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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev made his first court appearance denying all 30 charges against him while he blew a kiss to his sisters.
But to the disgust of the victims of the April Marathon bombing who had come to the South Boston courtroom to stare down the “face of evil”, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, failed to even glance in their direction.
He was dressed in an orange jump suit, with his arm in a cast as he was led into the court in handcuffs by a police officer in black gloves.
Despite the near fatal injuries following a dramatic shoot-out with police that killed his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, he was able to stand up and enter a not guilty plea to the charges against him – 17 of which carry the death penalty. He is accused of killing three and injuring 264 others.
It had been unclear what Dzhokhar Tarnaev’s current condition was until those in the audience saw him.
Previously at the brink of death following a bloody shootout with police, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was able to stand in the courtroom and enter his pleas.
In spite of this, and what some called his “cocky” attitude as he entered, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had some apparent lingering physical problems in addition to the obvious issue with his cast hand.
The Boston Marathon alleged bomber continued to peer back at his family over the seven-minute hearing. He was led away in handcuffs and shackles as swiftly as he’d been led in.
But not before he repeated “Not guilty”, seven times over in an obvious Russian accent.
Four hours earlier, for an arraignment that took less than 10 minutes, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev arrived in a four-vehicle motorcade that included a van, a Humvee, and a state police car.
Prosecutors William Weinreb, Aloke Chak Ravarty, and Nadine Pellegrini said they intend to call between 80 and 100 witnesses to the stand over the course of a trial they said will likely last three to four months.
A huge police presence was in force and the courthouse jammed for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s appearance.
Space was reserved in the main courtroom for victims’ families, and emotions were high during the brief hearing as around 30 were in attendance alongside a dozen or so supporters.
One of the victims, MIT Police Chief John DiFava, who was also in the courtroom, said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev looked “smug”.
“I didn’t see a lot of remorse. I didn’t see a lot of regret,” he said.
“It just seemed to me that if I was in that position, I would have been a lot more nervous, certainly scared.”
John DiFava added: “I just wanted to see him. I wanted to see the person that so coldly and callously killed four people, one of whom being an officer of mine.”
Others who survived the two bombs exploding at the finishing line in April were in court.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev made his first court appearance denying all 30 charges against him
Martin Richard, 8; Krystle Marie Campbell, 29; and Lingzi Lu, 23 were killed by the bombs, which were improvised from pressure cookers. Authorities say the Tsarnaev brothers also killed Massachusetts Institute of Technology officer Sean Collier days later while they were on the run.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s two sisters, both dressed in Muslim attire, sobbed as the charges against their brother were read.
One carried a baby, the other wiped away tears with a tissue. His parents remained back in Russia.
A group of about a dozen Dzhokhar Tsarnaev supporters cheered as the motorcade arrived. The demonstrators yelled: “Justice for Jahar,” as Tsarnaev is known. One woman held a sign that said: “Free Jahar.”
Brittney Gillis, a student at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev attended, came to the courthouse because she wanted to see the suspect. She said he used to walk her friend home in the evenings because he was worried about her being alone.
“He would walk her from the campus library to her dorm at night,” she said.
Some former high school wrestling teammates in attendance weren’t sure what to make of the accusation against their old friend.
One of them, Hank Alvarez, said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was calm, peaceful and apolitical in high school.
“Just knowing him, it’s hard for me to face the fact that he did it,” said Hank Alvarez, 19, of Cambridge.
Another ex-teammate, Shun Tsou, 20, of Cambridge, called Dzhokhar Tsarnaev “a silent warrior type”.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faces three murder charges from the bombing and a fourth from killing a police officer who was shot before the teen and his elder brother engaged in a gun battle before being captured.
It was the worst mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001 and could bring a sentence of the death penalty.
The biggest challenge for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s attorney, public defender Miriam Conrad, will be sparing him the death penalty, one observer said.
“I suspect that Miriam will start tomorrow by trying to change his image and make him look like the normal, average, clean-cut young kid,” Walter Prince, a former federal prosecutor in Boston who is now a partner with the law firm Prince Lobel told Reuters.
Security was tighter than usual on Wednesday outside Boston’s U.S. District Courthouse, which is also the site of the ongoing murder and racketeering trial of mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger, now in its fifth week.
Police set a line of metal barriers around the front of the fog-shrouded waterfront building, and uniformed officers with dogs were patrolling its perimeter. In addition to well over a dozen police cars and trucks, a Boston Police boat was moored close to the building’s side entrance – the normal entry point for suspects in custody.
The hearing is due to be brief, with Miriam Conrad perhaps entering a not guilty plea on his behalf, Walter Prince said.
Miriam Conrad did not respond to a request for comment.
According to court papers, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev scrawled a note on an inside wall and beams of the boat in which he hid.
“The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians,” the note read, according to court papers.
“We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all.”
“Now I don’t like killing innocent people it is forbidden in Islam but due to said it is allowed,” he wrote, according to court papers.
“Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop.”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was badly wounded during the gun battle and arrest. After initially being confined at a city hospital, he was moved to a prison west of Boston. Prosecutors have declined to comment on his current condition or if he is still being held at the Fort Devens, Massachusetts, facility.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s ethnic homeland of Chechnya, a mainly Muslim area that saw centuries of war and repression, no longer threatens to secede from Russia. But it has become a breeding ground for a form of militant Islam whose adherents have spread violence to other parts of Russia.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect, has been formally charged with killing four people and using a weapon of mass destruction.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, faces 30 total charges in the April 15 Boston Marathon blasts, which killed three and injured more than 260 others.
A fourth victim, a policeman, was shot dead by him and his brother during the hunt for them, federal prosecutors say.
Seventeen charges could bring life in prison or even the death penalty, US prosecutors said.
In Boston, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz described the Tsarnaev brothers’ preparation for the attack.
They went to a firing range to take target practice, bought electronic material online that could be used to make bombs, and downloaded a publication that could provide instructions on building explosives, Carmen Ortiz told reporters.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect, has been formally charged with killing four people and using a weapon of mass destruction
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev also faces charges for a carjacking days after the attacks and for interfering with commerce, prosecutors said.
His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a shoot-out with police days after the twin blasts.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was injured in the manhunt and has been held in a prison hospital near Boston since his capture on April 19.
He was found hiding in a boat parked in a residential garden in Watertown, Massachusetts, where according to the indictment, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wrote a message reading: “The US Government is killing our innocent civilians” and “I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished.”
According to the indictment, the Tsarnaev brothers made bombs from pressure cookers, low-explosive powder, ball bearings, nails, adhesive, electronic components and other material.
It adds that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev aided and abetted his brother by planting and detonating one of the bombs.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are from a family of ethnic Chechen Muslims from Russia and had been living in the US for about a decade.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has recovered enough to walk, his mother Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said.
In an interview for the Associated Press, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said her son told her in a phone call that he and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a police manhunt after the Boston Marathon blasts, were innocent.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, who was shot and injured during the manhunt, is currently being held in a prison hospital.
Last month’s bombings left three people dead and more than 260 others injured.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva told AP that it was the first conversation she had had with her son since he has been held in custody.
He told her he was getting better but was struggling to comprehend what had happened.
“He didn’t hold back his emotions either, as if he were screaming to the whole world: <<What is this? What’s happening?>>” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said.
“I could just feel that he was being driven crazy by the unfairness that happened to us, that they killed our innocent Tamerlan.”
The Tsarnaev family has continued to claim the men’s innocence in the bomb attacks, which targeted the finishing line of the Boston Marathon on April 15.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has recovered enough to walk
The family, who are ethnic Chechen Muslims from Russia, spoke from an apartment in the Russian republic of Dagestan which reportedly belonged to 26-year-old Tamerlan, who was hit in a shoot-out with police in the aftermath of the bombings.
The suspects’ father, Anzor Tsarnaev, said they bought the apartment in anticipation of Tamerlan and his family moving to Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan.
“All I can do is pray to God and hope that one day fairness will win out, our children will be cleared, and we will at least get Dzhokhar back, crippled, but at least alive,” he told AP.
Meanwhile, the father of a Chechen immigrant Ibragim Todashev, who was shot and killed during a violent confrontation with Boston Marathon investigators, has accused agents who killed his son of being “bandits”.
Ibragim Todashev, 27, admitted a role in a triple murder near Boston in 2011 and implicated Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the crime.
However, no evidence has emerged to link Ibragim Todashev to the bombings.
On May 22, he was shot and killed in Orlando, Florida.
Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, his father, Abdul-Baki Todashev, showed 16 photographs that he said were of his son in a Florida morgue.
He claimed his son had six gunshot wounds to his torso and one to the back of his head. However, the photos have not been authenticated.
There are conflicting reports about the events that led to Ibragim Todashev’s death, with law enforcement officials initially saying he was shot after attacking an FBI agent with a knife but later saying they were not clear about what happened.
Ibragim Todashev’s father says his son was “100% unarmed” and has called for an investigation into his death.
“These are not FBI agents but bandits – I cannot call them anything else and they must be tried,” he said.
His son met Tamerlan Tsarnaev at a boxing gym in Boston in 2011 but they were “not particularly close friends”, Abdul-Baki Todashev adds.
Bella Tsarnaeva, sister of Boston Marathon bombings suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, faces drugs charge in New Jersey.
Bella Tsarnaeva, 24, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to possession of ma****ana with intent to distribute.
She was arrested in December 2012 after police responded to her Fairview home on a domestic violence report and found ma****ana, according to court papers. Authorities said they had first found her live-in boyfriend, Ahmad Khalil, at the apartment, which they searched after smelling marijuana.
Both Bella Tsarnaeva and Ahmad Khalil were indicted on April 10 with possession of ma****ana with intent to distribute.
They declined to comment on Tuesday after their arraignment in Superior Court, where their attorneys entered not-guilty pleas on their behalves.
Bella Tsarnaeva’s attorney, Mario Blanch, said he has applied for her to be admitted into a pretrial intervention program, a form of probation that allows certain defendants to resolve their cases without a criminal record.
Bella Tsarnaeva, sister of Boston Marathon bombings suspects faces drug charges in New Jersey
Bella Tsarnaeva later left the building, her head wrapped in Ahmad Khalil’s shirt to shield her from a photographer. Mario Blanch said Bella Tsarnaeva did not want to be photographed because people are already recognizing her on the streets and that she has even received death threats for what her brothers are accused of doing.
“She is a young woman, 24 years old, and through no fault of her own, she has been thrust into a public spotlight,” said her attorney Mario Blanch to North Jersey.com.
“This has been a huge tragedy for this country, and it has also been a huge tragedy for my client.”
The investigation extended into North Jersey within a few days after the Boston Marathon bombing when federal agents showed up at the West New York home of another sister, 22-year-old Ailina Tsarnaeva. The agents interviewed the woman for several hours and left with computers, cell phones and plastic bags full of items. West New York police later said the woman was cooperating with authorities.
Meanwhile, lawyers for her brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are set to blame the “overpowering influence” of elder brother Tamerlan, said Harvey Silverglate, a civil liberties and defense attorney.
According to Harvey Silvergate, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers will cite Tamerlan as being “an embittered and dangerous character, and it is well known that older siblings have tremendous power over younger siblings”.
One of the teenage bombers attorney is Judy Clarke, who represented “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski and 1996 Atlanta Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph – in both cases using mental health as a defense.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has told his mother Zubeidat Tsarnaeva that “everything will be fine” in their first telephone call since his arrest in the Boston Marathon bombings case as he recuperates at a Massachusetts prison hospital.
According to Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, who spoke to her son yesterday from Makhachkala, the capital of Russia’s Dagestan region, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said: “I am absolutely fine, my wounds are healing. Everything is in God’s hands. Be patient. Everything will be fine.”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, stands accused of carrying out the April 15th attack in Boston, which killed three people and injured at least 260 along with his brother Tamerlan, who was killed following a brutal shootout with police on April 19th in the Watertown suburb of the city.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his mother Zubeidat Tsarnaeva had their first phone call since his arrest
The teenage terror suspect was arrested after a 36 hour multi-agency manhunt and is currently being held at Devens Federal medical center as he recovers from gunshot wounds, including one to the neck.
“Mentally he is normal but the child is shocked,” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said to Bloomberg.
“It was really hard to hear him and for him to hear me. The conversation was very quiet. It was my child, I know he is locked up like a dog, like an animal.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva told the news agency that the conversation she had with her son lasted six minutes and that she is promised one a month with him.
This comes as the sister of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev faces a drugs charge in New Jersey.
The nurses who treated Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have told how they could not stop themselves from soothing him with the words: “I am really sorry, hon.”
Medical staff said that just like any other patient they were reflexively affectionate to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev they “did not see as a terrorist”.
Torn by a mixture of emotions, they made a pact to be unemotional around him as they struggled to reconcile their professional obligations with personal disgust.
Interviews with the nurse show how hard it was to treat somebody who has been accused of being behind the bombings that went off during the Boston Marathon last month.
The explosions left three dead and more than 265 injured, some of whom were taken to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ended up too after being caught in a shootout with police that killed his brother 26-year-old Tamerlan.
There the nurses found their requirement to treat anybody regardless of their background was tested to the absolute limit.
Speaking to the Boston Globe, seven of the women spoke about caring for him but did not want to give their full names for fear of a backlash from the community.
While moving Dzhokhar Tsarnaev one day a nurse called Irene found herself saying: “I am really sorry, hon.”
She and another nurse called Marie agreed to tell each other if they were using terms of endearment towards him by accident.
The nurses who treated Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have told how they could not stop themselves from soothing him
Marie said: “You see a hurt 19-year-old and you can’t help but feel sorry for him.”
She added that she would “not be upset if he (Dzhokhar Tsarnaev) got the death penalty”.
Marie said: “There is no way to reconcile the two different feelings.”
The night Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was brought in would have been particularly vexing for Beth Israel as doctors were still looking after 24 bombing victims, some of whom were on the same floor as the suspect.
Victims’ families had to walk past an area with armed guards where the man who allegedly maimed their relatives was being held, just so they could see their loved ones.
Nurse Julie Benbenishty, director of trauma at the hospital, said: “Many of the support staff, the cleaners, and families of other patients will say: <<Why are you giving him pain medication?>>
“They might be angry at us for turning him and washing him and for doing what we are really supposed to do.
“After about a half-hour, I don’t see him as a terrorist anymore.”
As the night went on medics were reminded of their obligations under the Hippocratic Oath, and FBI investigators told them: “You need to keep this person alive. We need information. We need justice.”
A 29-year-old nurse said that when she was unsure if she could treat Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, her husband told her: “You have to do it. You have to do it so we can get answers.”
Michele, 29, a nurse who was one of those who cared for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, said that when she was in the room with him he was “just a patient”.
She said: “You’re here to… make sure they’re feeling better.
“When you step away, you take it in. I am compassionate, that’s what we do. But should I be?
“The rest of the world hates him right now. The emotions are like one big salad, all tossed around.”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev chose to write a note confessing his connection to the Boston Marathon bombings explaining why he and his brother Tamerlan made the two pressure cooker bombs as he thought he was dying when he was hiding out in a boat.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, found a pen in the boat but no paper so it was revealed today that he wrote his message on an interior wall of David Henneberry’s boat that he used as shelter in Watertown.
Law enforcement sources told CBS that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wrote that he “does not mourn” the death of his older brother Tamerlan because he is a martyr living in “paradise” and that he expected to join him there soon.
The note is a critical piece of evidence for police as it reiterates what Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said to them in the hospital after his arrest.
Aside from simply confirming his other statements, it could serve as back up for the eventual legal case against him because the reported confession to police came before Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was read his Miranda rights informing him of his right to remain silent.
After they were read, the suspect reportedly stopped talking to police, but now the note will serve as a handwritten confession.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev found a pen in the boat but no paper and he wrote his message on an interior wall of David Henneberry’s boat that he used as shelter in Watertown
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wrote that the bombings were retribution for the various American crimes against Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He equated the three people who were killed in the marathon bombings and the more than 250 others who were injured to “collateral damage” like the thousands of innocent Muslim victims of American wars across the globe.
“When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims,” Dzhokhar Tsarnaev reportedly wrote.
CBS reporter John Miller pointed out that the note is just the latest piece of evidence that police are using in developing their theory that the Chechen brothers worked alone and were self-radicalized rather than being the “soldiers” for a larger group.
Investigators are still working to determine who else- if anyone- knew about the attack before it happened.
While the note is undoubtedly a boost for the state’s case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is now being held in the medical center of an area prison, it is hardly cut and dry.
Because police fired hundreds of bullets at the boat during their attempt to capture Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the note is riddled with bullet holes.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and the note will certainly be used in the case against him.
A startling number of teen girls have admitted to having a schoolgirl crush on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, proclaiming their love for the Boston Marathon bombing suspect on social media.
It’s a disturbing trend on sites like Twitter and Facebook, where girls have admitted to finding Dzhokhar Tsarnaev attractive, and herald him in the ranks of Justin Bieber and One Direction singer Harry Styles.
One Twitter user, a waitress who goes by the name Keepitblunted, has said she is looking to get a tattoo of a Dzhokhar Tsarnaev quote.
“If you have the knowledge and the inspiration all that’s left is to take action.”
The quote was tweeted by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on April 8, a week before the Boston Marathon bombings.
She has since gone back on her promise, posting that she has decided to hold off “out of respect of my family’s wishes”.
But the young woman, named Alisha, told the New York Post that she’s not among the group of women who are interested in the case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev because she’s in love with him.
She told the paper: “Somebody needs to stand up for him, and not the little high-school girls who just think he’s cute.”
The FreeJahar97 Twitter account was created on April 25 – 10 days after the double bombing.
The first tweet reads: “any other beliebers out there who want to see Jahar freed and believe he is innocent? feel like i’m all alone here.. #freejahar.”
Another says she is considering becoming a Muslim to better related to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
“I know I didn’t know Jahar and I shouldn’t be saying this but… I miss Jahar… Is that weird? Don’t think I’m weird. I just miss him.”
Facebook group Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is innocent sprung up shortly after the bombings and has more than 8,000 followers
Tsarnaev5ever tweeted: “Jahar is gonna go crazy in that cell alone with just a book… I wanna send money to him… Anyone have the address?”
“Poor Jahar… He’s only 19. ONLY 19… No one deserves to be in a 10×10… No one…”
Shadowlilly1993 posted: “Yall can judge me as much as you want. I’m on his side.This kid needs people behind him. I hope to meet him one day he fascinates me @J_tsar.”
A teen who goes by the Twitter handle Wildziall, says: “I wonder what jahar is thinking about right now.”
In another, she said: “My little brother just said he would cover for me if I snuck out of the house to meet up with jahar I love him.”
Meanwhile, a Facebook group that sprung up shortly after the bombings, “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is innocent”, has more than 8,000 followers.
The group, loaded with conspiracy theories and proclamations of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s innocence, is by invitation only.
Vocal fans of the “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is Innocent” Facebook group have claimed that neither Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerlan, was responsible for the Boston bombing.
Instead, they say, a government-funded group of mercenaries from a private company staged the event and framed the Chechen pair.
The company they accuse, Craft International, trains military and police teams through tactical and combat scenarios. Its founder, retired Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, wrote the best-selling book American Sniper and recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history.
Chris Kyle was killed in February at a Texas gun range, by a fellow veteran struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Katherine Russell Tsarnaev’s new lawyer, Joshua Dratel, insists that the Boston Marathon bombing suspect’s widow will co-operate with the investigation into the terrorist atrocity.
Joshua Dratel, who has represented several terrorism suspects, joined the legal team of Katherine Russell, who was married to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, last week.
Katherine Russell has not been accused of any wrongdoing, but the FBI are currently interrogating her to find out if she had any clue as to her husband’s plans.
The bombing at the marathon’s finish line on April 15 killed three people and injured more than 260.
Katherine Russell Tsarnaev’s new lawyer Joshua Dratel insists that she will co-operate with the investigation into the terrorist atrocity
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his younger brother Dzhokhar, originally from Chechnya, are believed to have carried out the attacks due to their radical jihadist beliefs.
Joshua Dratel, from New York, today said that he joined Katherine Russell’s legal team to help her navigate the criminal justice system and to protect her interests.
He said she had spoken with investigators and planned to keep co-operating.
“I don’t see that changing in the foreseeable future,” he said.
“There’s no inconsistency between that and her interests at this point.”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is in a prison hospital facing charges that could bring the death penalty. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died on April 19 after a shootout with police.
Katherine Russell, 24, had been living in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and two-year-old daughter, but has been staying with her parents in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, since the day her husband was killed.
She has reverted to using her maiden name, switching from her married name of Tsarnaeva.
Among the questions about Katherine Russell is what she knew or saw in the weeks leading up to the bombing, and in the days after it.
Two U.S. officials have said that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told investigators the bombs were assembled in the small apartment Katherine Russell shared with her husband.
One of her lawyers has previously said Katherine Russell was working long hours and was frequently away from the apartment.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s death certificate, which was released on Friday, showed that he was shot in the firefight and then run over and dragged by a vehicle.
Police say it was Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who mowed over his brother’s body as he was making a getaway.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s death certificate showed that he was shot in the firefight and then run over and dragged by a vehicle
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was buried under a shroud of secrecy Wednesday evening at the Al-Barzakh Cemetery in central Virginia, about 15 miles from Richmond, with the help of Christian Martha Mullen.
The Tsarnaev brothers are accused of carrying out the April 15 twin bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a violent shootout with police on April 19 and his brother, who was injured in the gunfight, was captured in Watertown, Massachusetts after an 18-hour manhunt.
His body was claimed by his uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, who asked that the remains be placed in a municipal cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Tamerlan Tsarnaev lived with his wife, Katherine Russell. But city officials would not allow that to happen.
Katherine Russell did not claim the body, which is why it was released to Ruslan Tsarni.
The public was not notified that Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body had been moved until after it was transported from the funeral home Wednesday.
On Thursday morning, police officials announced that: “A courageous and compassionate individual came forward to provide the assistance needed to properly bury the deceased.”
On average, burials cost $6,000 to $10,000, which covers basic services of a funeral director and staff, including the casket as well as embalming and sanitation of the body, according to the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society, a consumer advocacy group.
Typically, the person who claims the body – which in this case would be Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s uncle – pays these costs.
“Mounting evidence” gathered by investigators suggest Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could have been involved in a grisly unsolved triple murder in 2011, it has emerged on Friday.
Officials told ABC News that forensic evidence could tie Boston bomber brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the killings of Brendan Mess, Raphael Teken and Erik Weissman, who were found with their throats slit and marijuana dumped over their dead bodies in a Waltham, Massachusetts house.
The Tsarnaev brothers knew the men as Tamerlan trained in boxing and martial arts with Brendan Mass.
However, officials said more DNA testing is required before bringing an indictment against the surviving brother, Dzhokhar Tsaranaev, who is recovering from a self-inflicted gun wound in a prison infirmary.
Following the April 15 bombings and the suspected involvement of the Tsarnaev brothers, investigators began to look into the link between Tamerlan and Brendan Mess.
Forensic evidence could tie Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the killings of Brendan Mess and other two men, who were found with their throats slit and marijuana dumped over their dead bodies in a Waltham house
Authorities have now told ABC that forensic evidence from the crime scene in 2011 matches the Tsarnaev brothers. Their cell phones were also in the area at the time of the killings, records show.
The three men had ordered food from an Italian restaurant on the September 11, 2011, but when a delivery woman came to leave the food, no one answered the door.
The next morning, one of the victim’s girlfriends found their bodies.
Their throats had been slit, they have been covered with marijuana and there was also $5,000 cash in the home.
Initially police said two other people had been there on the day and they were looking to question them, although no one has ever been charged.
There had been no forced entry, so police believe the killer was known the victim and was let into the apartment.
Investigators at the time said the murders were “targeted and not a random act of violence”.
Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone issued a statement soon after the murders saying, “based on the present state of the investigation, it is believed that the victims knew the assailant or assailants, and the attacks were not random”.
Neighbors described Brendan Mess and his two roommates as quiet, nice people who were a welcome change of pace from previous residents who often had loud parties late into the evening.
After the deaths, friends said that Tamerlan Tsarnaev acted oddly – failing to attend his close friend’s funeral and dropping out of the martial arts school where they had both trained.
One man who knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev through the gym where they trained said some of their social circle “without even speaking about it beforehand have all been thinking” he could be involved.
The friend, who gave his name only as Ray, told BuzzFeed Politics: “At the time, none of us would have thought it was Tam. It was just so emotional and we thought we had someone else who had done it.”
But since Tamerlan Tsarnaev was identified as the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three and injured 260, Ray believes his sudden disappearance after Brendan Mess’s death may be a clue.
“Tam wasn’t there at the memorial service, he wasn’t at the funeral, he wasn’t around at all,” Ray said.
“And he was really close with Brendan. That’s why it’s so weird.”
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed following a gun battle with police, a day after the FBI released images of him and his younger brother at the Boston Marathon.
His brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar, was found hiding in a boat parked in a suburban yard and suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the neck.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is now recovering and has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told investigators that Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, the widow of his late older brother Tamerlan, had nothing to do with the April 15 Boston Marathon attacks, it was revealed today.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, has made the statement to law enforcement officials looking into Katherine Russell’s possible involvement in the planning of the bombings allegedly carried out by her husband, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and her brother-in-law, NBC News reported.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a police gun battle on April 19. His younger brother, Dzhokhar, was captured and charged in connection to the bombings following a massive manhunt that ended when he was discovered wounded hiding inside a boat in a backyard.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told investigators that Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, the widow of his late older brother Tamerlan, had nothing to do with the April 15 Boston Marathon attacks
Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, 24, has been under increased scrutiny ever since federal officials found radical Islamist materials on her laptop, including the al Qaeda magazine Inspire.
Investigators also found traces of explosive residue in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, home Katherine Russell had shared with her late husband and their daughter.
Katherine Russell’s defense team said in a statement that she “plans to continue to meet with investigators, part of a series of meetings over many hours where she has answered questions”.
It was also revealed Wednesday that the 24-year-old Muslim convert has hired a prominent criminal lawyer with experience defending terrorism cases.
Katherine Russell added New York lawyer Joshua Dratel to her legal team, her attorney Amato DeLuca confirmed.
Joshua Dratel has represented a number of terrorism suspects in federal courts and military commissions, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detainee David Hicks, who attended an al-Qaida-linked training camp in Afghanistan.
American citizen Robel Phillipos is one of the three more suspects arrested last month in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings.
Robel Phillipos’s past and character isn’t as much of a mystery to us as fellow suspects Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, but the question still remains, how did this former daycare worker turn into a suspect?
Seeing what happens to Robel Phillipos, who is an American citizen like his colleague and friend Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, will show us how investigators and law officials treat someone who allegedly aided suspect accused of terrorism.
Robel Phillipos, 19, isn’t charged with physically tampering with evidence, more specifically throwing out Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s backpack, but he is being charged with lying to federal investigators over the course of four interviews.
“The only allegation he made is a misrepresentation,” his lawyer Derege Demissie said.
Robel Phillipos and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were classmates even before college. Robel Phillipos, according to school officials who spoke to Bloomberg, was a 2011 graduate of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev also graduated in 2011, and actually received a $2,500 scholarship. What isn’t clear is how close they were in school.
“A yearbook photograph shows a smiling Phillipos. Almost directly in front of him, Tsarnaev stares at the camera – his hand gently resting under his chin,” reads the CNN report, but that doesn’t tell us if or how close Robel Phillipos and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were friends in high school. And though there are multiple reports from friends, neighbors, and people who played basketball with Robel Phillipos, none of them have commented on the type of friendship, if any, that he and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had. He and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were classmates for a brief period at UMass Dartmouth.
Robel Phillipos is one of the three more suspects arrested last month in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings
Robel Phillipos dropped out of School to take care his sick mother.
UMass Dartmouth said that Robel Phillipos, like Dias Kadyrbayev, was not a student at the time of his arrest. But reports say that before he dropped out, he was studying marketing.
“According to a former classmate and friend who worked with Phillipos at a daycare center, Phillipos was attending classes remotely at the time of his arrest because he was staying home to care for his mother, who is ill,” report Erin Baldassari and Amy Saltzman for the Cambridge Chronicle. Though the daycare center where Robel Phillipos worked at isn’t specified, we know he was also active in the Cambridge Kids Council, Cambridge Kids’ Council – a program chaired by the mayor of Cambridge and is, according to its website, “dedicated to developing policy recommendations and programs aimed at improving the quality of life for children, youth and families in the City of Cambridge.”
Robel Phillipos, according to USA Today, was raised by his mother, Genet Bekele, who herself was an immigrant from Ethiopia.
“She is a single mother and works with refugees,” NBC Boston reported, while the Cambridge Chronicle team added: “A devout Protestant, Phillipos’ mother worked directly with refugees and often involved herself in charitable work, the friend said.”
“Do What You Have to Do.”
That’s the phrase that Robel Phillipos is quoted as saying in the criminal complaint. He apparently muttered those words to Dias Kadyrbayev, while discussing what to do with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s backpack. That sounds like reluctance on Robel Phillipos’s part, and according to one of his friends, that’s his catchphrase when he doesn’t like what’s going on. The Chronicle report reads: “One friend said Phillipos wasn’t prone to drama and would often detach himself from sticky situations. Defending allegations that Phillipos lied to investigators to protect Tsarnaev, friends said Phillipos didn’t get in trouble often.
“I know Robel, if he’s not with something, he’s going to say, <<You do you>>. That’s how Robel works,” a friend said, referring to the criminal complaint that quotes Phillipos as reportedly saying, <<Do what you have to do>>.”
Robel Phillipos lived close to the carjacking.
This was mentioned in the initial reports, but Robel Phillipos and his mother lived very close from the carjacking the Tsarnaev brothers committed, which eventually became their undoing.
“The family’s apartment building is located next to the gas station where the carjacking victim from the night of the shootout in Watertown escaped,” reports NBC Boston. There’s no indication from officials that Robel Phillipos did anything more than lie to federal officials, but that’s a strange coincidence to have the Tsarnaev brothers on the loose that night and were in walking distance to their friend’s house.
Robel Phillipos, 19, was released Monday on $100,000 bond and ordered to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet while under house arrest awaiting trial.
Robel Phillipos, friend of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who is accused of lying to FBI investigators, will be released on bail with house arrest, a federal judge has ruled today.
American citizen Robel Phillipos, 19, is to be freed on a $100,000 bond provided he wears an electronic monitoring bracelet and is confined to his home.
He and two other friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were charged last week with hindering the investigation.
Robel Phillipos faces up to eight years in prison if convicted.
Robel Phillipos, friend of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, will be released on bail with house arrest
He is accused of lying to investigators about visiting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dormitory at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth on April 18, three days after the bombings.
Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, two other college friends, have been charged with conspiring to obstruct justice by taking a backpack with the remains of fireworks and a laptop from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dorm room before the FBI searched it.
None of the three men are implicated in the planning of the bombings.
In court documents, defense attorneys for Robel Phillipos said their client had nothing to do with the attack and was not a flight risk.
According to a resume filed with the court, Robel Phillipos was studying marketing and sociology at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, and was expected to graduate in 2015.
But the university has said he was not enrolled during the current semester.
In letters filed with the court, friends and family members described Robel Phillipos as peaceful and non-violent.
“I do not believe that my beloved Robel crosses the line intentionally to support or assist such a horrendous act against us the people of the USA,” his aunt, Zewditu Alemu, wrote.
“By nature he does not like violence.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of Boston bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, appeared in photos of her as a younger woman wearing a low-cut blouse and having her hair teased like a 1980s rock star.
After she arrived in the U.S. from Russia in 2002, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva went to beauty school and did facials at a suburban day spa.
But in recent years, people noticed a change. The Boston bombers’ mother began wearing a hijab and cited conspiracy theories about 9/11 being a plot against Muslims.
Now known as the angry and grieving mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva is drawing increased attention after federal officials say Russian authorities intercepted her phone calls, including one in which she vaguely discussed jihad with her elder son, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
In another, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva was recorded talking to someone in southern Russia who is under FBI investigation in an unrelated case, U.S. officials said.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, 45, insists there is no mystery. She’s no terrorist, just someone who found a deeper spirituality. She insists her sons – Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a gunfight with police, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was wounded and captured – are innocent.
“It’s all lies and hypocrisy,” she told The Associated Press in Dagestan.
“I’m sick and tired of all this nonsense that they make up about me and my children. People know me as a regular person, and I’ve never been mixed up in any criminal intentions, especially any linked to terrorism.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva arrived in the U.S. in 2002, settling in a working-class section of Cambridge, Massachusetts. With four children, Anzor Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva qualified for food stamps and were on and off public assistance benefits for years. The large family squeezed itself into a third-floor apartment.
She took classes at the Catherine Hinds Institute of Esthetics, before becoming a state-licensed aesthetician. Anzor Tsarnaev, who had studied law, fixed cars.
By some accounts, the family was tolerant.
Bethany Smith, a New Yorker who befriended Zubeidat Tsarnaeva’s two daughters, said in an interview with Newsday that when she stayed with the family for a month in 2008 while she looked at colleges, she was welcomed even though she was Christian and had tattoos.
“I had nothing but love over there. They accepted me for who I was,” Bethany Smith told the newspaper.
“Their mother, Zubeidat, she considered me to be a part of the family. She called me her third daughter.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva is drawing increased attention after federal officials say Russian authorities intercepted her phone calls, including one in which she vaguely discussed jihad with her elder son, Tamerlan Tsarnaev
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said she and her son Tamerlan began to turn more deeply into their Muslim faith about five years ago after being influenced by a family friend, named “Misha”.
The man, whose full name she didn’t reveal but later was identified as Mikhail Allakhverdov, impressed her with a religious devotion that was far greater than her own, even though he was an ethnic Armenian who converted to Islam.
“I wasn’t praying until he prayed in our house, so I just got really ashamed that I am not praying, being a Muslim, being born Muslim. I am not praying. Misha, who converted, was praying,” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said.
By then, she had left her job at the day spa and was giving facials in her apartment. One client, Alyssa Kilzer, noticed the change when Zubeidat Tsarnaeva put on a head scarf before leaving the apartment.
“She had never worn a hijab while working at the spa previously, or inside the house, and I was really surprised,” Alyssa Kilzer wrote in a post on her blog.
“She started to refuse to see boys that had gone through puberty, as she had consulted a religious figure and he had told her it was sacrilegious. She was often fasting.”
Alyssa Kilzer wrote that Zubeidat Tsarnaeva was a loving and supportive mother, and she felt sympathy for her plight after the April 15 bombings.
But the woman stopped visiting the family’s home for spa treatments in late 2011 or early 2012 when, during one session, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva “started quoting a conspiracy theory, telling me that she thought 9/11 was purposefully created by the American government to make America hate Muslims”.
“It’s real,” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said, according to Alyssa Kilzer.
“My son knows all about it. You can read on the Internet.”
In the spring of 2010, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva’s eldest son, Tamerlan, got married in a ceremony at a Boston mosque that no one in the family had previously attended. Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his wife, Katherine Russell, a Rhode Island native and convert from Christianity, now have a three-year-old daughter, Zahara.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva married into a Chechen family but was an outsider. She is an Avar, from one of the dozens of ethnic groups in Dagestan. Her native village is now a hotbed of an ultraconservative strain of Islam known as Salafism or Wahabbism.
It is unclear whether religious differences fueled tension in their family. Anzor Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva divorced in 2011.
About the same time, there was a brief FBI investigation into Tamerlan Tsarnaev, prompted by a tip from Russia’s security service.
The vague warning from the Russians was that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, an amateur boxer in the U.S., was a follower of radical Islam who had changed drastically since 2010.
That led the FBI to interview Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 at the family’s home in Cambridge. Officials ultimately placed his name, and his mother’s name, on various watch lists, but the inquiry was closed in late spring of 2011.
After the bombings, Russian authorities told U.S. investigators they had secretly recorded a phone conversation in which Zubeidat Tsarnaeva had vaguely discussed jihad with Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
The Russians also recorded Zubeidat Tsarnaeva talking to someone in southern Russia who is under FBI investigation in an unrelated case, according to U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation with reporters.
Anzor Tsarnaev’s brother, Ruslan Tsarni, told the AP from his home in Maryland that he believed his former sister-in-law had a “big-time influence” on her older son’s growing embrace of his Muslim faith and decision to quit boxing and school.
While Tamerlan Tsarnaev was living in Russia for six months in 2012, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, who had remained in the U.S., was arrested at a shopping mall in the suburb of Natick, Massachusetts, and accused of trying to shoplift $1,624 worth of women’s clothing from a department store.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva failed to appear in court to answer the charges that fall, and instead left the country.
Following Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbaev arrest in the Boston Marathon bombings for obstructing justice, the Homeland Security Department ordered border agents “effective immediately” to verify that every international student who arrives in the U.S. has a valid student visa.
Azamat Tazhayakov, one of the three college students who were arrested on Wednesday, was able to get into the U.S. illegally on expired student visas, prompting the government’s first formal security change directly related to the April 15 attack.
The student visa for Azamat Tazhayakov had been terminated when he arrived in New York on January 20 but the border agent in the airport did not have access to the information about it in the Homeland Security Department’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, called SEVIS.
Kazakh Azamat Tazhayakov, 19, was a friend and classmate of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
He left the U.S. in December and returned January 20, but earlier that month his student-visa status was terminated because he was academically dismissed from the university.
Azamat Tazhayakov and a second Kazakh student were arrested this week on federal charges of obstruction of justice. They were accused of helping to get rid of a backpack containing fireworks linked to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. A third student, American citizen Robel Phillipos, was also arrested and accused of lying to authorities.
Azamat Tazhayakov was able to get into the U.S. illegally on expired student visa, prompting the government’s first formal security change directly related to the Boston attack
Dias Kadyrbaev, 19, called his dad and described their arrest as something out of a Hollywood blockbuster.
“He told me on the phone: <<Dad, we have been arrested just like in an American movie. They came over in armored vehicles with a platoon of officers, with guns and laser lights. They undressed us. It started snowing. But we were standing like that until the search of our apartment ended. I am home now, we have been released, everything is all right, don’t worry Dad>>,” the father Murat Kadyrbaev told a Russian television station.
A spokesman for the Homeland Security Department, Peter Boogaard, said earlier this week that the government was working to fix the problem, which allowed Azamat Tazhayakov to be admitted into the country when he returned to the U.S.
Under existing procedures, border agents could verify a student’s status in SEVIS only when the person was referred to a second officer for additional inspection or questioning.
Azamat Tazhayakov was not sent to a second officer when he arrived. Under the new procedures, all border agents were expected to be able to access SEVIS by next week.
The U.S. government for years has recognized as a problem the inability of border agents at primary inspection stations to directly review student-visa information.
The Homeland Security Department was working before the Boston bombings to resolve the problem, but the new memo outlined interim procedures until the situation was corrected.
Under the new procedures, border agents will verify a student’s visa status before the person arrives in the U.S. using information provided in flight manifests.
If that information is unavailable, border agents will check the visa status manually with the agency’s national targeting data center.
The Obama administration announced an internal review earlier this week of how U.S. intelligence agencies shared sensitive information before the bombings and whether the government could have prevented the attack.
Republicans in Congress have promised oversight hearings, which begin Thursday next week.
Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Thursday for details from the student visa applications of Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, including information about how Tazhayakov re-entered the United States.
Lawmakers and others have long been concerned about terrorists exploiting the student visa system to travel to the U.S.
A 20-year-old college student from Saudi Arabia was arrested in Texas in 2011 on federal charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
Authorities accused him of plotting to blow up dams, nuclear plants or the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush. He was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Posters expressing support for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is charged with last month’s bombings at the Boston Marathon, have been put up on walls in Chechnya’s capital, Grozny.
It is not clear who is behind the posters declaring Dzhokhar Tsarnaev “not guilty”, which appeared after Russia’s May Day celebrations.
The posters show pictures of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, and include an appeal for online donations.
The Tsarnaev family are ethnic Chechens but have lived mostly outside Chechnya.
Residents of Grozny say the posters most likely came from someone trying to make money out of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Posters expressing support for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have been put up on walls in Chechnya’s capital, Grozny
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s elder brother Tamerlan – a fellow suspect – was killed during a clash with police three days after the April 15 bombings, which killed three people and wounded 264.
Reports say the Tsarnaevs lived for years in Kyrgyzstan – in Central Asia – and Dagestan, another Russian republic in the North Caucasus which borders Chechnya.
In the 1990s, Russia’s war in Chechnya spilled into Dagestan. It is now more violent, and is experiencing an Islamist insurgency and harsh police crackdown.
Pro-Tsarnaev leaflets have also appeared in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital, Russia’s Interfax news agency reports. Police are trying to find out who stuck them on the walls of underpasses in the city centre.
The posters in central Grozny follow an earlier campaign there in support of the Tsarnaevs. The authorities removed the earlier ones, which appeared on April 24.
The latest posters in Grozny say: “This is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a 19-year-old lad accused of a terrorist attack in Boston. But as many people now know, that is a groundless accusation, there is absolutely no evidence against him.
“Now he is in a serious condition, in a prison hospital, he needs medical and legal help. Dzhokhar’s parents ask you for help, to collect money for their son, whom they cannot lose, as they have already lost the older son, cruelly, unjustly. We will be grateful for any help, in the name of the Almighty do not remain indifferent.”
The message includes a number for the Russian online payment system, Qiwi Wallet, and the Tsarnaev family address in the social network, VKontakte.
According to Chechnya’s Moscow-backed President Ramzan Kadyrov, the Tsarnaevs spent little time in Chechnya, a republic devastated by war between Russia and separatist rebels in the 1990s.
Since then, Grozny has been rebuilt and now boasts skyscrapers and a huge central mosque.
Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev initially planned to attack Boston’s 4th of July Independence Day celebrations, US media have reported.
But they finished making the bombs more quickly than expected at Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s home, anonymous US officials are quoted as saying.
It is unclear if they planned to target a specific event, but Boston hosts major 4th of July festivities each year.
Meanwhile, the body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been claimed by family.
A spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety confirmed a funeral home hired by his relatives picked up the remains on Thursday.
The suspect’s widow, Katherine Russell, gave consent a day earlier for the body to be released.
Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev initially planned to attack Boston’s 4th of July Independence Day celebrations
His uncle Ruslan Tsarni, who lives in the state of Maryland, said on Tuesday night the family would take the remains.
The medical examiner has said Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s cause of death has been determined, but the information will not be released until a death certificate has been filed. It was unclear if that had happened on Thursday evening.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died after a gun battle with police during which he was run over by his younger brother as he fled the scene in a vehicle, police have said.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, who was later captured and is recovering in a prison hospital from gunshot wounds, reportedly told FBI investigators of the plan for a 4th of July attack.
He also told interrogators that the two of them had initially considered suicide attacks, the New York Times reports.
Instead Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev decided to use pressure-cookers to make the two bombs they allegedly detonated on April 15 near the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three people and wounding 264.
Also according to the newspaper, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told investigators he and his brother had listened to internet sermons by Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born al-Qaeda suspect killed in a 2011 drone strike in Yemen.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faces a possible death sentence if convicted for his alleged role in the Boston attack.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev lived with his wife, Katherine Russell, and their three-year-old daughter, Zahara, in an apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Police have said they found bomb material at the residence.
The FBI has removed evidence, including DNA samples, from the Rhode Island home of Katherine Russell’s parents, where she has been staying since her husband’s death.
Katherine Russell’s lawyers say she did not know much about her husband’s activities because she spent most of her time outside the home working as a health aide while he watched their child.
Three of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s college friends appeared in court on Wednesday, accused of obstructing the police investigation into the attacks.
Police say Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev – both from Kazakhstan – threw away the suspect’s backpack after realizing he was one of the bombers.
Robel Phillipos, a US citizen, is accused of lying to investigators.
The backpack was recovered at a landfill site. A lawyer for Dias Kadyrbayev told CNN his client had turned over the laptop to the FBI, but did not specify when.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s ex-girlfriend says that she was so attracted to him when she saw him outside that she immediately went over and flirted.
“I met him standing outside a building and honestly, his face was enough to capture my heart. I walked right up to him and I was like, <<Oh my God, you are adorable. Can we hang out?>> I’m very forward,” the girl told Mother Jones.
The girl, who is a fellow UMASS-Dartmouth student that is not releasing her name, started a romantic relationship with Boston Marathon suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev last fall that only lasted about two weeks.
During that time, the girl also met his three friends – Dias Kadyrbayev, Azamat Tazhayakov and Robel Phillipos – who were arrested on Wednesday for destroying evidence and lying to federal investigators.
The girl said that they all looked up to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whom they referred to as “Jahar”.
“They all sort of idolized Jahar,” she said.
Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both Kazakh nationals, were charged with conspiring to obstruct justice by destroying evidence. American Robel Phillipos is charged with knowingly and willfully making false statements to investigators.
Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
She said that she met the three other young men through Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, though she described him as being the “leader of his group”.
The girl said that she was shocked by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s involvement in the bombing, as well as any help that he received from his friends.
“There was no indication that they were crazy at all. They just seemed goofy, kind of lackadaisical, not interested in their studies. But, you know, whatever, it was their first semester of college. No one really cared about books,” she said.
Dhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and the unidentified young woman spent their time together involved listening to music and smoking pot, though she says she ended things when he wanted to move faster than she did though she doesn’t consider that as an indication that he was bound to be a killer.
“I don’t think that’s necessarily being a terrorist. I think that’s just called being a hands-y teenaged boy,” she said.
The girl told Mother Jones that she was surprised by implications that the bombing had anything to do with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s religious beliefs as he never mentioned his religion during their time together.
She said that Dias Kadyrbayev, who seemed the closest to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was more conservative as he once made a comment to her at a party about her dress being too revealing.
After Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Dias Kadyrbayev appears to be the most in-command of the group as he was the one who texted.
Dias Kadyrbayev, 19, warned his friend that that he was plastered across television news outlets.
“Tsarnaev’s return texts contained <<lol>> and other things Kadyrbayev interpreted as jokes,” documents say.
On the same day that the FBI released pictures and video clips of the Tsarnaev brothers at the bomb scene, Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov removed items from the younger bomber’s dorm room.
That was just two days before the FBI searched the room.
The criminal complaint lists that they removed Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s backpack from his room and “agreed to get rid of it after concluding from news reports that Tsarnaev was one of the Boston Marathon bombers”.
The three friends- Dias Kadyrbayev, Azamat Tazhayakov and Robel Phillipos- went over to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s on-campus dormitory after seeing the news reports.
When the group arrived at the dorm, Dias Kadyrbayev showed Azamat Tazhayakov a text from the bomber that said: “I’m about to leave if you need something in my room take it.”
He did not specify where he was going, but Azamat Tazhayakov told investigators that he felt that this meant he would never see Dzhokhar Tsarnaev alive again.
Dias Kadyrbayev “knew when he saw the empty fireworks that Tsarnaev was involved in the Marathon bombing”.
Azamat Tazhayakov, 19, was more alarmed because the tubes had been emptied but not destroyed, meaning that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could have either used the explosives or planned to use them.
Dias Kadyrbayev found Vaseline in the room, which he told the others Dzhokhar Tsarnaev used to make bombs.
At one point in the police interviews, Azamat Tazhayakev said that during a meal a month before the attack, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told him and Dias Kadyrbayev that he knew how to make a bomb.
Dias Kadyrbayev was reportedly the one who “decided to remove the backpack from the room in order to help his friend Tsarnaev avoid trouble”.
In a slightly unexpected explanation, Dias Kadyrbayev says that he took Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s laptop because he did not want to the roommate to think that he was “stealing or behaving suspiciously by just taking the backpack”.
Robel Phillipos has been identified as the American student arrested on Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombings alongside Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev and charged with making false statements to police and obstructing justice in a terrorism investigation.
Robel Phillipos, 19, is charged with knowingly and willfully making false statements to investigators.
According to the FBI, three friends and schoolmates of detained Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were arrested and charged Wednesday with conspiracy to obstruct justice for throwing away belongings of the latter and lying to investigators.
Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, both 19 and of New Bedford, and Robel Phillipos, 19, of Cambridge appeared at the U.S. District Court in Boston where a federal magistrate read them the charges and their rights. The three are former students of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev also studied.
Robel Phillipos is charged with knowingly and willfully making false statements to investigators in relation with the Boston Marathon bombings
According to an FBI affidavit recounting the charges, Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, who are Kazakhs holding expired student visas, and Robel Phillipos took the laptop and backpack of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from his dorm room on April 18. At the time, the FBI released photos of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, as suspects in the April 15 bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.
Dias Kadyrbayev texted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev joking that he looked like the suspects aired on TV and he replied by texting “LOL” and telling them to go to his room and get whatever they want.
The affidavit cited Robel Phillipos’ testimony to investigators that Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev freaked out upon returning to their apartment in New Bedford as the Tsarnaevs were named suspects.
The three decided to dispose of the backpack, which contained empty fireworks shells believed used by the suspects in making the improvised explosives that remotely detonated near the Boston Marathon finish line. They thought doing so would keep Dzhokhar Tsarnaev out of trouble.
Investigators later found and recovered the backpack and its contents in a landfill after getting a tip.
The affidavit said Dias Kadyrbayev knew Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was involved in the marathon bombings.
Robel Phillipos, for his part, initially told investigators he never went to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dorm room. In a later interview, he admitted going to the dorm room and getting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s laptop and backpack.
The charges could meet Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev each a 5-year sentence and $250,000 fine if found guilty.
Robel Philippos faces an 8-year sentence and the same amount of fine. The next hearing on the Kazakhs is on May 14 while Robel Phillipos’ next hearing will be on Monday, May 6.
Three new suspects were arrested in connection to the Boston Marathon bombing and they are thought to be Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s roommates, Kazachs Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov and an unamed American, who helped him cover his tracks after the fatal blasts.
The Boston Police Department were the first ones to report the arrest over their Twitter feed, and The Boston Globe claimed that the three people in custody were college students and the roommates of the younger bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Federal sources told The Washington Post that the three students disposed of undisclosed material in a landfill on behalf of their 19-year-old Chechen friend Dzhokhar Tsarnaev following the bombing.
The clue fits as police were seen searching a landfill in nearby New Bedford, Massachusetts last week during their search for evidence in the case.
Two of the suspects, identified as Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, were already in police custody in regards to an immigration issue that investigators discovered after questioning them over their license plates that read “TERRORISTA#1”. Those two friends are Kazakh citizens and the third is thought to be an American national.
The three are charged with making false statements and conspiracy to obstruct justice, which implies that they were not involved in actually carrying out the attack but rather helping the suspect evade police after the fatal blasts.
Azamat Tazhayakov, Dias Kadyrbayev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Times Square last year
The claims were reiterated by NBC’s Pete Williams, who said that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s roommates were arrested Wednesday and charged with giving false information to police.
The three were all students at UMass Dartmouth- where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was enrolled- and that they helped him after the April 15 bombings.
This is not the first time that the bomber’s roommates have come under investigation, as they prompted alarm bells after it was revealed that they were driving a BMW with license plates that read “TERRORISTA#1”.
Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov remained in custody over immigration issues as they are Kazakh nationals whose academic visas had expired.
CNN has since identified Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov as two of the three friends that were arrested today.
The third person in custody on Wednesday is believed to be an American citizen who will be charged with making a false statement, according to CBS.
Attorney Robert Stahl told CBS that they were drawn to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev because he also spoke Russian.
The attorney confirmed they now face separate federal charges and have an afternoon court appearance related to the bombing case.
CBS reports that the men will be charged conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements.
ABC affiliate WCVB reports, citing a lawyer who was briefed on the case early Wednesday, that the three suspects disposed “of a backpack full of fireworks that was in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dorm room, done at the request of Tsarnaev sometime after the bombing.”
CBS reports that the suspects were arrested for “harboring or aiding the suspects after the fact” and that they are in the custody of the FBI.
“At this point, we’re not really in a position to make any comment,” FBI spokesman Alison Mahan told Talking Points Memo.
The Boston police followed up their initial tweet by confirming that there is no threat to public safety.
The news of the arrests comes one day after the elder suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s wife Katherine Russell was interviewed by investigators after they spent hours searching her home.
According to legal sources, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyer have started very early talks about a possible deal in which the Boston Marathon bomber would cooperate in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team got a major boost on Monday with the addition of prominent anti-death penalty lawyer Judy Clarke, who has managed to get life sentences for several high-profile clients.
A judge approved the appointment of death penalty expert Judy Clarke to defend 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction during the April 15 marathon.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team got a major boost with the addition of prominent anti-death penalty lawyer Judy Clarke, who has managed to get life sentences for several high-profile clients
Three people were killed and more than 260 injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
But judge Marianne Bowler denied, at least for now, a request from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s public defender, Miriam Conrad, to appoint a second death penalty lawyer – David Bruck, a professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers could renew their motion to appoint another death penalty expert if he is indicted, the judge said.
The news that he could escape the death penalty for divulging information was reported on NBC News.
Judy Clarke’s clients have included the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski; Susan Smith, a woman who famously drowned her two children; Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph; and most recently Jared Loughner, who shot former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the head.
All received life sentences instead of the death penalty.
Judy Clarke has rarely spoken publicly about her work, however, at a speech Friday at a legal conference in Los Angeles, she talked about how she had been “sucked into the black hole, the vortex” of death penalty cases 18 years ago when she represented Susan Smith.
“I got a dose of understanding human behavior, and I learned what the death penalty does to us,” Judy Clarke said.
“I don’t think it’s a secret that I oppose the death penalty.”
David Bruck has directed Washington and Lee’s death penalty defense clinic, the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, since 2004.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s family has received more than $100,000 in welfare benefits over the last decade, according to the Boston Herald.
Details of the benefits – which included cash, food stamps and housing assistance – are contained within more than 500 documents that were handed over from Massachusetts welfare officials to a committee of state lawmakers on Monday.
The documents have not been released publicly, but a person who has reviewed them told the Boston Herald that the “breadth of the benefits the family was receiving was stunning”.
The paper also spoke to Massachusetts Rep. David Linsky about the documents, who promised a thorough review of the assistance that the family received.
“I can assure members of the public that this committee will actively review every single piece of information we can find because clearly the public has a substantial right to know what benefits, if any, this family or individuals accused of some horrific crimes were receiving,” said David Linsky, the committee’s chairman.
It has been previously reported that deceased Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his wife Katherine Russell relied on food stamps and public assistance from 2011 to 2012, soon after they became parents.
Last Friday, the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance detailed how the couple received food stamps from September 2011 to November 2012.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Katherine Russell, who married in June 2010, are believed to have become parents to their daughter, Zahara, in 2011, in the months before they began receiving the aid.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s family has received more than $100,000 in welfare benefits over the last decade
In addition to food stamps, the young family also benefited from TAFDC (Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children), a program for low income parents with dependent children.
TAFDC is paid out twice a month and can be directly deposited into a recipient’s bank account.
The assistance was paid to Katherine Russell, since a person must be a U.S. citizen, or eligible non-citizen, to receive the aid.
While they took the government aid, Katherine Russell would sometimes clock as many as 80 hours a week while her unemployed husband stayed at home.
Ultimately Katherine Russell Tsarnaev’s income made the couple ineligible for welfare and they stopped receiving state money in November 2012.
Welfare officials have been forced to divulge details of the aid that was paid out to the family of the bombing suspects.
Mass. Gov. Patrick Deval told state agencies last week that they should not discuss the details of what government assistance Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had received, citing privacy concerns.
Welfare information is not available for public release unless the person in question provides their consent, but it is available to lawmakers.
Massachusetts State Rep. David Linsky called on the state’s Department of Transitional Assistance to provide him with the information.
David Linksy issued an ultimatum on Thursday to welfare officials, giving them 24 hours to provide the information.
The letter from Rep. David Linsky was provided to the Boston Herald.
“My office is working to fully comply with your request,” DTA interim commissioner Stacey Monahan wrote in his report to Rep. David Linsky, saying they were only providing a summary “given the great interest in this matter”.
In addition to the aid paid out to Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Katherine Russell, both alleged Boston bombers had benefited from welfare since their parents Anzor and Zubeidat Tsarnaev collected foodstamps and TAFDC – from 2002 to 2004 and again in 2009 to 2011.
Since the Tsarnaevs are Chechen immigrants, some wondered why they received aid. But the state agency explained that they were considered eligible for the public assistance.
“The Tsarnaev parents were eligible to receive benefits as legal, non-citizen residents who were granted asylum status and met the basic eligibility criteria for DTA, including household income levels, presence of dependent children and other factors,” the DTA interim commissioner Stacey Monahan said in a letter addressed to David Linsky, Chairman of the House Post Audit and Oversight Committee.
The Herald had reported that sources who knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev said that though he sported a flashy appearance, he failed to earn very much money for his family and was essentially a stay-at-home dad.
His younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has been described as more entrepreneurial.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died early on April 19 after a shoot-out with police in Watertown, Massachusetts.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was captured late on April 19 after an extensive manhunt.
The Rhode Island home of Katherine Russell Tsarnaev’s parents have been visited by FBI agents reportedly to take a sample of her DNA after traces of a woman were found on one of the bombs used in the Boston Marathon attacks.
Spokesman Jason Pack confirmed that agents investigating the Boston bombings visited the North Kingstown home of Katherine Russell’s parents, where Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s widow has been staying since the attacks.
According to The Wall Street Journal, FBI agents went to the house today to collect a DNA sample from Katherine Russell in a bid to rule out her involvement in the bombings.
An official close to the case told the newspaper that female DNA has been found on at least one of the bombs used in the Boston Marathon attacks. Though investigators haven’t determined whose DNA it is or whether the DNA means a woman helped the two suspects carry out the bombings.
FBI agents investigating the Boston bombings visited the North Kingstown home of Katherine Russell’s parents, where Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s widow has been staying since the attacks
Jason Pack said the FBI visited the house as part of its investigation into the April 15 blasts, which killed three people and injured hundreds more.
“The FBI is there as part of our ongoing investigation, but we aren’t permitted to discuss specific aspects of our case,” the agency said in a statement.
After agents finished their job, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, 24, left with her attorneys through a separate door. She was later photographed smiling as she left a Providence law center with her attorney.
Katherine Russell’s attorneys have previously said she and her family were in shock when they learned of the allegations against her husband Tamerlan and brother-in-law, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a gun battle with police while surviving suspect 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction.
No one has yet come to claim Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body, which is in the custody of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, said Department of Public Safety spokesman Terrel Harris.
The medical officer has determined Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s cause of death, but won’t release the information until the body has been claimed, Terrel Harris told The Boston Globe.
Katherine Russell converted to Islam before marrying Tamerlan Tsarnaev and having his child, 3-year-old daughter, Zahara.
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