Tsarnaevs' News Conference: A Transcript
The New York TiTsarnaevs' News Conference: A Transcript
The New York Times
April 26, 2013
At a news conference in Makhachkala, Russia, on Thursday the parents
of the men accused in the Boston Marathon bombings said that their
sons were innocent and were not connected to Islamic radicals. They
also said they believed their older son, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed
by the authorities after being captured alive.
They reacted angrily to questions about statements that officials say
their younger son, Dzhokhar, has made to the authorities. They said he
was still too weak to talk or write and had not been questioned.
The parents, Anzor Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva - both of whom have
lived in the United States - are now in Makhachkala, the capital of
Dagestan, a Russian republic with a Muslim majority and a history of
violence. They said that American investigators who questioned them
over the past two days had focused on a six-month visit to Dagestan by
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Tamerlan last year.
Mr. Tsarnaev said he hoped to travel to the United States soon to bury
one son and visit the other in the hospital, but a family friend said
that he had not yet purchased tickets and that his travel could be
Following is a transcript of the news conference, which was conducted
in English and Russia, as transcribed and translated by The New York
Times. It was held at the offices of Chernovik, an independent weekly
newspaper in Makhachkala.
Anzor Tsarnaev: I am going to leave for the United States today. There
were no obstacles. We have not noticed them so far.
Q: What questions did the F.S.B. and the F.B.I. ask? [The F.S.B. is
the Russian security service.]
Mr. Tsarnaev: The questions were quite simple. Where were we? What we
did? Just the usual. They did their job. They asked about our
children. How they lived? What did they do? What were they interested
Q: What they did when Tamerlan was here?
Mr. Tsarnaev: Exactly these questions - what Tamerlan was doing here.
Q: Was there an impression that they knew a lot?
Mr. Tsarnaev: There was nothing new and couldn't be, because nothing
Q: Nothing new?
Mr. Tsarnaev: Nothing new and nothing illegal. The kid was with
me. For three months, in any case, and the other months he was with
relatives. He was sitting at home reading, waiting for his
documents. He visited people - there are many relatives. The relatives
had many questions because he came for the first time 10 ten years and
he was a child when he was here, grew up. What questions are usually
asked? What interests relatives, for example? How is life in the
States? Such questions. You understand, the questions about life,
problems. I mean how people live on another continent. What do they
eat? How they live? You know what I mean.
Q: Zubeidat, can I ask, after your conversations with the American
officials, do you now accept that it was your children who carried out
the attacks in Boston?
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva: No, I don't - and I won't. Never.
Q: Zubeidat, why did it seem that Tamerlan didn't fit in in the United
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Hmm. I don't think that is the real question. Why
didn't he fit in America?
Q: He said he didn't have a single American friend.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Well -
Mr. Tsarnaev: That's not true. He have a lot of friends, you know. I
know these friends, you know.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: It's not that he did not have friends. Friend, he meant
like real, one he could share his life with - whatever is in his mind
and whatever is in his life, those are friends.
Mr. Tsarnaev: That's true.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: But, all around, he was really nice, and he never
rejected anyone American just because they're Americans. Did somebody
say that he never liked, or there was somebody that he would not let
close to him? No. He just told that he doesn't have friends, right? So
it doesn't mean that he just did not fit in America. He had them. He
Mr. Tsarnaev: There was such a question; you were supposed to ask
it. The person lives in the States and how come he has no friends or
acquaintances. If he has nobody next to him. He had friends but not
many. Friends in a sense, you know. I also did not have close friends
because there are no such friends. How it happens: friends,
acquaintances, in business, in studies, it varies.
Q: Do you regret living in the United States?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: [Sighs]. Well, now since this thing happened, I think
it would be better even somewhere way up in the village. Really. Here,
in the village, somewhere like nobody but our family, we with our
kids, and I would be happy with this.
[She hits the desk and she starts crying.]
You know my kids would be with us and we would be fine. So yes, I
would prefer not to live in America now. [She is crying here]. Like,
why did I even go there? Why? 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. So why wouldn't I regret? Why? I don't know. I'm sure
that my kids were not involved in anything.
Q: I am sorry and we're sorry for your loss. But there's so much
evidence to suggest that your sons were involved in these attacks. Did
you notice any changes in them?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: That's what it is. We should see the changing right?
Any change, whatever is there, we should feel. I should feel it.
Q: Did you notice any changes in him?
A.T.: Well, frankly, there were no changes. Nothing of the kind.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: I don't know.
Q: Do you hope to return to the United States?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: They already told us that they're never going to show
us Dzhokhar, you know, even if we come there until he will be put into
their jail, we won't be able to see him.
Q: Who told you that?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: His advokat [lawyer] told us. And so they are already
talking about that we are terrorists. I am terror - they told that I
was doing some terrorist, you know, what did they tell? Like some kind
of operation I was kind of preparing here or I already did
something. I don't know. People are telling different information I
get. They already want me, him and all of us to look as terrorists. So
Q: Who has been saying you are terrorists?
Mr. Tsarnaev: News, everywhere, on computer, everywhere, maybe these
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Well the news are telling, it's some kind, everyone, I
don't know, where is it from? It's from America.
Q: Did anybody during the interrogation tell you that you are a
Ms. Tsarnaeva: No. Nobody told me that at the interrogation. I was
told that I was involved in something terroristic, that I was
preparing something somewhere. They say. Where does it come from? It's
from there, isn't it? The news say that I was preparing terrorism. I
don't know what a terrorist operation is.
Q: Were you told at the interrogation that if you go to the States you
would be detained?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: They will detain us in any case.
Q: On what grounds?
Mr. Tsarnaev: There are absolutely no grounds. I don't know. It's a
democratic country, but we will see. It will be seen when we come
there. It will be seen there.
Q: Why are you going back there? As I understand you were interrogated
by the F.B.I.? Are you coming back because they asked you or you
yourself want to?
Mr. Tsarnaev: Nobody asked. Initially, when this happened to our sons
I wanted to leave, but I could not do it and you know why - because
there were a great number of questions from both here and there and
from all sides. It looks like there is some kind of an international
agreement between the two powers. Until it's clear, they asked the
same: What children we had, the same questions you are asking
now. They were asked by the F.B.I. No complicated questions, only
about our family, about our children. Just as I say, what were they
doing, who were they, did you have any suspicions, were there any
changes in their character, were they worried about anything. Such
were the questions.
Q: Was it they who told you that you would not see Dzhokhar?
Mr. Tsarnaev: No.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: No, on the contrary, they said, `We will help you.'
Mr. Tsarnaev: The F.B.I. said, `We would help you when you come to the
Q: You said you are trying to leave today? Do you already have a
ticket? Do you plan to go as well?
Mr. Tsarnaev: I don't have a ticket right now.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: That's not a problem.
Mr. Tsarnaev: The ticket is not a problem. Yeah.
Q: Do you plan, what do you plan to do with Tamerlan's body?
Mr. Tsarnaev: I don't know. We will see there, O.K.? When I will be
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Well Tamerlan's body needs to be buried already, so
what should we do my dear? Is there any other question? He needed to
be buried like a long time ago.
Q: Have you had any conversations with anybody who could perform
anything. We have spoken to some mosques, who said -
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Yeah, they rejected.
Q: Have you spoken to anyone who might do anything in the U.S.?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Now they're working on it.
Q: Can you tell us more about the relationship between your two sons,
the relationship between Tamerlan and Dzkokhar, how were they as
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Very close. They loved each other. They loved each
other. When Dzhokhar used to come on Friday, on Friday night, home
from the dormitory, Tamerlan used to hug him and kiss him. Hold him,
like, because he was a big, big boy, Tamerlan. So he would hug him
like this, and he would hold him. `My Dzhokhar.' And he would kiss him
like this. He would never, he would never think that kissing brother
is a shame. He kissed him. And he kissed not only him, his sisters,
us. So that's how he was. Always.
Q: Did you apply to the Russian authorities with a request to
Mr. Tsarnaev: No.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: We have not had time to do anything. We asked Vladimir Putin a question but there was no specific answer.
Q: Could you tell us, could you tell us why Tamerlan decided to come
to Dagestan for such a long time. He has a very small child that he
was taking care of at home, and a wife. I know he hadn't seen
relatives for a long time, but why was he coming to Dagestan for six
months, that seems very unusual. Why?
Mr. Tsarnaev: I'll tell him.
Why was he in Dagestan? For a long time? His cousin called him when
there was a marriage of his cousin they asked - come to the
wedding. He wanted to come to the marriage at the time, but it did not
work out. The marriage took place in January, and when he went after
it, when time ran out, he went to see the fiancée, spend time with the
relatives. I told him:
go, and at the same time you will get your passport, apply for the
passport because his Kyrgyz passport was about to expire. His passport
was about to expire in June or in July and that is why I said, `You
have to get a Russian passport.' Because we left Kyrgyzstan for the
States to seek political asylum in the States and Kyrgyzstan refused
Then we applied to the Kyrgyz Embassy in Washington, sent documents
not only for Tamerlan but for Alina, Bella to restore the passports
because they could not go anywhere. He had to receive a new
passport. I was here at that time and went there together with him. We
gathered documents and he had to wait. It's not done instantly, some
time passes, up to six months, maybe three or four months. He left
Russia on a Kyrgyz passport because we came from Kyrgyzstan; we have
Kyrgyz passport. We were in Kyrgyzstan. His Kyrgyz passport was about
to expire, and he did not have time to get a Russian passport. He was
told that he had to wait for one month more, but if he waited for the
Russian passport he would not be able to come back to the States.
Q: Why was it important for him to get
a Russian passport?
Mr. Tsarnaev: He did not have American citizenship. The Kyrgyz passport was about to expire, and if it expired then the man finds himself without citizenship, without anything. He would not be
able to go anywhere, neither in Russia nor anywhere. This is why I said =80' go, finish this, finish that. And when he came here he was with me,
worked in the apartment, broke concrete walls. We bought an old apartment and did repairs there. He was with me. He did not go anywhere. He did not communicate with anybody. Sometimes we went to the mosque together, and that's it.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: They said he even went to Georgia.
Mr. Tsarnaev: It's all lies. Misinformation, and that's it. One should not accuse a person now. What for? It's mean. He was seen here by everyone. There are all kinds of special services
here which work efficiently. They had to know everything, be it Georgia or
whatever, why say stupid things?
Q: Why do you think the Russian special services applied to the F.B.I.?
Mr. Tsarnaev: Nobody
applied; this is lie. I heard on the news that he came here twice.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: They told us this.
Mr. Tsarnaev: He came to Russia for the first time since he was little child. He was not here for
Q: Your son Dzhokhar told investigators that he was motivated by Islamic extremism, you must have seen that?
Mr. Tsarnaev: Who saw this?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: I'll answer. Advokats [lawyers], the ones that are with
Dzhokhar. They told me even yesterday that he was not questioned
yet. Where does this information come from? Where is this information
come from? Dzhokhar said that, you know, that only his brother and him
were involved there. Nobody is there. Where does this information come
from? He has not been questioned yet.
Q: Investigators haven't told you what he has said to them?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: His advokats, his lawyers, are talking to us, right?
Even yesterday we asked them, `Has Dzhokhar done any, like, answering?
Did they question him?' They told us: `No. Dzhokhar has not been
questioned yet. By no one.' '
Q: Investigators told you that?
Mr. Tsarnaev: No, not investigators.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: His lawyers that are every day with him there. Because
we have the right to talk to them so they talk to us now. You know,
every day they talk to us. They give us the information, how is
Dzhokhar doing. What is he - `cause I want to know what my son, my
child, is eating or is there any change in his condition. So of course
I ask, and they are telling us the details. So no one - I don't know
who and where that is coming from. From who? Dzhokhar gave the written
notice that me and Tamerlan, my oldest brother, motivated, and there
is no one else - him and me. Dzhokhar did not even write. He is not
He does not; he is not even speaking. And they did not even question
him. That's what we got yesterday. Every day I ask did they start
questioning him. They're like, `No, he's not in that condition yet,
that would be cruel to be questioning.'
Mr. Tsarnaev: That would be illegal to ask him in such a condition.
Q: What is the condition of your son?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: The condition of my son. There is a really bad wound on
his right neck, right here. He cannot eat real food. He gets nutrition
by through a tube. He is getting better, like they are signing his
condition is stabilizing, but still he is weak, you know.
Q: You must want to see him.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: That question is really. Of course, mother - what
mother would not want to see their child, her child?
Q: Have there been threats against your family?
Mr. Tsarnaev: Yes, they say, `Terrorists, get out of here.' They call,
yell, throw things -
Q: So none of the relatives have seen Dzhokhar?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: None.
Q: When did the lawyers see him the last time?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Yesterday we talked to them.
Q: And they say he has not given any written answers.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Absolutely not. So that's why we're just questioning:
Where are those words coming from?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: You know, I'll tell you one thing, to everybody.
Tamerlan is dead, right? Tamerlan was killed at the operation, what
was the terroristic operation right there, while they were shooting
and running. So they, they showed us the body, the dead body of
Mr. Tsarnaev: The pictures you mean?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: I mean the pictures of Tamerlan, of course. First time
I did not even pay attention to it because I was like, I'm a mother,
you know, I love my kids. We just do. Of course a mother, the reaction
of a mother, you probably all know. So I did not even want to look at
it. I said: `Oh my god. I don't believe in it.
I don't want to believe in it. It cannot be my son. I want to know. I
just want to look at him. And again, O.K., maybe tomorrow. Maybe I'll
wait.' So then his sister, who is in Canada, called me and said, `You
know, there is one thing that I want you to see about Tamerlan.' The
link, she, what was, what was the site? You know the truth something -
Mr. Tsarnaev: No, no, no, no. It's not YouTube, but it is kind of the
American correspondents, or what are those, the Truth, where you get
the truth, something, something. I don't know. On YouTube, she found a
video somebody recorded. He was just walking by and recorded. He would
not even probably record it, but something coming out of that car
stopped him and made him interested in to be, like, recording it. So
he stopped, and he started recording. They were screaming cruelly at
him: `Get out! With your hands up!' So somebody is, you know, of
course it is probably `Who are they?' They are the American Fourth. So
they are bringing him out of a Land Cruiser. I am a mother, I would
know my son, Tamerlan, even between a million, million people, I would
know my son. He comes out of the car, he comes out of the car
naked. My Tamerlan was a really, really beautiful boy. Handsome like
Hercules. Tall and beautiful. His body was like `oh my God,' like,
written. You know, shedevr [masterpiece]. So it is not possible not to
know the body of my child. Of course his face, his head, I don't even
need to see the face. I see the body and I know. I did not even need
to see, if there would not be even a face, I would tell that this is
my son, but there was a face too. When he just came like this, they
put his hands in the back, so they're putting him into the police car
now because if they had brought him and they are putting him into the
other car, so he's just naked, his body is naked. Nothing is on
him. They undressed him, because they're probably, they were talking
about the belt, nothing on his body. So they just put him, he just
sat, he was really really quiet, no words, nothing, he just sat in the
car, and they just closed that door. They left. It was a really good
episode of my son being alive. When they were talking about him being
killed at the moment when it started, when they that - what is it -
the operation, whatever the terroristic operation. So then they called
me, somebody is calling me of course from America. Of course I was
like, `Oh my God,' my son is alive. My son is alive. What is this? Is
this some kind of dirty game my son got involved in? What do they put
him in? Where is my son? You took him. So my son is alive.
That's what I was screaming at them. So this is some kind of show,
Q: Did you ask the F.B.I. about this yesterday?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: I did tell them. They were really like shocked. too.
Q: What did they tell you?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: They were shaking their heads. They could not express
any words, they just, `Yeah, we will, pay attention. We will look at
it.' And then the next day, at that day when I saw the body of my
child alive, the next day I went again to see the naked body, that's
the link. What you had to print to bring that out was that Tamerlan is
alive. That's what his sister told me too, that is when it came up. So
the next day when I just did the same: at first day when I saw only
the body there wasn't nothing on the bottom. But the next day it was
like a dead body of Tsarnaev Tamerlan. So I opened it. The same body
like I saw, that body that I saw, like nothing changed there. And
they're asking me, `Like wounds, like holes, in his body?' So then the
correspondents are asking me: `Are you sure this is your son? Are you
sure? He was your son.' The one who is killing and the one who is
naked, this is identical. There, in the first picture, in this first
video, you just cannot see his face clearly, which I don't even need
to see; I know this is my son. And the head and everything. His
hair. And when he is laying down they're already killed, cruelly
killed. Oh my God, I wanted to scream, scream to the whole
world. `What did you do? What have you done with my son? He was
alive. Why did they need to kill him? Why didn't you send him to
Guantánamo or whatever? Why did they kill him? Why? Why did they have
to kill him?' They got him alive. He was in their hands.
Q: You say they were set up. Who would want that?
Mr. Tsarnaev: I don't know. How can we know?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: The point is that politics is a dirty game. We all know
this. It's just that not everybody can speak about it. I don't know
who wanted this.
Mr. Tsarnaev: It's the special services that have to sort it out and
find out who needed it.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: I know one thing =80' that it was not my children who
did it. There are many things there that aren't clear. There is much
that did not correspond to the information. Here it's one thing and
here is something different. And as for the kids and their actions -
it doesn't coincide at all.
Q: Can I ask, in 2011, the F.B.I. reviewed Tamerlan. At any point did
something enter your mind that something was wrong, maybe he had some
contacts or some activities that were suspicious, did that enter your
Mr. Tsarnaev: On the contrary, we thought that the F.B.I. came to us,
as they said, to save them. They said it was for the prophylactic
purposes: `We don't only come for you, we come to all young people. We
know what you read, which Web sites you visit, we know each step of
yours. Such is our work. So that people would live quietly, so that
nothing would explode.' I said, `Great. We are glad that our children
are looked after.' And in fact we were glad to it.
Q: You asked him yourself, you were going to say you asked him
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Of course. When police come, when you realize that
there is somebody from the government interested in your children, you
ask. Of course I asked Tamerlan. They were there when I asked. I
asked, `Do you know if there is something wrong?' `No, no, there is
nothing wrong. We just wanted to talk to share some opinions, what
Tamerlan is doing, what Tamerlan is reading.' Actually they told me:
`Don't you think Tamerlan is being a little bit extreme about
religion? Do you think he would think about organizing some kind of
terrorist attack? Aggression? Do you see any aggression in Tamerlan?'
So, no. I did not. I did not. I really did not see any reason to
worry, and then when I talked to Tamerlan: `Maybe you did something,
maybe you read or whatever.' `Mama, I do read, like everybody
reads. What, I can't read?' And I told them too, I will read this, I
will read that. I will read whatever is there. That's why the
information is there and that's why the head is here.'
Q: Did you see those Web sites?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: No, I did not.
Mr. Tsarnaev: He said: `I read everything, both Pushkin, Dumas,
everything.' And in English. He was interested in everything. And
while here he read books during all his free time. And I told him:
`Have you come here to read? Get to work. Do something.'
Q: Apparently the F.B.I. had some specific concerns coming from the
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Who? I don't believe in it. If they would be something
like they were worried, or really concerned, they would not leave him.
Q: Let's talk about Misha [who, it has been reported, is a radical
Islamist who may have had an influence on Tamerlan Tsarnaev].
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Misha? I don't know who even mentioned that
Misha. Misha is the nicest man.
Mr. Tsarnaev: Armenian guy.
Q: Poor, like Russians say, he's a poor guy.
Mr. Tsarnaev: Misha and Sergey.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: They're brothers. One is converted to Islam, one is
Armenian. I don't know their last names. I didn't meet with them
specially. It happened that he came to us as a guest. From the very
first time, we liked Misha.
Mr. Tsarnaev: He was from here too.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: He used to come to our house. There was nothing not to
like about him. Very nice, very gentle. We were just embarrassed in
front of him when he was in our house praying we weren't. I wasn't, he
Q: He had some sort of influence on Tamerlan? He made him more
Ms. Tsarnaeva: That's why I'm telling you, I'm explaining that. When
he asked us could we make a `wudu,' when you do the namaz, you need to
wash your hands and everything. And he asked us if I can do the
wudu. And I said, `Of course,' and while he was in our house visiting
us, it happened twice. So he did it twice and prayed. We were talking
about how he, being an Armenian, became such a good Muslim man. I was
just really impressed. There was nothing not to like about him.
Q: Nothing extreme about him?
Mr. Tsarnaev and Ms. Tsarnaeva: Nothing extreme.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Well then Tamerlan thought and I thought, and when he
left we just started talking about him. And I told Tamerlan, `Look at
him. Isn't it impressive what he's doing? He is just so great.'
Q: Did he bring you closer to Islam?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Yes he did!
I wasn't praying until he prayed in our house, so I just got really
ashamed that I am not praying, being a Muslim, being born Muslim. I am
not praying. Misha, who converted, was praying.
Q: What did he say to you that made you change your mind and made you
Ms. Tsarnaeva: I did not stop, I started.
Q: What did he say that convinced you to start?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: There was no reason even to say anything. He just
prayed, and that was enough for me.
Q: How can you explain to us that don't understand?
Mr. Tsarnaev: If you accept Islam, we will be glad. That will be our
reward. For any Muslim, that is the reward.
Q: When did you meet Misha?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: I don't remember, 2007?
Mr. Tsarnaev: I don't remember.
Q: What did Tamerlan think about him?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Very much respected him.
Q: For what?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: For him, knowing Islam the way he does. He was
like. `Mama, look at him, he is praying, he is fasting all the time.'
Mr. Tsarnaev: We did not see him for two or three years after that.
Q: Where was he from?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: He was from nearby.
Mr. Tsarnaev: He is Russian-speaking. Moreover they were from Baku [in
Azerbaijan]. From Baku when there was the war. Their father is a
famous gymnastics trainer, their father. His son Sergei is a
professor. His brother a senior professor of history, he made a world
map, I don't know. It's a very decent family. He accepted Islam
because he grew up in Baku together with Muslims, you understand? They
were born in Baku -
Q: Was he Orthodox before?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: I don't know, the Armenians, what are they?
Mr. Tsarnaev: Under Soviet power everybody was an atheist.
Q: Zubeidat, what will it take to convince you that your sons may have
been responsible for this attack?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Video. You know. Evidence.
Mr. Tsarnaev: Video. Live video.
Q: If you find the evidence, will you accept that?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Yes.
Q: Charges against Dzhokhar are partly based on security cams -
Ms. Tsarnaeva: I don't even know. I won't even believe it, because
nowadays they set up anything. I know my kids.
Q: Have you seen the security cameras from the marathon, where the
charges against Dzhokhar are partially based by identifying him on the
security cameras leaving a backpack. And then when the first explosion
goes he's the only person in the camera who doesn't react to the
explosion, and he leaves a large backpack at the place where the
second explosion happened and walks away. And shortly after the second
explosion happens -
Ms. Tsarnaeva: That can be done easily too. There are some experts
that are saying, in the computer we are reading, that the backpack on
Dzhokhar's back is different from the one they show as Dzhokhar's. In
the beginning they are showing Dzhokhar with one backpack, and there
is another one. Everything is in the computer.
Q: Will you believe the evidence?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: No.
Q: Not even video evidence?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: No. Because it can be set up. And then I thought that
it can be done easily.
Q: Anzor, when are you leaving Russia?
Mr. Tsarnaev: Today or tomorrow. I don't know.
Q: Would you like Tamerlan to be brought here to be buried? You're
talking about renouncing U.S. citizenship. Would you like your son to
be brought here for burial?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Yes. I would.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Why? Because. That is the land where he got killed. I
would love taking him out of there. But again, Allah, God, is one. He
gave the land for everyone, so he can be buried there too.
Q: Did you ask investigators if you can bring his body here for
Mr. Tsarnaev: No.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Actually, we did not get to that point yet. His brother
just got there. He's working on it. But it's not easy either, because
financially it is too expensive. So -
Q: Why have you not traveled to America yet?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Wel,l we were doing something here.
Q: Are you going together?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Well we are thinking. Yes.
Mr. Tsarnaev: Yes.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: They are telling us that they are not going to show
Dzhokhar to us. They already are talking about me being a
terrorist. And I think that they could set up something for me too.
Q: Do you know that you can be arrested in the U.S. because of a prior
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Yes. It's not serious at all.
Q: Is that why you're not traveling? You said the father is going to
go, but you did not say you were going to go. Is that the reason you
are not traveling this time?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: No, I am thinking about it.
Q: But the warrant doesn't play any factor in that?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: No.
Q: Two questions. First, were you given any guarantees that the
warrants would not be carried out or legal assistance that if you went
into the United States you would not be arrested?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Lawyers are already calling me.
Q: And they can give you guarantees that won't happen?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Yes.
Q: Anzor, just to clarify, you are leaving for the United States?
Mr. Tsarnaev: Yes, I am.
Mr. Tsarnaev: I don't know. Soon. As soon as possible.
Q: Anzor, will the F.B.I. want to talk to you again when you arrive in
the United States?
Mr. Tsarnaev: I don't know.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: They didn't say.
Q: Do you plan to go to Boston?
Mr. Tsarnaev: Yes, Boston.
Q: Did Tamerlan go to the mosque on Kotrova Street [in Dagestan, with
a reputation for its extremist interpretation of Islam]?
Mr. Tsarnaev: Yes he did.
Q: How many times?
Mr. Tsarnaev: On Friday. We were both in Dzhuma, we went
everywhere. We went anywhere close by when there is space. In Kotrova
there is always a lack of space, it's small. In Dzhuma, in Reduktorny,
Ms. Tsarnaeva: He was taking him as a child. They say he managed to be
in Georgia, managed to go somewhere else, some money. He took him as a
child. No way.
Q: Were there any friends like in Chechnya?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: In Chechnya, also with him.
Mr. Tsarnaev: There were no friends, he has not been here for a long
time. I told him: `You have come from the States, so look. I know that
the situation here is not an easy one.' He was walking next to me.
Q: When the terrorism is linked to the North Caucasus, what do you
Mr. Tsarnaev: It's stupidity.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Funny.
Mr. Tsarnaev: It's complete misinformation.
Q: What was the yesterday's meeting about?
Mr., Tsarnaev: They asked questions - what was he doing here? - the
same questions you are asking.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: I want to tell you one thing. It does not make any
difference where one prays. Kotrova, it does not matter. I began to
understand only now - they say - Kotrova, Kotrova. I did not even know
that it is considered radical or extremist. Only now I begin to learn
that the one on Kotrova is considered a more radical one.
Mr., Tsarnaev: Moreover, if it's considered the radical one it had to
be under control, full control, it's even better. And everything that
you do is under control. Who goes where, who talks with who is
taped. Isn't that so? Then what questions do you have? Why are you
branding Kotrova? I don't understand it.
Q: Were you asked specifically about the contacts with people who
Tamerlan could meet in Kotrova? Did they mention any names?
Mr. Tsarnaev: No. If there were any they would immediately give this
information. It's Dagestan, everybody knows each other. One cannot
remain unnoticed. You have found us. No matter where we go, you find
us. The special services are working, they are paid for this. They
would be the first to know what's going on there.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: If Tamerlan was noticed there he would not have left.
Mr. Tsarnaev: An American citizen got registered, they a copy of
documents, registered him. It means even more that they had to watch
Q: What else specifically did the F.B.I. representatives want to know
Ms. Tsarnaeva: We asked, `Where is this video from?' The one where
they arrested him alive. `We'll look into it,' they said.
Q: What did they ask you?
Mr. Tsarnaev: Just what you ask: Kotrova, where he was, why did he
come? Where did you go? I told them.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: If he traveled anywhere besides Dagestan, like
Chechnya, probably because they had the information about Georgia that
is coming up now.
Mr. Tsarnaev: That is new.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Now it's coming up that he went to Georgia. I know that
he never went there. Never. Now they're finding his steps in
Georgia. Somewhere else. You know, everywhere.
Q: Did they suggest to you that they have a certain line of inquiry?
Did they have an idea about Tamerlan's alleged motivation? What did
they say to you about what they were understanding about why this
Ms. Tsarnaeva: I am convincing you that they did not do it, and you
are asking me the same question. They had the same questions. They
also asked what it could be.
Mr. Tsarnaev: They say, `We will investigate it.' It's interesting to
them themselves. This is why I am going there to ask how come this
Q: Anzor, Tamerlan spent six months in Dagestan last year -
Mr. Tsarnaev: Yes.
Q: What impression did that trip make on him? Did he talk to you about
his impressions of what he saw here, the situation in Dagestan?
Mr. Tsarnaev: Ah, of course Dagestan made an impression on him.
Q: And the situation here?
Mr. Tsarnaev: He said that he did not see anything of what he heard
about, the explosions -
Ms. Tsarnaeva: I'll tell you one thing. When I talked to him on the
phone, I'm like how are you doing? He's like, `Mama, they are really
strange here.' He was walking by the sea.
He usually used to run or sit down on the beach and breathe the air or
something. Or he just, he loved it. He's like, `The police came there
and they asked for documents.' They asked him to follow. He was asking
them, he was like in shock. He's like: `What, is there something wrong
with me? Am I strange, or don't look like everybody? And, of course,
they inside, he told them, `Where is he from and how is he enjoying
his people?' You know, whatever, the weather, the relatives. And he's
like, `Mama, they even hugged me,' you know. And again he's like, `I
asked them, `What did you stop me for?' And they're like: `You are
really, like really very attractive. Your appearance, because he is a
handsome, beautiful - shedevr - I always used to say, shedevr. You
know what that is - a masterpiece.
Q: Did he speak to you about the instability that he saw in Dagestan, the almost daily violence in Dagestan? Is that something he talked to you about?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Actually he talked about that. He said: `Mama and Papa always keep me next to them like a child. Don't go there, don't go there. If you go there and say one word, they will put 10 on you. If you do one thing, they will put 10 on you.' He was like: `I can't even walk. I am not free since Papa came here.' But yes, he was talking about the people being killed. He was saying that the situation here is really strange, Mama. Killing each other.
Q: Are you seriously thinking to refuse U.S. citizenship?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: I am thinking.
Q Because it happened there?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Because it happened there.
Q: So when he came back after those six months, did he seem in any way new, changed, or different?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: No, absolutely.
Q: He had a beard? Did he explain, say, why he grew the beard?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: He had a beard even when he was there. He could have
it, he could take it off. He could have it like everybody else. He did
not, like, underline the beard for some symbol. Well, yes, the beard
he showed me where it is written by our Prophet, peace be on him, that
all men need to have a little hair on their face, just so they would
be different from women. So yes, of course.
Q: Do you think that what is going on here with the Muslims, people
disappear, then they are found killed, that your house in Chiri-yurt
[in Chechnya] was destroyed, did it influence Tamerlan, was he
concerned about it?
Mr. Tsarnaev: He was not concerned, if the father was not concerned
then what can be said about the child. Nothing. He did not care.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: He never talked about it, and we never talked because
we have never been going to live in this Chechnya. In this particular
Mr. Tsarnaev: Yes, my house there is destroyed.
Q: Did you live there with your children?
Mr. Tsarnaev: Yes. We left before the bombing started, before the war
[the Chechen-Russian conflict]. We saw that the war was about to start
and we left. The children studied and had great plans, the junior one
wanted to become a doctor, the elder one a boxer, played piano.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: They are very capable.
Mr. Tsarnaev: They were very capable. He wanted to become an Olympic
champion, Tamerlan, the elder one but he could not do it without
citizenship - no American one, no other, no Russian one. He had to
have a document.
Q: Was he interested in the history of the Chechen wars?
Mr. Tsarnaev: He was not interested. There is a different life in the
Ms. Tsarnaeva: He was absolutely young. He left when he was a small
Q: Maybe an ethnic or historical interest?
Mr. Tsarnaev: But we were not interested in it as well. Our parents
went through something similar. A person gets used.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: When you say interest, do you mean if he had an
aggression, did he want to take revenge?
Q: Did you have plans to take his sister to Russia?
Mr. Tsarnaev: We will try.
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Yes, we will. We will bring her here if God allows. We
will bring her and her child here because we loved - love - and will
Q: Will you take Tamerlan's body?
Mr. Tsarnaev: Yes.
Q: Did you ever discuss the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: No.
Q: One last question: Did Tamerlan speak to you after the bombings and
before he was killed?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: I called him.
Q: You spoke to him?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: Yeah.
Q: And what did he tell you?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: `Don't worry, Mama.' Because he always knew how I
worried about whatever is happening. `So don't worry, Mama.'
Q: Did he tell you that the F.B.I. had been in contact with him?
Ms. Tsarnaeva: No.
Mr. Tsarnaev: No.
Q: Anzor, when you were here - Tamerlan came in January 2012 and you
came later, sometime in May. Is it correct?
Mr. Tsarnaev: Yes.
Q: Did you go with him to Chiri-yurt?
Mr. Tsarnaev: Yes, we did, to the uncle, in May.
Q: And when he came in January, did he also go there?
Mr. Tsarnaev: He went to the son-in-law, my daughter's husband. Of
course, they are relatives. You know how many relatives we have in
Chechnya? He did not manage to see them all. He did not have enough
time. Many were offended and are offended even now. I am going to the
U.S. to see my son and bury the elder one. I don't have any bad
thoughts. I am not going to blow anyone up, I don't want to do
anything. I am not angry with anybody. I want to go to find the
truth. I want to sort everything out.