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Monday, April 29, 2013

'Misha' exposed

We now know the identity of 'Misha,' the alleged bad influence on Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon terrorist. This is from the first link.
Today I was able to meet “Misha,” whose real name is Mikhail Allakhverdov. Having been referred by a family in Boston that was close to the Tsarnaevs, I found Allakverdov at his home in Rhode Island, in a lower middle class neighborhood, where he lives in modest, tidy apartment with his elderly parents. He confirmed he was a convert to Islam and that he had known Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but he flatly denied any part in the bombings. “I wasn’t his teacher. If I had been his teacher, I would have made sure he never did anything like this,” Allakhverdov said.

...

Allakhverdov said he had known Tamerlan in Boston, where he lived until about three years ago, and has not had any contact with him since. He declined to describe the nature of his acquaintance with Tamerlan or the Tsarnaev family, but said he had never met the family members who are now accusing him of radicalizing Tamerlan. He also confirmed he had been interviewed by the FBI and that he has cooperated with the investigation.

...

An FBI spokesman in Boston declined to comment on an ongoing case. Allakverdov’s statements, however, seemed to bear out recent reports that the FBI have not found any connection between “Misha” and the bomb plot.

One question is why members of the Tsarnaev family have made accusations about Allakverdov. A close friend of the family in Boston said that Misha was not known to have visited Tamerlan at home. I interviewed Allakhverdov in Russian and it seems likely that in whatever contact the two men had, they would have spoken Russian.

In many ways, Allakhverdov’s parents seem typical former-Soviet émigrés who had embraced middle class life in the United States. His father is an Armenian Christian and his mother is an ethnic Ukrainian. The family had lived in Baku, Azerbaijan, but had left in the early 1990s for the United States to escape growing persecution of Armenian Christians there. The family was welcoming to me but very nervous. “We love this country. We never expected anything like this to happen to us,” his father said.
Hmmm.

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