Boston Suspects’ Mom Was Also Placed on Watch List

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 27 2013 11:44 AM

Boston Suspects’ Mother Was Placed on Same Terror Watch List as her Son in 2011

Zubeidat Tsarnaeva talks to journalists at a news conference on April 25

Photo by SERGEI RASULOV/AFP/Getty Images

The mother of the two men suspected of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing had been placed on the same classified terrorism watch list as her elder son, deepening the mystery surrounding a family that has not been shy about insisting on their sons’ innocence. Zubeidat Tsarnaeva was placed on the Terror Identities Datamart Environment database in late 2011, at the same time as her son Tamerlan, who is believed to have masterminded the bombings, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The CIA requested Zubeidat Tsarnaeva and her son be placed on the low-level watch list that includes the name of some 500,000 people after the Russian government had expressed concern that they had become religious militants, reports the Associated Press. When they were placed on the list, the FBI had already investigated the mother and son and found no ties to terrorism. Officials don’t need any actual evidence of ties to terrorism to place someone on the low-level watch list, and being on the list does not automatically translate into surveillance or travel restrictions.


Tsarnaeva insisted to the AP she had never been linked to crimes or terrorism and called her placement on the list “lies and hypocrisy.” But while there may be no evidence of links to terrorism, she has been accused of another type of crime: Shoplifting. Tsarnaeva faces a warrant for her arrest in the United States after failing to show up for a court appearance last year, accused of shoplifting seven dresses in a department store, reports the Journal. She is charged with one count of larceny and two counts of vandalizing property.

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.



The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers


Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.