The Boston Marathon bombing suspects’ have returned to a village in southern Russia to hide from the extremly high curiosity coming from the media and abandoned plans for travelling to the United States, the father of the suspects told Reuters.
Speaking with reporters in the large garden near his home, Anzor Tsarnaev said he believed he would not be allowed to see his younger son Dzhokhar, who is accused of Boston attacks that killed three people and wounded hundreds.
“Unfortunately I can’t help my child in any way. I am in touch with Dzhokhar’s and my own lawyers. They told me they would let me know (what to do),” Tsarnaev said in an interview in the village where he relocated with the suspects’ mother.
He agreed to meet with reporters on condition that the village’s location in the North Caucasus, a string of mainly Muslim provinces in southern Russia, wil not be disclosed.
“I am not going back to the United States. For now I am here. I am ill,” said Tsarnaev nervously in the garden at sunset in the quiet village surrounded by cow pastures.
His face looked tired and the suspects’ father explained he suffered from high blood pressure and a heart condition.
Tsarnaev had previously said that he intended to travel to the United States to see his younger son and bury the elder one, Tamerlan, who was killed during a manhuntsoon after the bombings.
In Sunday’s interview he explained his decision to move away from the family home in Dagestan to the new location as he wanted to keep a low profile.
The father of the suspects passionately defended his sons’ innocence, saying they had nothing to do with Islamist extremists.
“I feel hopeless. We are simple people. We are trying to understand. We are attacked from all sides,” he said, clutching his head in despair.
“I don’t know whether I should talk or stay silent. I don’t want to harm my child. … We are used to all sorts of things here but we didn’t expect this from the United States.”
Anzor Tsarnaev went on, adding that he raised the issue with U.S. officials who visited him earlier in the week in his previous location in Dagestan.
“I asked them: ‘I saw my child alive, he was being put into a police vehicle alive and healthy. How come media said he was killed?’ They were shocked themselves,” the desperate father said.
During his interview, Anzor Tsarnaev denied Tamerlan had any contact with militants, describing an idyllic picture of his son’s visit to his homeland.
“When he came to stay here, he was a good boy. He read books, (Leo) Tolstoy, (Alexandre) Dumas and thick English language books. He would wake up late and read all day, late into the night,” he said.
“Sometimes we went to the mosque. We went to see our relatives, in Dagestan, in Chechnya. We visited a lot of households, it was a nice atmosphere.”
The father said he had no hope that Tamerlan’s body would be released by the U.S. authorities to be buried in his homeland: “They won’t give us his body. We wont be able to bury him in our land.”