Two Maryland uncles of the suspected Boston bombers Friday morning gave separate interviews with a local TV station. One uncle said his nephews “do not deserve to live on this earth.”
Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., who claims to be the uncle of suspected bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who remains at large, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in Watertown, Massachusetts, by police Thursday night, told The Associated Press that the men lived together near Boston and have been in the United States for about a decade. They came from the Russian region near Chechnya, which has been plagued by an Islamic insurgency stemming from separatist wars.
Tsarni spoke with WBZ-TV in a phone interview. He described his nephew (Dzhokhar) as a “nice, quiet boy” and noted having no relationship with his nephews for a “number of years.” The older brother (Tamerlan), Tsarni said, was a “loser,” not finishing school and not knowing what he has been doing.
After getting more details of what he knew of his older brother’s sons, Tsarni said the connection of the nephews to the bombing is “devastating.” He noted the father of his nephews living in Russia with his wife.
“I just wished they never existed,” Tsarni said. “I’m wordless. I am wordless. Shocked.”
He later said, “they do not deserve to exist on this earth.”
Tsarni said he has no idea why this nephews would do such a thing. He later revealed that the last time he spoke with Tamerlan, the suspected bomber said he had “been in Islam.”
“I told him, ‘listen, Islam always been there. You just do your business, work, go to school, be useful, know why you came to America,'” Tsarni said in the interview.
The reporter on the phone with Tsarni later is the first to inform him that Tamerlan was killed overnight.
“He deserved this,” Tsarni said. “He absolutely deserved this.”
Tsarni expresses his surprise, noting he he saw two pictures in a Russian newspaper he was reading Thursday night where he didn’t recognize the men he hadn’t seen since he was younger. Friday morning, his wife showed him other photos released from the FBI, which he said he then recognized them.
The distress of Tsarni and his wife can be heard over the phone as the news of Tarmerlan’s death and that they had killed one police officer and wounded another sank in.
Hear the whole nearly 10 minute phone interview here:
In another interview with WBZ-TV, a second uncle idetified as Alvi Tsarni said “I can’t believe what happened.”
He recounted that the news is saying the police killed his nephew, associating him with the Boston bombing. He later said he found out about the death from his brother’s wife.
“I can’t believe this. It’s not possible,” Alvi Tsarni said. “My nephews can’t do, like, this stuff. There’s no way.”
“I don’t believe any of my nephews is involved in any of this, this horrible incident,” Alvi Tsarni said.
The reporter asked what the men were doing in Boston.
“Yesterday he called me, at 7 p.m.,” Alvi Tsarni said, explaining how family problems had prevented he and the nephew that was shot from speaking for several years. “So yesterday he called me and said forgive me for this, like, not talking together, I mean each other.”
Given Alvi Tsarni’s distress over his nephew’s death, the reporter and a man offscreen express that they are sorry for his family.
“Yeah, I’m sorry too,” Tsarni replied. “It’s crazy. It’s not possible. I can’t believe it.”
Watch the report:
- FBI Release Higher Quality, ‘Up Close’ Images of Boston Marathon Suspects
- Police Put Boston Suburbs on Lockdown, Public Transit and Business Shut Down as Massive Manhunt for Alleged Bomber Continues
- Officials: 1 Boston Bombing Suspect Killed in Shootout in Watertown, Mass., Massive Manhunt Underway for Second
- NBC: Boston Terror Suspects Have International Ties and Have Been in U.S. Legally for About a Year
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
(H/T: Business Insider)