CAMBRIDGE, Mass. We’re learning more about the brothers suspected of the Marathon bombing. The older of the alleged Marathon bombers, Tamarlan Tsarnaev, started attending Friday prayers at the Islamic Society of Boston, in Cambridge, about a year-and-a-half ago.
Tsarnaev called attention to himself during one prayer service earlier this year. It happened on Jan. 18 — the Friday prayers just before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“The theme of the sermon was about great men like Dr. Martin Luther King, like the prophet, what drove them, their sense of mission, what we could learn from their lives and how we could be inspired by their example, and so when the person who was giving the sermon began to talk about King, [Tsarnaev] got up and objected and raised his voice, which is against the etiquette of the sermon,” Anwar Kazmi, a board member of the Islamic Society of Boston Trust, told reporters Monday in front of the small mosque on busy Prospect Street in Cambridge.
Kazmi said different people have different memories of what Tsarnaev said that day. Kazmi said some people reported Tsarnaev objected to comparing King to the prophet Mohammed. Others have reported he called the speaker a hypocrite. Kazmi said after the incident, people sat down with Tsarnaev and explained to him that he could not interrupt the sermon.
“And he seemed to understand and nothing happened after that,” Kazmi said. “He continued to come to the mosque even after the incident.”
Kazmi said one man remembers a positive experience with Tsarnaev. The man ran out of gas, and Tsarnaev ran over to his apartment, got a gas can, filled it up, and brought it to the man.
Kazmi said Tsarnaev’s younger brother, Dzhokhar, only came once to Friday prayers.
“And I have been told that on occasion, they would also come here for the dawn prayers, and that the younger one sometimes came accompanied by his older brother,” Kazmi said. “The younger one never came here by himself.”
Kazmi said several members of the congregation are still being interviewed by the FBI about the brothers. He said he doesn’t know what the FBI is asking.
Boston Marathon Bombing: Significant Developments:
- Monday, April 15: Bombs at the Marathon finish line kill three and injure hundreds more
- Thursday, April 18: Black hat and white hat: FBI releases photos and video of suspects
- Thursday and Friday, April 18-19: MIT police officer is killed; shootout in Watertown; one suspect dies, other escapes
- Friday, April 19: Manhunt for surviving suspect as Boston area is put on lockdown
- Friday evening, April 19: Lockdown lifted; suspect is located and captured in Watertown
- Monday, April 22: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev charged with using a weapon of mass destruction
- Wednesday, May 1: Three college friends of Dzhokhar accused of disposing of backpack
- More Coverage: Boston Marathon Bombings