Boston bomb suspect facing death penalty
Published 23/04/2013 | 05:00
The mother of marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev said she is determined to bury him in Boston as she revealed that her eldest son was quizzed at least five times by FBI agents who saw him as a potential terrorist leader.
Zubeidat Tsarnaev (46) said she was "proud" of her sons Tamerlan (26) and Dzhokhar, (19) and was travelling to the US to lay her eldest to rest.
In an interview in the Russian republic of Dagestan she refused to accept that her sons were responsible for the devastating attack, which killed three people and wounded more than 180, claiming her son had been "set up".
"It's a big show, a spectacle. Americans love a show," she said.
Mrs Tsarnaev's comments came as it was disclosed that:
• The FBI was not aware of a six-month trip Tamerlan made to Russia in 2011 because the airline misspelled his name on a computer.
l The alleged bombers had assembled an arsenal of weapons and home-made explosives and intended to drive to New York where police believe they may have planned to carry out further attacks.
• Tamerlan's brother Dzhokhar has been charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and could face a death sentence.
As Boston yesterday buried the first of the victims of the marathon bombings – restaurant worker Krystle Campbell (29) – Mrs Tsarnaev revealed that her eldest son had turned to a conservative strain of Islam in the months and years before the bloody events of last week.
Mrs Tsarnaev, an observant Muslim, said he had first aroused suspicions in the US in 2008, and FBI agents met with him on "at least five" occasions since, the last time a year- and-a-half ago.
She said: "They came and asked him, what are you doing, what are you up to?
"They said Tamerlan was an influential lad, he had the personality of a leader. And they asked me: 'Don't you have any thoughts that he could organise some kind of group of a terrorist persuasion?'
"They said they'd seen what kind of videos he'd been looking at, and they told me that they keep young leaders among Muslims under control so there aren't any bombings, so that they don't fall under someone's influence."
The FBI did not take any action after the visits and has come under increasing scrutiny, being accused of "dropping the ball" by failing to recognise the threat posed by Tamerlan.
Mrs Tsarnaev, who along with her husband is a US citizen, said: "We want to find a place to bury Tamerlan with Muslim rites in Boston."
Meanwhile the precise motive for the brothers' alleged terror attack remains unclear. (© Daily Telegraph, London)