FBI Tipped Boston Bombing Suspect Was Radical Islam Follower in 2011

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Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. (Credit: FBI)

Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. (Credit: FBI)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — A foreign government told the FBI in early 2011 about information that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings, was a follower of radical Islam.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a shootout, and his younger brother was captured alive. They were identified by authorities and relatives as ethnic Chechens from southern Russia who had been in the U.S. for about a decade.

According to FBI, the foreign government said that based on its information, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a strong believer and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the U.S. for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups.

The FBI says it interviewed Tsarnaev and relatives, and did not find any domestic or foreign terrorism activity.

Ruslan Tsarni, an uncle of the suspected bomber who lives in Maryland, says he grew concerned about Tamerlan Tsarnaev when he told him in a 2009 phone conversation that he had chosen “God’s business” over work or school. Tsarni said he then contacted a family friend who told him Tsarnaev had been influenced by a recent convert to Islam.

Tsarni also referred to the elder Tamerlan as a “loser” during an interview with WBZ-TV in Boston.

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(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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