WASHINGTON—Following FBI reports this morning that the suspects implicated in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing are of Chechen descent, efforts to thoughtlessly stereotype the alleged terrorists were impeded by the majority of Americans’ lack of basic knowledge about Chechnya or the Chechen people, a new study has confirmed. “Our research shows that, while many Americans would like nothing more than to make sweeping, insensitive generalizations about these two individuals based purely on their ethnic identity, this process is largely impeded by the fact that 9 out of 10 Americans truly know next to nothing about Chechnya, including even the very barest details of what or where Chechnya is,” said lead researcher Dr. Tim Kinane, adding that a majority of American citizens are almost totally unaware of Chechen history and culture, how to locate Chechnya on a map, whether Chechnya is a country or a city or a region, or that a person from Chechnya is called a Chechen. “Clinical trials show that most individuals will make brief, fumbling attempts to stereotype Chechens based on what little they know about Russians, but eventually drop the subject entirely after running out of anything to say within seconds.” Kinane’s team was able to confirm, however, that once research subjects were told Chechnya is a predominantly Muslim region, they were “usually pretty good to go from there.”

Continuing coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings