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Uncle of bomb suspects urges nephew to turn himself in

By Eric Tucker

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 08:38 a.m. HST, Apr 19, 2013

MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, Md. » In a passionate plea, an uncle of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects urged one of his nephews to turn himself in today, saying he had brought shame to the family and the entire Chechen ethnicity.

"Yes, we're ashamed. They're the children of my brother," Ruslan Tsarni, 42, told a throng of reporters outside his home in Montgomery Village, Md.

The suspects were identified by law enforcement officials and family members as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, brothers who had lived in Dagestan, which neighbors Chechnya in southern Russia.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a 26-year-old who had been known to the FBI as Suspect No. 1 and was seen in surveillance footage in a black baseball cap, was killed overnight, officials said.

His brother, a 19-year-old college student who was dubbed Suspect No. 2, escaped. He was seen wearing a white, backward baseball cap in the images from Monday's deadly bombing at the marathon finish line.

"Dzhokhar, if you are alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness from the victims, from the injured and from those who left," Tsarni said, raising his voice.

The Tsarnaev brothers had been in the U.S. for about a decade and lived near Boston, though Tsarni said he had not seen them since he visited them in December 2005.

He said the older brother, Tamerlan, had become a devout Muslim about seven or eight years ago.

"When I was speaking to the older one, he started all this religious talk, 'Insh'allah' and all that, and I asked him, 'Where is all that coming from?'" said Tsarni, a corporate lawyer and executive.

He said his nephews had struggled to settle themselves in the U.S. and ended up "thereby just hating everyone."

Asked what he thought provoked the bombings, Tsarni said: "Being losers, hatred to those who were able to settle themselves. These are the only reasons I can imagine of. Anything else, anything else to do with religion, with Islam, it's a fraud, it's a fake."

Pressed again toward the end of the impromptu interview, he said he was not calling his nephews losers. "I'm saying those who are able to make this atrocity are only losers."

Tsarni previously told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that he was not completely shocked when he learned this morning that the older brother was named as a suspect.

"It's not a surprise about him," he said. "The younger one, that's something else."

Chechnya was the scene of two wars between Russian forces and separatists since 1994. The wars saw heavy bombing of Chechnya, which killed tens of thousands, and they spawned an Islamic insurgency that has engulfed the entire region.

Tsarni, who described himself as Muslim, vehemently denied that Chechnya or Islam had anything to do with the Boston bombings.

Tsarni said his brother left the U.S. and he had not talked to him since 2009. He said they had a personal falling out but did not elaborate.

"If somebody radicalized them ... it's not my brother, who just moved back to Russia. Who spent his life bringing bread to that table, fixing cars."

He offered his condolences to the bombing victims.

"We're sharing with them their grief. I'm ready just to meet with them. I'm ready just to bend in front of them, to kneel in front of them, seeking that forgiveness."

Online: http://youtu.be/RXrLf0qoiKI

Associated Press writer Stephen Braun in Washington contributed to this report.

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kailua000 wrote:
glad he's dead. hope #2 gets shot in the head. save the taxpayers millions in trial and jail costs. but Russians? that I dont get unless they are sympathizers? guess we'll have to wait and see. 10 years in this country you know they took advantage of having more freedoms than they had in russia.
on April 19,2013 | 03:46AM
thebostitch wrote:
They are not Russian, they are Muslims. They come from a Russian Islamic region near Chechnya, which has been plagued by an Islamic insurgency, and which the Russian Government always claimed being linked to Al-Quida.
on April 19,2013 | 04:27AM
Steve96785 wrote:
They are ethnic Checneyans, but since that area is part of Russia, they are also Russians. That is sort of like saying that People from Alabama aren't really Americans. Sure, Chechneya is trying to not be part of Russia anymore, but then that was (maybe for some still is?) true of Alabama, too.
on April 19,2013 | 06:45AM
thebostitch wrote:
Technically they are Russian Muslims, but you actually made the point, they themselves do not consider themselves to be Russians and want to be independent, something that the US supports. Maybe the US should have really stay out of that conflict. The bottom line is that they are Islamic Extremists Terrorists, loyal-connected or sympathetic to Al-Qaeda, and I guess now we know why they did what they did. Its extremely sad how otherwise apparently smart people do such cruel and stupid crimes.
on April 19,2013 | 07:52AM
Steve96785 wrote:
It really does not matter where these dudes are from. What they did speaks for them. Too bad they have had a hard time here, but I guarantee that things are likely to have been worse back home. Catch the little brother, chain him up and let the people of Boston and families of the victims have at him.
on April 19,2013 | 06:49AM
kennie1933 wrote:
I actually hope they catch the remaining brother alive. I'd like to know from his perspective why they did it. Once dead, the reason dies with them. Of course, knowing the reason does not make the victims any less dead or wounded, but if I was one of the wounded, I'd like to know why. THEN, we can deal with him "appropriately." Did anyone watch the uncle's response in its entirety? Man, that guy is PO'd at his nephews!
on April 19,2013 | 08:12AM
aomohoa wrote:
I would rather just have it end with this guy dead. However it would be good to know if there are any accomplices.
on April 19,2013 | 09:15AM
kennie1933 wrote:
Well, that's the other thing, too. We are so focused on the brothers, but maybe they had others involved.
on April 19,2013 | 10:03AM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
This man, though he undoubtedly loves his nephew was willing to make a plea in front of a public most of whom hate him and his family. I admire his courage.
on April 19,2013 | 01:47PM
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