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Homeland of Boston suspects a surprise to expert on the region

By GARY LIBERATORE

CLINTON, N.Y. (WKTV) - The two brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings are originally from Chechnya, a republic of Russia.

Hamilton College History Professor Shashana Keller says that she was completely surprised to find out that's where the alleged terrorists are from.

Keller has been studying and teaching about this part of the world for two decades. She has even written a book about the unrest between these republics in the so-called North Caucasus Mountains.

However, she says the Chechens' main focus is Russia and says you often hear that Chechen extremists have just killed Russian soldiers in various parts of Russia.

"Of course, I don't know any more about these two boys than anyone else, except the stuff that I'm seeing in the media," she said. "But they're two young guys, sounds like they have had a lot of internet connections, they have been reading Jihadist websites and all this stuff. Maybe they've got some personal trauma from being refugees, who knows, but I really don't think that this has a direct connection with the political squabbles over in the Caucasus. The Chechens, the Dagestanis, the U.S has nothing to do with this. I think these two boys had a grievance against the world. They happened to be here, and this is how they took it out."

Keller also says this is really big news over in Russia as well. One of the reasons for that is because the site of next year's Winter Olympics is Sochi, not far from the very region where Chechnya and the other Northern Caucasus Mountain Republics sit.

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