Nelson Lewis Zubeidat Tsarnaeva

Zubeidat Tsaranaeva, speaking at a news conference in late April 2013.

Nearly two years ago, two pressure-cooker bombs ripped through a crowd of spectators near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring nearly 300.  Shortly afterwards, police forces across the Boston area were on a manhunt for two brothers, Dzhokar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, prime suspects for the bombing.  During the ensuing manhunt, Tamerlan was killed, but Dzhokar was captured and taken into custody.  Two days ago, Tsarnaev was found guilty.  Federal prosecutors referred to the bombings as a “cold, calculated terrorist act”.  However, the mother of the Tsarnaev brothers, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, has spoken out against the verdict, proclaiming her son’s innocence and calling Americans “terrorists”.

In a recent interview, Zubeidat has insisted on the innocence of her sons, and said that the US will pay for “framing” them.  Zubeidat is of Avar descent and currently lives in Dagestan.  She used fiery language, such as “the tears of their mothers will be fuel for them in Hell”.  She has frequently posted on social media, in both English and Russian, condemning the ruling.  It seems like Tsarnaev’s trial was destined for a guilty verdict from the start; at the outset of the trial, his own lawyers admitted that he had participated in the attacks.  Now, it’s up to the jurors to decide whether Tsarnaev will get the death penalty.

Tsarnaeva had lived with her two sons in the Boston area until 2012, when she was deported back to Russia for shoplifting.  She has a long-documented history of radicalism; she quit her job after deciding that she could no longer work in a business that served men, avidly believed in conspiracy theories and wiretaps of conversations with her and her son Tamerlan indicate that they frequently spoke of “jihad”.  Tsarnaeva and Tamerlan were the subject of a Russian Intelligence inquiry ack in 2011 for their extremist Islamic views.  Back when her sons were accused of causing the bombings back in 2013, she denied their involvement, saying that they had been framed for being Muslim, and that the bombings were staged by the FBI using actors doused in fake blood.