Father of Bombing Suspects: “Tell Police Everything”

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 20 2013 10:36 AM

Father of Bombing Suspects: “Tell Police Everything”

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A man looks in Moscow on April 19, 2013, at a computer screen displaying an undated picture the 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev posted in a Russian social media site

Photo by -/AFP/Getty Images

“Thank God.” Those were Anzor Tsarnaev’s first words when he learned from ABC News that his son, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was taken into custody alive. “Tell police everything. Everything. Just be honest,” he said when asked whether he had a message for his son. The Wall Street Journal also talked to Tsarnaev via telephone from his home in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, Russia, and said he was there when the FBI interviewed his son in 2011 as a “person of interest.”

"Yes, I was there. Of course I was there," Tsarnaev said. "It was in Cambridge. 410 Norfolk Street, Cambridge." The suspect’s father described the FBI interview as part of the FBI’s “prevention activities. "They said: We know what sites you are on, we know where you are calling, we know everything about you. Everything," Tsarnaev said. "They said we are checking and watching—that's what they said." Tsarnaev insisted he wasn't worried about the FBI questioning: "I knew what he was doing, where he was going. I raised my children right."

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Tsarnaev continues to insist he is sure his children are innocent and have been framed, adding that his brother called the two suspects “losers” on television Friday because of a family feud.

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.