Muslim convert Mikhail Allakhverdov, the infamous ‘Misha,’ spoke with a New York reporter this weekend. The friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev said he was not the one to radicalize Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
The Daily Mail reported:
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The mysterious Misha, thought to be the missing link in explaining the radicalization of Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev has broken his silence to speak out from his home in Rhode Island on Sunday.
Accused by members of the Tsarnaev family of being the mastermind behind the marathon attacks which killed three and injured over 250 people, Misha, whose real name is Mikhail Allakhverdov has come forward in hope of setting the record straight.
Frenzied speculation surrounded his role in April 15th’s attacks, with some asking whether ‘Misha’ was part of a wider terror cell or incredibly, if he was a Russian mole – sent to spy on Tamerlan.
Indeed, his very absence from the investigation fueled the conspiracy theories – but now he has come forward to declare himself innocent and that crucially the FBI do not believe he had any part in the bombings.
Christian Caryl from the New York Review of Books tracked down Mikhail Allakhverdov to his family home in Rhode Island – to a lower middle class neighborhood.
The meeting between Caryl and Allakhverdov confirms right away that he does have the widely reported distinguishing reddish beard mentioned by members of the Tsarnaev family.
Living with his parents in a tidy apartment, Allakhverdov flat out denied any part in Tamerlan, 26 and 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s murderous attacks.
Confirming he is indeed a convert to Islam, he said he did know Tamerlan in 2009 as he spoke to Caryl in Russian.
‘I wasn’t his teacher. If I had been his teacher, I would have made sure he never did anything like this,’ Allakhverdov said to the New York Review of Books.
Aged 39, Allakhverdov is of Armenian-Ukranian descent and lives with an American girlfriend with his elderly parents.
His father is an Armenian Christian and his mother is an ethnic Ukrainian.
Speaking to the New York Review of Books, Allakhverdov’s father said, ‘We love this country. We never expected anything like this to happen to us.’