Social Media

Boston marathon bomber’s deleted Instagram account may hold clues

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

There’s been plenty of discussion about how Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one half of the team responsible for the Boston marathon bombing, appeared to be like many other college students – tweeting about Game of Thrones and using his campus’ gym. Apparently there’s more to the story of Tsarnaev, as CNN reports that his Instagram account was abruptly deleted right before the bombing.

Since the account was likely deleted on Tsarnaev’s own accord, CNN thinks that he’s probably hiding something, or that there’s something significant there. And the Internet being what it is, this means those images are likely lurking somewhere.

The Instagram account in question has the username “jmaister1,” and with the help of Google’s Web cache of Statigram, CNN was able to dig up a glimpse of what Dzhokhar was doing on the social network. According to the service, Tsarnaev liked photos related to Chechnya and a Chechen warlord by the name of Shamil Basayev infamously responsible for the Moscow theater hostage crisis, among other conflicts.

His account included a prolific use of hashtags, such as #Islam, #freedom,#Chechnya, #ChechenRepublic, #Jihad, #FreeChechenia, among other tags.

Instagram might be one avenue that authorities will look at, in addition to his Twitter profile and VK account (Russia’s version of Facebook). Even though Tsarnaev’s Instagram account was deleted, there might be a chance of retrieving that data by approaching Instagram directly with a subpoena or “valid preservation request,” although even that’s questionable since its help section explicitly states that its data may not be held indefinitely: “Given the volume of real-time content on Instagram, some information may only be stored for a short period of time.”

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