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Tsarnaev brothers' family members react to the Boston Marathon bombing aftermath

THE FATHER

Son is a 'true angel'

Anzor Tsarnaev, the father of the bombing suspects, described his fugitive son as a smart and accomplished "angel" in an anguished interview in which he claimed they were set up. He spoke with the Associated Press by telephone in Dagestan after police said one of his sons, 26-year-old Tamerlan, had been killed in a shootout and the other, Dzhokhar, was being intensely pursued. "My son is a true angel," Tsarnaev said . He said his son was "an intelligent boy" who was studying medicine. "They were set up, they were set up!" he exclaimed. "I saw it on television; they killed my older son Tamerlan." Tsarnaev, badly agitated, gave little more information and ended the call angrily, saying, "Leave me alone, my son's been killed."

THE MOTHER

'This is a set up'

The suspects' mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, spoke with CNN from Dagestan, too. She said, "It's impossible for both of them to do such things. I'm really . . . telling you that this is a set up. My son would tell me, he never would keep a secret. I would know.'' She said her older son, Tamerlan, became involved with religion and politics three to five years ago. "He never told me he would be on the side of jihad.'' She also said the FBI had questioned him at one point, "The FBI knew what he was doing. … They knew what he was doing. How could this happen? They were countering every step of him.''

THE AUNT

'Just do not believe it'

An aunt of the suspects said Friday that the older brother recently became a devout Muslim, and she doesn't believe the brothers could have been involved in Monday's attack. Tamerlan Tsarnaev had married and had a 3-year-old daughter in the United States, Maret Tsarnaeva told reporters in Toronto. "He has a wife in Boston and from a Christian family, so you can't tie it to religion," she said. "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."

THE SISTER

'I thought I knew him'

The suspects' sister Ailina Tsarnaeva, speaking through a barely open door at her West New York, N.J., home said she was sorry for the families that lost loved ones "the same way I lost my loved one." She told News12 New Jersey and the Star-Ledger, "I'm hurt for everyone that's been hurt." Of her dead brother Tamerlan, she said, "He was a great person. I thought I knew him. I never would have expected that from him. He is a kind and loving man. The cops took his life away just the same way he took others' lives away, if that's even true. At the end of the day, no one knows the truth."

THE UNCLE

Ended up 'hating everyone'

Ruslan Tsarni told a throng of reporters outside his home in Montgomery Village, Md., "Yes, we're ashamed. They're the children of my brother." He also urged his nephew to give up: "Dzhokhar, if you are alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness from the victims, from the injured and from those who left." He said his nephews had struggled to settle themselves in the United States and ended up "thereby just hating everyone." Asked what he thought provoked the bombings, Tsarni said: "Being losers, hatred to those who were able to settle themselves. These are the only reasons I can imagine of. Anything else, anything else to do with religion, with Islam, it's a fraud, it's a fake." Pressed again toward the end of the impromptu interview, he said he was not calling his nephews losers. "I'm saying those who are able to make this atrocity are only losers."

Tsarnaev brothers' family members react to the Boston Marathon bombing aftermath 04/19/13 [Last modified: Saturday, April 20, 2013 8:52am]
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