U.S. authorities were on their way to a mountainous region in southern Russia to interview the parents of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, as more details emerged about the brothers’ recent activities in the U.S., including word of where the deadly explosives may have been purchased and that the family relied on welfare for at least some of their time here.
A U.S. Embassy official said the Americans traveled from Moscow to the predominantly Muslim province of Dagestan “because the investigation is ongoing, it’s not over.”
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said Wednesday that the team is working with the Russian security services, the FSB.
The mother of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is being interviewed Wednesday in the FSB building in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan. The official said one positive development from the Boston tragedy might be closer cooperation with the Russian government on security issues.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, who was arrested in the United States in June on charges of shoplifting, has told The Associated Press that her son Tamerlan greatly enjoyed his time with her relatives during a trip to his ancestral homeland in southern Russia last year. But Tsarnaeva said he never traveled to her native village in a mountainous region of Dagestan, which is a hotbed of an ultraconservative strain of Islam known as Wahabbism. Wahabbism was introduced to the Caucasus in the 1990s by preachers and teachers from Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, new information surfaced Wednesday about the older of the two brothers, as the manager of a New Hampshire fireworks store said 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev was seen buying two mortar kits at the store in February.
April Walton, of Phantom Fireworks, says Tamerlan bought two “Lock and Load” reloadable mortar kits with 24 shells each.
Company Vice President William Weimer says FBI agents visited the Seabrook store on Friday, interviewed staff and checked its computers.