We’re getting warmer. The YouTube page reveals the deep religious affiliation of a man called Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Max Fisher:
One of the “favorite” videos lists “7 steps to a successful prayer.” Another denounces Sufism, a more mystical branch of Islam. Another, with the title “one of the signs of Allah,” shows a chameleon changing colors at will as a man sings Arabic prayers in the background.
Several of the videos under “Islam” are by a man named Abdülhamid Al Juhani, who is listed by a Salafist Web portal as a scholar. His videos include Arabic audio and Russian text and show photos of Grozny, the Chechen capital. Another video under the “Islam” heading shows young men carrying assault rifles through a forest as a narrator intones, “They demonize as terrorists anyone who supports Islam.”
Update: Mother Jones’s Adam Serwer also looks at the YouTube page. He says it includes “a video of Feiz Mohammad, a fundamentalist Australian Muslim preacher who rails against the evils of Harry Potter” as well as a video “dedicated to the prophecy of the Black Banners of Khurasan, which is embraced by Islamic extremists — particularly Al Qaeda.”
The fact that they are brothers also suggests to me that this could well be just the two of them, with the younger brother controlled by the older one. But where did they get guns capable of holding off the police last night? Their uncle is emphatically horrified by what happened. But he hasn’t seen them since 2006. He’s accusing them simply of being “losers” and that religion has nothing to do with it. “We’re ashamed” he says passionately. I believe him.