Boston bombing suspects: What's known about Tsarnaev brothers so far?
Immigrants Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died Friday after a shootout with police, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who remains at large, have lived in the Boston area for years. What may have prompted the Boston bombing remains a mystery.
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As for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, he was a student at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, at least for a time. Classmates speak of him as athletic and popular but quiet. He is a wrestler. He is currently enrolled at University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.Skip to next paragraph
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According to a contemporaneous account on Boston.com, the city of Cambridge awarded Dzhokhar a $2,500 scholarship in 2011. Recipients of the scholarships, which are funded by local businesses, were honored in a May ceremony at Cambridge City Hall.
The Tsarnaev brothers lived in Cambridge with family members. Live news reports on Friday morning indicated that police searched the residence and exited with at least one female who appeared to be cooperating with their efforts.
Boston CBS affiliate WBZ-TV spoke with the suspects’ uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, who lives in Maryland, who said Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev immigrated to the United States around 2000 or 2001, and have lived at the same Cambridge address since that time. He says he hasn’t been in touch with the brothers for about five years. He described Tamerlan as a “loser” but seemed proud of Dzhokhar and more surprised that the younger brother would be involved.
Mr. Tsarni said he didn’t recognize his nephews in the images of the suspects that had circulated. When he heard about Tamerlan dying in the shootout, he said to WBZ, “He deserved his. He absolutely deserved his. They do not deserve to live on this earth.”
The CBS station interviewed a second uncle later Friday morning. Alvi Tsarni, also in Maryland, said he hadn’t spoken to the two men for a couple of years because of some family issues. He said Tamerlan called him Thursday to apologize for that. “Yesterday he called me and said, ‘forgive me,’ ” Alvi Tsarni said. Alvi Tsarni expressed disbelief that his nephews could have committed such a horrific act. “I’m sorry too if he did this. It’s crazy…. It’s not possible…. I cannot believe he did this,” he said.
In Moscow, local media indicated that the two men were from a family of refugees. The director of a school where they studied in 2001 said they came from Kirgizia, and that the family included two sisters.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has a page on VKontakte, a Russian social media site, where he says that his ideology is Islam and his aims in life are career and money. He describes himself as speaking Chechen as well as English and Russian. Time stamps on the site indicate that he checked in as late as 5 a.m. Moscow time on Friday.
The editor in chief of Echo Moskvi radio, Alexey Varfolomeev, said that possibly Dzhokhar was named in honor of Dzhokhar Dudaev, a Chechen president who was killed by Russian special services.
Back in the United States, former State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said all this emerging information reinforces the understanding of the evolving terrorist threat, which is decentralized, unpredictable, and evolves individual actors.
“The immediate question about Boston was domestic or international?” Mr. Crowley tweeted on Friday. “It appears to be a hybrid, a homegrown act and international agenda.”
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