A Wall Street Journal profile of the Tsarnaev family explores their background beginning in Dagestan, and the growing religious bent of Tamerlan and his mother, but sheds little light on the big questions surrounding the brothers alleged role in the Boston Marathon bombings: Where did they learn bomb-making, who financially supported the two, including a months-long trip abroad by Tamerlan last year, and why did the FBI lose interest after questioning the family two years ago?
Tamerlan Tsarnaev is the fifth person since 9/11 to participate in a terror attack on U.S. soil after questioning by the FBI.
Iraqis voted Saturday in the first nationwide elections since the last U.S. troops left more than a year ago. But turnout in provincial elections was shockingly low: slightly more than 52 percent compared to 72 percent in 2009 polling. Iraqis are disillusioned with the entrenchment and corruption of the (hand-picked by the United States) government of President Nouri al-Maliki: “It’s show business. The Iraqi people are sick of it,” said Haider Al Amily, 27, a Baghdad physician who said he and all of his friends are searching for ways to emigrate. “I’ve voted every time, but this is the first time that I didn’t go. All the educated people didn’t go.”
A 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck China’s Sichuan province on Saturday, killing more than 180 people, and injuring more than 7,000, according to relief groups in the area. “All houses in some villages collapsed. More than 1.5 million people in the region are affected,” reports Frank Li of Agape Way, a U.S.-based organization with extensive work in Sichuan. This is the second major earthquake in Sichuan province in five years, and Li’s organization will again be aiding in recovery.
In “the clearest indication yet of the utter dysfunctionality of Italian politics,” Italy’s Electoral College of Parliament Saturday picked 87-year-old Giorgio Napolitano, the incumbent, as its next president. “There is a strong case for arguing that this lacerating presidential ballot has re-drawn more starkly than ever before the battle lines in Italian politics. Once they ran between right and left. Now they separate the old and tired from the new and young,” said The Economist.
A special anti-terror court in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh, has sentenced three Saudis to six years in jail each for a plot to kill U.S. nationals at the height of a campaign of al-Qaeda attacks in the kingdom between 2003 and 2006.
The publicly reported Christian casualties in Nigeria last year were greater than the Christian casualties of Pakistan, Syria, Kenya, and Egypt combined. In fact, Nigeria alone accounted for almost 70 percent of Christians killed globally. This week human rights groups in Washington will be focusing on Nigeria and U.S. government policy toward Boko Haram and its threats. I’ll be participating in two important panels and invite you to attend if you are in Washington, D.C.
- The first: Thursday, in the Cannon House Office Building (Room 234) from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., with lunch provided.
- The second: Friday, an all-day event at the Family Research Council, 801 G Street NW.
Both feature legal and political experts, eyewitnesses to the violence from Nigeria, and one journalist. I’m honored to be part of these esteemed panels and hope you can join us.