Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content at the RNS Archives website.

WATERTOWN, Mass. (RNS) Two relatives of Tamerlan Tsarnaev say he was influenced by an Armenian convert to Islam named Misha. Armenian Americans say it is very unlikely an Armenian would become a Muslim.


  1. What happened to the very Christian Armenians was a horror, which most Americans don’t know. I recommend that following books:
    “The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response,” Peter Balakian.
    “Icon of Evil: Hitler’s Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam,” David G. Dalin and John F. Rothmann.

  2. I have met Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox or atheist Armenians, but never a Muslim…converting to Islam is like going back for few centuries ))
    What makes me think these two were stupid (bad genes) is that they did not fight for their motherland – Chechnya, – but for Afghanistan and Iraq, which they had nothing to do with…

  3. The “Armenian Misha” story is hoax perpetrated by the family of terrorists to diverts investigation efforts and shift the blame from the criminal Chechen brother and their family. Why “Armenian” and not another ethnicity? Two possible reasons. The first: Chechens consider Armenians foes, since they heavily participated in Azeri-Armenian war in the 1990 and were massively defeated by Armenians in battle fields. The reason of their involvement in the conflict, the violent nature of their religious Chechen identity and the fact that Azeri authorities gave them free passage and stay in exchange of fighting Armenians. The second reason: Tsarni, the uncle of Chechen terrosrists, worked and is still relad to Azeri state oil company, and has been loyal to them, and since Azeri government has been using many tools to influence US public opinion against Armenians in the US, this just may be another instrument.

  4. I am also curious how the media went silent on the “Armenian Misha” the next day breaking news we announcing that the authorities have discovered the identity of Misha. What’s next – hiding the truth about who he really is. I think this Misha is not Armenian but Azeri Misha.

    • Mark Geragos just tweeted that Misha is not Armenian, but Azeri. He claimed that he is converted Armenian in order to enter US illegally and gain refugee status. So the truth is uncovered. What a shame!!!