Family members of the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings who died in a shootout with authorities say that the suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had fallen under the influence of a Muslim convert who steered the religiously apathetic young man toward a strict strain of Islam.

Boston Marathon bombing in Copley Square (David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

His family says that, under the tutelage of a friend known to the Tsarnaev family only as Misha, Tamerlan gave up boxing and stopped studying music. He began opposing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and turned to websites and literature claiming that the CIA was behind the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and that Jews controlled the world.

Tamerlan's uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, tells The Associated Press that the mysterious friend, quote, "just took his brain."


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