It is now clear why Tamerlane planned and carried out the attack in Boston–he was angry over the rejection of his application for US Citizenship. While he sought solace and training in the ranks of Chechen muslim extremists, the triggering event came in the aftermath of being charged with assault of his girlfriend.

Tamerlane Tsarnaev boxed at Camp Get Right Boxing in Worcester, Massachusetts. The Worcester Telegram has the story:

Tsarnaev, of Cambridge, represented New England in the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions in 2009, and would have done so again in 2010 after beating Worcester heavyweight Bryan Daniels in the New England final.

But because the Golden Gloves was an Olympic qualifier that year, and Tsarnaev was not yet a U.S. citizen, he was barred from the nationals, so Daniels went in his place as runner-up.

A 6-foot-1, 201-pound heavyweight during his prime, Tsarnaev also sparred against current USBA super middleweight champion Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez and super heavyweight amateur Owen Minor, both of Worcester. Tsarnaev defeated Daniels twice in the Golden Gloves.

While Tsarnaev enjoyed success in the ring in 2009, his personal life was in turmoil.

Boxers at the gym described his girlfriend as a “cunt.” She enjoyed slapping and punching Tsarnaev, who was a light heavy weight boxer. During one of this exchanges he hit back (some of the guys at the gym say “pushed”) and she filed an assault charge.

That assault charge ended up haunting Tamerlane. It contributed to the rejection of his application for citizenship. Without being able to prove that he was on his way to becoming a citizen, Tsarnaev was denied his dream of boxing in the nationals. This was the seed of resentment that subsequently blossomed into the determination to bomb the Boston Marathon.

It was in the aftermath of the 2009 events that Tamerlane’s turn to Muslim extremism accelerated. We still don’t know the inspiration for the trip to Russia in January 2012 nor where he was for those six months. It is certain he was at a training facility/camp hosted by muslim extremists. It may have been in Chechnya or in Dagestan. Regardless, it was there that he learned to make explosives from scratch and to build reliable bombs.

The story of recruiting his brother, DZHOKHAR, for the bombing remains to be sorted out. Dzhokhar, unlike Tamerlane, was not a Muslim enthusiast. He was more like a lapsed Catholic. Paid lip service to the beliefs. But he loved his brother.

Dzhokhar was a normal college kid. A close friend of mine’s son was lifting weights with Dzhokhar last Sunday. Here is a picture of Dzhokhar with some of the other members of his intramural soccer team:

Dzhokhar did what he did out of love for his brother. In the coming days we will learn how Tamerlane persuaded Dzhokhar to help him punish America for denying him the American dream.

I think it is highly unlikely that Tamerlane was directed to carry out the attack by Chechen extremists. Doing such a thing, as we have seen, has united Moscow and Washington to go after the Chechen threat. Previously, the United States ignored the Russians and granted the Chechens refugee status. Now? I don’t think so.

The decision for selecting the target and how to do the attack, I believe, originated with Tamerlane and was not done at the behest of a foreign influence. Tamerlane’s anger over the rejection of his dream of becoming a boxing champion fueled his subsequent terrorist plan and action.

Stay tuned.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.