'I don’t have a single American friend': Photo essay titled 'Will Box For Passport' reveals profile of Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Photo essay reveals suspected bomber's aspirations to compete for America in the Olympics if he is naturalised

The “black hat” Boston Marathon bombing suspect identified as Chechnyan-born Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was the subject of a photo essay taken some years ago in which he revealed: “I don’t have a single American friend, I don’t understand them.”

A keen boxer, Tsarnaev appears in a series of images, titled Will Box For Passport, taken by Johannes Hirn (but which since appear to have been removed from his website), as he prepared to take part in the National Golden Gloves competition at Salt Lake City.

The captions give insight into the suspect who was killed this morning during a police raid. They reveal that, at the time the photos were taken, Tsarnaev was studying at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston and had aspirations to become an engineer.

They also reveal that Tsarnaev fled Chechnya to Kazakhstan with his family because of the conflict in the early nineties, before coming to America as a refugee.

The photos reveal that, despite living in the US for more than five years, he had trouble assimilating, and claimed not to have "a single American friend" and didn’t understand “them”.

Tsarnaev was representing New England in the heavyweight category at the competition and took a term off school to commit himself to training as a boxer.

The photo essay reveals the suspected bomber's hopes that he would be picked for the US Olympic boxing team. Tsarnaev is quoted as saying that he would rather compete for the United States than for Russia “unless his native Chechnya becomes independent”.

The photos show Tsarnaev dressed up “European style” in white leather shoes and with a large scarf. In one picture he can be seen answering a call on his mobile phone while walking from his Mercedes car to the Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts Center where he trained.

Tsarnaev is pictured boxing with his shirt off in one picture, something he says he doesn’t usually do “so girls don’t get bad ideas”, adding: “I’m very religious”. He is quoted as saying that, as a Muslim, he does not drink or smoke and is troubled that “There are no values any more. People can’t control themselves.”

The Independent has requested a comment from photographer Johannes Hirn but has not yet received a response.

As the world Googles the suspects' names links to Tsarnaev’s digital footprint are being made. A YouTube video sharing account (unconfirmed) that is in his name suggests he subscribed to a channel called “Allah is the One”.

An Amazon “wish list” activated in 2006 under the name Tamerlan (also unconfirmed) show the suspect had looked at books including How To Make Driver’s Licenses and Other ID on Your Home Computer, Voice Power: Using Your Voice to Captivate, Persuade and Command Attention, Document Fraud and Other Crimes of Deception and How To Win Friends And Influence People.

 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement