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October 23, 2014

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Katherine Russell Tsarnaev: What Did Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Wife Know?

Katherine Russell Tsarnaev: What Did Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Wife Know?

04/23/2013

Katherine Russell lived in close quarters with her late husband, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, yet claims to have learned about her husband’s connection with the Boston Marathon bombing the same way that the rest of the country did – through media reports.

Russell’s lawyer, Amato DeLuco, not only claims that his client didn't know anything about her husband’s involvement in the bombing, but that nothing seemed off when she had seen him before leaving for work on Thursday. He was later killed in a shootout with police early Friday morning. Since his death, she’s been staying with her parents in North Kingstown, R.I.

Deluca told CNN, “[Russell’s] a really good person. Katie is just trying to bring up her daughter.” He explained to MailOnline, “She understands the need for talking to investigators. This is the way the government looks at it and she understands this is a threat to national security.”

Russell met Tsarnaev while she was attending Suffolk University, Boston. Eventually she converted to Islam, leaving the University in 2010 and shorty thereafter marrying Tsarnaev. Prior to meeting Tsarnaev, Russell was described as your typical all-American girl. By 21, she had converted to Islam and began hiding her hair beneath the hijab for Tsarnaev, married Tsarnaev and gave birth to his daughter, who is now three years old.

“She was just this All-American girl who was brainwashed by her super-religious husband,” an old friend of hers told MailOnline. “Nobody understands what happened to her. None of us would have dreamed that she would marry so young or drop out of college and have a baby or convert or be part of any of what’s happened.”

When Tamerlan took his 6-month trip to Russia, he contacted Russell every day through Skype, his aunt, Patimat Suleimanova told Radio Free Europe. She said that her nephew, who was now deeply religious, encouraged his family to pray and more strictly follow Islamic rules. The 26-year-old ethnic Chechen reportedly had plans to move his American-born wife and their 3-year-old daughter to a Muslim-dominated region of Dagestan.

Russell has yet to submit to questioning by law enforcement, who consider her a key witness at the very least, and possibly a suspect in her husband’s plotting to set off bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

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Read more: Katherine Russell, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Boston Marathon Bombing

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