Local Russians keeping tabs on developments after Boston attack

Local Russians keeping tabs on developments after Boston attack

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Alexander Melnikov is worried the news out of Boston will negatively impact how American's view legal immigrants. Alexander Melnikov is worried the news out of Boston will negatively impact how American's view legal immigrants.
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

Members of metro Detroit's Russian community are keeping a close eye on the developments in the Boston area following Monday's bombings.  Some are even watching the events on Russian television.

Russian TV shared the news across the world by broadcasting live pictures from Boston during the intense manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  The Russian broadcast included an interview with the principal of a school he attended in an Islamic republic near Chechnya and shots of a Russian Facebook page where he lists his world view as Islam.  He last logged in around 5:00 a.m. Friday.

"Chechnya was basically a breeding ground for terrorism, for resistance, for military-type training," said immigration attorney Alexander Melnikov.

"It starts from [a] very [young] age... when they listen to their extremist religious leaders," said another man that wished to remain anonymous for fear that he might become a target.

Members of the local Russian community are trying to distance themselves from Chechnya, which has a long history of conflict with Russia.

"I'm concerned about the impact it will have on how Americans view legal immigrants," Melnikov said.

Southeast Michigan's Russian community is concentrated in West Bloomfield, Farmington Hills, Oak Park and Southfield.  Some have their own theories about what may have motivated the Boston Marathon attack.  Some are pointing out the president of Chechnya, accused of massive human rights violations, was recently banned from the U.S.

Published reports indicate the bombing suspect killed during a shootout with police appears to have a YouTube account with videos on terrorism.  The mother of the suspects was reportedly arrested last year, accused of stealing $1,600 worth of clothing from a Massachusetts department store.

Meanwhile, those watching the manhunt unfold are hoping the remaining suspect will be captured alive.

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