On Sunday, Christian Caryl from The New York Review of Books caught up with "Misha," the man accused by the Tsarnaev family of influencing Tamerlan Tsarnaev's conversion to a more radicalized form of Islam. Caryl met “Misha,” whose real name is Mikhail Allakhverdov, outside of Allakhverdov's home in Rhode Island.
Speaking to Caryl in Russian, Allakhverdov admitted knowing Tamerlan but said he hadn't seen him since he lived in Boston roughly three years ago. He refused to elaborate on his relationship with Tamerlan, but did say that he had never met the Tsarnaev family members accusing him of influencing Tamerlan.
He also adamantly denied any role in the marathon bombings.
“I wasn’t [Tamerlan's] teacher. If I had been his teacher, I would have made sure he never did anything like this,” Allakhverdov said.
Allakhverdov told Caryl he'd been interviewed by the FBI and was cooperating fully with the investigation.
I’ve been cooperating entirely with the FBI. I gave them my computer and my phone and everything I wanted to show I haven’t done anything. And they said they are about to return them to me. And the agents who talked told me they are about to close my case.
Caryl also spoke with Allakhverdov's father, whom he described as welcoming but nervous. “We love this country,” the father said. "We never expected anything like this to happen to us."