Mysterious "Misha" With Connection to Bombing Suspect Turns up in RI

Apr 29, 2013

A mysterious man named “Misha,” who may have evangelized Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, has surfaced in West Warwick.

Originally identified by the New York Review of Books, Misha was keeping a low profile Monday as reporters gathered outside his modest apartment.

Reporters wait outside the home of a Rhode Island man with connections to one of the Boston bombing suspects.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Misha’s full name, according to the New York Review of Books, is Mikhail Allakhverdov. He lives in a two-story wood frame apartment building with his parents in West Warwick. No one answered the door but a neighbor, Libby Silva, had nothing but positive things to say about them.

“I think he’s a nice person. I don’t think he has anything to do with this,” said Silva. “I really don’t. Why do you say that?  Cause I don’t think he has anything. They seem to be nice people, you know? They don’t bother anybody. You know?”

Allakhverdov told the Review of Books he knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev but flatly denied any role in the bombings. “I wasn’t his teacher,” he told the magazine. “If I had been his teacher, I would have made sure he never did anything like this.”

Misha’s attorney told reporters he is cooperating fully with investigators.

Caryl: Allakhverdov is "Freaked Out" By The Connection

Christian Caryl , a contributor to the New York Review of Books, interviewed Allakhverdov at his West Warwick apartment Sunday after being alerted to his identity by friends of the suspected bombers’ family.  Caryl said Allakhverdov was, quote, “freaked out” by the media attention suddenly thrust upon him.

"He and all the family expressed bewilderment and amazement that these people that they had known had done this. That was quite clear," said Caryl. "They were shocked and horrified to discover that the Tsarnaev’s were behind the bombing."

But Caryl said Allakhverdov clammed up when questioned about his relationship with Tamerlan. "And his family said ‘don’t talk about that. Don’t talk about that.’ And they did that several times during our conversation," said Caryl. "Every time it got onto somewhat sensitive territory they just didn’t want to go there."

Allakhverdov stressed that he is cooperating fully with the FBI. Law enforcement tells NPR that Allakhverdov is no longer a person of interest.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.