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Terrorist or criminal? Hospitalized Suspect In Boston Bombings Awaits Charges

 Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, suspect #2 in the Boston Marathon explosion is pictured in this undated FBI handout photo.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, suspect #2 in the Boston Marathon explosion is pictured in this undated FBI handout photo.

BOSTON — The badly wounded Boston Marathon bombing suspect faced federal charges as early as Monday and the city of Boston planned tributes to the dead after a week of blasts, shootouts, lockdowns and one of the largest manhunts in U.S. history.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, an ethnic Chechen college student suspected of carrying out the attacks with his older brother, lay in a Boston hospital under armed guard. He was unable to speak after he was captured with throat injuries sustained during shoot-outs with police.

Police declined to comment on media reports he was communicating with authorities in writing.

"There have been widely published reports that he is (communicating silently). I wouldn't dispute that, but I don't have any specific information on that myself," Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis told CNN. "We're very anxious to talk to him and the investigators will be doing that as soon as possible."

The FBI said on Monday morning that Tsarnaev remained in serious condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Tsarnaev's capture on Friday night ended a manhunt that virtually shut down greater Boston for some 20 hours. His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died after a gunfight with police early Friday morning.

The city of Boston crawled back to normal on Monday, a week after twin bombs exploded at the crowded finish line of the city's famous marathon road race, killing three people and wounding 176. Ten of the injured lost limbs.

The crime scene around the blasts was still closed but was expected to reopen within a day or two. Signs declaring "Boston Strong" hung about the city.

Memorial services were set on Monday for two of those killed in the bombings: Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager, and Chinese graduate student Lingzi Lu.

An 8-year-old boy, Martin Richard, was also killed.

PAUSE AT TIME OF BOMBINGS

The city also planned to pause at 2:50 p.m. (1850 GMT) to mark the moment a week ago when the two bombs made of pressure cookers and packed with nails and ball bearings tore through the crowd watching runners complete the Boston Marathon.

In the days that followed, investigators examining thousands of images from surveillance video, media coverage and spectators taking pictures were able to pick out two men as suspects, later identified as the Tsarnaev brothers.

On Tuesday, the day after the attack, the younger Tsarnaev was working out in the gym at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, listening to music on his iPod, when he struck up a conversation with fellow sophomore Zach Bettencourt.

Bettencourt said he and Tsarnaev chatted about the bombings.

"It's crazy this is happening now," Bettencourt recalled Tsarnaev telling him. "This (these bombings) is so easy to do. These tragedies happen all the time in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Police said the Tsarnaev brothers made enough additional bombs for them to believe that more attacks were planned. They were also armed with handguns. A shootout with police in the Boston suburb of Watertown early Friday morning left more than 200 spent shell casings in the street.

Neither Tsarnaev brother was licensed to own guns in the towns where they lived, Cambridge, Massachusetts, authorities said on Sunday.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could be charged with several crimes including use of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and bombing of places of public use in addition to homicide, said former federal prosecutor and University of Notre Dame law professor Jimmy Gurulé.

Because death resulted, each statute authorizes the death penalty, he said.

Though the case is likely to involve officials at the highest levels including Attorney General Eric Holder, the prosecutor in charge will be Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. attorney for the district of Massachusetts.

Ortiz has faced criticism for coming down too hard on some defendants, but that approach may become a legal asset for the biggest case of her career, said attorneys who have faced off against her.

The Tsarnaev brothers emigrated to the United States a decade ago from Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim region in Russia's Caucasus. The men's parents, who moved back to southern Russia some time ago, have said their sons were framed.

Much of investigators' attention has focused on a trip to Russia last year by Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and whether he became involved with or was influenced by Chechen separatists or Islamist extremists there.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev traveled to Moscow in January 2012 and spent six months in Dagestan, a law enforcement source said. Neighbors in Makhachkala, the region's capital city, said he kept a low profile while visiting there last summer, helping his father renovate an apartment unit.

That trip, combined with Russian interest in Tamerlan communicated to U.S. authorities and an FBI interview of him in 2011, have raised questions whether danger signals were missed.

Comments

RedEric 1 year, 6 months ago

A lot of really strange things going on with this investigation. The worst thing, in my opinion, about it is I see a very high level of mistrust for the Regime. I think the mistrust is justified, but it certainly isn't a good thing. I am interested to see what today brings.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

What do you see strange? Hell, I've been thinking it was flawless. I was a bit curious about how that 19 year old could escape in the hail of gunfire. I just attributed it to the "fog of war". That rascal 19 year old ran right over his brother which makes one wonder about his practiced "terrorism". They didn't seem to have a thought out exit plan.

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VietVet1 1 year, 6 months ago

So when do we attack Russia? They do have WMD!!!!

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

Wrong CIC. That was W. Nice try though.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

Well, as it turns out that was the charge against the bomber use of WMD's.

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JustAnotherVoice 1 year, 6 months ago

What this article fails to mention is that unless Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is found to be a terrorist and therefore under Federal Law, he will just be a common State criminal and will not face the possibility of the death penalty because the State of Massachusetts doesn't have the death penalty. If the City of Boston continues with their statements that all is well and the President doesn't declare Tsarvaev a combatant and the Democrats continue with their pleas to Mirandacize him, he will escape death and the State will have to support him for decades to come. What a quandary.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm sorry but I'm still not 100% convinced events happened as the shepherds say it did. A lot of things just don't add up.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

You folks might try to follow some of the events on the New York Times website. Their coverage is generally pretty lucid and current.

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erudite 1 year, 6 months ago

200 rounds to shoot one guy. BPD sucks!

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 6 months ago

Pretty big words coming from a teacher in Dougherty County. How about you tell a Boston or Watertown cop that to his or her face.

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MRKIA 1 year, 6 months ago

WHAT IF HE DID, WHAT WOULD HAPPEN?

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 6 months ago

The comment was pointing out the irony in someone who teaches in a school system that "sucks" but is critical of Boston police who apprehended or killed two "terrorists." I would call those men and women heroes.

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MRKIA 1 year, 6 months ago

MOST COPS ARE LOUSY SHOTS.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm sure they didn't get too close considering they thought or knew the suspects had explosives.

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