Canada
Toronto aunt of Boston bombing suspects receiving threats

Maret Tsarnaev — the aunt of the alleged Boston bombers — talks to a swarm of media in the lobby of her Etobicoke apartment building on Friday April 19, 2013

Credits: Ernest Doroszuk /TORONTO SUN/QMI AGENCY

MARYAM SHAH | QMI AGENCY

TORONTO -- The Toronto aunt of the two Boston bombing suspects says she has been the target of threats since saying publicly Friday that her nephews were framed.

“They are calling us, calling names, threatening, saying it’s time to go home,” Maret Tsarnaeva said Saturday. “Yes, it is time. We did not find that promise -- democracy -- in this country.

“But if I go home, I will go home only with bodies of my nephews.”

Tsarnaeva sounded exhausted the day after her surviving nephew Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was taken into custody by the FBI, following a harrowing day-long manhunt that shut down an entire city and ended with the badly injured suspect hiding in a Boston-area backyard.

His 26-year-old brother Tamerlan was killed in a shoot-out with police early Friday morning.

Their aunt firmly believes it’s all a conspiracy.

“They made our boys enemies of the American nation,” she said. “They made them victims of the conspiracy.”

Born in Chechnya, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan moved to the United States from the Russian region of Dagestan with their parents in the early 2000s.

The older brother competed as a heavyweight boxer while the younger enjoyed hip hop music and was captain of his high school wrestling team.

Tsarnaeva was shocked to learn that the boys she hasn’t seen in five years had been named suspects in the marathon explosions that killed three people and injured scores more.

She believes they were framed, held by “faceless enemies” even as the manhunt raged on.

“They needed somebody to blame for something they committed themselves so they got them, so rejoice people, rejoice,” she said in a weary voice.

When asked if there were any plans for her to head south to be with other family members also reeling from shock, she said she would if she could.

“I have a little boy right here,” she said. “Who can I leave with him? Of course I would like to go and be with Ruslan and others.”

Ruslan Tsarni is the suspects’ uncle, based in Maryland. On Friday he called the two boys “losers” who had shamed his community.

Tsarnaeva made it clear the FBI has not contacted her.

“FBI is the only one who is not contacting me because they have no interest of getting any information because they have got everything they need,” she said.

She is convinced Dzhokhar won’t be given a chance to explain his innocence.

“They will make sure they will not let this boy live because they do not want this boy to have a chance, have a voice to say that ‘People of America, I did not do this,’” she said.

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