Islamic community members in Virginia angered - KMSP-TV

Authorities: Bombing suspect's burial appears to be legal

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DOSWELL, VA (MyFoxBoston.com/AP) -- Authorities in Virginia say they were never consulted on the burial of alleged Boston Marathon bombing mastermind Tamerlan Tsarnaev inside a Doswell cemetery.

"First of all the county was not one, consulted on this particular issue. The county was not aware of this coming forward, and most importantly, the county did not provide any permission for this to happen," says Floyd Thomas, Board of Supervisors Chairman.

Thomas told reporters Friday that Caroline County officials were looking into whether or not the burial was legal. Officials told The Boston Globe Saturday morning that it does appear to be legal. Thomas said if the burial was done legally, there is not much that the county can do.

Peter Stefan, the owner of the Graham, Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Home in Worcester where Tsarnaev's body was prepared for burial, says the 26-year-old's uncle told him not to tell anyone, including authorities in Virginia, where the body was going.

Caroline County's sheriff says he learned of the burial from the media. He says the county has no money to provide security and that it will be the cemetery's responsibility.

The cemetery director says he is not concerned about adding security. He says Doswell is a close community.

The director also shared details of Tsarnaev's burial, saying he was buried in a small ceremony Thursday morning after being draped in three white sheets and laid on his right side to face Mecca. He did not say who, or how many people, were in attendance.

The decision to bury Tsarnaev in the small Islamic cemetery in rural Virginia is also angering some members of the area's Islamic community, who say they weren't consulted.

At least one neighbor is also upset. She says she didn't even know she lived near a burial ground.

Tsarnaev was killed April 19 in a getaway attempt after a gun battle with police. His younger brother is in custody. Their uncle in Maryland took responsibility for the body, and said his nephew was buried in Doswell with the help of a faith coalition.

But the imam of the Islamic Center of Virginia says his group was never consulted -- and that the burial was done with the help of a separate Islamic group. He says the "whole Muslim community" in the area is "furious" that it was done behind their backs. And he adds that it "makes no sense whatsoever" that Tsarnaev's body was buried in Virginia.

A woman who lives less than a quarter of a mile away says she didn't know the cemetery was there. And she adds that she's worried because, in her words, "his people may come down here to visit and there will be a whole lot of problems from him being here." She asks, "If they didn't want him in Boston, why did they bring him all the way down here against our wishes?"

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