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Boston Marathon bombings: Father of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev says FBI interviewed the older brother two years ago

By James Legge

The parents of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers have protested their sons' innocence, with their mother telling the Russian media: "I am 100% sure that this is a set-up."

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan, are suspected of carrying out Monday's bombing, which killed three and injured over 150. Dzhokhar, 19, is in custody after a tense search last night, while his older brother was killed in a shootout with police the night before.

 

The pair are of Chechen origin, and had lived in the US for around ten years.

 

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal from Makhachkala in Russia's Republic of Dagestan, the pair's father said FBI agents talked to Tamerlan as a "person of interest" in 2011.

 

He said he was present at the time, but wasn't worried: "They said, 'We know what sites you are on, we know where you are calling, we know everything about you. Everything'. They said, 'we are checking and watching' - that's what they said."

 

"I knew what he was doing, where he was going. I raised my children right."

 

He insisted that his boys were victims of a set-up, saying: "This is all lies. These are my children. I know my children."

 

He also mentioned a domestic assault that Tamerlan had carried out in his past but brushed it off as a minor incident that involved the son's first girlfriend.

 

And the men's mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said: "I am really sure. I am 100% sure that this is a set-up. My two sons are really innocent and I know that neither of them never, never, have talked about whatever they're saying about now."

 

She said "nobody talked about terrorism" in their house, and said she believed her sons were not involved in it.

 

She said her sons used to call her every day to ask how she was, saying: "Mama, we love you. Mama, how are you? We miss you," adding: "It's impossible, impossible for both of them to do such things, so I am really, really, really, really telling that this is a set-up."

 

"If there is anyone who would know it would be me."

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