Friend: Suspect Said Terrorism Wasn't a 'Serious Issue'

Friday, 19 Apr 2013 01:33 PM

By Christiana Lilly

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston bombing suspect, once said that terrorism isn’t “a serious issue,” a friend told CNN.

Eric Machado, a long-time friend of Tsarnaev’s, said the 19-year-old told a mutual friend that “if you come from a place I come from” that terrorism wasn’t a big deal.

When photos of the Tsarnaev brothers were circulated Thursday by the FBI, Machado remembered thinking that the younger of the two looked like Dzhokhar, such as the way he wore his hat.

“Once I saw those photos I had an idea that it was him but you know I didn’t want to throw someone I knew personally under the bus and kind of assume it was him,” he said. “It was more of a joke like, oh, that looks like Dzhokhar, but clearly it was not a joke.

“He’s just a normal kid, and to think that he’s capable of something like this is beyond belief.”

Brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were born in Kyrgyzstan and moved to the United States about 10 years ago. The FBI named them as suspects in the Monday's marathon explosions that killed three people and injured 176 others.

Overnight, authorities said, an MIT police officer was killed, a transit police officer was wounded, and the suspects allegedly carjacked a vehicle before leading police on a chase that ended with older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, shot dead.

Police were searching for the younger Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was shown in surveillance pictures wearing a white cap, taken shortly before Monday's explosions and released by the FBI on Thursday.

"We believe this to be a terrorist," Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said of the suspect still at large. "We believe this to be a man who has come here to kill people. We need to get him in custody."

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