Dead Boston suspect talked jihad in Russia
London: Boston marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed by police during a manhunt, held extreme views of jihad and expected to find a full-fledged war when he visited Russia's Muslim-dominated North Caucasus region, media reports said.
Tsaranev and his younger brother Dzhokhar are suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon finish line April 15, killing three people and injuring more than 260.
Tsarnaev's cousin Magomed Kartashov, a local Islamist leader in Russia's Dagestan, reportedly spent hours trying to dissuade him from becoming a militant, BBC reported.
Russian anti-terrorist police have interrogated Kartashov, who is in custody over an unrelated offence.
The Tsarnaevs, a family of ethnic Chechens, had been living in the US for about a decade.
Tamerlan returned from the US in 2012 for a long visit to Dagestan, a Russian republic bordering Chechnya. Islamist insurgents are active in the region.
Members of the Union of the Just, an Islamist political organisation in Dagestan, spoke to reporters in the Dagestani town of Kizlyar about their dealings with Tamerlan. "He already had jihad views when he came," Zaur M Zakaryayev said in an interview to the New York Times.
"I think because he was Chechen, he was rooting for his homeland. When he got here he was surprised at the conditions. I think he expected to find a full-fledged war, that one people was fighting with another," he said.
Zakaryayev said that Magomed Kartashov, who reportedly founded the Union of the Just, had spent hours trying to stop Tsarnaev from joining one of the militant cells scattered through the region.
"Magomed explained to him at length that violent methods are not right," he said.
He added that his organisation did not support the Boston bombing.
In words relayed to Time magazine through his lawyer, Kartashov said from police custody that Tsarnaev had been the one trying to "pull him in to extremism".
"Kartashov tried to talk (Tsarnaev) out of his interest in extremism," the lawyer said.
BBC said that Bilyal Magomedov, a member of the Union of the Just, appeared to welcome the Boston bombing.
"In principle, it's good that this happened, even though the (Tsarnaev) brothers suffered," he told Time magazine.
"Don't understand me wrong, but September 11 led many Americans to convert to Islam. It's another question that people died there, sure. But people also started to wonder why this act was committed," he said.
Dzhokhar, who was wounded during the manhunt, is in US custody on terrorism charges. Tsarnaev was buried secretly following protests outside funeral homes in Massachusetts where his body was kept.