My first clue about something amiss in this family came when I heard the suspect's two uncles talking on camera while law enforcement was still searching for the second suspect. They both said that they had broken ties with their brother's family (the suspect's father) several years ago. None of the reporters questioning the uncles caught the significance of that statement or attempted to pursue what had triggered it.
In describing how/why the family came to the US, I've heard variations on this theme:
She [Zubeidat: suspect's mother] told me that she and her husband had been lawyers and political activists in Russia. They had fled the country after “something that her husband did.” Her daughter had recently been divorced at this time, and her daughter’s ex-husband had taken their child to Russia, refusing to return him. Finally the child was returned. When my mom asked Zubeidat how they had gotten the child back, she told her that “my [Zubeidat’s] husband is crazy” and everyone knew it.It seems as though the family had recently come apart at the seams. Notice the link in timing.
Tamerlan’s turn to Islam came as the family seemed to be disintegrating, according to neighbors and court records.We know that Tamerlan had been abusive with his wife. But this story raises a whole host of questions as well.
A next-door neighbor on Norfolk Street, who declined to provide his name, said he would constantly hear yelling and police would often show up at the family’s apartment. Another neighbor also described “screaming and arguments.”
The parents divorced, and spent extended periods of time back in Russia.
Gym owner Allan said that Tamerlan had once introduced him to an American, Brendan Mess, whom Tamerlan described as his best friend.These stories don't provide us with enough information to draw conclusions. But it sure seems to me that this was a family with members who had been involved in some dark business...things that seem much more important to me than what religion they practiced.
Two years ago, Mess and two other men were brutally killed in a Waltham apartment where they were found by police with their throats slit and their bodies covered with marijuana. The murders remain unsolved.