Saying she doesn't believe her nephews could have been involved in Monday's Boston Marathon bombing, an aunt of the suspects said Friday the older brother who was killed, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, recently became a devout Muslim who prayed five times a day.
"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, according to The Associated Press.
She said her brother Anzor Tsarnaev had high expecations for his sons, especially Tamerlan.
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Tsarnaeva 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.
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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.
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