Multiple cemeteries in Massachusetts say they won’t bury deceased Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and officials aren’t quite sure who has authority over the body.
According to Islamic tradition, the body cannot be cremated. And Tsarnaev’s uncle is insistent that Tamerlan, who died during a police shootout on April 19, be buried in Massachusetts, not in another state or in Russia where his family is from.
So what happens now?
The director of the Worcester, Mass. funeral home that has been holding Tsarnaev’s body told The Boston Globe that he thought the city of Cambridge was legally obligated to accept the body at the municipal cemetery.
But the city manager issued a statement saying such a burial — and the resulting protests — would disrupt the peace of the city and that the FBI has the lead jurisdiction.
Then the FBI announced that it’s unsure whether the agency has the authority to decide what happens to the body.
The Globe raises the possibility that someone could donate a private burial plot to the family. Offers have come in for spots in New Hampshire, New Jersey and Ohio, but the family is still set on Massachusetts.
The FBI took the remains of the 9/11 hijackers. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was cremated.
But this particular situation is “unprecedented,” the FBI says, and no one seems to be able to say for sure what will happen from here.
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