YouTube account that belongs to a person named Tamerlan Tsarnaev had bookmarked videos on terrorism

April 19, 2013

As the world scours the Web for information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the suspect in the Boston marathon who was killed, looking for any clue of what may have driven him to such a horrific act, someone has unearthed a YouTube account that appears under that name. The videos suggest a man who was deeply pious, but held a stern view of his own faith.

The Washington Post has not confirmed that the account belongs to the suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

The account, listed under the name Tamerlan Tsarnaev and identified as active since August 2012, includes two videos under the sub-category "terrorists." It also includes seven videos filed under "Islam," five under "favorite videos" and three under "Timur Mucuraev," a popular Chechen singer.

Both of the videos filed under "terrorists" cannot be viewed as they have been removed from YouTube since the owner of the account had added them. An error page says that the account that had originally posted the videos has been terminated, a common YouTube response to hate speech videos of incitements to violence. The videos were likely removed long before Friday's news.

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."

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