Prominent US attorney ridicules media allegations about ‘Armenian’ trace in Boston bombings

Prominent US attorney ridicules media allegations about ‘Armenian’ trace in Boston bombings

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Mark Geragos, a well-known Armenian-American criminal defense attorney, has described the ongoing speculation that an ethnic Armenian ‘Moslem convert’ could have been involved in masterminding the recent deadly bombings in Boston as “ludicrous” and "insulting" to Armenians as he spoke to CNN on Thursday.

Geragos, a 55-year-old specialist who has represented the interests of the late pop star Michael Jackson, actress Winona Ryder and other celebrities, told the news channel that as an Armenian he wanted to comment on the allegations made by media in the wake of a controversial statement by an uncle of the suspected perpetrators of the attack, that an Armenian Moslem convert named Misha was the guiding influence in their developing radicalized views.

Three people were killed and 282 were injured when two bombs exploded at the finish line during the Boston Marathon on April 15. One of the bombing suspects, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was fatally injured in a shootout with the police in Watertown, Massachusetts, three days later. His 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar, who first managed to escape, was caught the next day after an unprecedented manhunt with thousands of police officers involved. The motives of the two brothers, who are ethnic Chechens, lived in Kyrgyzstan, and moved to the United States in the early 2000s, remain unknown.

“This whole speculation about a recent convert named Misha, which, by the way, is not an Armenian name, is insulting to Armenians everywhere, who, by the way, are the first Christian nation,” said Geragos, who also urged media to be more critical when passing around such information as ‘gospel’.

The prominent representative of the Armenian-American community, which has a sizable presence in Massachusetts as well, reminded of the significance of the current week for Armenians around the world as the 98th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide was marked on April 24.

“1.5 million Christian Armenians were wiped out by Moslem Ottoman Turks. So, the idea that there is some convert from Christianity to Moslem who’s doing it, who doesn’t even have an Armenian name, is ludicrous to begin with,” stressed Geragos, suggesting that the bomber suspects’ uncle pass a sobriety test -- “Because I think this guy was under the influence of something.”

Meanwhile, CNN reported more information today about the possible identity of Misha. It said he could be an Armenian from Azerbaijan. Hundreds of Armenians fleeing ethnic violence in Azerbaijan were granted asylum as refugees in the United States in the early 1990s. Many of them settled down in and around Boston.