The Cable

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Boston fugitive is a naturalized American citizen

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19 year old being hunted by law enforcement in Boston Friday, became a naturalized U.S. citizen only last year, an administration official confirmed to The Cable. Tsarnaev came to the United States in 2002 and requested asylum for "family reunification" and was placed in a program that allowed him to stay, the ...

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19 year old being hunted by law enforcement in Boston Friday, became a naturalized U.S. citizen only last year, an administration official confirmed to The Cable.

Tsarnaev came to the United States in 2002 and requested asylum for "family reunification" and was placed in a program that allowed him to stay, the official said. He applied for citizenship in 2007 and finally was granted American citizenship in 2012. His older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, age 26, was not a citizen but had applied for legal permanent resident status. He was killed in a shootout with police overnight.

The brothers' uncle Ruslan Tsarni told reporters Monday that they had come to the United States seeking asylum. Both hail from Chenchnya originally but reports have also said they may have lived in Kyrgyzstan before coming to the United States.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19 year old being hunted by law enforcement in Boston Friday, became a naturalized U.S. citizen only last year, an administration official confirmed to The Cable.

Tsarnaev came to the United States in 2002 and requested asylum for "family reunification" and was placed in a program that allowed him to stay, the official said. He applied for citizenship in 2007 and finally was granted American citizenship in 2012. His older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, age 26, was not a citizen but had applied for legal permanent resident status. He was killed in a shootout with police overnight.

The brothers’ uncle Ruslan Tsarni told reporters Monday that they had come to the United States seeking asylum. Both hail from Chenchnya originally but reports have also said they may have lived in Kyrgyzstan before coming to the United States.

UPDATE: NBC News is reporting that  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev became a U.S. citizen on Sept. 11, 2012.

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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