Katherine Russell PHOTOS: Wife of Tamerlan Tsarnev Boston Bomber Converted to Islam; 'Our Hearts Are Sickened', Says Her Family
on Apr 19, 2013 08:10 PM EDT
Katherine Russell is the wife of deceased Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnev, the older suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings who was killed by police earlier.
Russell, 24, converted to Islam for her husband, and has a young 3-year-old daughter, Zahara, with Tamerlan.
DailyMail reported that the family of Russell is devastated by what happened.
Her parents, Judith and Warren, issued a statement following the horrific terror attack: "Our daughter has lost her husband today, the father of her child. We cannot begin to comprehend how this horrible tragedy occurred. In the aftermath of the Patriot's Day horror, we know that we never really knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Our hearts are sickened by the knowledge of the horror he has inflicted."
Russell's family reside in Rhode Island and Tamerlan was regularly seen visiting the residence.
Tamerlan, who had dreamed of becoming a boxer, had recently become radicalized, turning to Jihad, according to videos posted on his Youtube account.
His brother Dzhokhar was finally captured at about 9 p.m. ET tonight on 76 Franklin St. Watertown, Mass., after a large manhunt.
Tamerlan's Youtube page shows a playlist titled 'Terrorists' dedicated to terrorism. Those videos are not available from the video sharing site anymore. One song was called, ''I will dedicate my life to Jihad.'
According to his aunt Maret Tsarneva, who believes that her nephews have been set up as the bombing suspects, Tamerlan had only recently started to pray 5 times a day. "Maybe 2 years ago he started praying 5 times a day. I don't see anything bad in it. 5 times. You set up the time, you say gratitude words to creator - I would rather him pray than smoking, doing drugs and doing some other unlawful stuff."
Maret also mentioned that his wife was a devout Christian but had converted to Islam.
In a press conference, Maret requested that additional proof be given that show her nephews behind the heinous acts.
She spoke to the media from her Toronto residence.
"I am a lawyer and there are four of us in the family. I can't lightly accept this kind of accusations without supporting evidence. Forgive me, but I cannot. Could it be staged? I have to question everything. That's my nature," she said.
The aunt stated that she hasn't spoken to her nephews in roughly five years.
She explained her initial reaction upon hearing they were suspects.
"I called FBI line first - that's the number i called. Knowing these two boys, believing strongly that they woudln't do this - thats why i called. But I called not right away. First reaction was anger. How could this happen, how could they do this? for the sake of what? what beliefs? what prompted them to this? this reaction. But I went through the material. My first call to FBI - I said they could not have done this where is evidence? I'm suspicious that this was staged. The picture was staged. Whoever is looking for those who need to be blamed. "
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