TODAY   |  April 19, 2013

Authorities looking at suspects’ ‘digital footprints’

As officers are engaged in a manhunt in Boston, Mass., for one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings, Richard Engel reports on what counterterrorism experts are doing behind the scenes to get an idea of “who these people might be” and who, if anyone, they could be working for.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> deceased and he appears to have given an interview to a photo blog site.

>> i have been seeing counterterrorism officials all day and they are looking, while people on the ground are looking for the suspect at large the counterterrorism officials are looking at who they might be. were they connected to a larger terrorist organization ? what kind of digital footprint did they leave behind? what kind of things they may have been posting, not just on facebook but do they have a cloud hidden some place? they have been pulling up some videos that suggest that they were leaning toward islamic extremism . that they were connected to or may have been influenced by some radical organizations. the one organization that they think, and this is what the investigators are looking at right now, is a particular group that operates in turkey, chechnya and that part.

>> i mentioned the blog. we might show them. if we do, everyone will know the providence of those photos. it is an unfolding situation. there seems to be a connection to chechnya . but we have been told that neither was born in chechnya . dzhokhar tsarnaev was born in kyrgyzstan and tamerlan tsarnaev russia. but it is this neck of the woods. if you can give us a sense of the politics that exist? some of the competing forces.

>> i will tell you what i have been hearing from counterterrorism officials and put it in context. counterterrorism officials are treating this as a group dynamic has emerged. they are not treating it as a particular individual. that there's other accomplices out there, and may have been multiple people involved. they are looking at the group dynamic. two, they are saying the behavior of these suspects is consistent with militants who are associated with a group called the iju. it is the islamic jihad union . it is a group that comprises chechens. it is a group that includes some usbeks. this group has many factions within it. that is the main group that counterterrorism officials are looking at right now. they say the behavior of these individuals is consistent with that. i haven't heard any specific proof that links them to that, but that's where they are looking and it's