Tamerlan Tsarnaev: "I Don't Have a Single American Friend"

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, has been identified by authorities as the slain Boston Marathon bombing suspect who was killed in a firefight with police following an intense and lethal chase with police Friday morning.

Slate has already identified Tamerlan Tsarnaev as the subject of a photo essay titled "Will Box For Passport" composed by photographer Johannes Hirn.

While the story is slowly becoming more clear, it should absolutely be noted that the possibility remains that the Tsarnaev brothers have been falsely implicated in this terrible crime.

Tamerlan, who studies at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston and wants to become an engineer, took the semester off from school to train for the competition.

Tamerlan fled Chechnya with his family because of the conflict in the early 90s, and lived for years in Kazakhstan before getting to the United States as a refugee.

Originally from Chechnya, but living in the United States since five years, Tamerlan says: "I don't have a single American friend, I don't understand them."

If he wins enough fights... Tamerlan says he could be selected for the US Olympic team and be naturalized American. Unless his native Chechnya becomes independent, Tamerlan says he would rather compete for the United States than for Russia.

Tamerlan says he doesn't drink or smoke anymore: "God said no alcohol." A muslim, he says: "There are no values anymore," and worries that "people can't control themselves."

Slate also identified this YouTube account as possibly belonging to Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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