Here’s what we know about this mysterious character…
1. He Changed Tamerlan’s Interests
Tamerlan quit boxing and music because Misha told him they were not Islamist style pursuits, says Elmirza Khozhgov, Tamerlan’s former brother-in-law. Around this time Tamerlan also began seriously objecting to the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as rejecting the official explanations for 9/11.
2. They Knew Each Other For Four Years
Misha reportedly met Tamerlan around 2009. The Dzhokhaev brother’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, told CNN, he adds: “This person just took his brain. He just brainwashed him completely.”
3. It Isn’t Known Where Misha is Originally From
He is an Armenian-American, but unknown if he was born in the US. Unusually for a largely Christian population, Misha is an Islam-convert.
4. There is a Vague Physical Description of Him
He is known in for his “distinctive red beard,” he is also known to be bald. And at one time lived in the Cambridge area of Massachusetts, close to Watertown, where, Tamerlan’s brother and fellow terroism suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found after a massive manhunt.
5. A Little is Known About is Family
CNN reports that he has a brother who is a history professor and father who is an athletic instructor.
6. Tamerlan Wasn’t the Only Member of the Tsarnaev Family he Influenced
Zubeidat Tsarnaev, Tamerlan’s mother, was also heavily influenced by Misha’s devotion to Islam. She say was “ashamed” when she first met him because he was a convert and was “praying in my house.”
7. He Might Not be That Important
The investigation seems conflicted over Misha’s importance, with some saying “They are very interested in him.” Meanwhile, The Daily Beast reports:
…one source suggested it might be a less important part of the case than previously thought.
8. The FBI Have Reached Out to the Islamist Community
The Islamic Society of Boston have no record of a man matching “Misha’s” description: “We are looking for him,” spokeswoman Nichole Mossalam, told CNN.
9. Tamerlan and Misha May Not Have Been That Close
Tamerlan may have had a falling out with “Misha”, on his YouTube channel, the eldest Tsarnaev directs some strong words to a man named “Misha”:
You’re not Mikael anymore, but you’re back to being Misha, as you were before Islam. You converted to Shiism not because you truly believe in it, but because of your own whims and interests (only Allah knows what they truly are). As you entered Islam, you have exited it. [With the same ease]. You have betrayed yourself, Misha. Whatever, goodbye.
10. Does he Even Really Exist?
In the Watertown, Massachusetts Armenian-community, some are skeptical about “Misha”, Chris Hajian from Waltham, Massachusetts told the Detroit Free Press:
It’s a little suspicious, with all the conspiracy theories they’ve come up with, and now they’re looking to blame someone else.