The mother of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev has seemingly confirmed suspicion that religion played a major part in the attack last week, revealing that her son had told her he was ready to die for Islam.
Twenty-six-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed on Friday morning in a shootout with police, while his younger brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured later that day and placed in custody. The Boston Marathon bombings killed three people and wounded more than 200, shutting down the entire city as a large manhunt was launched for the suspects.
Various reports have since come out trying to pinpoint a motive for the attack, but what has been determined so far is that the brothers, from Chechnyan origin, began following a radical version of Islam sometime in the last few years while living in the U.S. Authorities have said they appear to have no ties to any established terrorist groups, but they had been attending a mosque in Boston with radical connections.
Fox News reported that the mother of the brothers, Zubeidat Tsarnaev, will be traveling to the U.S. from Russia to speak with FBI agents about her sons. At a news conference in the Russian republic of Dagestan on Thursday, she revealed that in 2011, Tamerlan sent her a text message saying that he was willing to die for Islam. The CIA had also placed him on a terrorist database 18 months ago.
The Tsarnaev family came to the U.S. a decade ago, but the parents returned to Southern Russia, leaving the brothers with a few relatives.
In an emotional interview seen on BBC News, Zubeidat Tsarnaev said she heavily regrets ever coming to the U.S., and said that if their entire family had stayed together and lived somewhere in a village back home, none of this would have happened.
"I thought America would protect us … but the opposite happened … America took my kids away from me ... why would I not regret?" the mother said in tears.
"I'm sure my kids were not involved in anything," she added at the end, but did not provide context for that comment.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is currently in the hospital recovering from gunshot wounds, has been able to communicate with authorities through writing. He has indicated that his older brother hated America and Christianity, especially for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As a naturalized U.S. citizen, the teen will face trial at a civilian court, and may face the death penalty if convicted of terrorism.