Guess Who Found the Red-Bearded Exorcist Who 'Brainwashed' Tamerlan Tsarnaev

The New York Review of Books, typically a terrific place to catch up on some literary criticism, scooped everyone on Sunday night and tracked down Misha, the radical Islamist who supposedly "brainwashed" Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

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Last week, we learned about a curious character named "Misha," who was described by the media as a red-bearded radical Muslim who performed exorcisms and evidently mentored the Boston bombing suspects. The FBI obviously wanted to talk to this guy, and they have. Authorities stopped short of identifying him, so journalists have been sleuthing. You'll never guess who found him.

The New York Review of Books, typically the place to catch up on some literary criticism rather than breaking news, scooped everyone on Sunday night. It tracked down Misha, whose real name is Mikhail Allakhverdov, living with his parents in a run down area of Rhode Island. And as any sane person would, he doesn't want anything to do with the late Tamerlan Tsarnaev or his brother Dzhokhar, who remains in custody as the chief suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent madness. "I wasn't his teacher," Allakhverdov told NYR. "If I had been his teacher, I would have made sure he never did anything like this."

Well, this isn't what Tsarnaev's family said. The brothers' ever press-friendly uncle Ruslan Tsarni told CNN that this Misha character "just took his brain." He said, "He just brainwashed him completely." However, we now know that Tamerlan brain was prime for washing. The 26-year-old Islamist was into all kinds of conspiracy theories and as a regular listener of Alex Jones's tin foil hat radio talk show Infowars. Why uncle Ruslan blames it all on Misha is a mystery, but apparently, the red-bearded exorcist isn't that interesting to authorities either. Allakhaverdov said the FBI is about to close his case.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.