Katherine Russell questioned over bomb suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev

News Limited Network, Australia/April 23, 2013

The FBI is questioning the widow of dead Boston bomber suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who thought he was at home minding their toddler.

Sources told ABC News.com in the US that FBI agents were at a Rhode Island home where Katherine Russell is staying with her parents.

The young family lived in a Cambridge apartment that had been leased more than 10 years ago by Tsarnaev's parents.

Russell worked 70 to 80 hours, seven days a week as a home health-care aide, her lawyer, Amato DeLuca, told reporters, and she thought her husband was caring for their toddler at home while she was at work.

When asked whether she suspected him of anything, DeLuca answered: "Not as far as I know." She found out that her husband was a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing after seeing pictures of him on TV, DeLuca said.

The widow of the alleged Boston Marathon bomb suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was "an all-American girl who was brainwashed" by her extremist husband according to one school friend.

School friends say Katherine Russell was 'totally transformed' by Tsarnaev, reports the Mail Online.

By the time she was 21, she had married him, borne him a child and converted to Islam.

As a girl growing up in Rhode Island Katherine was known to her friends as Katie. One school friend who asked not to be named told MailOnline: "I saw her like a few months ago and she was just totally transformed. She was not the same person at all."

Another agreed: "She was just this All-American girl who was brainwashed by her super-religious husband. Nobody understands what happened to her."

"None of us would have dreamed that she would marry so young or drop out of college and have a baby or convert or be part of any of what’s happened."

Katherine was a student at Sussex University, Boston, when she met Tsaraev, then a promising boxer and athlete in 2009.

It was during that time that she converted and her youthful priorities appear to have changed as she left in 2010 without graduating. She had a child, Zahara, now 3.

In 2009, Tamerlan was arrested for assaulting her.

In the aftermath of the Tamerlan's death, his mother-in-law said her family was sickened by the horror inflicted by the deadly attack.

Judith Russell read a statement from inside her home in Rhode Island through a partially open doorway.

"Our daughter has lost her husband today, the father of her child. We cannot begin to comprehend how this horrible tragedy occurred," Russell said.

"In the aftermath of the Patriots' Day horror, we know that we never really knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

"Our hearts are sickened by the knowledge of the horror he has inflicted."

Neighbour Paula Gillette, who lives across the street, said Katherine Russell left for college a few years ago, and when she came back she would dress in less revealing clothing with head coverings.

She said Russell and her husband had a young daughter, but Russell appeared to be living at the house without her husband.

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