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Did Boston Marathon bombing suspects’ mother push them toward jihad? (+video)

Zubeidat Tsarnaeva says her sons were framed by US authorities in the Boston Marathon bombing. But in recorded conversations, she discusses jihad with her son Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

By Staff writer / April 28, 2013

The mother of the two Boston bombing suspects, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, speaks at a news conference in Makhachkala, the southern Russian province of Dagestan on Thursday. She says she thinks her sons were framed.

Musa Sadulayev/AP


At this point in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, there are many more questions than answers, but they mostly boil down to one in particular:

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Did alleged suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have any outside help, either in the United States or abroad, before setting off two bombs that killed three marathon spectators and wounded more than 260 others.

Officials have said the Tsarnaev brothers were “self-radicalized,” young Muslims influenced by what they learned growing up as the US waged wars in Islamic Iraq and Afghanistan. Whatever outlook they developed likely was crystallized for them via online wanderings through radical websites, then older brother Tamerlan’s six-month visit to Russian republics.

Tamerlan is dead, and Dzhokhar lies wounded in a small cell with a steel door at a federal medical detention center about 40 miles west of Boston. Before he was read his legal rights and stopped talking, the younger brother reportedly told interrogators that the two acted alone.

That may be literally true, but evidence of outside influence in the direction of radical beliefs mounts – including from the brothers’ mother Zubeidat Tsarnaeva.

It was reported Saturday that Russian authorities secretly recorded a telephone conversation in 2011 in which one of the Boston bombing suspects vaguely discussed jihad with his mother.

In a second call, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva spoke with a man in the Caucasus region of Russia who was under FBI investigation, according to the Associated Press. Still, there was no information in the conversation that suggested a plot inside the United States, officials told the AP.

On “Fox News Sunday,” Rep. Rep. Michael McCaul, (R) of Texas and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he believes the Boston Marathon bombing suspects had some training in carrying out their attack, particularly with the bombs they fashioned.


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Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

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