Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, says she has spoken with her son for the first time since his arrest.
“I couldn’t stop myself from crying,” Tsarnaeva said in an phone interview with Bloomberg News late Monday from her home in Dagestan, Russia. “He said: ‘I am absolutely fine; my wounds are healing. Everything is in God’s hands. Be patient. Everything will be fine.’”
Tsarnaev, 19, is accused of carrying out the April 15 terror attack with his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, who died in a shootout with police. He is in a federal prison hospital in Ayer, Mass., recovering from a gunshot wound to the neck.
“Mentally he is normal, but the child is shocked,” Tsarnaeva said after her six-minute conversation with Tsarnaev. “It was really hard to hear him and for him to hear me. The conversation was very quiet. It was my child. I know he is locked up like a dog, like an animal.”
Tsarnaeva has maintained her sons are innocent, claiming they were set up by the FBI. Tsarnaev reportedly admitted his role in the attack after his arrest, communicating to investigators that he and his brother were motivated by Islam extremists but acted alone.
Three people were killed and more than 260 others wounded when two powerful homemade bombs exploded near the race’s finish line.
Tsarnaev was charged with two federal counts of using a weapon of mass destruction to kill, injure and cause widespread damage at the marathon. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Last month, U.S. investigators traveled to southern Russia to speak to Tsarnaeva and Anzor Tsarnaev, the suspects' father, who also denies his sons' involvement in the bombings. Maret Tsarnaeva, the brothers' aunt who lives in Toronto, also said she believes her nephews were framed.