The city of Boston is currently on lockdown, as officials search for the white-hatted Boston Marathon bombing suspect, who authorities believe is 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a Chechnyan who'd been living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The other suspect was his older brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died in a gun battle with police early this morning.
Here's what we know about them, so far:
- Dzhokhar was born on July 22, 1993.
- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. He was in the class of 2011.
- Dzhokhar was one of 45 high-school seniors to receive a $2,500 scholarship from the City of Cambridge in 2011.
- A high-school wrestler, Dzhokhar was named Student Athlete of the Month in February 2011 and a Greater Boston League Winter All-Star in 2011.
- Dzhokhar once signed a petition about ducks and chickens in Cambridge with the comment: "leave the chickens."
- Dzhokhar was very torn about Malcolm Gladwell's Blink. [via @johnmcquaid]
- A high-school friend told the Boston CBS affiliate that Dzhokhar was "just a normal American kid."
- A social-media account bearing Dzhokhar's name lists his world view as "Islam" and his priorities as "career and money":
- Tamerlan was an amateur boxer, weighing 196 pounds, who trained at the Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts Center in Allston and studied at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston.
- In 2009 and 2010, Tamerlan represented New England in the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions.
- Tamerlan was a very good fighter, but "very cocky," Worcester gym owner Kendrick Ball tells the Worcester Telegram.
- The subject of a portrait series, Tamerlan told photographer Johannes Hirn that he fled Chechnya with his family because of the conflict in the early 90s, and lived for years in Kazakhstan before getting to the United States as a refugee.
- He also told Hirn, "I don't have a single American friend, I don't understand them."
- He loved the movie Borat, "even though some of the jokes are a bit too much."
- According to Tamerlan's Amazon Wishlist, the 26-year-old was very interested in fraud, persuasion, the mafia, and his native Chechnya. Highlights include as How to Make Driver's Licenses and Other ID on Your Home Computer and Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends & Influence People
- Tamerlan drove a Mercedes and said he dressed "European."
- Tamerlan kept a YouTube channel with a since-deleted category labeled "Terrorists."
- One of Tamerlan's favorite YouTube videos stars a chameleon wearing glasses.
- A photo of Dzhokhar with Robin Young's nephew:
- Dzhokhar is a registered student at UMass Dartmouth. The state school is closed today.
- The AP spoke to the Tsarnaevs' dad. "My son is a true angel," he told them. "Dzhokhar is a second-year medical student in the U.S. He is such an intelligent boy. We expected him to come on holidays here."
- A high-school classmate tells CBS Dzhokhar was a class clown. "He would just joke around, try and make jokes, get on the teachers nerves, just like a typical class clown," she said. "He was very friendly. Everyone liked him. No one had any problems with him."
- People called him Jahar "because Dzokhar was too difficult to pronounce."
- Buzzfeed's Rosie Gray talks with Dzhokhar's former classmates, who are all pretty shocked.
"I didn't know Jahar extremely well but he was literally among the sweetest, most laid back guys I've ever known," one tells her. "Always friendly and welcoming, I always felt comfortable hanging out with him."
- More recently, Dzhokhar worked shifts at Harvard's Blodgett Pool.
- CBS spoke with the brothers' uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, who called Tamerlan a "loser" and said, "He deserved his. He absolutely deserved his" and "They do not deserve to live on this earth."
Yearbook pic of Boston bombing suspect, given to me by fmr classmate. "He was quiet". twitter.com/Brynn4NY/statu…— Brynn Gingras (@Brynn4NY) April 19, 2013
- This appears to be Jahar's Twitter account. Adrian Chen has more examples over here, but a few selected Tweets:
Ain't no love in the heart of the city, stay safe people— Jahar (@J_tsar) 16 de abril de 2013
tat my name on you girl so i know it's real oh and make sure to spell it right, its spelled Dzhokhar— Jahar (@J_tsar) May 6, 2012
straight killen em— Jahar (@J_tsar) May 22, 2012
proud to be from #chechnya— Jahar (@J_tsar) April 29, 2012
- Jahar apparently liked his weed:
"Blunts, pipe, all that." "He liked chronic." - Jean Almodovar on Jahar Tsarnaev in high school #bostonmarathon— Rebecca Ostriker (@GlobeOstriker) April 19, 2013
Kid on CNN just described Tsarnaev as “an actual angel” who “smokes a little weed” but is not, like, “some foreign dude.”— Juli Weiner (@juliweiner) April 19, 2013
I never would have thought that someone that smoked as much weed as Jahar would be on the News for terrorism.— mac (@ChinksMcGee) April 19, 2013
- A photo from his Facebook page:
- That's Jahar on the bottom row left, in a Facebook photo taken at UMass Dartmouth sometime last year and submitted by a tipster:
- Here's Jahar in Times Square, second to the right:
- Mother Jones has a photo from Jahar's wrestling years, plus screenshots of a bunch of his peers freaking out at news that their acquaintance was wanted in connection with the bombing.
- A woman believed to be the suspected bombers' mother was arrested for shoplifting last summer at Lord & Taylor.
- According to the AP, Tamerlan went to Russia last year and spent six months there.
- Tamerlan Tsaenaev has a two-year-old young daughter, according to his aunt, Toronto resident, Maret Tsarnaeva. She says he is also married "to a woman whom she described as a Christian, and that he's been staying at home taking care of his daughter while his wife worked," reports the CBC.
- Tamerlan also was a devout Muslim, his aunt told reporters, who prayed five times a day.
- An Andrew Sullivan reader who knew Jahar writes in: "My feeling is that the reason that Jahar was involved has entirely to do with his brother. I've maybe met his brother once, but his brother used to be a good friend of my friend's brother. I remember hearing recently that he had settled down, had a child, and had become fairly religious but didn't think anything of it. Given that his brother essentially raised him I think this is an awful case of evil being perpetuated because of the trust and love Jahar had for his brother."
- Zaur Tsarnaev, a cousin, told the Boston Globe that Tamerlan was a bad influence on his little brother. "I used to warn Dzhokhar that Tamerlan was up to no good," he said. "[Tamerlan] was always getting into trouble. He was never happy, never cheering, never smiling. He used to strike his girlfriend. He hurt her a few times. He was not a nice man. I don't like to speak about him. He caused problems for my family."
- The Daily Mail alleges that they've located Tamerlan's wife and the mother of his daughter Zahara, Katherine Russell, and that she's currently visiting her family in Rhode Island.
[photos via FBI]