WEST NEW YORK – Federal agents descended on the West New York apartment building where Alina Tsarnaeva, the brother of suspected Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan, lives, on Friday. They confiscated a computer and several boxes after spending most of Friday afternoon on the cordoned-off street.
The scene at the tiny, one-way street, just blocks from Town Hall, was a media circus as national, state, and local agencies descended on the apartment building.
Tsarnaeva has the feminine “a” on the end of her name, unlike her brothers, because it is a custom in Chechen nomenclature.
Aside from a momentary glimpse of Tsarnaeva through the crack of her door, she made no other appearances despite the stubbornness of nearly 50 news crews who refused to leave without comment. Around 1 p.m. a woman did leave the apartment building and momentarily appeared as if she was about to address the press, but she subsequently said she spoke no English and left hurriedly.
West New York is a largely Cuban enclave in Hudson County, New Jersey, across the river from Manhattan and just north of Hoboken.
Tsarnaeva had told reporters earlier that “doesn’t know what got into” her brothers when they allegedly killed three and injured hundreds, according to a report on NJ.com. Other family members have expressed a range of opinions on the suspected terrorists; their aunt in Toronto claimed they were framed while a cousin said that although the brothers practiced Islam, “someone radicalized them.”
“They were great people. I never would have expected it,” said Tsarnaeva. “They are smart – I don’t know what’s gotten into them.”
When Tsarnaeva was asked if she was okay, she reportedly replied: “No I’m not okay – no one is okay right now. I’m hurt for everyone who has been hurt. I’m sorry for all the people who are hurt and for all the people who lost their lives.”
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the elder of the brothers, was killed in a shootout early this morning just outside Boston after a massive manhunt. The search for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was ongoing as of 4 p.m.
The entire city of Boston was on lockdown during the search.
Of the younger brother, the woman simply said, “He’s an amazing child.” – Dean DeChiaro