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Tsarnaev Framed by U.S. Intelligence, Chechen Leader Kadyrov Says

A courtroom sketch depicts defendant Tsarnaev and his legal team after the death sentence was handed down.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov claimed Sunday that Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was sentenced to death last week, had been framed by U.S. intelligence agencies.

"The news [of Tsarnaev's death sentence] did not surprise anyone," Kadyrov wrote on his Instagram page Sunday. "The American intelligence services, accused of being involved in the Boston tragedy, needed a victim […] I don't think that the Tsarnaevs [convict Dzhokhar and brother Tamerlan] committed the attack without the knowledge of the U.S. special services, that is if they did in fact commit the attack."

In the past, Kadyrov has frequently made use of his Instagram page as a platform to make outspoken statements on regional, domestic and international affairs. He has often blamed Western intelligence agencies for various international tragedies and scandals via the social network.

Tsarnaev, an ethnic Chechen, was sentenced to death by a U.S. jury on Friday for helping carry out — along with his older brother Tamerlan — the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon, which killed three people and wounded 264 others in the crowds at the race's finish line.

Kadyrov also emphasized that it was the responsibility of the U.S. authorities to sniff out where the boys had gone wrong, considering what he described as their idyllic upbringing. "The brothers arrived in the U.S. at a young age. They studied well, they played sports, they wrote music. The older one [Tamerlan] got married and had a child. He had an ideal biography to be a gubernatorial candidate. Who turned them into terrorists? … Who was it that stubbornly failed to detect their [terrorist] training?" he wrote on Instagram.

After deliberating for 15 hours, the federal jury chose death by lethal injection for Tsarnaev, 21, over its only other option: life in prison without possibility of release.

The jury found Tsarnaev deserved execution for six of the 17 capital charges of which he was found guilty. Those counts were the ones tied to the bomb that he personally placed at the marathon finish line, which killed 8-year-old Martin Richard and 23-year-old Chinese exchange student Lingzi Lu.

He is likely to await his fate over the course of years, if not decades, locked up in grim prisons under extreme conditions while his lawyers appeal his sentence.

The same jury found Tsarnaev guilty last month of placing a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs on April 15, 2013, as well as fatally shooting a policeman. The bombing was one of the highest-profile attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

In the aftermath of the Boston bombing, Kadyrov said that any attempts at linking the Tsarnaev's brothers to Chechnya were in vain, insisting that their world views had been formed in the United States, media reported at the time.

The death penalty remains highly controversial in Massachusetts, which has not put anyone to death in almost 70 years and which abolished capital punishment for state crimes in 1984. Tsarnaev was tried under federal law, which allows for lethal injection as a punishment.

(MT, Reuters)

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