Tsarnaev's College Fling Says Additional Suspects 'Idolized' Him

Image: Tsarnaev's College Fling Says Additional Suspects 'Idolized' Him Courtroom sketch shows defendants Dias Kadyrbayev, left, and Azamat Tazhayakov appearing in front of Federal Magistrate Marianne Bowler at the Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston on May 1

Thursday, 02 May 2013 03:30 PM

By Melanie Batley

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A woman who was romantically involved with Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said the three additional suspects accused of helping him dispose of evidence "idolized" him.

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told the news website Mother Jones that she met Tsarnaev's friends, Dias Kadyrbayev, Azamat Tazhayakov, and Robel Phillipos during their first semester at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth in the fall of 2011.

"They all sort of idolized Jahar," she said, using the name she and others knew Tsarnaev by.

"Dias was probably the one closest to him."

She added, "I cannot speak to the nature of their relationship because of the language barrier, however I did observe that Jahar was always the leader in his group."

The woman said she got to know the men while hanging around campus with them, smoking marijuana, and listening to music. She described her involvement with the younger Tsarnaev brother as a two-week "fling."

"I met him standing outside a building and honestly, his face was enough to capture my heart," she said, noting that many women fawned over him. "I walked right up to him and I was like, 'Oh my God, you are adorable. Can we hang out?' I'm very forward," she told Mother Jones.

But soon after, she decided to end her romantic involvement after Tsarnaev invited her to come to his dorm room alone. "He wanted to go further than I did, and that made me uncomfortable, and I realized that that's not the kind of person that I wanted to be around," she said.

"I don't think that's necessarily being a terrorist. I think that's just called being a hands-y teenaged boy."

She said when she saw 19-year-old Tsarnaev's name in the news after the Boston Marathon bombings she had a hard time believing it at first, and she thinks it's unlikely that he had a religious motive for the attack. If anything, she told Mother Jones she thought Kadyrbayev may have been more religious.

"He never mentioned anything about religion," she said. "I just can't see him being a radical jihadist just because of the nature of who he was. I don't doubt that he did it, but the 'why?' behind it — I'm having difficulty believing the news."

She added, "There was no indication that they were crazy at all. They just seemed goofy, kind of lackadaisical, not interested in their studies. But, you know, it was their first semester of college. No one really cared about books."

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