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22 Apr, 2013 01:01

‘Tamerlan was not a religious fanatic’ – Tsarnaevs’ relative to RT

As investigators are struggling to understand the motives behind the deadly Boston bombing, RT spoke to a relative of the suspected attackers who stressed that the elder of Tsarnaev brothers, Tamerlan, was not a religious fanatic.

Tamerlan, 26, was killed during a gripping manhunt in the Boston suburb of Watertown early Friday morning, while the younger brother, Dzhokhar, was arrested soon afterwards. He suffered injuries and is in a serious but stable condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. It has been reported that he is now awake and is responding to authorities in writing. This comes after officials said that the alleged bomber was unable to communicate verbally due to a throat injury.

The city of Makhachkala, in Russia’s Republic of Dagestan, where the brothers’ parents live, is in shock at what has happened in Boston. The city is now flooded with journalists trying to glean any information possible about Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Their parents refuse to talk to any media, but RT managed to speak to the wife of Tsarnaev brothers’ uncle, Patimat Suleimanova.

Patimat Suleimanova

Tamerlan wasn’t a religious fanatic," she told RT’s Madina Kochenova.

He was curious about religion. He started to be really interested in Islam about three years ago,  but he was never a radical. We would talk about his commitment to religion, but it wasn’t extreme.”

According to Mrs Suleimanova, Dzhokhar planned to come to Dagestan to visit his parents in May. But now their father Anzor is planning to go to the United States to bury Tamerlan.

She could not believe that the boys were involved in that tragedy emphasizing that the boys“were incapable of committing such a crime.” She described Tamerlan as a “respectful, incredibly courteous to his elders” and “most obliging of people.

"Tamerlan knew that heaven was at the mother's feet, and he would tell that to his sisters." she said.

"He was a curious young man. His interest in Islam had been pure curiosity.”

Tamerlan Tsarnaev

The two brothers' mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva previously told RT of her certainty that her two sons were innocent, describing them as model students and good, courteous children. She claimed that her family had been under constant FBI surveillance over the years.

“They were controlling him [Tamerlan Tsarnaev], they were controlling his every step…and now they say that this is a terrorist act! Never ever is this true, my sons are innocent!” She told RT, stressing that her sons would never keep any secrets from her.

In addition, she expressed her surprise at the FBI’s claim that they had no idea that the brothers had been orchestrating the attack.

The Tsarnaev’s brothers’ father also spoke out in support of his sons’ innocence, maintaining that somebody might have framed them.

“Somebody might have set them up, I don’t know who, and because of their cowardice killed the boy,” father, Anzor Tsarnaev told Russian Zvezda news channel.

Tamerlan, Dzhokhar and their sisters

The Boston Marathon bombing, which the Tsarnaev brothers are believed to have been behind, killed three people, including an eight-year-old boy, on Monday. The ensuing manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers locked down Boston and drew global media attention.

Boston police cornered the pair on Thursday night and gunned downed the elder of the two, Tamerlan, who later died in hospital. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fled the scene of the shootout and eluded law enforcement until Friday evening, when he was found hiding in a boat in the backyard of a house in the Boston suburb of Watertown.

During his capture Dzhokhar sustained gunshot wounds to the neck and leg and was transported to Mount Auburn Hospital where he is listed in a “serious, if not critical condition.” Police are now waiting until he is well enough for questioning.

The Tsarnaev family