Ruslan Tsarni, the uncle of Boston bombings suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has addressed the Armenian-American community with apologies for linking an ethnic Armenian to the attacks.
Tsarni had alleged that a recent convert to Islam named Misha, who was an ethnic Armenian, was responsible for the radicalization of the elder of the brothers who carried out the April 15 bombings in which three people were killed and 264 were injured.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was fatally injured in a shootout with the police three days after the attack, while his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar managed to escape, but was tracked down and arrested the following day.
The allegation by Tsarni caused a storm of discontent among the sizable Armenian community of the United States, but media later found out more about the “mysterious Misha”, who, indeed, proved to be of half-Armenian origin. Mikhail Allakhverdov, a 39-year-old man whose father is a Christian Armenian from Baku, Azerbaijan, and whose mother is an ethnic Ukrainian, lives in the state of Rhode Island today. He told a New York Review of Books correspondent earlier this week that he indeed had converted to Islam and knew Tamerland Tsarnaev in 2009, but he strongly denied being his “teacher” or having any other links to the acts of terrorism carried out by the two Chechen brothers.
Tsarni, who contacted the Armenian Mirror-Spectator, an Armenian publication based in Watertown, Massachusetts, USA, offered an apology to the Armenian community over his recent statements.
“Armenia has a very strong culture, therefore, I want to stress that his [Misha’s] ethnicity has nothing to do with it,” Tsarni said. “I wish I had never said it.”
Tsarni added, “I felt for you [Armenians] and wish I had never done it.”
He once again apologized for connecting the Armenian community “to this evil event.”