The brothers, who came to the U.S. from Russia a decade ago, were raised in a home that followed Sunni Islam, the religion’s largest sect, but were not regulars at the mosque and rarely discussed religion, Khozhugov said.
Then, in 2008 or 2009, Tamerlan met Misha, a heavyset bald man with a reddish beard. Khozhugov didn’t know where they met but believed they attended a Boston-area mosque together.
Hoping to learn more about the Tsarnaev brothers’ motives, U.S. investigators traveled to southern Russia yesterday to speak to their parents, a U.S. Embassy official said.
A lawyer for the family, Zaurbek Sadakhanov, said the parents had just seen pictures of the mutilated body of their elder son and were not up to speaking with anyone.
In Massachusetts, the state House turned aside a bid by several lawmakers to reinstate the death penalty in certain cases, including the murder of police officers. In a 119-38 vote, the House sent the proposal to a study committee rather than advance it to an up-or-down vote.
In another development, April Walton, the manager of Phantom Fireworks of Seabrook, N.H., said Tamerlan Tsarnaev bought 48 mortar shells at the store in February.
Company Vice President William Weimer said FBI agents visited the store on Friday, interviewed staff and checked its computers. He said the amount of gunpowder that could be extracted from the fireworks would not have been enough for the Boston bombs.