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Tsarnaev sister arrested in alleged bomb threat

Ailina Tsarnaev departed court Oct. 16, 2013, in South Boston on charges of impeding a 2010 investigation into counterfeiting.Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff

A sister of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was arrested in New York on Wednesday after allegedly threatening a woman in a domestic harassment case, saying, “I have people that can go over there and put a bomb on you.”

Ailina Tsarnaev of North Bergen, N.J., was arrested at a police station in New York City Wednesday afternoon, charged with one count of aggravated harassment. She was released with a summons to return to a criminal court in Manhattan on Sept. 3, said police Lieutenant John Grimpel.

Grimpel said the victim of Ailina Tsarnaev’s alleged threat has a child with the father of one of Tsarnaev’s children. Grimpel did not elaborate on the nature of the dispute.


Tsarnaev told police she is 21, though she is believed to be three years older.

Her brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, is awaiting trial in federal court, accused, along with his older brother, Tamerlan, of setting off the April 15, 2013, bombs at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured more than 260.

Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev are also accused of shooting and killing MIT police officer Sean Collier days after the bombing. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a violent confrontation with police.

Ailina and another sister, Bella Tsarnaev, have visited their brother at the federal prison in Fort Devens in Ayer, where he is being held. Defense lawyers have sought to have private conversations with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his sisters as they seek to learn more about their family. They expect to argue that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was pressured to participate in the bombings by his brother.

Ailina Tsarnaev has been arrested before. She was charged with impeding a 2010 investigation into counterfeiting, and later failed to appear in court. The investigation was based on the passing of a counterfeit bill at an Applebee’s restaurant in Dorchester. She is not accused of passing the fake currency, but police say she knew members of the group that did.


The two Tsarnaev sisters are believed to be staying together in New Jersey, and New York media outlets recently reported that Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s widow, Katherine Russell, who had a child with him, recently moved in with them.

Related coverage:

The Boston Marathon bombings

Milton J. Valencia can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @miltonvalencia.