BOSTON (Reuters) - One of the men suspected in the Boston Marathon bombing twice disrupted sermons to challenge views expressed by preachers leading services at a local mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston said on Monday.
But the suspect, named by the FBI as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, “never expressed any hint of violent sentiments or behavior,” the group said in a statement. “If they had, the FBI would have immediately been called.”
Tamerlan, suspected of planting one of two bombs that killed three people and wounded more than 200 at the marathon, was killed in a shoot out with police on Thursday. Dzhokhar, taken into custody a day later, allegedly planted the second bomb, according to a federal criminal complaint filed on Monday.
Neither of the ethnic Chechen brothers was a member or regular attendee of the Cambridge, Massachusetts, mosque, it said.
The older brother first interrupted a sermon at the society’s mosque in Cambridge on November 16, 2012, objecting to a preacher’s call for Muslims to celebrate holidays like July 4th and Thanksgiving just like the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, the society said.
And on January 18, 2013, Tamerlan Tsarnaev again rose, objecting to a preacher who called civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. a great person.
The younger brother was rarely seen at the mosque, coming only occasionally for prayer, the society said.
Reporting by Aaron Pressman; Editing by Scott Malone and Vicki Allen