Sister of Tsarnaev Brothers Questioned By FBI at NJ Home

Image: Sister of Tsarnaev Brothers Questioned By FBI at NJ Home West New York Police officers collect evidence from the apartment of Alina Tsarnaeva, sister of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, in West New York, New Jersey, April 19, 2013.

Friday, 19 Apr 2013 01:30 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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A West New York, N.J. woman identified as the sister of the two Boston bombing suspects told reporters Friday she can't believe what her brothers have done.

"They were great people. I never would have expected it," the woman, identified as Alina Tsarnaeva, told The Newark Star-Ledger. "They are smart — I don't know what’s gotten into them."

The FBI dispatched at least a dozen agents to Tsarnaeva's apartment Friday and were reportedly seen carrying boxes of evidence in, according to the Star-Ledger. West New York is a small New Jersey city along the Hudson River, overlooking Manhattan.

The Tsarnaev brothers, with a connection to Chechnya — Tamerlan, 26, and Dzhokhar, 19 — are accused in the Boston Marathon bombings Monday that killed three and injured more than 150.

The suspects were also involved in a massive chase early Friday and reportedly robbed a 7-Eleven, shot an M.I.T. police officer to death, carjacked an SUV, and hurled explosives out the window at police. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in the confrontation, and a transit officer was wounded.

A massive manhunt is underway for the second suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Alina Tsarnaev said she hasn’t seen either of her brothers in years, but described Dzhokhar as an "amazing child."

Editor's Note: LIGNET: Was al-Qaida Behind the Attacks?

Anzor Tsarnaev, the suspects' father, echoed his daughter's feelings about the younger brother.

"My son is a true angel," he told the Associated Press. "Dzhokhar is a second-year medical student in the U.S. He is such an intelligent boy. We expected him to come on holidays here."

The suspects reportedly immigrated to the United States in 2000 or 2001, and have lived in Cambridge ever since.

Other relatives, however, bashed their actions.

"These are my nephews! My brother’s sons!" Ruslan Tsarni, an uncle, told reporters. "It’s a big family. … The parents are still in Russia. They are from a hard-working family who ran away from Chechnya. A good family. This is terrible. I have no sympathy for them. I hate them — they murdered people!"

Tsarni called the elder brother, Tamerlan, a "loser."

"I would call him a 'loser,' you know?" Tsarni told CBS Boston. "I heard he's not been in school, I'm not even sure what he’s been doing with him. I just cut with him."

Tsarni also urged his younger nephew to surrender.

"I say, 'Dzhokhar, if you're alive, turn yourself in. And ask for forgiveness from the victims,'" an animated and upset Tsarni said. "He put a shame on our family. … He put a shame on the entire Chechen ethnicity. … Turn yourself in!"

Another uncle, Alvi Sarnav of Maryland, told CBS News he's in shock that his relatives could commit such heinous crimes.

"I can't believe this. It's not possible," Sarnav said. "My nephews can't do like this stuff. It's crazy. I can't believe it. When I heard this on the news I was thinking, who can do like this stuff?"


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