Mobile

Aunt says U.S. suspect recently became devout Muslim

TORONTO (AP) — An aunt of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects said Friday the older brother recently became a devout Muslim who prayed five times a day, and she doesn't believe the brothers could have been involved in Monday's attack.

"We're talking about three dead people, 100-something injured, and I do not believe, I just do not believe our boys would do that ... I don't know them in the way that they could be capable of this," Maret Tsarnaeva told reporters in Toronto.

She said her brother Anzor Tsarnaev had high expecations for his sons, especially 26-year-old Tamerlan.

She said her brother was desperate when he found out Tamerlan dropped out of his university. She said he always demanded more of his children and said Tamerlan was his favorite.

Tamerlan married and had a 3-year-old daughter in the U.S., she said.

"He has a wife in Boston and from a Christian family, so you can't tie it to religion," she said.

But she said Tamerlan "seemingly did not find himself yet in America, because it's not easy."

Tamerlan wasn't a devout practicing Muslim, "but just recently, maybe two years ago, he started praying five times a day," she said.

Tamerlan was killed Thursday night during a shootout with police, and a huge manhunt was under way in the Boston area for his brother.

Tsarnaeva called both boys smart and athletic, and she wants proof they are involved in the deadly bombing.

"Within the family, everything was perfect," she said.

Loading more

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.