Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

We thought US was safe - mother

The father of the two Boston bombing suspects, Anzor Tsarnaev, is planning to travel to the US (AP)
The suspects' mother Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, right, walks with an unidentified man near her home in Makhachkala (AP)

The mother of the two Boston bombing suspects says she now regrets moving her family to the US and believes they would have been better off in a village in Dagestan.

Speaking in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said she was still considering whether to go back to the US.

Mrs Tsarnaeva, who was charged with shoplifting in the US last summer, said she has been assured by lawyers that she would not be arrested.

She said: "You know, my kids would be with us, and we would be, like, fine.

"So, yes, I would prefer not to live in America now! Why did I even go there? Why? I thought America is going to, like, protect us, our kids, it's going to be safe."

She and her husband Anzor Tsarnaev returned last year to Dagestan, one of several predominantly Muslim provinces in southern Russia, where they lived briefly before moving to the US a decade ago. Mr Tsarnaev says he is leaving Russia for the US in the next day or two.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed in a gun battle with police, spent six months last year in Russia's Caucasus, which has been ravaged for years by an insurgency led by religious extremists. His father said his son stayed with him for three months in Makhachkala, and spent one month with relatives, but he was unclear on where his son was for the remaining time.

Investigators have been trying to determine whether Tamerlan was radicalised during his stay in the Caucasus, where he regularly prayed at a Makhachkala mosque.

Mr Tsarnaev has expressed a desire to go to the US to find out what happened with his sons, defend 19-year-old son Dzhokhar who is in hospital after being injured in a shootout and if possible bring his older son's body back to Russia for burial. He told journalists that he is leaving "today or tomorrow".

The suspects are ethnic Chechens and their father's family was deported to Central Asia under Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

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