Militants from Chechnya and other restive regions in Russia’s volatile North Caucasus have targeted Moscow and other areas with bombings and hostage-takings, but if it turns out that the suspects in the Boston bombings are linked to those insurgencies it would mark the first time the Russian conflict had spawned a terror attack in the West.

Two suspects in the Boston bombings were identified to The Associated Press as coming from the Russian region near Chechnya, but there was no immediate information of their links, if any, to any insurgent group. A law enforcement intelligence bulletin obtained by the AP identified the surviving bomb suspect as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19.

The conflict in Chechnya began in 1994 as a separatist war, but quickly morphed into an Islamic insurgency that vowed to carve out an independent Islamic state in the Caucasus.

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