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June 5th, 2013
12:09 AM ET

Gym owner on behavioral changes of Tamerlan Tsarnaev: "He would ooccasionally pray in the gym, which was very out of place and very strange"

One day after the last Boston bombing victim was released from the hospital, on Tuesday evening "Piers Morgan Live" offered unique insight into the two men believed to be responsible for the explosions that killed three and left more than 250 injured.

Less than 72 hours prior to the April 15 bombings, the Tsarnaev brothers trained at the Wai Kru Gym in Boston, and on Monday evening Piers Morgan welcomed the facility's owner and manager for an exclusive interview. Both John Allan and Michael [he chose not to use his last name] knew the elder brother – Tamerlan Tsarnaev – and shared fascinating perspective as to the ways in which he had been behaving before the incident of terror:

"He had a habit of coming in wearing his sneakers, and I would always ask him to take them off and he was always reluctant. I had pretty much had enough that day," explained Michael, in describing a recent issue he had with Tamerlan Tsarnaev. "It wasn't anything new. But between that, and he had gone in the back and used another instructor's gloves, and that was enough to just set me off. I wrote the owner an e-mail saying that I really didn't want him back in the gym."

Described by both men as being a blend of confident and cocky, the elder Tsarnaev had shifted his behavior dramatically in recent months:

"One of the things I noticed is when he shaved his beard off there was definitely a sort of a change in his demeanor, and I kind of thought that to be strange," Michael said in his live conversation with Morgan. "I really didn't want to bring it up because I didn't want to get into some sort of verbal altercation with him."

The owner of the gym, Allan spoke to the ways in which Tsarnaev had changed his religious practices of late:

"He would even at certain points, with another member – another Chechnyan member – begin actually to occasionally pray in the gym, which was very out of place and very strange," Allan revealed. "This is America, and people have the freedom to choose their religion, their faith. And if part of practicing is taking a few minutes to face in a direction and bow a few times, you know, it's not in my place to tell him whether to do that or not. I always found it a little bit strange that he chose to do it at the gym."

Watch the clip, and listen to the interviews, as the two gym employees place the behaviors and actions of the elder Tsarnaev into context on the backdrop of what we've since realized regarding the Boston bombings.
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soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. TycheSD

    His behavior didn't change "dramatically." Shaving your beard isn't that dramatic. Piers was trying to put words in these guys' mouths. The one guy didn't like Tamerlan Tsarnaev – period. And, that never changed.

    June 5, 2013 at 1:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Jackie

    Damn Piers...don't try to put words in someone elses mouth or anything. Talk about leading questions

    June 6, 2013 at 12:58 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. catesmith111

    OMG he prayed – call the FBI

    June 6, 2013 at 7:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. HCQ

    Where did this video go?

    June 9, 2013 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Personal Training Long Island

    It doesn’t seem like a big deal but looking at his behavior in this gym it does show the type of person he was and may have had some issues.

    January 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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