FBI wants to interview widow Katherine Russell-Tsarnaev
'She met this guy and everything changed', friends say of American Muslim convert who married 'killer'
AS Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old suspect in the Boston bombing lies handcuffed to his bed in hospital, attention has turned to his brother's widow, American born Katherine Russell-Tsarnaev.
Friends tell the Mail Online the 24-year-old, whom the FBI wish to question, was an "all-American girl" who had been "brainwashed" by her religious husband, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who died after a shoot-out with police.
It is believed the Tsarnaevs married four years ago, shortly after meeting in a Boston nightclub. By the time she was 21, Russell had converted to Islam, dropped out of Suffolk University in Boston and had a child, Zahara, now three, with her husband.
The FBI wants to interview Russell-Tsarnaev, says AP, but her lawyer, Amato DeLuca, claims she had no knowledge of the attacks allegedly carried out by her husband and his brother. She learned her husband was a suspect in the same way as most Americans – by watching TV coverage of the bombings and their aftermath.
Russell-Tsarnaev was photographed entering the home she shared with her husband in Cambridge, Massachusetts yesterday to pick up some belongings. It is thought she is staying in Rhode Island with her parents.
DeLuca told journalists that Russell had been working 70-80 hours a week in the healthcare industry while her husband looked after Zahara, adding: "When this allegedly was going on, she was working, and had been working all week to support her family."
However, as the Mail notes, Russell's "proximity to both brothers makes her a key witness - witting or otherwise". One classmate from Rhode Island's North Kingstown High School, who remembers her as a 16-year-old student in 11th grade said: "The thing that's so shocking is that there was nothing at all that made Katherine different. But she met this guy, I guess, and everything changed."
Neighbours of Russell's parents told the Daily Telegraph they had been "very supportive" of their daughter's decision to convert to Islam and wear the hijab head covering, with one saying: "They were so happy to have a granddaughter. This is terrible for them".