Marathon Bombing Suspect Buried In Virginia
The uncle of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev says his nephew has been buried in Virginia but another firestorm of controversy has erupted.
Ruslan Tsarni said Friday that the body was buried with the help of a “faith coalition.” He would not say where in Virginia the remains had been entombed.
“My tradition was that of a Muslim, and I have that tradition of burial, and people helped me with that,” he said in a phone interview with CNN.
The burial this week ended a frustrating search for a community willing to take the body, which had been kept at a funeral parlor in Worcester, Mass., as cemeteries refused to take the remains. Worcester Police issued a statement Thursday that said an unidentified “courageous and compassionate individual (who) came forward” made arrangements for the body.
Solving A Problem, Creating Another
Martha Mullen of Richmond, Virginia tells the Boston Globe she was upset by the protests outside the Worecester funeral home and was drinking coffee when it struck her that she could solve the problem.
“Jesus says [to] love our enemies,” said Mullen, who holds a degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. “So I was sitting in Starbucks and thought, maybe I’m the one person who needs to do something.”
She contacted Islamic Funeral Services of Virginia who said they could provide a plot at the Al-Barzakh Cemetery in Doswell, Virginia which bills itself as central Virginia’s all-Muslim cemetary.Doswell is located to the north of Richmond.
Mullen then worked with Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlors owner Peter Stefan and Worcester Police on a plan to quietly move the body.
“What Tsarnaev did is between him and God. We strongly disagree with his violent actions, but that does not release us from our obligation to return his body to the earth,” an Islamic Funeral Services of Virgina official, who did not want to be named, said in a statement to the Globe.
Virginia Not Happy Either
Officials in Caroline County, Virginia say they are not happy no one consulted with them about being Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s final resting place.
“Caroline County was not consulted or given any input into the decision-making process for determining a burial site for this individual. We had no advanced notice of the decision and unfortunately learned of the selection of a burial site through the media. We would much prefer to be associated with positive news reports from the national media, but unfortunately had no say in the matter,” wrote officials in a statement according to WRIC TV.
The imam of the Islamic Center of Virginia says his group was never consulted — and that the burial was done with the help of a separate Islamic group. He says the “whole Muslim community” in the area is “furious” that it was done behind their backs. And he adds that it “makes no sense whatsoever” that Tsarnaev’s body was buried in Virginia.
Virginia State Police are miffed as well that they did not have a say in the process.
WTVR TV reports the cemetery is located not far from the Virginia State Fairgrounds and the birthplace of the race horse Secretarient.
Tsarnaev was killed April 19 in a getaway attempt after a gun battle with police. His younger brother, Dzhokhar was captured later in the day and remains in custody.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.