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.