Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Link to InfoWars Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 23 2013 5:09 PM

Tamerlan Tsarnaev Believed in Basically Every Conspiracy Theory

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Tamerlan Tsarnaev (L) fights Lamar Fenner (R) during the 201-pound division boxing match during the 2009 Golden Gloves National Tournament of Champions May 4, 2009 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Photo by Glenn DePriest/Getty Images

The AP keeps digging into the dead bombing suspect's past and finds him endorsing, at some point, not just a cocktail but a Long Island Iced Tea of conspiracy theories. His inspiration, the mysterious "Misha," reportedly turned him onto radical Islam that was disconnected from the larger, more strategic terror organizations that the U.S. considers itself at war with.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Tsarnaev became an ardent reader of jihadist websites and extremist propaganda, two U.S. officials said. He read Inspire magazine, an English-language online publication produced by al-Qaida's Yemen affiliate...Tamerlan took an interest in Infowars, a conspiracy theory website. Khozhugov said Tamerlan was interested in finding a copy of the book "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," the classic anti-Semitic hoax, first published in Russia in 1903, that claims a Jewish plot to take over the world.

InfoWars is Alex Jones' megasite (supported pretty frequently by Drudge Report links); InfoWars, ironically enough, had a reporter at the early Boston press conferences, asking authorities to prove that the bombing wasn't a "false flag" attack. But the InfoWars version of history is totally at odds with the radical Islamist version. If Jones is right, the greatest "successes" of Islamists were actually operations planned by a brilliantly devious CIA.

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UPDATE: Damn her eyes, Rosie Gray gets Alex Jones on the record before I do. (I ran into a full voicemail box.)

"I've seen this before," Jones said. "The federal government trying to connect me to tragedies. That's the media and the government's own conspiracy theories."
Jones compared the situation to when Richard Andrew Poplawski, a Pittsburgh man who killed three police officers in 2009, was shown to be a conspiracy theorist who frequently visited the Infowars website.
"It's standard for them to talk to people, go through computers, and any time someone's done something bad they connect it to us," Jones said.

Jones makes a good point!

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.