Their plans for the future had included returning to work in Russia, Anzor Tsarnaev said in the telephone interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda daily on Monday, adding that he hoped to travel to the United States where his younger son Dzhokhar is in hospital after his capture.
"I only know what they are showing on television. We plan to go and see him in America if Allah permits."
His two sons "were studying and working" in the US, he said.
He said that he last spoke to his elder son Tamerlan Tsarnaev after the bombings. He told his father then that he received a phone call saying he was a suspect, he said.
Tamerlan was killed during a firefight with police on Friday, in the middle of the dramatic 26 hours between when the FBI released pictures of the two suspects and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's capture in the Boston suburbs.
The men's father argued that the attacks were somehow orchestrated by the FBI, who he said "kept my Tamerlan constantly under surveillance".
'Wrong place at the wrong time'
"They just wanted to set up Tamerlan and Dzhokhar … [they] just turned out to be in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said.
"Tamerlan was driving him to school when they started shooting at them," he claimed. "This is a set up, a political order, a Hollywood show."
"Tamerlan changed jobs a few times: he delivered post, he changed tyres, he was a boxing trainer and in recent months a babysitter – he sat at home with his three-year-old child. His wife worked. She looked after disabled people."
Tamerlan last visited Russia in January to get a new passport after turning 25, he said, although he apparently referred to January 2012 – since Tamerlan was 26.
"He didn't want to leave. He said that he wanted to bring his family over here. He didn't like it there, although he was a famous boxer in Boston."
He denied that Tamerlan held radical Islamist views.
'A righteous Muslim'
"Tamerlan did get religious after getting married. He went to the mosque every Friday. He prayed five times a day. He was a righteous Muslim and could not have done what he is accused of."
His other son, Dzhokhar, "was an 'A grade' student at Cambridge. He worked as a lifesaver at a pool. He had big plans: to become a doctor, to open a business, to come over here," Anzor Tsaraev said.
"He said: 'Dad, don't worry. I'll finish studying and come over, I'll help you.'" – AFP