The mother of the brothers who have been named as the Boston Marathon bomb suspects told a longtime spa customer the Sept. 11 terror attacks were a U.S. government conspiracy to make Americans hate Muslims, said the customer, Alyssa Kilzner.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, mother of the brothers, told Kilzner she believed the conspiracy theory. "It’s real," Kilzner said Tsarnaeva told her during the facial session. "She said, 'My son knows all about it. You can read on the Internet.'
"I have to say I felt kind of scared and vulnerable when she said this, as I am distinctly American, and was lying practically naked in her living room," Kilzner said.
Tsarnaeva's younger son, Dhzokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, also endorsed a 9/11 conspiracy theory, tweeting last year that it was an "inside job."
Kilzner, along with her mother and sister, said she began getting facials from Tsarnaeva six years ago, when she was a high school senior. At first, Kilzner said she saw Tsarnaeva at a spa in Belmont, Mass. But shortly after their first visit, Kilzner recalled, Zubeidat was fired, and invited Kilzner, her mother and her sister to her home for spa treatments there.
Kilzner said she realized with shock on Friday morning, along with so many others in the Boston area, that she'd met the two men whose photos and names were splashed on headlines around the world.
"I met both guys," Kilzner told The HuffingtonPost. "I spent a lot more time with the younger brother. He seemed like a really nice kid. I never thought he seemed strange in any way."
But the older brother, Kilzner said, seemed different. "It was based mostly on what his mom would tell me about him, but it seemed like there was a lot of strife, a lot of tensions there."
Over the years, Kilzner said, the vibe in the house got stranger -- and much more religious. She said she stopped getting facials there in 2011, after Tsarnaeva began making references to conspiracy theories.
In a blog post on her Tumbler page, Kilzner goes into more details about what she observed over the years.
She told me that she had cried for days when her oldest son, Tamerlan, told her that he wanted to move out, going against her culture’s tradition of the son staying in the house with the mother until marriage. She started saying things like, 'Don’t worry, there aren’t men in the house today,' when I asked if I could use the bathroom, which I thought was kind of funny at the time, since I didn’t mind if there were men in the apartment or not.
In my last year of college I was getting a facial from her, and asking her about why she had originally come to the United States with her family about eight or 10 years previously. She told me that she and her husband had been lawyers and political activists in Russia. They had fled the country after “something that her husband did.” Her daughter had recently been divorced at this time, and her daughter’s ex-husband had taken their child to Russia, refusing to return him. Finally the child was returned. When my mom asked Zubeidat how they had gotten the child back, she told her that 'her [Zubeidat’s] husband was crazy' and everyone knew it. When he threatened the daughter’s ex-husband’s family, they returned the child.
During this facial session she started quoting conspiracy theories, telling me that she thought 9/11 was purposefully created by the American government to make America hate Muslims. 'It’s real,' she said, 'My son knows all about it. You can read on the Internet.'
I have to say I felt kind of scared and vulnerable when she said this, as I am distinctly American, and was lying practically naked in her living room.