MAKHACHKALA, April 25 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian father of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings who was killed in a shootout with US police last week, said his son had taken an interest in boxing and literature, including some religious works.
Anzor Tsarnaev, a resident of Makhachkala, capital of Russia's Republic of Dagestan, said his 26-year-old son read books on religion but did not indicate whether they were fundamentalist in nature.
He said Tamerlan Tsarnaev had taken up professional boxing and wanted to join the US Olympic team. “But the problem was that he didn’t have any citizenship,” Tsarnaev told RIA Novosti in an interview. He said his son had neither a US, nor a Russian passport, but did not elaborate.
Tamerlan and his younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, are suspected of organizing last week’s bombings which killed three and injured almost 200 in Boston. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured alive with serious injuries after a daylong manhunt.
The suspects’ father has maintained his sons were framed.
Their uncle in the US told the media Tamerlan gave up boxing and studying under the influence of a friend identified only as “Misha.” Anzor Tsarnaev said on Thursday that US officials who had interviewed him this week had asked him about that friend.
He described Misha as a native Armenian from “a descent family” who had converted to Islam. He did not say whether he connected Misha to the bombings.
Anzor Tsarnaev said earlier he was going to the US on Thursday.