Last Friday night, after a day-long manhunt using helicopters and heavily armed officers, one of the two suspects of Boston Marathon explosions was caught alive. The other one was shot dead during the chase.
As soon as the identities of the suspects was revealed, news reports came up with stories with different angles including accounts obtained from people who knew the Tsarnaev family or who, in fact, were the Tsarnaev family.
Two names that received much attention apart from the brothers’ were Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the suspects and Katherine Russell who is reportedly Tamerlan’s wife.
Another name that has recently emerged in the news, and that might have more to do with the Boston Marathon explosions is Misha. The mysterious man is being regarded as the most important character yet during the investigations.
This is what we know about Misha:
1- Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Teacher, Mentor, Friend:
According to Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, Misha is a good friend of the family. While the mother maintains that the mystery man is a ‘no negative’ character, an uncle of the two suspects claimed that Misha who was a teacher to the older brother had a huge (radicalized) influence on Tamerlan’s life.
2- Islamic Views:
Several accounts regarding Misha suggest that he was an Armenian convert Muslim. His views were radicalized that forced Tamerlan to drop boxing and music and turned him into an extremist Muslim. Zubeidat Tsarnaeva has also confirmed Misha is an Armenian and a new believer.
3- His Last Name:
We know him as Misha which is a common name in Russia. But his last name is as mysterious and unknown as his personality and location. There has been much talk about the ‘radical teacher who turned Tamerlan into a devil’ but no one has yet been able to find out his last name or even confirm the fact whether Misha is his real name or not.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva has reportedly described Misha the mysterious teacher as ‘a crystal-clear young man with a red beard’. He has also been described as slightly older than Tamerlan (around 30) and a heavyset bald man.
5- Not Salafi, Pure Muslim:
Though mainly Misha is being characterized as a radical (exorcist) mentor who corrupted Tamerlan’s mind, the mother of the suspects has told the Russian and American investigators that Misha and her own family are not Salafi and are pure Muslims.
So these were the only known and disclosed facts about the man who is indirectly being associated with the Boston Marathon attacks which claimed 3 lives and left 176 injured. Several theories suggest that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was indoctrinated by this man’s radical views which then caused him to plot the attack.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva has not yet said anything that can confirm these theories. In fact, she is adamant that Misha is a good friend of the family and has nothing to do with extremism.
There is a lot to come. There is a lot that needs to be known and uncovered about this man who has not yet been located by the FBI or Russian agencies. For now, we know that Misha could be a mastermind behind the attacks, but then again, we can’t be too sure about it.