Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the two Chechen brothers identified as the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, was a self-described “very religious” Muslim boxer who yearned for Chechen independence and who posed for a photo essay entitled “Will Box for Passport.”
He was identified as the suspect who died early Friday morning during a shootout with police in Watertown, Massachusetts — a suburb of Boston. His brother, who is still on the run as of this publishing, is named Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a student at Bunker Hill Community College and a Golden Gloves boxer who trained at Wai Kru mixed martial arts gym in Boston and competed in a national Golden Gloves competition. The Wai Kru gym could not be reached for comment.
Prior to his national Golden Gloves competition in Salt Lake City, photographer Johannes Kirn profiled Tsarnaev in a photo essay entitled “Will Box For Passport,” quoting the young boxer as saying that he is a ”very religious” Muslim, which prevents him from drinking, smoking or removing his shirt around women, and that he cares deeply about the independence of Chechnya from Russia.
“Tamerlan says he doesn’t drink or smoke anymore: ‘God said no alcohol.’ A Muslim [SIC], he says: ‘There are no values anymore,’ and worries that ‘people can’t control themselves.’”
“Tamerlan says he doesn’t usually take his shirt off so girls don’t get bad ideas,” according to one of Kirn’s captions. “I’m very religious.”