Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s parents have claimed that he received a call from the FBI accusing him of the Boston Marathon bombings two or three days after the attack.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed following a shoot out with the police on Friday, called his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, two or three days after the marathon bombings to tell her about the call from the FBI, his father, Anzor Tsarnaev, said.
The claims, reported by Channel 4 News, reveal how Tamerlan Tsarnaev believed that the FBI was watching him. His mother previously said he had been followed by the FBI for five years.
Channel 4 News suggested that, while it was unlikely the FBI had called the suspect to accuse him of the heinous crime, it was perhaps his way of preparing his parents for the news of his involvement.
While it seems unlikely, if the claim is true, it raises questions over how the FBI handled the case.
The agency has already come under fire for reportedly failing to stop brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev before they planted two bombs at the finish line of the marathon, killing three and injuring more than 180.
It has emerged that Russian authorities alerted the FBI about their concerns over Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s links after he was spotted speaking to an Islamic militant six times at a mosque in Dagestan last year.
Now his parents are planning to visit the US to see their surviving son, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was found hiding in a boat following his older brother’s death.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva told ABC World News in a tearful phone interview that she fears her son will receive the death penalty.
“I lost two sons,” she said through tears over the phone.
“My family is in the dirt.”
The grieving mother did not say when she and her husband, Anzor Tsarnaev, plan to travel to the U.S.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva told an ABC reporter based in southern Russia that she fears she will be unable to do so, despite her having an American passport, because she is now the parent of a suspected terrorist.
Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s parents spent the day hiding from the crowd of journalist that flooded their neighborhood in the remote Russian region of Dagestan, according to ABC News.
Neighbors who did speak to the press said the Tsarnaev family had no noticeable ties to Islamic fundamentalism or terrorist factions.
One neighbor said that there was no fanaticism among the family members living there and that Anzor Tsarnaev was not too religious.
In her phone call with ABC News reporter Kirit Radia, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva reiterated the wild claims her husband has made in previous interviews that their two sons were framed by the US government.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said her oldest son, Tamerlan, was investigated two years ago by the FBI only because “he loved Islam” and that he “didn’t do anything bad”.
The FBI said in a statement released Friday that it had investigated Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 at the request of a foreign government. The FBI did not reveal which country’s government that was.
“The request stated that it was based on information that he was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups,” the FBI statement said.
The FBI said that in response to the request the bureau culled through its databases and interviewed both Tamerlan Tsarnaev and members of his family, but were unable to find any evidence that he was connected to a terrorist organization.
“The FBI did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign, and those results were provided to the foreign government in the summer of 2011. The FBI requested but did not receive more specific or additional information from the foreign government,” the FBI’s statement read.
“They were all afraid of Tamerlan” his mother told ABC News referring to the US government.
“They wanted to eliminate him as a threat because he was in love with Islam. For the last five years they were following him.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said the anxiety of losing both her sons has caused her to feel so sick she needs to call for an ambulance every two and a half hours.
“I don’t know how to live like this,” she said.