National News

Apr 19, 2013 2:07 PM by NBC News

More information about the Boston bomb suspects

(NBC News) One became an American citizen last year on Sept. 11. The other was a boxer who once said: "I like the USA."

The two known suspects in the attack on the Boston Marathon - one killed, one on the loose - are brothers with a background in the separatist Russian republic of Chechnya, law enforcement officials told NBC News.

The suspect at large early Friday was Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, born in Kyrgyzstan, who became a naturalized American citizen on Sept. 11, 2012, according to documents obtained by NBC News. He had a Massachusetts driver's license and was living in the Boston suburb of Cambridge. He was the suspect in the white hat in surveillance photos from the marathon released by the FBI, authorities said.

Authorities were hunting him door-to-door in the Boston suburbs, and more than 1 million people were ordered to stay indoors in a lockdown that paralyzed the region.

His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed overnight after an extraordinary crime spree: The brothers shot and killed a college security officer, carjacked an SUV and hurled explosives as police in Watertown, Mass., authorities said.

Authorities were not sure of a motive and cautioned that other people may be involved. NBC News learned that counterterrorism officials were examining possible links between the brothers and the Islamic Jihad Union of central Asia, a terrorist group. Chechnya is predominantly Muslim.

"Somebody radicalized them, but it wasn't my brother," the men's uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, told reporters Friday from Montgomery Village, Md. He encouraged his nephew to turn himself in and said the two had brought shame on Chechens. He said that he had encouraged his own family to stay away from that part of the family.

"What I think was behind it: Being losers," he said. "Of course we're ashamed."

The brothers' father, speaking from Russia, told The Associated Press that Dzhokhar was "a true angel" with an interest in medicine. He was registered as a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, the school said. He was awarded a $2,500 city scholarship toward college two years ago.

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