Last week, it came out that Russian authorities had asked the FBI to investigate Boston marathon bomb suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev back in 2011—now, officials have revealed what prompted that warning. Tamerlan had been recorded talking about "jihad" in at least one telephone conversation with his mother Zubeidat Tsarnaeva. Though they alerted the FBI about Tamerlan multiple times, it seems that Russian intelligence never shared the specifics of the conversations until after the bombings, despite repeated requests from the FBI for more information regarding what was said in those calls.
According to the Times, one call was between Tamerlan and his mother Tsarnaeva; a second call was between Tsarnaeva and another person in Russia who is under FBI investigation in an unrelated matter. Both calls mentioned "jihad," but no specific attack plans, the official told them. But it prompted Russian intelligence to reach out to the US several times.
In June 2011 after the initial warning, the FBI conducted a limited investigation of Tamerlan, but found no credible leads and closed the case. If the specifics of those conversations had been revealed, the News thinks it "might have prompted the FBI to carry out a more vigorous investigation."
Tsarnaeva, who now lives in Dagestan, moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and sons Tamerlan and Dzhokhar in 2002; several accounts say over the years, she gradually became more religious, and eventually left for Russia. She has been an adamant supporter of her sons since the bombing, vehemently denying that they were involved with terrorism. Despite their innocence, she's also blamed America for everything: "I thought America is going to, like, protect us, our kids, it's going to be safe... America took my children away from me."
Late yesterday, someone claiming to be Tsarnaeva started a Twitter account asking for donations for her son. The person has posted a photo of what appears to be Tsarnaeva holding a sign with a bank account number for people to make the online donations. The account has been promoted heavily by Troy Crossley, a Massachusetts man who claims to be a close friend of "Jahar," and one of the instigators of the #FreeJahar hashtag. The Twitter account has made 68 tweets in the last 24 hours, including many photoshopped pictures of Dzhokhar.
While the photo appears to be real, the account seems more like a very dedicated parody, like the many fake Dzhokhar accounts that popped up in the days after the attack; if it isn't fake, it's almost certainly not being run by the actual Tsarnaeva. That possibility is seeming less and less likely thanks to tweets like this: "We Have Many VIP SUPERSTAR CELEBRITIES to support #FreeJahar: @cher @troycrossley @ladygaga @justinbieber @rasputin."