Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Boston bombing suspect buried in US

Flowers are placed on the alleged burial site of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev (AP)

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been buried in a cemetery in Virginia, infuriating some members of the area's Islamic community who say they were not consulted.

The secret interment this week at a small Islamic cemetery ended a frustrating search for a community willing to take the body, which had been kept at a funeral home in Worcester, Massachusetts, as cemeteries in Massachusetts - where Tsarnaev had lived - and several other US states refused to accept the remains.

Tsarnaev was killed on April 19 in a getaway attempt after a gunbattle with police. His younger brother, Dzhokhar, was captured later and remains in custody.

Their uncle, Ruslan Tsarni of Maryland, took responsibility for the body after Tamerlan's wife, Katherine Russell, said she wanted it released to her in-laws. He said his nephew was buried in a cemetery in Doswell with the help of a faith coalition.

Dozens of communities approached about hosting a gravesite had refused, many with concerns about gravesite vandalism and backlash from the public. With costs to protect the funeral home mounting, Worcester police earlier appealed for help finding a place to bury Tsarnaev.

They had announced on Thursday that "as a result of our public appeal for help, a courageous and compassionate individual came forward to provide the assistance needed to properly bury the deceased".

Imam Ammar Amonette, of the Islamic Centre of Virginia, said that his group was never consulted: "The whole Muslim community here is furious. Frankly, we are furious that we were never given any information. It was all done secretly behind our backs. Now everybody who's buried in that cemetery, their loved ones are going to have to go to that place," he said.

Tsarnaev's death certificate has been released. It showed he was shot by police in the firefight on the night of April 18, run over and dragged by a vehicle, and died a few hours later on April 19. Authorities have said his brother ran over him in his getaway attempt.

Officials said they will examine whether all laws were followed in the quiet burial of Tsarnaev in Virginia. If not, leaders in rural Caroline County said they could seek to have his body moved elsewhere.

Sheriff Tony Lippa and board of supervisors chairman Floyd Thomas said no state or local officials were told that Tsarnaev would be buried in a private Muslim cemetery a short drive from the state capital. Permission is not required from officials as long as laws are followed.

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