The uncle of the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects said he was “ashamed” by his nephews’ alleged actions and said that they may have been provoked by “hatred” and “being losers.”
“Being losers. Hatred to those who were able to settle themselves. These are the only reasons I can imagine. Anything else, with religion, with Islam. It’s a fraud. It’s a fake,” the suspects’ uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, told reporters today.
Tsarni addressed press outside his home in Montgomery Village, Md., today as a massive manhunt is underway for his nephew, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, known as “Suspect 2,” who is on the run from police and believed to be heavily armed. Dzhokhar’s 26-year old brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, previously identified by authorities as “Suspect 1,” died in a shootout with police overnight.
Tsarni vehemently condemned the alleged actions of both men, calling it “an atrocity.” He said they have brought shame on all Chechens and urged his nephew still at large to surrender to authorities immediately.
“Turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness,” Tsarni beckoned to Dzhokhar in an emotional statement. “He put a shame on this family. He put a shame on the entire Chechnyan ethnicity.”
Tsarni, a Muslim and Chechen, said both men were ethnic Chechens, born in Kyrgyzstan, but had lived in the U.S. for several years. The last time he saw the brothers was December 2005, he told reporters, and at that time, neither had terrorism training or displayed any ill will to the U.S.
“Somebody radicalized them, but it wasn’t my brother,” Tsarni said of his brother, the suspect’s father, who lives in Dagestan, a Russian republic. “It’s not my brother, who just moved back to Russia, who spent his life bringing bread to their table. Fixing cars. He didn’t have time or chance or anything. He’s been working, that’s it.”
“I never ever would imagine that somehow the children of my brother would be associated with that,” he continued.
Estranged from his brother for a “number of years,” Tsarni separated his family from his nephews’ alleged roles in the bombing on Monday at the Boston Marathon and expressed his love for America.
“Of course we’re ashamed,” he said. “I respect this country, I love this country, this country that gives chance to everyone else to be treated like a human being.”
Another uncle of the suspects, Alvi Tsarni of Gaithersburg, Md., also expressed disbelief about his nephews’ actions and declared that the nephew that is still on the loose is basically “already dead.”
“They will kill him….we don’t have to worry about this – what’s done is done. He is already dead,” Alvi Tsarni said. “I’m very sorry about what happened. From the first day I was very sorry, who can do this to innocent people…I don’t know what to say, unbelievable, I don’t believe now even now they did this.”
The city of Boston is on lockdown and transportation has been suspended in the city as the suspect is still at-large and described as willing to die in a battle with police.
ABC News’ Arlette Saenz and Cleopatra Andreadis contributed to this report.