The 13-year-old lion was not only a tourist favorite, but also, a research animal. The beloved lion was being studied by the Oxford University Conservation Unit.
Members of the Tsarnaev family say a man named Misha played a role in radicalizing Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
A reporter at The New York Review of Books tracked down the mystery man, whose real name, he says, is Mikhail Allakhverdov.
In a blog post for the review, Christian Caryl writes:
Having been referred by a family in Boston that was close to the Tsarnaevs, I found Allakhverdov at his home in Rhode Island, in a lower middle class neighborhood, where he lives in modest, tidy apartment with his elderly parents. He confirmed he was a convert to Islam and that he had known Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but he flatly denied any part in the bombings. “I wasn’t his teacher. If I had been his teacher, I would have made sure he never did anything like this,” Allakhverdov said.
Caryl reports that Allakhverdov says he has been cooperating with the FBI.
The FBI declined to comment on the case, but Caryl writes that Allakhverdov’s statements “seemed to bear out recent reports that the FBI have not found any connection between ‘Misha’ and the bomb plot.”