;- issues one to caring about one another. Without the tenderness of loving another there is only bitterness scorning those who fall by the waysides of living Life outwardly. From anger one learns of hate yet from Love one learns to be loving. Hating is the direct opposite of loving. Love-hate relationships promotes anger and anguish. The purities of loving all egoistic issuances be they righteous or not are not from the people for only God is able and capable of loving the allness of each and every egoism

    April 20, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Good afternoon Mr. Lamb, you crazy old fuck!

      April 20, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Religion is proctology of the mind

      You should take some Kaopectate for your diarrhetoric problem

      April 20, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      And a well afternoon to you too Apple Bush! Roof still leaking or was it fixed?

      April 20, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Fixed, but haven't repaired ceiling.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  5. biggles

    Who loves dodo? I do, I do.

    April 20, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • faith

      ME II

      There is evidence of dark energy, yes.


      April 20, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
  6. 12 oz Raw Meat

    I saw a sunset and it was perfect.
    Why do you ask me to see another?
    For in waiting for the next sunset, I will endure much suffering!
    Perfection exists in the suffering too.
    Be thankful for the pain.
    Did I not thank you by loving you?

    April 20, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
  7. Vic

    God Bless The USA

    Job Well Done And On The Road To Full Justice


    April 20, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
  8. socies rule the school

    Those stoners are losers man.

    April 20, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Akira

      What's a socie? Seems I can't get a straight answer from anyone using that term.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • socies rule the school

      You know Akira, the rich kids!

      April 20, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • lol??

      The egalitarian socies always end up with tyrants as leaders. That's when they break out the Scarab jewelry. Takin' the fur off and pushin' the c*rap, so to speak.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Akira

      Well, srts, thanks...
      Lol??, care to answer the question? After all, I've been asking you since I first came on here...did I miss your answer again? I notice that you didn't answer it below.
      Maybe you didn't see it.

      April 20, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • lol??

      You played dumb akira, when I asked about your abortion stats. You must be reapin'.

      April 20, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  9. Clarity

    God is real. I believe in his son Jesus. May God be our vindicators

    April 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      invisible sky fairies are real! unicorns and leprechauns too!

      April 20, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • just say it

      I believe in Bilbo's nephew Frodo. We WILL defeat the evil Sauron.

      April 20, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • clarity

      lowercase clarity says there is no evidence of God

      April 20, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • biggles

      Any body seen dark energy?

      April 20, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Jesus freaker

      If Christians actually read the Bible, they would no longer be Chrstian. Read it and break the spell.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • lol??

      Whatsa matter cutesie bootsie? One of the earliest believers in evilution, Aristotle, thought unicorns to be real. You know how science is. from wiki:

      ".....Unicorns are not found in Greek mythology, but rather in accounts of natural history, for Greek writers of natural history were convinced of the reality of the unicorn, which they located in India, ......." Naturallllllly, just for you.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • ME II

      There is evidence of dark energy, yes.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      hahaha, lol - goes to show you anyone born back then had a tendency to believe in cr@p without evidence. bible = cr@p

      April 20, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
  10. sam wheat

    so what is this article supposed to imply that people who are strict in their religion are bad people?

    April 20, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      in general, that's true. more devout usually = more crazy

      April 20, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • lol??

      Well, ya got a bad apple showing his fruitiness right here today.

      April 20, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  11. Apple Bush

    Akira, Toshi just got back from the fish market.

    April 20, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Akira

      Hi, Apple. Did he, now? Pick up anything good? Did he see his friend, who usually provides him with the best catch of the day?

      April 20, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Stay tuned!

      April 20, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  12. Bootyfunk

    Evil people will commit evil - but it takes religion for good people to commit evil.

    April 20, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  13. Jesus freaker

    Humans are granted by God the Creator to have religion. That's one thing among many that separates us from animals.

    True. Animals don't believe in an invisible being that tells us to kill others. Are you saying that they are mentally superior?

    April 20, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Jesus freaker we are all animals including, if he ever lived at all, Jesus..

      April 20, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  14. 12 oz Raw Meat

    The self-sustaining stench of universal puke.
    Star stuff, cereal boxes, decay.
    Weeping over dirt. Laughing at miserable animated misery turned stoic and lifeless.
    Would you have this pile over for dinner? No?
    How about this dissolving goo from you know who?

    it is an abortion
    it brought evil from the rain forest to the streets of Boston
    it is an underdeveloped sobbing heap
    it is religion

    April 20, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
  15. Salero21

    Oh here we go again!

    Foolish, hypocritical, ignorant, stupid atheists are unable to differentiate and discern religion from Godliness and are now howling louder than ever. Humans are granted by God the Creator to have religion. That's one thing among many that separates us from animals. However having or practicing a religion is not the same as being Godly. Most man made religions are in fact nothing more than Idolatry and cultism which is sinful (full of Sin), but man is allowed religion not animals.

    You don't need a Ph. D to know and understand that religion is not the same as Godliness, though is usually counted and included as part of it. A person, any person can belong to, have and practice a religion and still be an ungodly person. That happens millions of times per minute, every day all over the world.

    Godlessness ought and must be understand by it's life results. The consequences and the end results of Godlessness are the strongest arguments for Godliness and Godliness is not about religion though it may include it.

    So atheists stop barking like dogs, bleating like goats, howling like wolves and squealing like swine. But what I'm saying? You just can help it, Just as Jesus said! Foolish atheists learn if you can to differentiate between religions and Godliness. True Godliness was in Jesus Christ and He called Herod a fox. Don't be like Herod, try to be like Jesus, so you rise above the level of wild animals.

    April 20, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Salero21, humans are animals. They are not separate in any way other than by species. By seperating yourself you have already laid the foundatin for hate. Your entire post illustrates exactly why we have terrorism. You willingly choose to ignore facts and instead embrace a fantasy world. If others do not embrace your mythological delusions, they are wrong and must be punished. Inherent in religion is the complete lack of morality. You are the problem.

      April 20, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • lol??

      Great show, but you forgot hunting like coyotes, and that's like in a mob pack straight from demobocracy in Sodom. Hunting humans.

      April 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • lol??

      You got burning bush all flustered but his dirty doctrines came out,

      "Apple Bush
      Salero21, humans are animals. They are not separate in any way other than by species.........." A socie shows his fur, eeeeeeeewwwwwww

      April 20, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      lol??, your inability to understand or accept truth does not change anything in the rea world. And yes, humans still have fur.

      April 20, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • lol??

      Now you know why the socies don't mind killing their offspring animals in the womb. More for them! Same with gubmint debt, and on and on......

      April 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      your premise is bad. there is no such thing as god. it's a made up fairy tale. you are living your life in a cult. cults are bad for you. they teach you to turn off your brain. christianity is a cult. all religions are cults. think for yourself. try it. i dare you.

      April 20, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Apple Bush, the reason we have terrorism is due to not curtailing one's EGO.

      April 20, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Dippy's Disciple

      "It's = It is.
      "Its" is a possessive.

      Salero is so dumb it can't manage to figure out the difference. Not somebody likely to know much about anything else.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Salero is bound for hellfire

      Matthew 5:22 – But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tommy Tom (cough Dippy's Disciple) always tips her dummy handles.

      April 20, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Aww, what's the matter, HeavenStink? Didn't get fvcked last night? Poor little thing.

      April 20, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
  16. Apple Bush

    "we should remind ourselves that the actions of a few deranged individuals don’t represent or reflect the communities that they more broadly come from"

    Nothing could be farther from the truth. These "deranged" individuals accurately reflect people of faith. Delusional, selfish, dangerous.

    The United States right now, if not for those of us who constantly fight against it, would already be a terrorist state, only it would not be called Islam, it would be called Christian.

    The process of promoting and rewarding ignorance and belief in the supernatural and that self-gratifying delusion that your god is the right god is the foundation for attacks like OKC and Boston.

    Christians, you only have you to blame. Look in the mirror.

    April 20, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • lol??

      Burning Apple Pie Bush,
      Are you targeting the socies disguised as Christians, like the WCTU? To determine a real Christian man, you have to look at his wife. Does she call him SIR? That is part of observing the fruit.

      April 20, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      lol??, if I look at his wife and she is attractive, I might fantasize about having sex with her. Then your god will punish me. Nice try, you can't get me that easy.

      April 20, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Akira

      Please illustrate what the meaning of "socies" is, lol??. You've been asked this many times before; perhaps I've missed your answer.

      April 20, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Apple Bush, you should try to curtail your own ego. It seems to be out of control. Then again, you can't and won't admit it. The ego. Opposite of staying humble as Jesus instructed.

      April 20, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • biggles

      Preach it babe

      April 20, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Religion is proctology of the mind

      Jesus had a massive ego problem.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      proctology of the mind, those that hate Jesus' teachings have issues they haven't resolved.

      April 20, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
  17. STFU

    my first guess, he was reading Pakistani national Mohammad A. Dar's (ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION) posts, here on CNN, oh well he paid the price with his own life, while RATs like Mohammad are still out there.

    April 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm |

      My own mother laughs at my shrunken pathetic excuse for a penis. ism.

      April 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  18. 21st Century

    Killing in the name of make believe. Would you people wake up already.

    April 20, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  19. Bleeding Like Sheep

    God created the universe.

    Many billions of years ago, a life form evolved on a planet not so far distant and their scientists deduced the building blocks for life existed in the universe and from it, new life forms could be created.

    These ancient ones populated Mars with life and eventually, due to asteroid events over millions of years, life arrived here on Earth. We are a product of that primeval turbulence. Therefore, we must worship the Aliens, not God.

    The Aliens have to worship God. This is all true because I have faith that it happened just this way.

    April 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      ^ koo-koo!

      April 20, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  20. Apple Bush

    When we live in a society that not only tolerates but promotes and reveres belief in the supernatural; a society that rewards people for being ignorant...it should come as no surprise that all of this selfishness and escapism would lead to violence.

    April 20, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Apple Bush, we live in a society that has to tolerate the big egos of nonbelievers.

      April 20, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • biggles

      U go girl

      April 20, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Akira

      We live in a society that tolerate megachurchegos, also. That's what tolerance means.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Akira, Jesus already told us why the ego would flourish.

      3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

      4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

      2 Timothy 4:3-4


      April 20, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ HeavyStench

      Sounds carnal to me.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Doobs, yes it is ... the stroking of the carnal ego.

      April 20, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Platypus Rex

      I love it when the carnal comes to town! The corn dogs, the freak show, the rides!

      April 20, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Care Beeful

      "2 Timothy 4:3-4"

      Paul of Tarsus had an "itching imagination" - and an EGOTISTICAL GREED to live forever in rapturous bliss. You do too.

      April 20, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Heaven sent..if you believe you are, then you have your own ego problems.

      April 20, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.