Tamerlan 'Disappeared' After Jihadist Was Killed: Report
Russian official reveals agents lost track of Tsarnaev 2 days after death
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2013 7:32 AM CDT
In this undated photo provided by the Dagestani branch of the Federal Security Service, William Plotnikov reads the Koran.   (AP Photo/Dagestani branch of the Federal Security Service via NewsTeam)
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(Newser) – More details are trickling out about Tamerlan Tsarnaev's possible ties to William Plotnikov, a 23-year-old killed in a shootout with Russian counterterror forces in 2012. The AP spoke to an unnamed official with Russia's Anti-Extremism Center who confirms that Tsarnaev "disappeared" just two days after the jihadist's July 14 death and revealed that Russia searched for him upon realizing he was missing. The country ultimately determined that Tsarnaev had flown to Moscow on July 16 and to the United States the following day.

Officials suspected the two had a connection, and Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper, which also spoke with an unnamed Anti-Extremism Center official, reports that Tsarnaev first came to Russia's attention after Plotnikov was detained in Dagestan in December 2010. During his interrogation he was forced to hand over a list of social networking friends from the US and Canada who had previously lived in Russia; the newspaper says Tsarnaev's name was on that list. RT reports that Novaya Gazeta asserts the two may have urged each other to use violence to advance their cause. The AP notes, however, that it could not confirm whether the two men had communicated via social networks.