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Dead Bombing Suspect Had Turned To Stricter Version Of Islam

BOSTON, (UPI) — A growing interest in Islam by Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his mother split the family, say friends and family of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Law enforcement officials want to know if the deceased suspect had turned to radical Islam, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Tsarnaev, 26, began studying Islam at the encouragement of his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, who felt he had slipped into a dissolute life of partying and womanizing. A champion boxer, he abandoned the sport because he came to consider it un-Islamic.

He began to push family members to adopt stricter lifestyles, his mother said, adding he convinced her to adopt more modest dress.

His father, Anzor Tsarnaev, was angered by the changes, the Journal said. He called his wife “crazy” for changing her way of dressing and was angered by his elder son’s decision to drop his boxing career.

The parents separated about two years ago, and the father moved to Dagestan after falling ill. About the same time, Tamerlan Tsarnaev became more confrontational about his religion, arguing with worshippers at a mosque in Cambridge.

The challenges increased for him. He was charged with assault by a girlfriend who said he slapped her. His interest in college waned. A friend was the victim of a homicide.

Even with all this information, however, authorities say they still don’t know what motivated Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, 19, allegedly to set off two bombs at the Boston Marathon and shoot to death a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer.

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