Sister of Tsarnaev brothers arrested for alleged bomb threat

Ailina Tsarnaeva turned herself in after a Harlem woman told law enforcement that Ms. Tsarnaeva had made a threatening phone call. She is the sister of alleged Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Steven Senne/AP/File
Ailina Tsarnaeva, sister of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, departs US district court in Boston's South Boston neighborhood, Oct. 13, 2013. Ms. Tsarnaeva was arrested this week in New York City for allegedly threatening to bomb a Harlem woman.

A sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers has been arrested for allegedly threatening to bomb her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend.

Ailina Tsarnaeva of North Bergen, N.J., turned herself into New York City police on Wednesday, after a Harlem woman told law enforcement that Ms. Tsarnaeva had said to her during a phone call Monday, “I have people that can go over there and put a bomb on you.”

Tsarnaeva has since been released but faces a misdemeanor charge of aggravated harassment, according to a spokesman for the New York Police Department. She has been ordered to appear in court on Sept. 30.

According to the New York Post, the Harlem woman had previously had a romantic relationship with Tsarnaeva’s boyfriend and is in the midst of an embittered custody dispute with him.

Tsarnaeva is the sister of alleged Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. (Russian last names are often slightly different for male and female members of the same family.) Tamerlan was killed following a shootout with police days after the 2013 twin bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line.

Dzhokhar, the younger of the two brothers, was injured during that firefight and was later found hiding in a boat in Watertown, Mass., after a massive manhunt that shut down the entire city of Boston and several surrounding communities for the better part of a day.

Dzhokhar faces 30 federal charges related to the bombings, including using a weapon of mass destruction. His trial has been set for November. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Tsarnaeva immigrated to the United States from Chechnya in 2003 with her brother Tamerlan and their sister Bella. Their parents, Zubeidat and Anzor, had settled in Cambridge, Mass., along with Dzhokhar the year before.

Since their arrival in the US, the Tsarnaev clan has had several run-ins with the law.

  • In 2012, the family matriarch, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, was accused of stealing $1,600 worth of clothes from a Lord & Taylor store in Natick, Mass. She was charged with shoplifting but failed to appear in court that fall and instead left the country.
  • In 2010, investigators accused Ailina of lying to investigators during a counterfeiting investigation. She has since been required to periodically check in with probation officers in Massachusetts.
  • The previous summer, Tamerlan was arrested in Cambridge after reports of domestic violence, The New York Times reported. His girlfriend told a 911 operator that he had beaten her up. He admitted to slapping her in the face. The charges were later dismissed.

 This report includes material from the Associated Press.

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