Who Is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Man at the Center of the Boston Manhunt?

Here's everything else we think we know about "Suspect No. 2" — the one in the white hat, the one on the loose in a chaotic scene in Boston — and his dead brother, Tamerlan, based on the flood of incoming reports.

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On Friday, after a chaotic evening saw his partner in crime (and apparently his older brother) killed and as a city locked down to find him, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev emerged as the name of the man in the ongoing manhunt in Boston Friday. According to information culled from multiple reports, Tsarnaev is a 19-year-old reportedly from Kyrgyzstan who has been living, for the past year, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Here's are the basics of what we know about "Suspect No. 2" — a.k.a. the suspect in the white hat, the one authorities apparently saw drop a bomb-laden backpack in security footages, and the one currently being pursued by police: Tsarnaev was a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, which is closed for the day; he has been in this country for at least one year; his father is currently in Russia and is claiming that the two boys aren't/weren't religious. His uncle is also speaking out about Dzhokhar and Tamerlan, his now dead brother and apparently fellow suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

There are some key takeaways from Dzhokhar's Twitter and Facebook-like accounts, but by culling social media, official news reports, and beyond, we're in the process of filling in the blanks about both suspects — beginning with the man in the standoff with scores of law enforcement officers right now, the man known to friends as "Jahar" who has riveted a nation and the world:

His name is Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev:

Here's how to pronounce that from The Washington Post's (Atlantic Wire alum) Max Fisher:

Dzhokar Has Been Living in the U.S. for at least one year:

Where's He From?

Pete Williams of NBC News reports that Tsarnaev "entered the United States with family in 2002 or 2003, and that Tamerlan Tsarnaev became a legal permanent resident in 2007." Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has a Massachusetts driver's license.

The City of Cambridge awarded "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev" a $2,500 scholarship in 2011, according to Boston.com report. "The city is awarding the $2,500 scholarships to 45 students using contributions from citizens and businesses. About 35 to 45 scholarships are awarded each year, according to the city," reported Boston.com's Brock Parker. Tsarnaev was a senior at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School then. This time frame would make sense if the AP is reporting that Tsarnaev was in the U.S. for at least a year.

Under an alternate spelling of his name, we found a "Djohar Tsarnaev" on Russian Facebook, who lists the Cambridge Rindge and Latin school as the last school he went to — and Boston as his current city.

The age and name match up, with the suspect as well as his school. He was checking in with social media yesterday. You'll also see his world view is "Islam" and personal priorities are "Career and money." One more photo:

This Is Looking Like It's His Twitter Account 

There are plenty of fake Twitter accounts springing up in the last few hours. Based on data from Google Cache, and past tweets, tech reporter Adrien Chen claims he has found Dzhokhar's real Twitter account. The account was cross-checked with a friend of Dzhokhar's by Buzzfeed who then said it belongs to him. Brobible checked in with a classmate, who also said it is Tsarnaev's account.

  • On the evening the bombings occurred the account tweeted for everyone to "stay safe"
  • Almost one year ago, the account tweeted "I Will Die Young":

This Is Reportedly His Yearbook Picture:

His Dad Says He's a Medical Student and an "Angel" 

This is bizarre, but apparently the AP has caught up with Tsarnaev's father who is claiming he's a second-year medical student. "My son is a true angel ... Dzhokhar is a second-year medical student in the U.S. He is such an intelligent boy. We expected him to come on holidays here." the AP reports. Second-year medical students aren't usually 19, and this is the first time that Dzhokhar's career aspirations have been mentioned.

According to ABC News, Tsarnaev's father spoke to them yesterday and asked them if they were hurt in the bombings. Further, Dzhokhar's father urged him to surrender, but that was wrapped in a warning to police:

"Give up. Give up. You have a bright future ahead of you. Come home to Russia," the dad said.

The father warned, however, "If they killed him, then all hell would break loose."

"If they kill my second child, I will know that it is an inside job, a hit job. The police are to blame," the father told ABC News. "Someone, some organization is out to get them."

His Uncle Called Him a Loser

"Of course we're ashamed," the suspects' uncle Ruslan Tsarni said, saying that the Tsarnaev family received asylum, stating that his family "had nothing to do with them for a long-long time. ... This has nothing to do with Chechnya."

"I just wanted my family [to] be away from them." He added. "I respect this country, I love this country."

Their Aunt Thinks They Were Framed

That's what she told The Toronto Sun. Maret Tsarnev said: 

My brother’s two boys, they are growing up so fast. My first reaction is, ‘Why the hell would they do this?’ But when I go through all the material, it’s not giving anything … the whole world is now making a decision (on them) now by just seeing these pictures and not having anything else

Tsarnev told reporters and CNN that it goes a bit further than just character. She told them "The photos are staged ... they [her nephews] are being set up."

He Is a Registered Student at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

UMass Dartmouth is closed today, explaining that a registered student was being sought by police. Buzzfeed Rosie Gray has an interview with Tsarnaev's classmates who say he was a student there. 

One of His Friends Is a Nephew of Boston Radio Journalist Robin Young:

Here Is His Wanted Poster:

And His Latest FBI Photo:

He May Have Run Over His Own Brother

NBC's Williams says that Dzhokhar ran over his brother to get away from the firefight with police last night.

The Brother

"I Don't Have a Single American Friend."

A photo essay which people believe profiles Dzhokhar's brother Tamerlan is being passed around the Internet today. We've contacted photojournalist Johannes Hirn, to verify Tamerlan's identity. What matches up is Tamerlan's place of birth (Chechnya), his age, and his name. In the essay, "Will Box for Passport", Tamerlan Tsarnaev said: "I don't have a single American friend, I don't understand them."  In another post, Hirn writes: "Tamerlan says he would rather compete for the United States than for Russia."

Tamerlan Appears to Have Posted a Video With an "Extremist Religious Prophecy Associated with Al Qaeda" on YouTube. 

A YouTube account believed to be Tamerlan's has surfaced. It matches his name and has been active for over a year:

Mother Jones's Adam Serwer explains:

Among those videos is one dedicated to the prophecy of the Black Banners of Khurasan which is embraced by Islamic extremists—particularly Al Qaeda. The videos posted on what appears to be Tsarnaev's YouTube page may shed light on the motivations for the attack on the Boston Marathon. The prophecy states that an invincible army will come from the region of "Khurasan," a large portion of territory in central Asia.

Tamerlan Was Reportedly Arrested for Domestic Assault and Battery

"In 2009, Tamerlan was arrested for domestic assault and battery after assaulting his girlfriend," reported Foreign Policy's David Kenner, but its unclear if either brother had a record beyond that. 

Tamerlan Dzhokhar Became a U.S. Citizen on September 11, 2012

Although NBC Reported that Tamerlan became a citizen on 9/11/12, this report is false:

According to The Times, Tamerlan was actually denied citizenship because of that battery case. According to their report, it was actually Dzhokhar who received citizenship on 9/11/12:

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev got a green card in 2007, and became a naturalized United States citizen on Sept. 11, 2012, officials said. Tamerlan was denied citizenship after he was involved in a domestic-violence episode, his father said.

They Have a "Sister" 

The Star Ledger is reporting that they've found someone in West New York who shares the same last name as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan. "They were great people. I never would have expected it. They are smart – I don’t know what’s gotten into them." she said. Dan Goldberg writes "She referred to Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, and his brother Tamerlan, 26, as her own 'brothers.'"

Tamerlan and Dzhokhar are not Sunil Tripathi. "Sunil Tripathi" was muttered on the police scanner last night. Tripathi is a student at Brown and has been missing since March 16. Because of Sunil's perceived resemblance to the blurry shot, that he's currently missing, and his name being muttered on the police scanner, Sunil is being brought up as a terror suspect. Sunil is not the Boston bombing suspect.

Police are reportedly closing in on Tsarnaev. You can follow along here. 

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