Boston suspect’s kin say ‘mysterious’ radical influenced him

Family members say Armenian native Misha steered Tamerlan to Islam

Written by Associated Press | Washington | Published: April 25, 2013 2:01 am

In the years before the Boston Marathon bombings,Tamerlan Tsarnaev fell under the influence of a new friend,a Muslim convert who steered the religiously apathetic young man toward a strict strain of Islam,family members said.

Under the tutelage of a friend known to the Tsarnaev family only as Misha,Tamerlan gave up boxing and stopped studying music,his family said. He began opposing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He turned to websites and literature claiming that the CIA was behind 9/11 attacks,and Jews controlled the world.

Misha — an Armenian native and a convert to Islam — began influencing Tamerlan,family members said. “Somehow,he just took his brain,’’ said Tamerlan’s uncle,Ruslan Tsarni,who recalled conversations with Tamerlan’s father about Misha’s influence.

Efforts to identify and interview Misha have been unsuccessful.

Tamerlan’s relationship with Misha could be a clue in understanding the motives behind his religious transformation and,ultimately,the attack itself. Two US officials say he had no tie to terrorist groups.

In 2008 or 2009,Tamerlan met Misha,a slightly older,heavyset bald man with a long reddish beard. Elmirza Khozhugov,the ex-husband of Tamerlan’s sister,Ailina, said he didn’t know where they’d met but believed they attended a Boston-area mosque together.

He said,“Misha was telling him what is Islam,what is good in Islam,what is bad in Islam,’’ he said,“This is the best religion and that’s it. Tamerlan would listen to this guy from the mosque who was preaching to him.’’

Dzhokhar health upgraded to ‘fair’

Boston: The condition of the lone surviving Chechen-origin Boston bombings suspect has been upgraded from critical to fair,raising hopes that he will soon be able to stand trial for his role in the deadly attack.

“According to Beth Israel Deaconess Dzhokhar Tsarvaev’s condition is listed as ‘fair’,” Federal prosecutors in Boston said. The officials said they were releasing the information at the request of the hospital,the New York Post reported. PTI

‘Duo radicalised selves via Web’

BOSTON: The US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drove the two Chechen-origin brothers to carry out the twin blasts in Boston,media reports claimed,citing authorities interrogating one of the suspects.

According to media reports,Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told investigating authorities that he and his elder brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev,26,were motivated by the US war in Iraq and Afghanistan and that they had not contact with any foreign terrorist group.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio after a classified FBI briefing said,“The increasing signals are that these were individuals who were radicalised,especially the older brother,by Islamist fundamentalist terrorists,basically using Internet sources.”

Officials said,the evidence suggests that the two brothers were “self-radicalised.”

“The 19-year-old has told investigators the brothers were self-radicalised via the Internet. Investigators also are looking into whether the online English-language magazine Inspire,put out by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,was used for instruction on how to make the bombs,but another source cautioned that other outlets could have provided that information,” CNN reported.

Dzhokhar told investigators the attack was devised from the Internet,ABC news reported. PTI

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