Suspect's Increasingly Extremist Views Angered Russian Relatives

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 20 2013 3:46 PM

Boston Suspect's Increasingly Extremist Views Angered Russian Relatives

167006478
Tamerlan Tsamaev waits for a decision in the 201-pound division boxing match during the 2009 Golden Gloves National Tournament of Champions May 4, 2009 in Salt Lake City, Utah

Photo by Glenn DePriest/Getty Images

There seems to be more and more evidence that the older suspect, Tamelan Tsarnaev, had extremist views on religion. But according to his relatives that shift into extremism did not happen in Russia, as some U.S. lawmakers have claimed, but rather in the United States. ABC News talks to one of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Russian relatives who says the suspect was kicked out of his uncle’s house while visiting family a year ago because of his increasingly extremist views on religions. The relative insisted on anonymity but emphasized the 26-year-old had been radicalized in the United States before his trip.

Several members of Congress have characterized Tamerlan’s six-month trip to Russia as a turning point in his shift to extremism. Yet the FBI had looked into Tamerlan in 2011, before his trip to Russia, at the request of a foreign government that said he “was a follower of radical Islam.” The relative described Tsarnaev’s father as a “traditional muslim” who is in no way associated with extremism.  

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.