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Do you think there's a connection between Boston Bombing Suspect Tsarnaev's age and his crime?
April 23, 2013 at 12:54 PM

19-Year-Old Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Is Just a Kid & His Brain Proves It (VIDEO)

by Jacqueline Burt

Dzhokhar TsarnaevHas anyone else noticed that more and more acts of horrific violence are being committed by especially young men? Boston Marathon bomb suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is 19 years old. Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooter Adam Lanza was 20 years old. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, better known as the "Columbine killers," were 18. John Allen Muhammad, accomplice to the Beltway Sniper, was 17 when he helped to murder 10 people. At 24, Aurora Theater suspect James Eagan Holmes was slightly older at the time of his shooting, but still under 25 years of age -- the point at which the human brain is fully developed (a fact scientists only recently discovered).

Of course we can't blame crimes of this magnitude solely on the teenage brain, but the connection is too obvious to be ignored. What are we missing here? Not just as a society, but as parents?

According to Dr. Igor Galynker, director of the Family Center for Bipolar in the psychiatry department at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, it's a combination of factors that can lead to disaster. Attachment issues and insecurity make the immature brain especially vulnerable to influence, which is why, Galynker explains, "Very often, these are pairs of perpetrators, one dominant figure who has psychopathic tendencies and the other a dependent figure."

Dzhokhar and his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan certainly seem to fit this profile. Tamerlan is being painted as a strong-willed, influential religious extremist; Dzhokhar a laid-back college student with a reputation for smoking pot and hanging out. Even the suspects' mother says Tamerlan had a huge influence on Dzhokhar:

"They loved each other. What Tamerlan was said was law for Dzhokhar. That's how I raised them. What the elder brother says, the younger brother has to do. That is according to Islam."

Again, obviously we can't excuse these criminals because of their age and the company they chose to keep, but maybe going forward, we can start to pay a little bit more attention to troubled teenage boys. Again, not that they're ALL going to turn violent. But it can't hurt.

 

Do you think there's a connection between Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's age and his crime?

Replies

  • tooptimistic
    April 23, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    More than a little sick of trying to find a justification for the actions of a terrorist.

    I think he knew what he was doing when he placed a bomb in a backpack next to an eight year old.  Dzhokhar did that, not anyone else.  He decided to that.

    He wasn't mentally ill.  He went to a party after the attack.  There is NO JUSTIFICATION.

  • tooptimistic
    April 23, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Wouldn't it be better to publicize the survivors and their amazing determination not to let this ruin their lives?

    http://www.cafemom.com/group/99198/forums/read/18409740/Dance_instructor_vows_to_dance_again_after_losing_her_leg_in_bomb_attack

  • autodidact
    April 23, 2013 at 1:17 PM


    was the Milgram experiment sick? 

    I think it's worthwhile examining what goes through the minds of those who do these things, it could help prevent further attacks.

    Quoting tooptimistic:

    More than a little sick of trying to find a justification for the actions of a terrorist.

    I think he knew what he was doing when he placed a bomb in a backpack next to an eight year old.  Dzhokhar did that, not anyone else.  He decided to that.

    He wasn't mentally ill.  He went to a party after the attack.  There is NO JUSTIFICATION.



  • OHgirlinCA
    April 23, 2013 at 1:17 PM

     His age may have played a part in possibly being heavily influenced by an older brother who (I'm guessing) he looked up to. 

    But, this isn't some small thing like trying an alcoholic drink.  At this age, you know right from wrong and you know that what you're about to do is atrocious and vile.  You make the willing choice to either go along with it or not. 

    He choose wrong.  Very wrong.  His choices are all on him.

  • tooptimistic
    April 23, 2013 at 1:19 PM


    I don't think it will prevent a thing. I think it is glorifying terrorism. 

    Quoting autodidact:


    was the Milgram experiment sick? 

    I think it's worthwhile examining what goes through the minds of those who do these things, it could help prevent further attacks.

    Quoting tooptimistic:

    More than a little sick of trying to find a justification for the actions of a terrorist.

    I think he knew what he was doing when he placed a bomb in a backpack next to an eight year old.  Dzhokhar did that, not anyone else.  He decided to that.

    He wasn't mentally ill.  He went to a party after the attack.  There is NO JUSTIFICATION.





  • autodidact
    April 23, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    eye rolling


    Quoting tooptimistic:


    I don't think it will prevent a thing. I think it is glorifying terrorism. 

    Quoting autodidact:


    was the Milgram experiment sick? 

    I think it's worthwhile examining what goes through the minds of those who do these things, it could help prevent further attacks.

    Quoting tooptimistic:

    More than a little sick of trying to find a justification for the actions of a terrorist.

    I think he knew what he was doing when he placed a bomb in a backpack next to an eight year old.  Dzhokhar did that, not anyone else.  He decided to that.

    He wasn't mentally ill.  He went to a party after the attack.  There is NO JUSTIFICATION.







  • lokilover
    April 23, 2013 at 1:29 PM



    Quoting autodidact:

    eye rolling


    Quoting tooptimistic:


    I don't think it will prevent a thing. I think it is glorifying terrorism. 

    Quoting autodidact:


    was the Milgram experiment sick? 

    I think it's worthwhile examining what goes through the minds of those who do these things, it could help prevent further attacks.

    Quoting tooptimistic:

    More than a little sick of trying to find a justification for the actions of a terrorist.

    I think he knew what he was doing when he placed a bomb in a backpack next to an eight year old.  Dzhokhar did that, not anyone else.  He decided to that.

    He wasn't mentally ill.  He went to a party after the attack.  There is NO JUSTIFICATION.







    I completely agree with her. We already have tons of psychological research on terrorism and a well defined profile of what a terrorist looks like. This is not a new area of study, and there's already been a lot of work done on it. My impression is that the people who say, "We need to examine him and learn why he did this so we can prevent it in the future.", are just not well-read on the subject. I don't think there's anything substantial that we can learn from Dzhokhar. 


  • tooptimistic
    April 23, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    How do you think "studying" him is going to prevent terrorist attacks?


    Quoting autodidact:

    eye rolling


    Quoting tooptimistic:


    I don't think it will prevent a thing. I think it is glorifying terrorism. 

    Quoting autodidact:


    was the Milgram experiment sick? 

    I think it's worthwhile examining what goes through the minds of those who do these things, it could help prevent further attacks.

    Quoting tooptimistic:

    More than a little sick of trying to find a justification for the actions of a terrorist.

    I think he knew what he was doing when he placed a bomb in a backpack next to an eight year old.  Dzhokhar did that, not anyone else.  He decided to that.

    He wasn't mentally ill.  He went to a party after the attack.  There is NO JUSTIFICATION.









  • autodidact
    April 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM


    he might implicate others

    Quoting tooptimistic:

    How do you think "studying" him is going to prevent terrorist attacks?


    Quoting autodidact:

    eye rolling


    Quoting tooptimistic:


    I don't think it will prevent a thing. I think it is glorifying terrorism. 

    Quoting autodidact:


    was the Milgram experiment sick? 

    I think it's worthwhile examining what goes through the minds of those who do these things, it could help prevent further attacks.

    Quoting tooptimistic:

    More than a little sick of trying to find a justification for the actions of a terrorist.

    I think he knew what he was doing when he placed a bomb in a backpack next to an eight year old.  Dzhokhar did that, not anyone else.  He decided to that.

    He wasn't mentally ill.  He went to a party after the attack.  There is NO JUSTIFICATION.











  • tooptimistic
    April 23, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    I think that's doubtful


    Quoting autodidact:


    he might implicate others

    Quoting tooptimistic:

    How do you think "studying" him is going to prevent terrorist attacks?


    Quoting autodidact:

    eye rolling


    Quoting tooptimistic:


    I don't think it will prevent a thing. I think it is glorifying terrorism. 

    Quoting autodidact:


    was the Milgram experiment sick? 

    I think it's worthwhile examining what goes through the minds of those who do these things, it could help prevent further attacks.

    Quoting tooptimistic:

    More than a little sick of trying to find a justification for the actions of a terrorist.

    I think he knew what he was doing when he placed a bomb in a backpack next to an eight year old.  Dzhokhar did that, not anyone else.  He decided to that.

    He wasn't mentally ill.  He went to a party after the attack.  There is NO JUSTIFICATION.













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