Boston bombings: Dead suspect aspired to be an Olympian
Washington: Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the suspect in the Boston bombings who was shot dead by the police last night was an aspiring boxer, who hoped to gain American citizenship by being selected in the US Olympic team, a photographer has claimed.
26-year-old Tamerlan featured in an online photo essay of 15 pictures captured by Johannes Hirn entitled "Will Box for Passport," in which he says he has been living in America for five years.
The website which carries the photo-essay, says Tamerlan, who was studying engineering at Bunker Hill Community College, had taken a year off to train for the National Golden Gloves competition in Salt Lake City, Utah.
"I don`t have a single American friend," he laments, despite living in the United States for five years. "I don`t understand them," he is quoted as saying under one of several pictures of him boxing at the Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts Center, a gym mentioned in an online profile in his name.
"If he wins enough fights there, Tamerlan says he could be selected for the US Olympic team and be naturalised American. Unless his native Chechnya becomes independent, Tamerlan says he would rather compete for the United States than for Russia," Hirn said in the essay.
In another caption Tamerlan is described as a devout Muslim. "I`m very religious," he says at one point, noting that he does not smoke or drink alcohol. "There are no values anymore," he says, worrying that "people can`t control themselves."
According to the website, he is originally from Chechnya but left because of the conflict in the 1990s and spent years in Kazakhstan before coming to the United States as a refugee.
Tamerlan was arrested in 2009 for domestic assault and battery after assaulting his girlfriend. The reasons for his descent into terrorism is not clear yet.
In another picture with his girlfriend, Tamerlan is quoted as saying that his girlfriend is half Portuguese, half Italian girlfriend and converted to Islam. "She`s beautiful, man!" said Tamerlan according to the caption.
In another picture Tamerlan demonstrates a way of walking to strengthen the ankle muscles at the Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts center. "In Russia, we used to train like this. Here nobody does it, I don`t know why!" Tamerlan wondered.
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