Authorities say that one of the Boston bomb suspects keep all of his other social media accounts except for one from Instagram that was linked to Chechen terrorism.
So far the social media trail left behind by Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has offered only the barest hints that could connect him to a terrible act of terror. Indeed, his Twitter account — which he continued using after the bombings — is mostly notable for how ordinary it is.
But authorities have now located an Instagram account connected to Mr. Tsarnaev that was deleted only recently, according to a CNN report.
Under the user name “jmaster1,” Tsarnaev “liked” a photo of Shamil Basayev, a warlord in Chechnya who claimed to be the mastermind behind the 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis, in which 40 terrorists and 130 civilians were killed when Russian special forces pumped an unknown chemical agent into the building.
He also “liked” another pro-Chechnya image that included a string of hashtags: #FreeChechenia #Jihad #Jannah #ALLAH #Jesus and #God.
“If I were an investigator right now, obviously the platform he deleted matters the most,” said Juliette Kayyem, a CNN terrorism analyst.
On one hand, such online activity is hardly damning. “Likes” don’t make a terrorist.
Yet the deleted Instagram account adds to the impression that Tsarnaev used certain corners of the Internet to carve out a more Chechen persona for himself online than he did in daily life.
Given what is already known about the bomb suspect’s online habits, it seems unlikely that authorities will find a smoking gun on Instagram.