Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was placed in a U.S. terror database in the fall of 2011.
NBC Newsspoke with a counterterrorism official who confirmed the recent rumors that Tsarnaeva had been under suspicion by U.S. authorities for several years. She was placed in the database by the C.I.A. at the same time as Tamerlan, who was shot and killed by police after the Boston attack late last week.
The official noted that just because Tsarnaeva was placed in the database doesn’t mean that the CIA believed her to be a threat.
Tamerlan had been entered into three classified counterterrorism databases prior to the Boston bombing. When he traveled to Russia in 2012, an email alert was sent to a Homeland Security official in Boston, but it didn’t result in an investigation.
In previous interviews, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva admitted that her son was being watched by the FBI.
“They were monitoring him and I know that because I used to talk to them,” she told ITN News. “They used to come to our house, like two, three times. And then my son Tamerlan used to tell me that he used to talk to them, too, because they called me once and they wanted his number.”
She is also still convinced that her sons are innocent, and that they were set up by hostile governmental forces.
While she was living in the United States four years ago, Tsarnaeva also said that she began to practice a “pure” form of Islam. She since moved to the southern Russian republic of Dagestan with the suspects’ father, Anzor Tsarnaev.
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