Portrait of a Boston bombing suspect: the American dream gone awry

Boston Police set up a command post around 3 a.m. in the Arsenal Mall, east of the suburb of Watertown where they have been hunting the second suspect in the marathon bombings throughout the night.



BOSTON -- The American dream ended violently for 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev late Thursday night.

The suspected Boston Marathon bomber died in a shootout after he joined his brother, Dzhokhar, to rob a 7-Eleven convenience store in the Boston suburb of Cambridge.

Little is known about the fractured Chechen immigrant family that brought these two boys to America.

However, enough of a picture is emerging to reveal two sometimes troubled youths trying to adjust to a new land.

In 19-year-old Dzhokhar's case, the fugitive had disguised his alleged sociopathic intentions beneath the happy facade of a party-loving but dedicated student. He was captain of his high school wrestling team.

His dead brother Tamerlan also excelled at his studies, winning a $3,500 scholarship in 2011. On his Facebook page, Tamerlan listed his languages as "English, Russian and the Chechen language." Islam is his stated religion.

Together the two formed part of a family of six who had sought a new life in the United States.

Their uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, said the young immigrants found it hard to adjust to life in their new home. He said the boys were often confused by the freedoms of the U.S., but that didn't excuse their association with terrorism.

He called them both "losers" who had brought shame to their family and the entire Chechen community in the wake of the bombings. Tsarni had no idea why they did what they did.

What we do know is this.

Tamerlan attended Bunker Hill Community College as a part-time student for three semesters: fall 2006, spring 2007 and fall 2008, college spokeswoman Patricia Brady confirmed to the Wall Street Journal.

He was also a keen boxer.

Under the heading Will Box for Passport, an online gallery of pictures feature Tamerlan working on his boxing skills at the local Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts Center.

In one caption, a sporting future is beckoning.

"If he wins enough fights there, Tamerlan says he could be selected for the U.S. Olympic team and be naturalized American. Unless his native Chechnya becomes independent, Tamerlan says he would rather compete for the United States than for Russia."

In another shot, Tamerlan is seen boxing in his gym shorts above the words "Tamerlan says he doesn't usually take his shirt off so girls don't get bad ideas: 'I'm very religious.'"

Again we see him helping a female boxer.

She is described as a half-Portuguese, half-Italian girlfriend and a convert to Islam: "She's beautiful, man!"

Again we get an insight into his state of mind.

"Originally from Chechnya, but living in the United States since five years, Tamerlan says: 'I don't have a single American friend, I don't understand them.'"

The father of the two boys has called on his surviving son to give up peacefully.

Anzor Tsarnaev spoke to ABC News from his home in the Russian city of Makhachkala.

He told the American network he spoke to his sons earlier this week.

"We talked about the bombing," Anzor said. "I was worried about them."

His sons reassured him, saying, "Everything is good, Daddy. Everything is very good."

Anzor insisted that his boys were guilty of nothing and wanted Tamerlan to "surrender peacefully" because the charges were a "set-up" and "science fiction."

"Give up. Give up. You have a bright future ahead of you. Come home to Russia," the dad pleaded.

Then he gave this chilling warning: "If they killed him, then all hell would break loose."

"If they kill my second child, I will know that it is an inside job, a hit job. The police are to blame," the father concluded. "Someone, some organization is out to get them."

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