Nightly News | April 21, 2013
>>> as authorities search for answers, they are turning more of their attention to a trip the older brother made last year to the russian republics of chechnya and dagestan , both mainly muslim, both are militant separatist movements. tonight nbc's adrian mong is in dagestan in the neighborhood where some of the suspect's family lives.
>> reporter: a long way from boston in this remote mountainous city in dagestan in the northern caucasus , relatives and friends of the suspected bomb remembers in shock over news that two of their own may be responsible for the marathon bombings.
>> translator: i don't believe it but only allah knows, says an uncle of the brothers. tamerl tamerlan tsarnaev visited him last year. neighbors here on street tell us they have a hard time believing what happened because they say the suspect's father is a good man. but the neighbors also say they haven't met the sons. dagestan is the russian federation 's oldest, largest and most ethnically diverse islamic republic . its population of almost 3 million predominantly muslim has in recent years come under increased scrutiny by russian authorities. "they started closing our mosques and taking away our books," says this civil rights activist . dagestan has attracted rebels from neighboring chechnya , hoping to spread a pan islamic separatist movement across the north caucasus region. investigators are still looking into whether tamerlan had any connection to militants in either dagestan or chechnya . adrian mong, nbc news, dagestan .