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FBI asked Tsarnaev to work as informant before Boston bombing, defense claims

Published time: March 29, 2014 03:29
Edited time: March 30, 2014 19:34
Tamerlan Tsarnaev. (Barcroft Media)

Tamerlan Tsarnaev. (Barcroft Media)

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the suspected bombers behind the Boston Marathon bombing last year, was approached by the FBI because of his extremist views and asked to work as an informant, according to court records filed by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team.

Attorneys for the younger Tsarnaev are expected to claim that he was under the influence of the dominating Tamerlan, 26, who was killed during a shootout with police days after the bombing killed three people and injured over 260 others on April 15.

In a 23-page court filing Dzhokhar’s defense team asked the court to force the prosecution to hand over more evidence in the case that would be useful to their argument. Included in the document was the assertion that the FBI, aware of Tamerlan’s radical Islamist views, asked him to work as an informant on certain factions in the Boston region.

The court request said “the FBI made more than one visit to talk with Anzor, Zubeidat [Dzhokhar and Tamerlan’s parents] and Tamerlan, question Tamerlan about his internet searches, and asked him to be an informant, reporting on the Chechen and Muslim community,” as quoted by WBUR Boston.

The defense speculated that Tamerlan may have misinterpreted the intention of the conversations, which may have acted as a “stressor that increased his paranoia and distress.” They specifically note that the interviews should not be interpreted as a motivation for the attack, only that they represent “an important part of the story of Tamerlan’s decline.”

The underlying data concerning the brothers’ activities, state of mind, and respective trajectories is critical,” attorneys wrote, as quoted by the Boston Globe, adding that evidence “shows Tamerlan to have had a substantially longer and deeper engagement than his younger brother with extremist and violent ideology is mitigating for the light that it sheds on their relative culpability.”

The FBI declined comment to Boston news outlets, but cited a bureau statement issued last year declaring that Tamerlan was not under surveillance and that the “brothers were never sources for the FBI nor did the FBI attempt to recruit them as sources.” Prosecutors told the Globe they have “no evidence that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was solicited by the government to be an informant.”

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now 20, is being held in the Ayler detention center, a small federal facility located 40 miles from Boston. The prosecution has portrayed him as an aspiring militant Muslim who was trying to carry out a holy war against the US with help from websites supportive of Al-Qaeda. As mentioned before, the defense has sought to paint him as an impressionable young man under the sway of Tamerlan.

Tsarnaev is facing a 30-count indictment for his alleged role in the bombing. Many of those charges, which include use of a weapon of mass destruction, carry the death penalty.

Comments (42)


Wm White 10.04.2014 21:27

The things I find strange are:
DHS drill that was ongoing in the location
& the use of Craft international as security.
Didnt Chris Kyle start that company..... Where is he now???
Who hired Craft to secure the area??


danijel drnić 03.04.2014 07:26

..ones again , like I was mentioned in comment before this was between sep. 11 and hurricane Katrina, no way this late, as they told us 2-3 years ago !! How no one remember this !?


Diez Sanchez 01.04.2014 01:31

Always an FBI guy pulling d strings or behind the curtain! The USA is paying for guys who manufacture bad guys to rob USA tax payers blind! In short no oversight of these off the radar operations has created a system that can be gamed by the very people put in charge of agencies in charge! The war on terror & drugs has been $ bananza if you follow d money! But only poor minorty & Muslims are in a cage or dead! But all the money is where? All that tech & money, & your own house was robbed by d guys u hired to protect it! Follow d money don't believe or the blood trail & bodies as they attempt to silence d truth.

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