The older of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was courted by the FBI to be an informant and keep an eye on the Chechen and Muslim community, according to lawyers for the younger alleged bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
The Boston Globe reports that the FBI pressured Tamerlan Tsarnaev to report on the communities, which may have “increased his paranoia and distress.”
“We seek this information based on our belief that these contacts were among the precipitating events for Tamerlan’s actions during the week of April 15, 2013, and thus material to the defense case in mitigation,” the lawyers said in their court filing.
“We base this on information from our client’s family and other sources that the FBI made more than one visit to talk with Anzor [his father], Zubeidat [his mother] and Tamerlan, questioned Tamerlan about his Internet searches, and asked him to be an informant, reporting on the Chechen and Muslim community.
“We do not suggest that these contacts are to be blamed and have no evidence to suggest that they were improper, but rather view them as an important part of the story of Tamerlan’s decline. Since Tamerlan is dead, the government is the source of corroboration that these visits did in fact occur and of what was said during them.”
The information was revealed in 23-page court filing, the Globe wrote.