Bombing Suspect’s Uncle: ‘Turn Yourself In and Ask for Forgiveness’

By Melanie Arter | April 19, 2013 | 12:31 PM EDT

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, being sought by police in the Boston Marathon bombings Monday. (AP Photo/Federal Bureau of Investigation)

( – Ruslan Tsarni, the uncle of bombing suspects 19-year-old Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, who is still at large, and older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed last night, urged his nephew to turn himself in and beg for forgiveness from the Boston Marathon bombing victims’ families and everyone affected by the tragedy.

“I say Dzhokhar, if you’re alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness from the victims, from the injured and from those who [are] left. Ask forgiveness from these people. We’re not requiring forgiveness in this family. He put a shame on … our family, Tsarni family. He put shame on the entire Chechen ethnicity,” Tsarni said, because people now associate Chechens with terrorism.

“They put that shame on the entire ethnicity,” Tsarni said.

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When asked what may have prompted his nephews to allegedly plan such an attack, he said: “Being losers, hatred to those who were able to settle themselves. These are the only reasons I can imagine of. Anything else to do with religion, with Islam, it’s a fraud. It’s a fake.”

Tsarni, who lives in Montgomery Village, Md., said he has not been in touch with his brother, the suspects’ father, and had last seen the suspects in December 2005.

“My family has nothing to do with that family,” he said.

The brothers immigrated to the U.S. and lived in Cambridge, Mass., since 2003 after being given asylum, the uncle said.

Tsarni speculated that “somebody radicalized them, but 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… he’s been working.”

He offered condolences to the victims and wanted to share their grief.

“The only purpose here is just to deliver our condolences and to share grief with the real victims here – those who’ve been murdered, those who’ve been injured – this boy, this Chinese girl, this young 29 years old girl…I’ve just been following this. I’ve been following it … from day one but never, ever would imagine that somehow the children of my brother would be associated with that,” Tsarni said.