US & Canada

Profile: Who is Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev?

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nothing in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's past would suggest he would become a Boston Marathon bomber

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been found guilty of carrying out the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, but what do we know about him?

A second-year medical student. An all-star wrestler. Recipient of a $2,500 (£1,635) scholarship for promising school children.

These are some of the superlatives that described the man behind the deadliest terror attack on US soil since 9/11.

Tsarnaev and his elder brother, Tamerlan, planted bombs close to the finish line of the Boston Marathon two years ago.

When the brothers' bombs exploded on 15 April 2013, killing three and injuring over 260 people, friends of Tsarnaev expressed shock at the news and described him as a popular teenager.

The older brother was killed in shootout with police on 18 April. Tsarnaev fled the shootout and was captured a day later, after being found hiding a boat in the backyard of a house in Watertown - a suburb of Boston.

The brothers had been living in the Massachusetts town of Cambridge, home of the prestigious Harvard University. Tsarnaev attended the University of Massachusetts, and, according to his father, was studying medicine with aspirations of becoming a brain surgeon.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Tsarnaev was captured after being found hiding in a boat

Ethnic Chechens, the family emigrated to the US in 2002.

Their route from the troubled Caucasus region of southern Russia to the US is not exactly clear.

They are thought to have lived in Kyrgyzstan, a Central Asian republic which is home to many Chechen refugees who were deported under Stalin. Tsarnaev is thought to have have been born there in 1994.

Chechnya is a predominantly Muslim area that has fought for full independence from Russian in the past.

The family was forced to flee to the neighbouring Russian republic of Dagestan after the Second Chechen War broke out in 1999.

Three years later, they made their way to the US. Tsarnaev became an American citizen in 2012.

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Image caption A large manhunt was launched in the days following the bombing

Shortly before the bombing, the brothers' father, Anzor Tsarnaev, moved back to Dagestan following a divorce from his wife.

In the wake of the bombing, Anzor Tsarnaev told the BBC he believed the secret services had frame his sons.

Both had attended the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.

Tsarnaev's Facebook profile listed "Islam" as his world view and said his life goals as "career and money". On the Russian social networking site VKontakte he was a member of various Chechen groups.

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Image caption Rolling Stone's decision to feature Mr Tsarnaev on its cover prompted an uproar

Shortly after the bombings, the brothers' uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, said the brothers had "put shame on our family and on the entire Chechen ethnicity," and noted that he had not seen his nephews since December 2005.

There had never been any apparent sign of "hatred toward the US" or else he would have turned them over to the police himself, he said.

He went on to describe the brothers as "being losers," when asked what might have provoked the bombings.

"These are the only reasons I can imagine of. Anything else, anything else to do with religion, with Islam, it's a fraud, it's a fake," he said.

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