Boston Bomb Suspect Charged; Religious Motive Seen

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
The two brothers suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon appear to have been motivated by a radical brand of Islam but do not seem connected to any Muslim terrorist groups, U.S. officials said Monday after interrogating and charging Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with crimes that could bring the death penalty.

MGN Online

Associated Press Release

BOSTON (AP) -- The two brothers suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon appear to have been motivated by a radical brand of Islam but do not seem connected to any Muslim terrorist groups, U.S. officials said Monday after interrogating and charging Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with crimes that could bring the death penalty.

Tsarnaev, 19, was charged in his hospital room, where he was in serious condition with a gunshot wound to the throat and other injuries suffered during his attempted getaway. His older brother, Tamerlan, 26, died Friday after a fierce gunbattle with police.

The Massachusetts college student was charged with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction. He was accused of joining with his brother in setting off the shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs that killed three people and wounded more than 200 a week ago.

The brothers, ethnic Chechens from Russia who had been living in the U.S. for about a decade, practiced Islam.

Two U.S. officials said preliminary evidence from the younger man's interrogation suggests the brothers were motivated by religious extremism but were apparently not involved with Islamic terrorist organizations.

Dzhokhar communicated with his interrogators in writing, precluding the type of back-and-forth exchanges often crucial to establishing key facts, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

They cautioned that they were still trying to verify what they were told by Tsarnaev and were looking at such things as his telephone and online communications and his associations with others.

In the criminal complaint outlining the allegations, investigators said Tsarnaev and his brother each placed a knapsack containing a bomb in the crowd near the finish line of the 26.2-mile race.

The FBI said surveillance-camera footage showed Dzhokhar manipulating his cellphone and lifting it to his ear just instants before the two blasts.

After the first blast, a block away from Dzhokhar, "virtually every head turns to the east ... and stares in that direction in apparent bewilderment and alarm," the complaint says. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, "virtually alone of the individuals in front of the restaurant, appears calm."

He then quickly walked away, leaving a knapsack on the ground; about 10 seconds later, a bomb blew up at the spot where he had been standing, the FBI said.

The FBI did not say whether he was using his cellphone to detonate one or both of the bombs or whether he was talking to someone.

The criminal complaint shed no light on the motive for the attack.

The Obama administration said it had no choice but to prosecute Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the federal court system. Some politicians had suggested he be tried as an enemy combatant in front of a military tribunal, where defendants are denied some of the usual constitutional protections.

But Tsarnaev is a naturalized U.S. citizen, and under U.S. law, American citizens cannot be tried by military tribunals, White House spokesman Jay Carney said. Carney said that since 9/11, the federal court system has been used to convict and imprison hundreds of terrorists.

Also on Monday, Kazakhstan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying two foreign nationals arrested Saturday in the Boston area on immigration violations are from Kazakhstan and may have known the two Marathon bombing suspects.

The foreign ministry said U.S. authorities came across them while searching for "possible links and contacts" to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Their names have not been released.

Shortly after the charges against Tsarnaev were unveiled, Boston-area residents and many of their well-wishers -- including President Barack Obama at the White House -- observed a moment of silence at 2:49 p.m. -- the moment a week earlier when the bombs exploded.

Across Massachusetts, the silence was broken by the tolling of church bells.

"God bless the people of Massachusetts," said Gov. Deval Patrick at a ceremony outside the Statehouse. "Boston Strong."

Also Monday, the governor and Roman Catholic Cardinal Sean O'Malley were among the mourners at St. Joseph Church at the first funeral for one of the victims, Krystle Campbell. The 29-year-old restaurant manager had gone to watch a friend finish the race.

"She was always there for people. As long as Krystle was around, you were OK," said Marishi Charles, who attended the Mass. "These were the words her family wanted you to remember."

Amid a swirl of emotions in Boston, there was cause for some celebration: Doctors announced that everyone injured in the blasts who made it to a hospital alive now seems likely to survive.

That includes several people who arrived with legs attached by just a little skin, a 3-year-old boy with a head wound and bleeding on the brain, and a little girl riddled with nails.

"All I feel is joy," said Dr. George Velmahos, chief of trauma surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, referring to his hospital's 31 blast patients. "Whoever came in alive stayed alive."

As of Monday, 51 people remained hospitalized, three of them in critical condition. At least 14 people lost all or part of a limb; three of them lost more than one.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had gunshot wounds to the head, neck, legs and hands when he was captured hiding out in a boat in a backyard in the Boston suburb of Watertown, authorities said.

A probable cause hearing -- at which prosecutors will spell out the basics of their case -- was set for May 30. According to a clerk's notes of Monday's proceedings in the hospital, U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler indicated she was satisfied that Tsarnaev was "alert and able to respond to the charges."

Tsarnaev did not speak during the proceeding, except to answer "no" when he was asked if he could afford his own lawyer, according to the notes. He nodded when asked if he was able to answer some questions and whether he understood his rights as explained to him by the judge.

Federal Public Defender Miriam Conrad, whose office has been assigned to represent Tsarnaev, declined to comment.

Tsarnaev could also face state charges in the slaying of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer, who was shot in his cruiser Thursday night on the MIT campus in Cambridge.

News of the criminal charges pleased some of the people gathered at a makeshift memorial along the police barricades on Boylston Street, where the attack took place.

Amy McPate a Massachusetts native now living in Maine, said she usually opposes the death penalty, but thinks it should apply in this case.

"They were more than murderers. They're terrorists. They terrorized the city," she said. "The nation has been terrorized."

Kaitlynn Cates of Everett, who suffered a leg injury in the bombing, said from her hospital room: "He has what's coming to him."

Among the details in the FBI affidavit:

-- One of the brothers -- it wasn't clear which one -- told a carjacking victim during their getaway attempt, "Did you hear about the Boston explosion? I did that."

--The FBI said it searched Tsarnaev's dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth on Sunday and found BBs as well as a white hat and dark jacket that look like those worn by one of the suspected bombers in the surveillance photos the FBI released a few days after the attack.

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Associated Press writers Steve Peoples, Allen Breed, Bridget Murphy, Jay Lindsay and Bob Salsberg in Boston contributed to this report.


CBS Web Copy

BOSTON Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was formally charged Monday with using a weapon of mass destruction against people, Attorney General Eric Holder announced.

A magistrate judge went to the hospital to conduct the initial appearance, an official at the Federal Courthouse in Boston confirmed to CBS News.

Tsarnaev is specifically charged with one count of using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property within the United States resulting in death, and one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death, according to the criminal complaint.

The White House said the 19-year-old Tsarnaev will not be tried as an enemy combatant in a military tribunal but he will be prosecuted in the federal court system.

Tsarnaev is a naturalized U.S. citizen. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tsarnaev said that under U.S. law, American citizens cannot be tried in military commissions. He said that since Sept. 11, 2001, the federal court system has been used to convict and incarcerate hundreds of terrorists.

Tsarnaev is conscious and responding in writing to authorities, CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reports. Officials did not reveal further details on what they are asking, or what his responses are.

Tsarnaev was in serious condition Sunday, two days after being pulled bloody and wounded from a tarp-covered boat in a Watertown backyard. The capture came at the end of a tense day-long manhunt that began with his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, dying in a gun battle with police.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev remains hospitalized under heavy guard. He is being treated at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where 11 victims of the bombing were still hospitalized.

Officials say Tsarnaev is recuperating from a bullet wound in the leg and in the neck, rendering him unable to speak. They could not comment on whether or not the neck wound was self-inflicted.

The twin bombings killed three people and wounded more than 180.

U.S. officials said the elite interrogation team would question Tsarnaev, a Massachusetts college student, without reading him his Miranda rights, which guarantees the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.

Senior correspondent John Miller told "CBS This Morning" that investigators are focused at the moment on the "public safety exceptions" -- questioning the suspect on matters of immediate threats.

"It's basically, 'Where did you make the bombs? Are there any more explosives out there? Any more cells? Are there any more people?'" said Miller.

"And while I'm told he's being cooperative, I'm also getting the sense -- and I want to be careful of too many specifics here -- that he's not saying there's a whole second wave of plots or plotters here. Still there are places where there may be explosives and other things to find, it sounds like."

But Miller stressed that is it is still early in the investigation, and the process of questioning Tsarnaev -- who can only respond by writing - is slow. "Things could develop or change," Miller said.

American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony Romero said the legal exception applies only when there is a continued threat to public safety and is "not an open-ended exception" to the Miranda rule.

The federal public defender's office in Massachusetts said it has agreed to represent Tsarnaev once he is charged. Miriam Conrad, public defender for Massachusetts, said he should have a lawyer appointed as soon as possible because there are "serious issues regarding possible interrogation."

In a statement, several GOP lawmakers - Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., and Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. - called the decision not to immediately Mirandize Tsarnaev "sound and in our national security interests." However, they expressed concern that "exclusively relying on the public safety exception to Miranda could very well be a national security mistake. It could severely limit our ability to gather critical information about future attacks from this suspect."

Investigators believe that two brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings were likely planning other attacks, based on the cache of weapons uncovered, the city's police commissioner, Ed Davis, told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday. He said authorities found an arsenal of homemade explosives after Friday's gun battle between police and the two suspects.

"We have reason to believe, based upon the evidence that was found at that scene -- the explosions, the explosive ordnance that was unexploded and the firepower that they had -- that they were going to attack other individuals," Davis said. "That's my belief at this point."

The scene of the gun battle was loaded with unexploded bombs, and authorities had to alert arriving officers to them and clear the scene, Davis said. One improvised explosive device was found in the Mercedes which the brothers are accused of carjacking, he said.

"This was as dangerous as it gets in urban policing," Davis said.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Sunday that surveillance video from Monday's Boston Marathon attack shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev dropping his backpack and calmly walking away from it before the bomb inside it exploded.

Patrick also said that he has no idea what motivated the suspects. Speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation," Patrick said it's hard to imagine why someone would deliberately harm "innocent men, women and children in the way that these two fellows did."

Patrick also said law enforcers believe the immediate threat ended when police killed one suspect and captured the other.

President Barack Obama said there are many unanswered questions about the bombing, including whether the Tsarnaev brothers - ethnic Chechens from southern Russia who had been in the U.S. for about a decade and lived in the Boston area - had help from others. The president urged people not to rush judgment about their motivations.

On Sunday, family and friends attended a wake at a funeral home in Medford, Massachusetts, for Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant worker, who was one one of the three people killed in the marathon bombing. A private funeral is scheduled for Monday.

Eight-year-old Martin Richard of Boston's Dorchester neighborhood and 23-year-old Lu Lingzi, a Boston University graduate student from China, also died in the attacks. BU is holding a memorial service for Lu on Monday.

On Sunday, a Boston synagogue opened its doors to worshipers from Trinity Church, which sits in the shadow of the Marathon finish line and remains closed. An interfaith service will also be held Sunday near the finish line where people set up a make-shift memorial as police cleared away debris from the bombing. The Rev. Nancy Taylor of the Old South Church said worshipers will be showing solidarity with the bombing victims.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley was offering a Mass to pray for those killed and injured in the attack and manhunt for the suspects. The service will also honor police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and doctors who saved lives.

The all-day manhunt Friday brought the Boston area to a near standstill and put people on edge across the metropolitan area.

The break came around nightfall when a homeowner in Watertown saw blood on his boat, pulled back the tarp and saw a bloody Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding inside, police said. After an exchange of gunfire, he was seized and taken away in an ambulance.

Raucous celebrations erupted in and around Boston, with chants of "USA! USA!" Residents flooded the streets in relief four days after the two pressure-cooker bombs packed with nails and other shrapnel went off.

During the long night of violence leading up to the capture, the Tsarnaev brothers killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer, severely wounded another lawman and took part in a furious shootout and car chase in which they hurled homemade explosives at police, authorities said.

Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau said one of the explosives was the same type used during Monday's Boston Marathon attack, and authorities later recovered a pressure cooker lid that had embedded in a car down the street. He said the suspects also tossed two grenades before Tamerlan Tsarnaev ran out of ammunition and police tackled him.

But while handcuffing him, officers had to dive out of the way as Dzhokhar drove the carjacked Mercedes at them, Deveau said. The sport utility vehicle dragged Tamerlan's body down the block, he said. Police initially tracked the escaped suspect by a blood trail he left behind a house after he abandoned the Mercedes, negotiating his surrender hours later.

The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is tracing the weapons to try to determine how they were obtained by the suspects.

Chechnya, where the Tsarnaev family has roots, has been the scene of two wars between Russian forces and separatists since 1994. That spawned an Islamic insurgency that has carried out deadly bombings in Russia and the region, although not in the West.

Investigators have not offered a motive for the Boston attack. But in interviews with officials and those who knew the Tsarnaevs, a picture has emerged of the older one as someone embittered toward the U.S., increasingly vehement in his Muslim faith and influential over his younger brother.

The Russian FSB intelligence service told the FBI in 2011 about information that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a follower of radical Islam, two law enforcement officials said Saturday.

According to an FBI news release, a foreign government said that Tamerlan Tsarnaev appeared to be a strong believer and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the U.S. for travel to a region in Russia to join unspecified underground groups

The FBI did not name the foreign government, but the two officials said it was Russia. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the matter publicly.

The FBI said that in response, its agents interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev and relatives, and did not find any domestic or foreign terrorism activity. The bureau said it looked into such things as his telephone and online activity, his travels and his associations with others.

An uncle of the Tsarnaev brothers said he had a falling-out with Tamerlan over the man's increased commitment to Islam.

Ruslan Tsarni from Maryland said Tamerlan told him in a 2009 phone conversation that he had chosen "God's business" over work or school. Tsarni said he then contacted a family friend who told him Tsarnaev had been influenced by a recent convert to Islam.

Tsarni said his relationship with his nephew basically ended after that call.

As for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, "he's been absolutely wasted by his older brother. I mean, he used him. He used him for whatever he's done," Tsarni said.

Albrecht Ammon, a downstairs-apartment neighbor of Tamerlan Tsarnaev in Cambridge, said in an interview that the older brother had strong political views about the United States. Ammon quoted Tsarnaev as saying that the U.S. uses the Bible as "an excuse for invading other countries."

Tamerlan Tsarnaev studied accounting as a part-time student at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston for three semesters from 2006 to 2008, the school said. He was married with a young daughter.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was a student at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. The college was evacuated Friday, but officials said residence and dining halls will reopen Sunday.


Associated Press Release

BOSTON (AP) -- Federal public defenders have agreed to represent the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Miriam Conrad, the federal defender for Massachusetts, says her office expects to represent Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after he is charged.

Tsarnaev remained hospitalized Saturday after being wounded in a firefight with police Friday. His brother was killed.

Conrad says she believes Dzhokhar should have a lawyer appointed as soon as possible because there are "serious issues regarding possible interrogation."

U.S. officials said a special interrogation team for high-value suspects would question him without reading him his Miranda rights, under a public safety exception that exists to protect police and the public from immediate danger.

Miranda rights include the right to remain silent and the right to have a lawyer.


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