Bombing Suspect, Uncle Had Falling Out Over Islam

Image: Bombing Suspect, Uncle Had Falling Out Over Islam Ruslan Tsarni, uncle of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect, speaks with the media outside his home in Maryland on Friday.

Saturday, 20 Apr 2013 12:43 PM

 

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An uncle of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects says he had a falling-out with one of his nephews because of the man's increased commitment to Islam.

Ruslan Tsarni says he grew concerned about Tamerlan Tsarnaev when he told him in a 2009 phone conversation that he had chosen "God's business" over work or school. Tsarni said he then contacted a family friend who told him Tsarnaev had been influenced by a recent convert to Islam.

Tsarni says the two hadn't spoken since that call. The 26-year-old Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police Friday. His younger brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured that evening.

Tsarni says he was relieved his younger nephew was captured alive so he could seek forgiveness from the bombing victims.

On Thursday, the uncle said Monday's attack at the Boston Marathon brought shame to the family.

Tsarni said he last saw his nephews, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, in 2005.  He called them “losers” who weren’t able to settle themselves.

“I love this country,” Tsarni said. “He put a shame on the Tsarni family.”

The uncle also praised America as a land of opportunity, and hinted of a rift in the family — he did not want his family around “that family.”

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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