MAKHACHKALA, Russia — The parents of the two brothers accused in the bomb attack near the finish line of the Boston Marathon insisted Thursday that their sons were innocent and had no connections to radical Islamists.
In an outpouring of anguish and anger at a news conference here in the capital of Dagestan, a Russian republic on the Caspian Sea, the brothers' father, Anzor Tsarnaev, and mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, also made accusations of a conspiracy in which the U.S. authorities killed their older son, Tamerlan, after seizing him.
The younger of the brothers, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was captured and has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction. He is recovering in a Boston hospital and may face the death penalty if convicted. Officials have also released video showing the brothers near the site of the bombing.
Despite this evidence, and after two days of questioning by FBI agents here, Tsarnaeva said she could not accept that her sons were guilty.
"No I don't — and I won't," she snapped at the news conference. "Never!"
The parents said that they regretted having lived in the United States but that they wanted to return soon to see Dzhokhar, though they expressed fear that they would not be allowed to see him until he was put in prison.
"I thought America was going to, like, protect us, our kids. It was going to be safe for any reason. But it happened the opposite. My kids — America took my kids away from me — only America."