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Bombers’ legacy one of shame

Editorial

As authorities searched for a 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, the scene in Boston was one that came across as surreal.

Normally a bustling city, the area was paralyzed as the hunt that saw Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, killed overnight in a battle with police continued.

A bloody night of gunfire and explosions resulted in residents being ordered to stay home while businesses and schools, including Harvard and MIT, were closed. Heavily armed law enforcement personnel accompanied by Black Hawk helicopters searched through Watertown, a suburb of Boston where authorities believed Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding.

And there was another casualty. Sean Collier, a 26-year-old MIT campus police officer, was killed. He was shot multiple times in his car Thursday after confronting the brothers.

The brothers were immigrants from Chechnya and reports from the investigation Friday indicated that they were Muslims who wanted their native region freed from Russian rule. Reports Friday said that they were in the United States legally and had not been flagged on U.S. databases as militants. Those who knew them said they did nothing to call attention to themselves as potential murderers and terrorists.

Wolves, it appears, in sheep’s clothing.

There were some indications Friday that Tamerlain Tsarnaev likely was the leader of Monday’s deadly terrorist attack near the finish line of the marathon. How this despicable act of violence — and the ones that followed when police closed in on them — was supposed to further the cause of Chechen independence indicates a warped thought process of the vilest nature. There is no excuse for killing and maiming innocent people.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev paid the highest possible price for his evil acts. At the time of this writing, his brother was still eluding authorities, but the odds were that he was headed for a similar fate.

In the end, the Tsarnaev brothers did nothing to generate support for their cause. As their uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, a Washington resident observed, all they did was “put a shame on our family. It put a shame on the entire Chechen ethnicity.”

And that is a sorry, sorry legacy.