April 23, 2013, - 8:33 am

EXCLUSIVE Tsarnaev Bride’s Aunt to Schlussel: Rift in Family Over Marriage to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Parents Supported Financially

By Debbie Schlussel

In an exclusive interview with DebbieSchlussel.com, Elizabeth Russell, aunt of Katherine Russell a/k/a Karima Tsarnaev a/k/a Karima Tsarnaeva–the widow of Boston Marathon Islamic terrorist Tamerlan Tsarnaev–said that there was a “big rift in the extended family” about Katherine Russell’s marriage to Tsarnaev and her conversion to Islamic terrorism. She also said that she read and agreed with a good deal of what I noted in my column, Friday, on Ms. Russell and other American women who convert to Islam and jeopardize American national security for extremist and otherwise unsavory Muslim men. She mentioned that she agreed with me that the Russell family statement seemed cold and uncaring toward the nearly 180 victims of their son-in-law (whom they apparently helped support financially), especially with the first statement about how their daughter has lost her husband.

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Many people are asking where the Tsarnaev brothers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, got their money to live quite comfortably, despite the fact that their parents–who are back in Russia–are nearly broke (the father is a mechanic in a garage there). It appears that at least some of that money came from the parents of Katherine Russell (whom we would call “Abu Karima and Um Karima” in Islam). I would not be surprised if we, perhaps, see some lawsuits against the Russell parents for liability, since it sounds to me like the Russell parents were willingly clueless and did not look into what they were supporting and enabling.

Elizabeth Russell, who is the sister of Katherine Russell’s father, said she and the extended family did not attend the wedding between Tsarnaev and Katherine Russell. She said the two were married by a justice of the peace, and that it all happened “so quickly.” Elizabeth Russell also stated that she had not spoken with her niece in four years, after the rift began. It appeared to Elizabeth Russell that Katherine Russell’s parents were helping to support the couple financially and otherwise, with meals and lodging for Katherine. She said that the parents welcomed Tamerlan Tsarnaev, thought he was a nice guy, and that they were fooled. Elizabeth Russell said the reports that Tamerlan Tsarnaev beat Katherine/Karima were not true, that he only beat his previous girlfriend, and that they were unaware of that.


I questioned how they could be fooled, when their daughter gave up everything, including her education and career, to marry this guy and cover nearly every inch of her body up with Islamic garb, noting that this was a big hint that she had chosen extremism. I also noted that the parents did not put their foot down and continued to subsidize this dangerous lifestyle choice. She said she sort of agreed. She told me that various news reports that Katherine was a religious Christian were not true, and that the family was not religious at all. That void is probably made Russell vulnerable to choose Islam to fill that religious void–that and her sad, blind crush on a Muslim. She did not know whether her niece knew of the Tsarnaev Bros’ terrorist plot, but she believed she did not know. (I believe Karima Tsarnaeva knew exactly what was going on, but she was blinded by her chosen path in life: her new-found devotion to Islam and this Muslim guy).

When I asked if reports that her family were descendants of Puritans were true, Elizabeth Russell was suddenly tight-lipped and responded by saying, “Well, everyone in New England comes from that background” (which isn’t true–as I pointed out, New England is filled with Irish, Italians, Jews, Germans, and those of many other backgrounds, including, unfortunately, the Tsarnaevs and many other extremist Muslims). Russell also said that she was unsure of the ethnic and religious background of her sister-in-law, the mother of Katherine Russell. Elizabeth Russell told me that her mother, Katherine/Karima’s grandmother, who is 80 years old, has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy, that she has been extremely shocked and upset by all of this.

Elizabeth Russell also said that the stories about Tamerlan Tsarnaev being some sort of “Golden Gloves” boxing champ are false. She said he only advanced beyond the first round in a local or regional Golden Gloves qualifying competition, but after winning one round, he lost and that was it. So some of the absurd mainstream media reports–that Tamerlan Tsarnaev became upset after he learned he wouldn’t be able to box for Team USA in the Olympics because he wasn’t yet a U.S. Citizen–are ridiculous. These guys were motivated by Islam and Islam alone, nothing else. (And, anyway, if he had been such a great boxer–he wasn’t–the U.S. would have instantly made him a citizen through a private bill, as it did with Canadian skater Tanith Belbin.)

I spoke with Elizabeth Russell on Monday and verified that she is who she says she is. Elisabeth Russell initially contacted me to ask that I remove a photo I posted of what I thought was Katherine Russell (since a British newspaper said it was she), but which she informed me was the younger sister, Anna. (I removed the photo.)

***

Note the spelling of Ms. Russell’s first name may be Elisabeth (with an S instead of a Z), but I did not get a chance to get the correct spelling before Russell ended the conversation.

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