The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

April 27, 2013

Officials: Suspects' mother on watch list

(Continued)

A team of investigators from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has questioned both parents in Makhachkala, Russia, this week, spending many hours with the mother in particular over two days. The suspect’ father, Anzor Tsarnaev, said the questions were mostly about their sons’ activities and interests.

The father said on Thursday that he is soon leaving Russia for the United States, to visit one son and lay the other to rest. The suspects’ mother, who was charged with shoplifting in the U.S. last summer, said she has been assured by lawyers that she would not be arrested.

, but said she was still deciding whether to go.

At a news conference in Russia, Tsarnaeva bitterly said she now regrets moving her family to the U.S. and believes they would have been better off in a village in her native Dagestan.

“You know, my kids would be with us, and we would be, like, fine,” she said. “So, yes, I would prefer not to live in America now! Why did I even go there? Why? I thought America is going to, like, protect us, our kids, it’s going to be safe.”

Also on Thursday, officials said that three days after the Boston attack, the Tsarnaev brothers planned to drive to New York and bomb Times Square in a spur-of-the-moment scheme that fell apart almost immediately when they realized the SUV they had hijacked was low on gas. They had five pipe bombs and a pressure-cooker explosive in the vehicle, police said.

“We don’t know if we would have been able to stop the terrorists had they arrived here from Boston,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “We’re just thankful that we didn’t have to find out that answer.”

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told interrogators from his hospital bed that he and his brother decided the night of April 18 to launch an attempt in New York. But when the Tsarnaev brothers stopped at a gas station on the outskirts of Boston, the carjacking victim they were holding hostage escaped and called police, Kelly said.

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