An aunt of the men suspected of carrying out Monday's bombing of the Boston Marathon on Friday said that she had a hunch that the FBI may have staged a photo of her nephews at the scene of the crime, and she also had doubts about the official story behind the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Speaking to reporters at her home in Toronto, Maret Tsarnaeva told reporters that she had contacted the FBI after seeing photos and video that the agency released of 19-year-old Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev and 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev because she strongly believed that they could not have committed the crime.
"They could not have done this, where are the evidence?" she recalled telling the FBI. "All you're showing is just the footage, two guys are walking. And I found it strange, Tamerlan is walking in the front, Dzhokhar is in the back. Why wouldn't they come together? Just, you know, together as brothers? As I used to know them."
"I'm suspicious that this was staged! The picture was staged," she added.
"By who?" a reporter asked.
"Who ever needs this!" Maret Tsarnaeva replied. "Whoever is looking for those who need to be blamed for these attacks... Who is interested in this case? When you are blowing up people and you want to bring attention to something for some purpose, you know, you do that math."
She pointed out that as a Chechnyan from the former Soviet Unions, she was "used to being set up."
"If you have evidence, if FBI has evidence, why are you asking question, do I believe they could do this? If they have done this, I have to believe. I would just know that they have done it."
"What do you think, that I would believe easily anything that my government, their government would throw me into my face?" the aunt asked. "I don't trust FBI, I don't trust any agencies. Show me evidence."
"There's a lot of material shown when those twin [towers at the World Trade Center] went off, with the suspicion of who had done that."
Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast April 19, 2013.
Update, 6:55 p.m. EST: In separate interviews on Friday, the suspects' parents accused authorities of framing them.
"I am really sure -- I am like a hundred percent sure that this is a set-up," their mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, told RT in a phone interview from Dagestan, a federal subdivision of Russia. "My two sons are really innocent, and I know that neither of them never, never talked about whatever they're saying about them now."
And in an interview aired by ABC News and translated from Russian, the suspects' father, Anzor Tsarnaev, said that if authorities kill Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, "I will know that it is an inside job, a hit job. The police are to blame. Someone, some organization is out to get them."
Watch Zubeidat Tsarnaeva's interview with RT below.
Watch translated footage from Anzor Tsarnaev's interview, aired by WBZ-TV on Friday, below.