- By BILL SANDERSON
- Last Updated: 11:14 AM, April 28, 2013
- Posted: 2:10 AM, April 28, 2013
Jihad was handed down from mother to son in the Tsarnaev family, newly disclosed wiretaps show.
Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev talked over Muslim extremist ideas with his mother, Zubeidat, in a conversation recorded by the FSB, the Russian internal security service.
In the early 2011 conversation, Tamerlan and his mother vaguely discussed jihad, American officials told the AP.
During their chat, Zubeidat discussed with her son the possibility he could go to Palestine, according to information about the conversation the Russians didn’t share with the US until after the Boston bombings.
LIKE MOTHER, LIKE SON: Zubeidat Tsarnaeva (above) was heard on Russian wiretaps discussing radical Islamic ideas with her son, Tamerlan.
Tamerlan was cool to the Palestine idea, because he didn’t speak the language, the officials said.
Soon after the mother-son jihad chat, the Russians asked the FBI to bring Tamerlan in for an interview, because they feared he had taken on religious extremist views.
US officials said the information the Russians shared then was vague. Nothing came of the questioning, and the FBI closed the case in June 2011.
There’s other evidence that Zubeidat swayed her son’s religious views.
Ruslan Tsarni, an uncle of the Tsarnaev brothers and Zubeidat’s former brother-in-law, said yesterday that Zubeidat was a “big-time influence” as her older son increasingly embraced his Muslim faith and decided to quit boxing and school.
Zubeidat Tsarnaev moved from Dagestan to Cambridge, Mass., with her husband and sons in 2002. Several accounts say over the years, she gradually became more religious.
FSB agents recorded her in 2011 in a second phone conversation, with someone under FBI investigation in an unrelated case. Officials did not disclose details of that call.
Others also had sway over Tamerlan’s radical thinking — includnig Gadzhimurad Dolgatov, an Islamist leader blamed for dozens of attacks and bombings in Dagestan.
Dolgatov, who was slain by Russian security forces in December, went by the nom de guerre of Abu Duana. He led a cell of the Caucasus Emirate, Russia’s most feared Islamist group, and was allied with other separatist groups in the region.
In an online video, Dolgatov gives a rambling speech in front of a banner while wearing military fatigues and holding an automatic rifle.
“I’m warning you, I’ll kill you just like I’ll kill them [police officers]. Don’t become their pawns,” he declared. “If you have brains, you won’t want to die leaving behind widows, orphans and crying mothers. We’ll destroy you. If you side with the police, you are helping Satan. I’m warning you.”
Tamerlan visited Dagestan for six months in 2012, and posted links to Dolgatov’s videos when he returned.
“Dolgatov was an obscure figure with local significance for a short period of time — the time Tamerlan was in Dagestan,” a US official told the Sunday Times of London. “The fact that Tamerlan viewed his videos online appears to be significant. It just seems too much of a coincidence.”
Russian investigators agreed. “It’s odd that Tsarnaev should post Dolgatov’s video. How come he was even aware of his existence?” a Russian Interior Ministry official told the newspaper.
“We’re looking into whether the two men met or had any contact.”
Tamerlan is believed to have enlisted his brother, Dzhokhar, 19, for the Boston Marathon attack, which killed three and injured 260.
Probers believe the brothers were trained in how to build the remotely triggered Boston bombs.
But Dzhokhar claimed he and Tamerlan built the bombs with instructions they found online.
Tamerlan, 26, was shot in a police shootout. Dzhokhar was badly injured trying to flee, and is in a prison hospital.