BOSTON, MA (AP/WAOK) – Most family members of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects are standing by them, and expressing doubts that the two brothers were actually responsible for the bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 180 others.
Their sister — whose home was searched by the FBI today in New Jersey — told reporters she wasn’t sure the accusations against her brothers were true. Police said she’s cooperating with the investigation. They describe her as “heartbroken, surprised and upset.”
Their father, speaking from southern Russia, insists his sons “were set up.” He says he saw on TV that his older son, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev (tsahr-NEYE’-ehv), was killed by authorities, and that 19-year-old Dzhokar Tsarnaev (joh-KHAR’) is being intensely pursued. The father describes the 19-year-old as a “true angel” and an “intelligent boy.”
In Toronto, an aunt of the two suspects says the older one recently became a devout Muslim who prayed five times a day. She said she doesn’t believe they could have been involved in Monday’s attack.
But an uncle who lives in Maryland says he’s “ashamed” of his nephews. He urged the 19-year-old to turn himself in and to “ask for forgiveness from the victims.”
When he was asked what might have provoked the bombings, Ruslan Tsarni said, “Being losers, hatred to those who were able to settle themselves.” He said his nephews had struggled in the U.S. and ended up “thereby just hating everyone.”