Report: Bombing Suspect Thrown Out of Mosque 3 Months Ago for Shouting at Imam (Updated)
This combination of undated photos shows Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19. The FBI says the two brothers and suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing killed an MIT police officer, injured a transit officer in a firefight and threw explosive devices at police during a getaway attempt in a long night of violence that left Tamerlan dead and Dzhokhar ultimately captured on Friday, April 19, 2013. The ethnic Chechen brothers lived in Dagestan, which borders the Chechnya region in southern Russia. They lived near Boston and had been in the U.S. for about a decade, one of their uncles said. (AP)
UPDATE, 10:25 p.m.: There appears to have been a mixup in which mosque Tamerlan Tsarnaev was allegedly thrown out of. He was allegedly kicked out of the Islamic Society of Boston in Cambridge, Mass., not the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Roxbury, Mass. This story has been updated to correct the record.
Deceased Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev reportedly was thrown out of an area mosque about three months before authorities say he and his brother took part in an act of terror that left three people dead and injured 176.
The Islamic Society of Boston in Cambridge, Mass. confirmed Saturday that both Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaevav were infrequent visitors to the mosque; a USA Today reporter was told the older Tamerlan attended off and on for a year and a half, while the younger Dzhokhar came only once.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Tamerlan Tsarnaevav was kicked out of the mosque three months ago after he stood up and shouted at the imam during a Friday prayer service:
The imam had held up slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. as an example of a man to emulate, recalled one worshiper who would give his name only as Muhammad.
Enraged, Tamerlan stood up and began shouting, Muhammad said.
"You cannot mention this guy because he's not a Muslim!" Muhammad recalled Tamerlan shouting, shocking others in attendance.
"He's crazy to me," Muhammad said. "He had an anger inside.... I can't explain what was in his mind."
Tamerlan was then kicked out of the prayer service for his outburst, Muhammad recalled. "You can't do that," Muhammad said of shouting at the imam.
Still, Tamerlan returned to Friday prayer services and had no further outbursts, Muhammad said.
Yet the statement from the Islamic Society of Boston said worshipers never witnessed any violent behavior from either of the brothers.
"In their visits they never exhibited any violent sentiments or behaviour. Otherwise, they would have been immediately reported to the FBI," the statement said. "After we learned of their identities, we encouraged anyone who knew them in our congregation to immediately report to law enforcement, which has taken place."
Relatives described Tamerlan Tsarnaev, an ethnic Chechen, as having become a more devout Muslim in the last two years or so. An aunt, Maret Tsarnaeva, told reporters Friday that he had recently started praying five time a day.
Chechnya is a predominantly Muslim region of Russia; Tsarnaev spent six months in Russia beginning in January 2012, during which a relative told ABC News an uncles kicked him out of the house for having "increasingly extremist" views.