Boston Marathon suspect 2. Photo provided by Boston Police Department.
Hide Caption

Boston suspects' father Anzor Tsarnaev says son is 'a true angel'; claims his sons were set up

a a a a
Share this story

MAKHACHKALA, Russia (AP) -- The father of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing described his fugitive son as a smart and accomplished "angel" in an anguished interview in which he claimed his sons were set up.

Anzor Tsarnaev spoke with The Associated Press by telephone in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan after police said one of his sons, 26-year-old Tamerlan, had been killed in a shootout and the other, Dzhokhar, was  captured by police Friday evening.

"My son is a true angel," the elder Tsarnaev said. He said his son was "an intelligent boy" who was studying medicine.

"We expected him to come here on holidays," he said.

"They were set up, they were set up!" he exclaimed. "I saw it on television; they killed my older son Tamerlan."

Tsarnaev, badly agitated, gave little more information and ended the call angrily, saying, "Leave me alone, my son's been killed."

The younger Tsarnaev gave few clues as to his inner life on his profile on Vkontakte, a Russian equivalent of Facebook, though he did include websites about Islam among his favorites.

The family's origins are in Chechnya, the mostly Muslim Russian republic where separatist rebels fought two full-scale wars with Russian forces since 1994.

A spokesman for Chechnya's leader said the family left Chechnya long ago and went to Central Asia, then moved to Dagestan, a Muslim republic adjacent to Chechnya that has been the site of a sporadic insurgency for more than a decade.

During the family's brief stay in Dagestan, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev attended School No. 1 in Makhachkala, the provincial capital. The principal's secretary at School No. 1, Irina Bandurina, told the AP that Tsarnaev left for the U.S. in March 2002.

Ruslan Tsarni, the uncle of the two suspects, said he was not sure whether someone had radicalized them, but said it would be wrong to blame their father.

"It's not my brother, who just moved back to Russia, who spent his life bringing bread to that table, fixing cars," Tsarni said at his house in Montgomery Village, Maryland.

Tsarni said his brother had little influence over his sons.

The suspects' aunt also claimed the situation was a set-up, and asked the FBI to convince her that it was her nephews were behind the bombings. You can watch a video of her below or at http://goo.gl/pgW9c .

Copyright Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More On Boston Tragedy
Boston bomb suspect pleads not guilty
Boston bomb suspect pleads not guilty

His arm in a cast, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges Wednesday in his first courtroom…

Alleged Boston bomber due in court
Alleged Boston bomber due in court

Survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing will watch as the young man who could face the death penalty for the attack appears in court for the…

Boston bombing suspect indicted
Boston bombing suspect indicted

A federal grand jury has returned a 30-count indictment against the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Boston bombing suspect is walking
Boston bombing suspect is walking

The remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has recovered enough to walk and assured his parents in a phone conversation that he…

Man FBI shot spoke with bombing suspect
Man FBI shot spoke with bombing suspect

A Chechen immigrant shot to death in central Florida after an altercation with an FBI agent had several ties to that of one of the Boston…

Boston Marathon bomb suspect buried
Boston Marathon bomb suspect buried

The body of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was entombed in an unknown gravesite Thursday after police said an anonymous…

Boston runner asks for chance to finish
Boston runner asks for chance to finish

Runners who couldn't complete this year's Boston Marathon because of the bombings at the finish line have created an online petition asking…

Boston wasn't told of Tsarnaev warning
Boston wasn't told of Tsarnaev warning

FBI agents did not tell Boston police they had receiving warnings from Russia's government in 2011 about suspected bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev…

Police: Boston bombing suspect buried
Police: Boston bombing suspect buried

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been buried in an undisclosed location outside the city of Worcester, police said…