WASHINGTON, D.C. – A former Chechen rebel fighter living in the United States tells VOA he met several times with Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev prior to the attack that killed three and wounded more than 260 others.
In an exclusive interview, former Chechen rebel Musa Khadjimuradov confirmed the FBI had searched his home in New Hampshire and examined the hard drives of his computers. He spoke with VOA Russian Service reporter Fatima Tlisova.In telephone and Skype interviews from his home, Khadjimuradov denied having discussed Tsarnaev’s embrace of Islam, the cause of Chechen independence from Russia, or politics of any kind.
“Nothing, never. He never talked about the religious, politics or anything like that to me,” Khadjimuradov told VOA. According to Khadjimuradov, he first met Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2006 at a gathering of the Chechen Society of Boston. He said the elder Tsarnaev brother, who was killed in a shootout with police, had visited him on three occasions — the last time with his American wife and their young child.Police in Manchester confirmed to VOA that FBI agents went to Khadjimuradov’s home on Tuesday with search warrants and also took a sample of his DNA and impressions of his fingerprints. Police charged the Tsarnaev brothers in the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing case after identifying them on video tapes.Khadjimuradov, a former aide to a prominent Chechen leader, told VOA that FBI agents also questioned him about Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s use of a Manchester shooting range and the purchase of large quantities of fireworks last February at a store in New Hampshire.Voice of America and its Russian Service have been providing extensive coverage of the aftermath of the Boston bombing, including background and analysis from Russia and the Caucasus.
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