Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of Boston bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, appeared in photos of her as a younger woman wearing a low-cut blouse and having her hair teased like a 1980s rock star.
After she arrived in the U.S. from Russia in 2002, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva went to beauty school and did facials at a suburban day spa.
But in recent years, people noticed a change. The Boston bombers’ mother began wearing a hijab and cited conspiracy theories about 9/11 being a plot against Muslims.
Now known as the angry and grieving mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva is drawing increased attention after federal officials say Russian authorities intercepted her phone calls, including one in which she vaguely discussed jihad with her elder son, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
In another, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva was recorded talking to someone in southern Russia who is under FBI investigation in an unrelated case, U.S. officials said.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, 45, insists there is no mystery. She’s no terrorist, just someone who found a deeper spirituality. She insists her sons – Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a gunfight with police, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was wounded and captured – are innocent.
“It’s all lies and hypocrisy,” she told The Associated Press in Dagestan.
“I’m sick and tired of all this nonsense that they make up about me and my children. People know me as a regular person, and I’ve never been mixed up in any criminal intentions, especially any linked to terrorism.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva arrived in the U.S. in 2002, settling in a working-class section of Cambridge, Massachusetts. With four children, Anzor Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva qualified for food stamps and were on and off public assistance benefits for years. The large family squeezed itself into a third-floor apartment.
She took classes at the Catherine Hinds Institute of Esthetics, before becoming a state-licensed aesthetician. Anzor Tsarnaev, who had studied law, fixed cars.
By some accounts, the family was tolerant.
Bethany Smith, a New Yorker who befriended Zubeidat Tsarnaeva’s two daughters, said in an interview with Newsday that when she stayed with the family for a month in 2008 while she looked at colleges, she was welcomed even though she was Christian and had tattoos.
“I had nothing but love over there. They accepted me for who I was,” Bethany Smith told the newspaper.
“Their mother, Zubeidat, she considered me to be a part of the family. She called me her third daughter.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva is drawing increased attention after federal officials say Russian authorities intercepted her phone calls, including one in which she vaguely discussed jihad with her elder son, Tamerlan Tsarnaev
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said she and her son Tamerlan began to turn more deeply into their Muslim faith about five years ago after being influenced by a family friend, named “Misha”.
The man, whose full name she didn’t reveal but later was identified as Mikhail Allakhverdov, impressed her with a religious devotion that was far greater than her own, even though he was an ethnic Armenian who converted to Islam.
“I wasn’t praying until he prayed in our house, so I just got really ashamed that I am not praying, being a Muslim, being born Muslim. I am not praying. Misha, who converted, was praying,” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said.
By then, she had left her job at the day spa and was giving facials in her apartment. One client, Alyssa Kilzer, noticed the change when Zubeidat Tsarnaeva put on a head scarf before leaving the apartment.
“She had never worn a hijab while working at the spa previously, or inside the house, and I was really surprised,” Alyssa Kilzer wrote in a post on her blog.
“She started to refuse to see boys that had gone through puberty, as she had consulted a religious figure and he had told her it was sacrilegious. She was often fasting.”
Alyssa Kilzer wrote that Zubeidat Tsarnaeva was a loving and supportive mother, and she felt sympathy for her plight after the April 15 bombings.
But the woman stopped visiting the family’s home for spa treatments in late 2011 or early 2012 when, during one session, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva “started quoting a conspiracy theory, telling me that she thought 9/11 was purposefully created by the American government to make America hate Muslims”.
“It’s real,” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said, according to Alyssa Kilzer.
“My son knows all about it. You can read on the Internet.”
In the spring of 2010, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva’s eldest son, Tamerlan, got married in a ceremony at a Boston mosque that no one in the family had previously attended. Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his wife, Katherine Russell, a Rhode Island native and convert from Christianity, now have a three-year-old daughter, Zahara.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva married into a Chechen family but was an outsider. She is an Avar, from one of the dozens of ethnic groups in Dagestan. Her native village is now a hotbed of an ultraconservative strain of Islam known as Salafism or Wahabbism.
It is unclear whether religious differences fueled tension in their family. Anzor Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva divorced in 2011.
About the same time, there was a brief FBI investigation into Tamerlan Tsarnaev, prompted by a tip from Russia’s security service.
The vague warning from the Russians was that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, an amateur boxer in the U.S., was a follower of radical Islam who had changed drastically since 2010.
That led the FBI to interview Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 at the family’s home in Cambridge. Officials ultimately placed his name, and his mother’s name, on various watch lists, but the inquiry was closed in late spring of 2011.
After the bombings, Russian authorities told U.S. investigators they had secretly recorded a phone conversation in which Zubeidat Tsarnaeva had vaguely discussed jihad with Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
The Russians also recorded Zubeidat Tsarnaeva talking to someone in southern Russia who is under FBI investigation in an unrelated case, according to U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation with reporters.
Anzor Tsarnaev’s brother, Ruslan Tsarni, told the AP from his home in Maryland that he believed his former sister-in-law had a “big-time influence” on her older son’s growing embrace of his Muslim faith and decision to quit boxing and school.
While Tamerlan Tsarnaev was living in Russia for six months in 2012, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, who had remained in the U.S., was arrested at a shopping mall in the suburb of Natick, Massachusetts, and accused of trying to shoplift $1,624 worth of women’s clothing from a department store.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva failed to appear in court to answer the charges that fall, and instead left the country.
Anzor Tsarnaev, father of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, says he is postponing a trip to the U.S. to visit his hospitalized son Dzhokhar and collect Tamerlan’s body due to his spiking blood pressure.
Anzor Tsarnaev, 47, told The Associated Press on Sunday that he is “really sick” and his blood pressure had spiked.
He said last week that he planned to travel from Russia to the U.S. with the hope of seeing his younger son, who is under arrest, and burying his elder son, who was killed in a clash with police.
The news comes days after it was revealed that the suspects’ mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, was placed on a CIA watchlist 18 months before the Boston Marathon attack.
Anzor Tsarnaev confirmed that he is staying in Chechnya, a province in southern Russia, but did not specify whether he had been hospitalized.
Until Friday, Anzor Tsarnaev and the suspects’ mother had been living in the neighboring province of Dagestan.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva claimed she had to call an ambulance for her husband on Thursday but did not elaborate on what happened.
It was revealed last week that both parents have left their home in Dagestan for another part of Russia.
Anzor Tsarnaev is postponing a trip to the U.S. to visit his hospitalized son Dzhokhar and collect Tamerlan’s body due to his spiking blood pressure
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva was never planning to accompany her husband to the U.S. because she faces felony shoplifting charges here.
On April 25, the parents held a bizarre press conference in which they claimed that the gruesome carnage of the Boston attacks, which killed three people and injured more than 280, were staged by the U.S. government.
“America took my kids away from me,” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva cried.
“I’m sure my kids were not involved in anything.”
She went so far as to claim that the blood covering the streets after the blasts was in fact paint.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a police shootout on April 19 and 19-year-old Dzhokhar was taken into custody – alive, but badly injured – less than 24 hours later in Watertown, Massachusetts following a massive manhunt.
After spending nearly a week in a Boston hospital recovering from gunshot wounds sustained during a firefight with police, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was transferred to the Federal Medical Center Devens on April 26.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged in the Boston Marathon attacks and is facing a maximum sentence of the death penalty or life in prison.
The Tsarnaev family emigrated to the U.S. a decade ago, but both parents returned to Russia last year.
Anzor Tsarnaev said Thursday that he was planning to travel to the U.S. as soon as Friday, but hadn’t yet bought a plane ticket.
Banging the table in front of him, Anzor Tsarnaev said: “I am going to the United States. I want to say that I am going there to see my son, to bury the older one.
“I don’t have any bad intentions. I don’t plan to blow up anything. I am not angry at anyone. I want to go find out the truth.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, 45, also described a figure known only as “Misha” – who has been pinpointed as a source of radicalization for her son Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
The mother said that he was a “very nice man”, of Armenian origin and living in Boston. “Misha” is also apparently a convert to the Islamic faith.
Anzor Tsarnaev has already been interviewed by Russian and American authorities – and would face further interviews if he ever gets to the U.S.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the Boston bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, watches the video of her dead son’s mutilated body and cries, her lawyer revealed on Tuesday, after it emerged that she is to be questioned by US investigators.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva appeared publicly outside her home for the first time since her sons Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were named as suspects. She was ushered past journalists and into a taxi, which sped away.
US investigators traveled to southern Russia today to speak to Zubeidat Tsarnaeva and her husband Anzor Tsarnaev, an American Embassy official said.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva is in Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim province in Russia’s Caucasus, where Islamic militants have waged an insurgency against Russian security sources for years.
The family’s lawyer Heda Saratova, asked for the family to be left alone and said that the parents had just seen pictures of the mutilated body of their elder son Tamerlan Tsarnaev and were not up to speaking with anyone at the moment.
“The mother is in very bad shape,” Heda Saratova said.
“She watches the video [of Tamerlan Tsarnaev] and cries.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva appeared publicly outside her home in Dagestan for the first time since her sons Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were named as suspects
The trip by the US team was made possible because of Russian government cooperation with the FBI investigation into the bombing at the Boston Marathon.
Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev are accused of setting off the bombs that killed three people and wounded more than 180 others on April 15.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a police shootout, while his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar was captured alive but badly wounded.
The embassy official said he could not confirm whether the US investigators had already talked to the suspects’ parents.
“Naturally, the parents are not ready to meet with anyone because the grief is enormous,” Russian official Zaurbek Sadakhanov told a crowd of journalist in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan.
“They … are asking to be left alone, at least for a while, to be able to recover.
“As to the case, I think that detectives and policemen in the United States are knowledgeable and will find out what happened in an objective and unbiased way.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva is from Dagestan, while the suspects’ father, Anzor Tsarnaev is from neighboring Chechnya.
Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev had spent little time in either place before the family moved to the US a decade ago, but Tamerlan was in Russia for six months last year.
The father of the two Boston bombing suspects will apparently travel to the US later this week in order to seek “justice and the truth.
Anzor Tsarnaev says he has “lots of questions for the police” and is keen ‘to clear up many things’”when he arrives from his home in Makhachkala in Russia.
He had previously said that he would return to America this week in the wake of the death of his elder son Tamerlan and the arrest of 19-year-old Dzhokhar.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva added that the family hoped to bring Tamerlan’s body back to Russia.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were “failed” by their parents, especially their “controlling” mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, who encouraged their move towards Islamic radicalization, claims their uncle.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev looked up to their mother as an “angel” but, according to one of their uncles, she was the one who allowed them to be introduced to hardline Islamic views.
Boston marathon bombers’ uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, claimed that Zubeidat Tsarnaeva allowed a firebrand cleric into their house to give one-on-one sermons to Tamerlan over the kitchen table during which he claimed he could talk to demons and perform exorcisms.
It appears that the boys’ father, Anzor Tsarnaev never stood up to his wife as she was the “boss” of their house.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s story began in the mid 1980s when a young Kazakh soldier called Anzor Tsarnaev, now 47, met his future wife Zubeidat , now 45, whilst completing his two years of military service.
Anzor Tsarnaev was aged 19 or 20 at the time and Zubeidat 17 or 18. She was from Dagestan, which borders Kazakhstan to the West.
They got married and had four children.
The oldest child was Tamerlan, followed by daughters Bella, now 24, Alilina, now 22, and finally Dzhokhar.
In 2002 Anzor Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva came to the US on tourist visas with a young Dzhokhar and claimed asylum.
The rest of the family joined them a year later, having spent 12 months living with Ruslan Tsarni at his home in Almaty, the capital of Kazakhstan, where they used to go to private school and were visited every week by the grandmother.
Ruslan Tsarni recalled Tamerlan Tsarnaev being a “joyful guy with a lot of ambition” during that time.
The boys’ uncle said: “They grew up nice because their grandmother was close to them, our family was close to them.
“Grandmother kept them so they were always under supervision.”
When the Tsarnaevs moved to Cambridge their new life was not much of an American dream.
With minimal language skills their parents had to take whatever work they could get so their mother began offering facials in their cramped home.
At one point there were at least seven people living in a humble semi-detached property.
Another uncle, Alvi Tsarnaev, did minimum wage shifts whilst Anzor started working two jobs including at a car mechanic.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev tried to make a career out of being a boxer but failed and dropped out of Bunker Hill Community College.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev however seemed to excel at school and eventually won a place at the University of Massachusetts where he was studying Marine Biology.
According to Alvi Tsarnaev, Dzhokhar led a quiet life and never went anywhere other than his home on Norfolk St and his school.
Ruslan Tsarni had always had Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s ear and said that like the other children he “came to America for a bright future”.
He remembers seeing him in 2006 when he was 21 and had just graduated high school.
Rusland Tsarni said: “He was asking me questions and I was happy to give him the answers. I told him the best way to start your way in a country, I’d start with the Army. Give [your country] something.
“We’ve not been brought here, give to it.
“I told him that you don’t have good English so you can’t make it to a good school, but later. He can go there, while you serve you improve your English and with English you improve your education and the Army will give you the path.
“At the time he seriously considered it. And in 2009 when I said why are you doing nothing, join the Army, why don’t you be useful, he laughed at me for killing our brother Muslims.”
That year turned out to be a turning point.
After that Ruslan Tarni could no longer act as a proxy parent as he always had done.
Ruslan Tsarni said: “The change of the older boy, one of the biggest causes is her.
“First she started playing into this religious c*** they say is a devotion to Islam.”
Ruslan Tsarni dismissed Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, who was arrested last year for stealing $1,600 of lingerie from a department store, as a “bad character”.
Life took a bad turn for one of her daughters who, according to reports, was set up by Zubeidat Tsarnaeva in an arranged marriage.
It fell apart two years later after her husband supposedly beat her up. Zubeidat Tsarnaeva’s other daughter was also married but got divorced too. Both have one child that lives with the father’s family.
Ruslan Tsarni said: “I never liked her, but not for personal reasons. These kids, I thought she’s not doing enough. She’s not doing them right, especially when they grew up.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva may encouraged her sons Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev move towards Islamic radicalization
According to Ruslan Tsarni, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s radicalization was well underway by 2007 – right under the nose of his mother.
He claimed that the man responsible was a cleric aged around 30 called Misha and that he was an Armenian who, unusually for such a largely Christian people, had converted to Islam.
As far as he knew Misha was based in a mosque that was a short drive from Cambridge and that he was new to Islam.
A leader from the 50,000 strong Armenian community in Boston however cast doubt on the claim.
The Rev Gregory Haroutunian said he be “stunned” if anyone in the area would have had such hatred for America.
Ruslan Tsarni said: “People who lack morals but have big ambition always want some attention to themselves or certain respect to themselves.
“All they do is just change a tyre. You wear a hijab and you start dropping every other word Insha’Allah and all of a sudden that makes you a godly person.
“She [Zubeidat Tsarnaeva] supported it [in the boys), some really bad person [started it].
“She was not able to teach them anything. The introduction came from new Muslim convert of Armenian descent.
“He claimed to be an exorcist who is fighting with demons.”
It was in 2007 one evening around midnight as Anzor Tsarnaev came home from work to find the cleric in his kitchen, claimed Ruslan Tsarni.
“It was all the same talking, God, God, how he’s talking to demons, how he’s an exorcist, how he’s healing people. Tamerlan was absolutely in his possession. All around people considered him just another prick.
“Then my brother comes in from work, very late and Anzor is talking to his wife saying what is this person doing here so late?
“Tell him to get the hell out. And she says: <<You’d better shut up, this person is teaching wise things to your son>>. This is the mother. After that Tamerlan went over his place, he changed his views. It started from people like that.”
Ruslan Tsarni said he offered to send Tamerlan Tsarnaev to a school in Almaty and pay for it, but he declined. He gave him $3,000 to buy a car and drive to his home in Maryland just to watch over the house, but he did not do it.
The uncle said he tried “anything but not to be with his parents” because his opinion of them was so low.
He said that he would get phone calls from Ailina Tsarnaeva’s college saying she was in detention, having already been told by Zubeidat that she was in the library. Similar instances happened with Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
By 2009, Ruslan Tsarni had had enough. He told Zubeidat Tsarnaeva and her family they were no longer welcome in his home. Only his brother would be allowed in were they to visit.
It was the last time he would speak to his nephew.
A family friend said that the split happened because Ruslan Tsarni became frustrated when his attempts to change the direction of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s life fell on deaf ears.
As Muslims, the way they traditionally resolved such disputes was that men would talk to men and that words would be said to the wife and the children.
As Zubeidat Tsarnaeva was in command in her house, such pleas fell on deaf ears when made to Anzor Tsarnaev.
A family friend said: “It drove a wedge between them. Ruslan couldn’t help Tamerlan because Anzor told him to stay away from his wife and not tell her what to do.
“It was very upsetting for Ruslan. He loves Dzhokhar and Tamerlan so much and to not be able to do anything really upset him.
“Anzor is so in love with his wife that he will do anything that she says. He will go to the ends of the Earth to be with her.
“For Anzor, them being together is more important to him than anything else.”
At some point Anzor Tsarnaev appears to have moved back to Kazakhstan, or possibly Dagestan.
Some reports have suggested Anzor Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva separated but relatives claimed that they are still together.
The last time Ruslan Tsarni spoke to Tamerlan Tsarnaev was in August 2009. He did not even go to his wedding to Katherine Russell, with whom Tamerlan Tsarnaev has a 3-year-old daughter, and found out about it a year or so later.
Reflecting on their last conversation, Ruslan Tsarni said: “I asked him why he wasn’t at work, what happened with your college, why are you not in college.
“He changed his life views and he’s on the path of God…he was all the time in the path of Jihad.
“My brother lost control of it [his family] a long time ago. The mother was very influential. She says they would share everything with her, she had a very strong influence over them. She was controlling them.
“Tamerlan absolutely controlled Dzhokhar, he was under his influence. This is how in our tradition, the older one has to control but take care of the younger ones.
“The taking care didn’t happen and he wasted his brother’s life and he made him involved in this massacre.
“Me as an uncle I hold responsible for what turned out with these kids, the parents. Had Tamerlan been closer to me, had I heard any of his talking I would have cut it and been harsh with him.”
With no uncle to watch over him, Tamerlan Tsarnaev appears to have become even more radical and, on a personal level, more angry with the world.
In 2009 Tamerlan Tsarnaev was arrested after slapping his girlfriend and leaving her crying “hysterically”, according to the arrest report, because she suspected he was cheating on her.
In 2012, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother Dzhokhar began attending a local mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Centre, but were not regulars.
About three months ago Tamerlan Tsarnaev was thrown out after he shouted at the imam during a Friday prayer service because he held up a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. and said he was a good man who they should emulate.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev called him a Kaffir, or non-believer, and said: “You cannot mention this guy because he’s not a Muslim!”
Alvi Tsarnaev said that Ruslan Tsarni gave Tamerlan and Dzhokhar a great start in life and ‘put those children in a good place’.
But he also agreed that when it came to family affairs, they treated their mother “like an angel” – and that what she said was the law.
Alvi Tsarnaev said: “They would do anything for their mother. They are not going to listen to their father but they are going to listen to their mother.
“They are very close to their mother….she is the family boss. She is the boss in the family.
“Usually in Muslim people the boss is the man, but in their family, she is the boss.”
Alvi Tsarnaev also revealed that the hate which swept up his two nephews is now reached his doorstep too.
Since the bombings he has received a string of voicemail messages which have left him deeply disturbed.
He has deleted most of them, but the one he has saved is a man’s voice which says: “Leave our country you Cechnic Chechen Muslim motherf******s.”
For her part Zubeidat Tsarnaeva is unrepentant about encouraging Tamerlan to become more religious and even brags about how it has “changed” her for the better.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva told the Wall St Journal that at Tamerlan’s request she wore Islamic clothes around the house, even though her husband did not want her to.
She said: “I told Tamerlan that we are Muslim, and we are not practicing our religion, and how can we call ourselves Muslims?
“And that’s how Tamerlan started reading about Islam, and he started praying, and he got more and more and more into his religion.
“I started reading and started learning, I started reading with my Tamerlan.”
In fact their bond was so close, that it was her that Tamerlan Tsarnaev chose to phone in the early hour of Friday morning in the middle of the gun battle with police that would claim his life.
With a suicide vest round his neck and explosions going off around him, Tamerlan Tsarnaev dialed his mother’s number and said: “The police, they have started shooting at us, they are chasing us.”
Then, finally, before hanging up Tamerlan Tsarnaev said: “Mama, I love you.”
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s parents have claimed that he received a call from the FBI accusing him of the Boston Marathon bombings two or three days after the attack.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed following a shoot out with the police on Friday, called his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, two or three days after the marathon bombings to tell her about the call from the FBI, his father, Anzor Tsarnaev, said.
The claims, reported by Channel 4 News, reveal how Tamerlan Tsarnaev believed that the FBI was watching him. His mother previously said he had been followed by the FBI for five years.
Channel 4 News suggested that, while it was unlikely the FBI had called the suspect to accuse him of the heinous crime, it was perhaps his way of preparing his parents for the news of his involvement.
While it seems unlikely, if the claim is true, it raises questions over how the FBI handled the case.
The agency has already come under fire for reportedly failing to stop brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev before they planted two bombs at the finish line of the marathon, killing three and injuring more than 180.
It has emerged that Russian authorities alerted the FBI about their concerns over Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s links after he was spotted speaking to an Islamic militant six times at a mosque in Dagestan last year.
Now his parents are planning to visit the US to see their surviving son, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was found hiding in a boat following his older brother’s death.
Anzor Tsarnaev have claimed that the FBI called his son Tamerlan Tsarnaev accusing him of the Boston Marathon bombings two or three days after the attack
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva told ABC World News in a tearful phone interview that she fears her son will receive the death penalty.
“I lost two sons,” she said through tears over the phone.
“My family is in the dirt.”
The grieving mother did not say when she and her husband, Anzor Tsarnaev, plan to travel to the U.S.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva told an ABC reporter based in southern Russia that she fears she will be unable to do so, despite her having an American passport, because she is now the parent of a suspected terrorist.
Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s parents spent the day hiding from the crowd of journalist that flooded their neighborhood in the remote Russian region of Dagestan, according to ABC News.
Neighbors who did speak to the press said the Tsarnaev family had no noticeable ties to Islamic fundamentalism or terrorist factions.
One neighbor said that there was no fanaticism among the family members living there and that Anzor Tsarnaev was not too religious.
In her phone call with ABC News reporter Kirit Radia, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva reiterated the wild claims her husband has made in previous interviews that their two sons were framed by the US government.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said her oldest son, Tamerlan, was investigated two years ago by the FBI only because “he loved Islam” and that he “didn’t do anything bad”.
The FBI said in a statement released Friday that it had investigated Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 at the request of a foreign government. The FBI did not reveal which country’s government that was.
“The request stated that it was based on information that he was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups,” the FBI statement said.
The FBI said that in response to the request the bureau culled through its databases and interviewed both Tamerlan Tsarnaev and members of his family, but were unable to find any evidence that he was connected to a terrorist organization.
“The FBI did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign, and those results were provided to the foreign government in the summer of 2011. The FBI requested but did not receive more specific or additional information from the foreign government,” the FBI’s statement read.
“They were all afraid of Tamerlan” his mother told ABC News referring to the US government.
“They wanted to eliminate him as a threat because he was in love with Islam. For the last five years they were following him.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said the anxiety of losing both her sons has caused her to feel so sick she needs to call for an ambulance every two and a half hours.
Anzor Tsarnaev, the father of suspected marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was screaming and yelling while talking about how he could not believe the charges against his sons.
“They never could have done this. Never, ever, ever!” said the father, who lives in an area of Russia called Makhachkala.
Anzor Tsarnaev also said that he believes that his sons were set up, and without going into specifics, he said that if his younger son was killed once he is found, then he would see it as proof that there was a conspiracy afoot.
“If they killed him, then all hell would break loose,” Anzor Tsarnaev told ABC News.
“If they kill my second child, I will know that it is an inside job, a hit job. The police are to blame.”
In a surprising twist, Anzor Tsarnaev said that he spoke to both of his sons just Thursday, days after the two bombs killed three and injured more than 180 people at the Boston marathon on Monday.
The boys told him: “Everything is good, Daddy. Everything is very good.”
When asked what he would say to his living son, Dzhokhar, he said: “Give up. Give up. You have a bright future ahead of you. Come home to Russia.”
The ABC reporter said that Anzor Tsarnaev was rather calm during their conversation, but that wasn’t the case when he spoke to People magazine earlier, as he was described as screaming and yelling.
“I feel terrible! Why they kill my son? Something wrong! My sons never do bombing. They hated guns – how they do bombs?” the father told People.
“I talked to my sons yesterday, both of them. We talked about the bombing. I was worried about them, they said they were okay.”
The first suspect- identified by officials as 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev- was shot and killed during a firefight with police but his younger brother Dzhokhar was able to escape and remains on the run.
He went on to say that they were good kids with “big dreams”.
Anzor Tsarnaev believes that his sons were set up and if his younger son was killed once he is found, then he would see it as proof that there was a conspiracy afoot
“I am very depressed. How am I going to live? Never I think in my mind this happen. My sons hate people who do bombs, they hate terrorists. Why they kill my son? And where is my other son? They have time to catch my other son, not kill,” Anzor Tsarnaev said.
Earlier on Friday, Anzor Tsarnaev talked to the Associated Press, calling Dzhokhar “a true angel”.
“Dzhokhar is a second-year medical student in the U.S. He is such an intelligent boy. We expected him to come on holidays here.”
The siblings’ mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, gave an interview to the English-language Russian news channel RT America, insisting that her sons are “100 per cent innocent”, and that they have been framed.
“This is a set up, my son would never ever carry out such terror attack,” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said Friday.
The mother went on to say: “FBI knew everything what my son was doing, told me he was serious leader, that they were afraid of him.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva went on to say that Dzhokhar was raised in the US and insisted that “no one ever talked about terror” in their house.
That favorable picture of Dzhokhar, 19, and Tamerlan, 26, comes in stark contrast to what one of their uncles recalled.
Ruslan Tsarni, an uncle of the Boston bombing suspect who died early Friday morning, said that he was a “loser”.
Rather than being upset about his nephew’s death, Ruslan Tsarni, who lives in Maryland, called Tamerlan a “loser” and said that he “deserved” his death this morning.
The boys’ aunt, Maret Tsarnaeva, is a surgeon who lives in Canada. She used to be in Chechnya and her acts as a battlefield surgeon are described in a book.
“This is a huge tragedy for the family. My brother’s two boys, they are growing up so fast,” she told The Toronto Sun.
“My first reaction is, <<Why the hell would they do this?>> But when I go through all the material, it’s not giving anything… the whole world is now making a decision (on them) now by just seeing these pictures and not having anything else.”
Maret Tsarnaeva told how her older brother Anzor had high expectations for his children, especially his older son Tamerlan.
Anzor Tsarnaev was disappointed when he heard that Tamerlan, who was killed in a shoot out early Friday morning, had dropped out of college, but she thought that he had a happy life.
“Within the family, everything was perfect,” she said.
One hint of tension that she did reveal, however, was that Tamerlan Tsarnaev “seemingly did not find himself yet in America, because it’s not easy”.
She said that the 26-year-old became a devout Muslim “but just recently, maybe two years ago, he started praying five times a day’.
“He has a wife in Boston and from a Christian family, so you can’t tie it to religion,” Maret Tsarnaeva told reporters.
The FBI has cordoned off the three-story brick building where the bombers’ sister lives in West New York, near Union city in New Jersey.
The New Jersey Star Ledger spoke to her earlier in the day and she said that she has not been in frequent contact with either of them.
“They were great people. I never would have expected it. They are smart – I don’t know what’s gotten into them,” she said.
When asked if she was okay, she said: “No I’m not okay– no one is okay right now. I’m hurt for everyone who has been hurt. I’m sorry for all the people who are hurt and for all the people who lost their lives.”
Several former classmates described Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as a friendly, smart kid, and they said they were shocked that he was part of the pair who killed three and injured more than 180 in the marathon bombings on Monday.
An unidentified friend told CNN that he “hung out, went to parties, smoked some weed… it’s not like he’s some foreign dude”.
A different uncle, Alvi Tsarni, who lives close by in Boston was visibly upset when he spoke about his nephews.
“I don’t believe any of my nephews are involved in this horrible incident,” Alvi Tsarni told the Boston CBS affiliate WBZ.
“If he did this I’m sorry too. It’s crazy, it’s not possible. I can’t believe it. Who can do this stuff?”