Deceased Boston bomber boxed at Wai Kru

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston was rocked Monday when two bombs were detonated during the Boston Marathon, killing three, and injuring over 150.

The alleged perpetrators were eventually identified as two brothers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19. The brothers are widely reported to have been born in Chechnya. They then reportedly moved, with varying reports saying to neighboring Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan or Dagestan, or more than one country in succesion, before coming to the USA around a decade ago. Adittionally, they told their car mechanic they had lived in Turkey for a period of time.

Late Thursday night the pair apparently was in the vicinity of a 7-11 in Cambridge, Mass. An MIT police officer responded to the disturbance, and was shot dead. The brothers then carjacked a Mercedes, holding the driver for 90 minutes before he escaped. Police cornered the Tsarnaevs in neighboring Watertown, Mass., following a chase that included bombs being thrown from the Mercedes in a failed attempt to thwart the police pursuit.

The older brother was killed, reportedly after being shot, captured, then run over by his brother, and, according to doctors, also suffered injuries consistent with an explosives detonation. A horrific image of the deceased appears to corroborate at least some of that.

A second police officer was shot in Watertown, and is in critical condition.

The older brother’s YouTube profile carries videos by controversial Australian-born Islamic preacher Feiz Mohammad, as well as by Abdel al-Hamid al-Juhani, who has been influential on Jihadists in Chechnya and the Russian Caucuses. Feiz, a former boxer, is of Lebanese origin, and was born in Sydney, Australia. Feiz fled to Lebanon and has lived in hiding there since 2005. 

Tamerlan Tsarnaev trained as an amateur boxer competing for Sommervile Boxing Club and winning the New England Golden Gloves in 2009 and 2010, and representing the region at the nationals in 2009 at 201 lbs.

Tsarnaev winning the 2010 New England Golden Gloves.

A 2010 photo blog called Will Box for Passport, by Johannes Hirn, offers a gallery of Tsarnaev training at the highly-regarded fight gym Wai Kru.

CNN reports that Tsarnaev trained in MMA are false. UGers who trained with him said he boxed only; this information is corroborated by quotes from the blog in which he refers to kicking as ‘dirty’.

The blog also has text referencing a girlfriend. However, the woman in the accompanying image is not his girlfriend, but rather a student at Wai Kru.

Younger brother Dzhokhar was a highly-regarded member of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin high school wrestling team before he graduated last year. He also reportedly trained at Wai Kru, like his older brother, to a limited extent.

Anyone with information about the brothers is encouraged to call the Boston Police Department’s tip line: 1-800-494-TIPS or the bombing task force tip line at 617-223-6610. You can also email

Will box for food.

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.”   

Tamerlan, 196 lbs, will represent New England in the heavyweight category at the National Golden Gloves competition in Salt Lake City, Utah.   

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.   

If he wins enough fights there, 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 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.   

“I’m dressed European style,” Tamerlan says.   

Tamerlan stops to answer a phone call while walking from his Mercedes to the Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts center, where he practices boxing.   

Tamerlan says he loves the movie “Borat,” even though some of the jokes are a bit too much. 

“When you start kicking, it gets dirty. That’s what I think,” Tamerlan says. Of kickboxers, he says: “They don’t know how to move.”   

Tamerlan says he doesn’t usually take his shirt off so girls don’t get bad ideas: “I’m very religious.”  

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.”   

Tamerlab says his girlfriend is half Portuguese, half Italian girlfriend and converted to Islam: “She’s beautiful, man!”

Tamerlan demonstrates a way of walking to strengthen the ankle muscles at the Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts center. A native of Chechnya, Tamerlan says: “In Russia, we used to train like this. Here nobody does it, I don’t know why!”   

Tamerlan takes a break form his boxing practice.

John Allan, owner of Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts Center, posted a statement on Facebook disavowing any link between his facility and Tsarnaev:

“It’s hard to keep up with all the questions phone calls and messages right now. I’d like to thank everybody for the overwhelming support and confidence.

“Wai Kru MMA would like to first take the time to say our hearts go out to the victims and their families of this horrible tragedy.

“Tamerlan Sarnayev (sic) was not now, or ever a member of the Wai Kru MMA facilities. He was a local golden gloves boxer who came into the gym to spar from time to time. Wai Kru has been working closely with the FBI & Homeland Joint Task Force all morning to provide them with any materials that might be useful to bring these people to justice for their heinous crimes.”