The mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was placed on a CIA terrorist watch list 18 months before the deadly attack, and now Zubeidat Tsarnaev is officially a "person of interest" in the investigation of the massacre, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Two U.S. lawmakers revealed on Friday that investigators have traveled to Dagestan, Russia, to learn more about Dzhokhar and Tamerlan's mom from close associates, and that her name was first added to the federal terrorism database in 2011, reported Fox News.
With one son dead and the other currently imprisoned at the Federal Medical Center Devens near Boston, Zubeidat caused outrage earlier this week in a bizarre news conference when she claimed the blast that killed three people and wounded 264 was a hoax and "a show."
Zubeidat became increasingly militant in her Muslim faith around the same time her oldest son Tamerlan drastically converted to Islam, becoming a focus of the classified intelligence database Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (also known as TIDE) at the CIA's request, and investigators now suspect she helped him on the road to radicalism — and ultimately to mass murder.
"She is a person of interest that we're looking at to see if she helped radicalize her son, or had contacts with other people or other terrorist groups," Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters.
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, went on to reveal that the mourning mother may have encouraged the 26-year-old suspect, who was killed in a shoot out with police last week, to pursue Islamic extremism.
"The mother in my judgment has a role in his radicalization process in terms of her influence over him (and) fundamental views of Islam," he said.
According to an AP report, Zubeidat was put on the database after Russia told the CIA both the mother and son were religious militants preparing to travel to Russia.
The TIDE database contains between 500,000 and 1 million names of people on the radar of various national security agencies, but a person's presence on the list does not automatically mean he or she is suspected of terrorist activity and does not automatically subject them to surveillance, security screening or travel restrictions.
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, Zubeidat made a manic public appearance on Thursday where she told the media that she had seen a video supporting the wild idea that the attack was faked, adding that there was no blood — and that the gashing red stains on Boston's Boylston Street was really paint.
“I would prefer not to live in America now,” said the hysterical mother, wearing a headscarf and waving her hands wildly. “Why did I even go there? Why? I thought America was going to protect us, our kids… it is going to be safe.
“But it happened. America took my kids away from me. Only America.”