The mother of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev condemned the guilty verdict delivered by the jury in his federal death penalty trial on Wednesday, calling Americans “terrorists” and proclaiming her sons’ innocence.
In an interview with the website Vocativ conducted over the WhatsApp messaging application, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva insisted on the innocence of her Chechen sons, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who planted the twin bombs that killed 3 people and wounded nearly 300 others near the finish line of the 2013 marathon. She went on to say that the United States will ultimately pay for “framing” them.
“MY SONS ARE INNOCENT, AS INNOCENT AS ALL THOSE WHO ARE BEING KILLED BY YOUR COUNTRY,” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva wrote, according to the website. “TODAY THEY ARE KILLING MUSLIMS, AND TOMORROW WILL COME YOUR TURN AND HE WHO DOUBTS THIS IS DEEPLY MISTAKEN!!!!!”
Tsarnaeva, who is of Avar origin and lives in Dagestan, wrote the text messages in both Russian and English, according to Vocativ, which obtained her phone number and verified her identity through dated selfies she provided.
“HOW CAN A MOTHER FEEL WHOSE SON IS IN THE CLAWS OF A PREDATOR PREPARING TO TEAR HIM TO PIECES LIKE MEAT???” she wrote. “THEY WILL PAY FOR MY SONS AND THE SONS OF ISLAM, PERMANENTLY!!! THE TEARS OF THEIR MOTHERS WILL BE FUEL FOR THEM IN HELL, AND ALSO THEIR BLOOD, I AM DOUBTLESS AND ETERNALLY GLAD THAT I KNOW THIS FROM THE WORDS OF THE CREATOR, NOT JUST ANYONE’S WORDS!!!!!!”
In a separate note posted to a Russian social media site, Tsarnaeva thanked a family friend for her support of “my precious boy.”
“The terrorists are the Americans and everyone knows it,” she wrote. “My son is the best of the best.”
The jury found Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts for his role in the deadly attacks, which killed three people and injured nearly 300.
At the outset of the trial, Tsarnaev’s lawyers admitted that he participated in the attacks.
“It was him,” defense attorney Judy Clarke told jurors during opening arguments.
The jurors will now decide whether Tsarnaev will get the death penalty.
Tsarnaeva — who lived with her sons in Cambridge, Mass., before returning to Dagestan in 2012 after being arrested for shoplifting — had been virtually silent during the trial. But in the days following Dzhokhar’s 2013 arrest, Tsarnaeva called the charges against the brothers “all lies and hypocrisy.”
At an April 25, 2013, news conference in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, a defiant Zubeidat said her sons had been framed “because they were Muslim” and that the bombings were staged by the FBI using actors “doused in fake blood.”