One of the Boston Marathon bombings suspects spent 10 days in Turkey in July 2003, Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Güler told reporters April 19, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Earlier, Boston police identified the suspects as two brothers of Chechen origin from Russia's Dagestan region, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The elder Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout while the hunt for the surviving fugitive has continued, with police ordering a lockdown of the entire city in an effort to find the suspect.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev proceeded through Turkish customs with a Kazakh passport on July 9, 2003, accompanied by three other people who have the same surname and exited from Ankara on July 19, 2003, the minister said.
"We think that they [came] as a family. They don't have any connection with Turkey," Güler said. The other three people were identified as Bela Tsarnaev, born in 1987, Aleyna Tsarnaev, born in 1990, and Maret Tsarnaev, born in 1967, Güler said, adding that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev did not come to Turkey.
Güler strongly denied earlier reports claiming that the bombers had traveled to the United States from Turkey. "Some American TV or Internet reports [suggested that the Tsarnaev brothers] lived in Turkey and traveled to the United States from here. This is not accurate," he said.
Güler also emphasized that Turkish security officials had shared all the information in their possession with the FBI.
Three people died and 180 people were wounded during the twin attacks that took place during the annual Boston Marathon race on April 15.