Russian authorities secretly recorded a telephone conversation in 2011 in which Tamerlan Tsarnaev vaguely discussed jihad with his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, officials said Saturday. The revelation came days after the U.S. government finally received details about the call.
In another conversation, the mother was recorded talking to someone in southern Russia who is under FBI investigation in an unrelated case, officials said.
The conversations are significant because, had they been revealed earlier, they might have been enough evidence for the FBI to initiate a more thorough investigation of the Tsarnaev family.
“I think there’s a connection there,” said U.S. Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas.) “I think (Tsarnaev’s mother) played a very strong role in his radicalization process. I believe she is a person of interest, if not a subject. I do believe if she comes into the United States, she will be detained for questioning.”
The mother is in southern Russia, with no plans to travel to the U.S. She denies she or her sons were involved in terrorism.
But Ruslan Tsarni, an uncle of the Tsarnaev brothers and Zubeidat’s former brother-in-law, said Saturday he believes the mother had a “big-time influence” as her older son increasingly embraced his Muslim faith and decided to quit boxing and school.
Also in Russia, the suspected bombers’ father Anzor, who claimed his sons were framed, now says he is hospitalized and is not coming to the U.S. to see the younger son and bury the older one.
Meanwhile, federal investigators are revealing more about the suspected bombers’ remaining explosives — all pipe bombs — and their plans to travel to New York City for a final act or showdown.
“It does appear that they were getting ready to kind of make some kind of last stand, and if you could go to New York and set off your bombs in the media capital of the world, that sounds like a model,” said CBS News Correspondent John Miller.
Another focus of the investigation continues to be a man named Misha, who investigators said may have helped radicalize Tamerlan Tsarnaev. But the man’s full name and whereabouts remained a mystery Sunday night, Carlin reported.
Bomb suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was recovering at a military lockup as of Sunday. He has now decided to retain an attorney and remain silent after being read his Miranda rights.
(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.)
You May Also Be Interested In These Stories