[NATL]Terror in Boston: Boston Marathon Explosions

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Three Dead, Hundreds Injured After Explosions Near Marathon Finish

Uncle: 'Mentors' Radicalized Older Boston Suspect

Ruslan Tsarni says outside influence 'brainwashed' Tamerlan Tsarnaev

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    News4's Derrick Ward talks to Ruslin Tsarni about his nephews and the change he saw in one of them leading up to the marathon bombing. (Published Sunday, Apr 21, 2013)

    An uncle of the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects who lives in Maryland believes his nephews were "puppets and executors" of a scheme designed by others.

    Ruslan Tsarni, who lives in Montgomery Village, has been outspoken in his disgust at Monday's bombing, which authorities believe was committed by Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother Dzhokar.

    Suspect's Relatives React to Bombing

    [DC] Suspect's Relatives React to Bombing
    Investigators interviewed two uncles of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects who live in Maryland. One of them denounced his nephews as "losers" in a press conference Friday. Darcy Spencer has more. (Published Saturday, Apr 20, 2013)

    In the interview with "Today," Tsarni told Savannah Guthrie that he observed a transformation in Tamerlan when he last saw him in 2009.

    Maryland Uncle of Bombing Suspect Speaks

    [DC] Maryland Uncle of Bombing Suspect Speaks
    The uncle of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects speaks to reporters outside his Montgomery Village home in Maryland. News4's Pat Collins reports. (Published Friday, Apr 19, 2013)

    “There certainly were mentors,’’ Tsarni said. “I was shocked when I heard his words, his phrases, when every other word he starts sticking in words of God. I question what he’s doing for work, [and] he claimed he would just put everything in the will of God. It was a big concern to me. He called me 'confused' when I started explaining to him, make yourself useful to yourself and to your family and maybe you’ll have extra to share with everybody else.

    "It wasn’t devotion, it was something, as it’s called, being radicalized. Not understanding what he is talking [about]. He is just using words for the sake of the words and not understanding the meaning of it.’’

    "Turn Yourself In": Boston Suspect's Uncle Urges

    [DC] "Turn Yourself In," Boston Suspect's Uncle Urges
    The uncle of two young men suspected of planting two bombs at the Boston Marathon urged his nephews to turn themselves in during an emotional interview outside his Maryland home. (Published Friday, Apr 19, 2013)

    Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a gun battle with police in Watertown, Mass. early Friday morning. Dzhokar was captured in that suburban town Friday evening following an all-day manhunt that led authorities to put Boston and several of its suburbs under a "shelter-in-place" warning.

    Uncle's Md. Home Searched

    [DC] Authorities at Mont. Co. Home of Bombing Suspects' Uncle
    The uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, lives on a cul-de-sac in Montgomery Village, Md. FBI agents and Montgomery County authorities arrived shortly before 9:30 a.m. to talk to the family and take a look at the home, reported News4's Pat Collins. (Published Friday, Apr 19, 2013)

    Saturday, Tsarni said that he suspected that Tamerlan's radicalization began in the United States, citing a family acquaintance who told him of an outside influence over the eldest brother.

    “[The acquaintance] said there is someone who brainwashed him, some new convert to Islam,’’ Tsarni said. “I would like to stress [the acquaintance was] of Armenian descent.

    “It has nothing to do with Russia, [or] with Chechnya, which he had nothing to do with,’’ Tsarni said. “It started here.”

    The FBI has acknowledged that Tamerlan Tsarnev was interviewed in 2011 by federal officials investigating possible links to terrorism. The interview was done at the request of a foreign government, and the FBI reported back to it that there was no evidence that Tamerlan was associated with terrorist groups. Travel records obtained by NBC 4 New York show Tamerlan Tsarnaev flew into and out of John F. Kennedy Airport last year on Jan. 12 for a trip to Sheremetyevo, Russia. He stayed overseas and returned to JFK on July 17.

    Tsarni also expressed relief to Guthrie that Dzokhar had been taken alive by authorities.

    “At least he has a chance to ask for forgiveness for those that he victimized, as well as there is a chance now for enforcement agencies to get to the bottom of it," Tsarni said.

    "For a 19-year-old kid, I do not even believe [that] he would [have] been in full comprehension of what he’s been doing. For the sake of seeking forgiveness for himself, I don’t know how long his life is going to be, but I know it will be way easier for him if he receives that forgiveness for those he made to suffer.''

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