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The mysterious Misha, identified as Mikhail Allakhverdov and thought to be the missing link in explaining the radicalization of Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, has broken his silence to speak out from his home in Rhode Island on Sunday.
Accused by members of the Tsarnaev family of being the mastermind behind the Boston Marathon attacks which killed three and injured over 280 people, Mikhail Allakhverdov has come forward in hope of setting the record straight.
Frenzied speculation surrounded his role in April 15th’s attacks, with some asking whether “Misha” was part of a wider terror cell or incredibly, if he was a Russian mole – sent to spy on Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
His very absence from the investigation fueled the conspiracy theories – but now he has come forward to declare himself innocent and that crucially the FBI do not believe he had any part in the bombings.
Christian Caryl from the New York Review of Books tracked down Mikhail Allakhverdov to his family home in Rhode Island – to a lower middle class neighborhood.
The meeting between Christian Caryl and Mikhail Allakhverdov confirms right away that he does have the widely reported distinguishing reddish beard mentioned by members of the Tsarnaev family.
Living with his parents in a tidy apartment, Mikhail Allakhverdov flat out denied any part in Tamerlan, 26 and 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s murderous attacks.
Confirming he is indeed a convert to Islam, Misha said he did know Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2009 as he spoke to Christian Caryl in Russian.
“I wasn’t his teacher. If I had been his teacher, I would have made sure he never did anything like this,” Mikhail Allakhverdov said to the New York Review of Books.
The mysterious Misha, identified as Mikhail Allakhverdov and thought to be the missing link in explaining the radicalization of Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, has broken his silence
Mikhail Allakhverdov, 39, is of Armenian-Ukrainian descent and lives with an American girlfriend with his elderly parents.
His father is an Armenian Christian and his mother is an ethnic Ukrainian.
Speaking to the New York Review of Books, Mikhail Allakhverdov’s father said: “We love this country. We never expected anything like this to happen to us.”
Mikhail Allakhverdov confirmed to the New York Review of Books that he knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2009 when he lived in Boston but none in the years since.
He declined to elaborate on his relationship with Tamerlan Tsarnaev and how he became friends – but would not say why he ceased speaking to the Boston bomber.
However, Misha denied that he had ever met any of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s family – which contradicts their claims that he would be seen discussing Islam with the elder Tsarnaev brother late at night at the family’s kitchen table.
He also confirmed he had been interviewed by the FBI and that he has cooperated with the investigation:
“I’ve been cooperating entirely with the FBI. I gave them my computer and my phone and everything I wanted to show I haven’t done anything. And they said they are about to return them to me.
“And the agents who talked told me they are about to close my case.”
An FBI spokesman in Boston declined to comment on an ongoing case – but confirms recent reports that “Misha” is not thought to be connected to the bombings.
Accused by Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, of radicalizing his nephew, Mikhail Allakhverdov became known only by the name “Misha” as wild speculation grew as to his identity or even if he was real.
“It started in 2009. And it started right there, in Cambridge,” Ruslan Tsarni told CNN after the attacks.
“This person just took his brain. He just brainwashed him completely.”
On Friday the FBI revealed that they now know the identity of the American known as Misha who helped radicalize the Boston bombing suspects.
Family members of dead bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev have described Misha as the guiding influence in the elder bomber developing radicalized views.
Speculation as to who Misha is has varied wildly in the past week, with some suggesting he is the mastermind behind the marathon bombings while others believe he could be a Russian spy – sent to identify and keep tabs on young men like Tamerlan Tsarnaev who are at risk of turning to militant Islam.
Up till Sunday all that was known about Misha is that he is an Armenian man in his 30s with distinctive red beard and that he has disappeared – no longer living in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area.
However, before Sunday’s revelations family members had been telling reporters that in the years before the Boston marathon bombings, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, fell under the strong influence of a new friend, a Christian who converted to Islam and who steered the religiously apathetic young man towards adopting strong Islamic views.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a police shootout four days after the bombings on April 15th.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was charged last Monday with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill, and he could face the death penalty if convicted.
Under the tutelage of a friend known to the Tsarnaev family only as Misha, Tamerlan gave up boxing and stopped studying music, his family said. He began opposing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev turned to websites and literature claiming that the CIA was behind the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, and Jews controlled the world.
According to Ruslan, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s radicalization happened right under the nose of his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva.
Ruslan Tsarni, one of the Boston bombers’ uncles living in the U.S., was previously married to a CIA officer’s daughter for three years.
Ruslan Tsarni, formerly known as Tsarnaev, who publicly denounced his two terrorist nephews’ actions and called them “Losers”, even lived with his father-in-law agent Graham Fuller in his Maryland home for a year.
Graham Fuller was forced to explain the relationship on Saturday as news of the family link emerged online.
The former CIA agent told Al-Monitor that his daughter, Samantha, was married to Ruslan Tsarni, whose surname was then Tsarnaev, for three to four years in the 1990s.
Ruslan and Samantha divorced in 1999 more than ten years after Graham Fuller left the CIA in 1987.
“Samantha was married to Ruslan Tsarnaev [Tsarni] for 3-4 years, and they lived in Bishkek for one year where Samantha was working for Price Waterhouse on privatization projects,” Graham Fuller said.
“They also lived in our house in [Maryland] for a year or so and they were divorced in 1999, I believe.
“I, of course, retired from CIA in 1987 and had moved on to working as a senior political scientist for RAND.”
Graham Fuller said his son-in-law showed no interest in the agency or politics but spoke generally about his family in Chechnya.
The former CIA agent said any attempts to portray the relationship as a link between the security agency and the two terrorists was “absurd”.
Ruslan Tsarni, formerly known as Tsarnaev, was married for three years to CIA agent Graham Fuller’s daughter Samantha
“Like all Chechens, Ruslan was very concerned about his native land, but I saw no particular involvement in politics,” Graham Fuller told Al-Monitor.
“I doubt he even had much to say of intelligence value other than talking about his own family’s sad tale of deportation from Chechnya by Stalin to Central Asia. Every Chechen family has such stories.”
Graham Fuller visited Samantha and Ruslan Tsarni in Bishek, as a former Russian history graduate himself interested in “Soviet minorities”.
He said he may have met the terror suspects’ father, Anzor Tsarnaev, there once and his daughter knew the Tsarnaev family when Tamerlan was a toddler and before his younger brother Dzhokhar was born.
“I for one was astonished at the events, and to find myself at two degrees of separation from them,” Graham Fuller added.
Ruslan Tsarni, who lives in Montgomery Village, Maryland, was thrust into the spotlight as the names of his two nephews, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, emerged in connection to the Boston terror attack.
He stood on his driveway and attacked the two men calling them “Losers”.
Ruslan Tsarni has since reported a rift between his family and that of his brother Anzor’s and said his older nephew Tamerlan had become increasingly extreme in his religious views.
He said he last spoke to Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2009 when he declared he was dropping out of school to do “God’s business” and Ruslan Tsarni was concerned at his religious fervor.
“[The bombing] has nothing to do with Chechen … He put a shame on our family, he put a shame on the entire Chechen ethnicity,” Ruslan Tsarni told broadcasters in the aftermath of the bombings.
Ruslan Tsarni also told reporters that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had a friend called Misha who “brainwashed” him.
“This person just took his brain. He just brainwashed him completely,” he said.
FBI agents said they had tracked down Misha and believed he had no link to the terror attacks.
Anzor Tsarnaev, father of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, says he is postponing a trip to the U.S. to visit his hospitalized son Dzhokhar and collect Tamerlan’s body due to his spiking blood pressure.
Anzor Tsarnaev, 47, told The Associated Press on Sunday that he is “really sick” and his blood pressure had spiked.
He said last week that he planned to travel from Russia to the U.S. with the hope of seeing his younger son, who is under arrest, and burying his elder son, who was killed in a clash with police.
The news comes days after it was revealed that the suspects’ mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, was placed on a CIA watchlist 18 months before the Boston Marathon attack.
Anzor Tsarnaev confirmed that he is staying in Chechnya, a province in southern Russia, but did not specify whether he had been hospitalized.
Until Friday, Anzor Tsarnaev and the suspects’ mother had been living in the neighboring province of Dagestan.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva claimed she had to call an ambulance for her husband on Thursday but did not elaborate on what happened.
It was revealed last week that both parents have left their home in Dagestan for another part of Russia.
Anzor Tsarnaev is postponing a trip to the U.S. to visit his hospitalized son Dzhokhar and collect Tamerlan’s body due to his spiking blood pressure
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva was never planning to accompany her husband to the U.S. because she faces felony shoplifting charges here.
On April 25, the parents held a bizarre press conference in which they claimed that the gruesome carnage of the Boston attacks, which killed three people and injured more than 280, were staged by the U.S. government.
“America took my kids away from me,” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva cried.
“I’m sure my kids were not involved in anything.”
She went so far as to claim that the blood covering the streets after the blasts was in fact paint.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a police shootout on April 19 and 19-year-old Dzhokhar was taken into custody – alive, but badly injured – less than 24 hours later in Watertown, Massachusetts following a massive manhunt.
After spending nearly a week in a Boston hospital recovering from gunshot wounds sustained during a firefight with police, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was transferred to the Federal Medical Center Devens on April 26.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged in the Boston Marathon attacks and is facing a maximum sentence of the death penalty or life in prison.
The Tsarnaev family emigrated to the U.S. a decade ago, but both parents returned to Russia last year.
Anzor Tsarnaev said Thursday that he was planning to travel to the U.S. as soon as Friday, but hadn’t yet bought a plane ticket.
Banging the table in front of him, Anzor Tsarnaev said: “I am going to the United States. I want to say that I am going there to see my son, to bury the older one.
“I don’t have any bad intentions. I don’t plan to blow up anything. I am not angry at anyone. I want to go find out the truth.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, 45, also described a figure known only as “Misha” – who has been pinpointed as a source of radicalization for her son Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
The mother said that he was a “very nice man”, of Armenian origin and living in Boston. “Misha” is also apparently a convert to the Islamic faith.
Anzor Tsarnaev has already been interviewed by Russian and American authorities – and would face further interviews if he ever gets to the U.S.
Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is being held in a small cell with a steel door at a federal medical detention center about 40 miles outside the city, a federal official said Saturday.
Federal Medical Center Devens spokesman John Collauti described the conditions under which 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was being held in the Ayer facility after being moved there from a hospital Friday.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was injured during a police chase in which his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, also a suspect in the bombing, was fatally wounded.
John Collauti said in a telephone interview that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is in secure housing where authorities can monitor him. His cell has a solid steel door with an observation window and a slot for passing food and medication.
The spokesman wouldn’t discuss specific details related to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, but said that typically medical workers making rounds each shift monitor the inmates. He said guards also keep an eye on some cells with video cameras.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is being held in a small cell with a steel door at a federal medical detention center about 40 miles outside Boston
Also, inmates in the more restrictive section do not have access to TVs or radios, but can read books and other materials, he said.
“Really this type of facility is fully capable of handling him and it’s not that much of an inconvenience because it’s more or less business as usual,” John Collauti said.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev left Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where he was controversially treated just yards from the wards containing many of his victims.
His new home is part of the minimum security facility on the decommissioned Fort Devens U.S. Army base.
It treats federal prisoners and detainees who require specialized long-term medical or mental health care.
It has been referred to in the past as “agreeable” and “fairly pleasant”.
It is designated as an administrative facility, which means it has inmates from different security classifications, from white-collar criminals to mobsters and sex offenders.
The medical center currently houses 1,000 inmates with 124 in a minimum-security satellite prison camp. It costs around $157 for each inmate per day.
According to its website, these minimum security prison camps, have dormitory housing, a relatively low staff-to-inmate ratio, and limited or no perimeter fencing.
They are usually work-and-program oriented and inmates help serve the labor needs of the larger institution or base.
Former NYPD officer William Masso, former New Jersey assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt and one time Underworld mafia boss John Franzese, 96, are currently inmates there.
The medical center inmates are often allowed to leave the facility to see outside specialists and for tests and medical procedures not available in the medical center.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons is focused on preventing rehabilitation by encouraging inmates to participate in a range of programs that have been proven to reduce repeat offending.
The level of security which Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be held under depends on his changing circumstances – because he is a pretrial inmate – and he has no set protocol at this time.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will have access to medical and dental care, and the prison’s handbook states that inmates have the right to a healthy, nutritious diet, as well as information about staying healthy while behind bars.
He admitted to his role in the attacks to the FBI this week – but apparently clammed up when finally read his Miranda rights.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had been communicating with law enforcement officials by writing on a pad after suffering an injury to his throat during the frenzied manhunt for him which renders him unable to talk.
However, the moment he was read his rights on Monday – which as a citizen of the United States entitle him to the constitutional right to remain silent and seek a lawyer – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev stopped communicating.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was put on the CIA terrorist watchlist 18 months before the tragedy, US officials said on Friday.
Two lawmakers revealed Zubeidat Tsarnaeva is now considered a “person of interest” in the federal investigation into the Boston attack.
The lawmakers said that investigators have traveled to Dagestan, Russia, to learn more from close associates who knew the suspects’ mother.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva shot back, saying that claims that she had ties to terrorist activity were “lies and hypocrisy”.
In a series of bizarre media interviews, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva has staunchly defended her sons Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who are accused of the terrorist attack on April 15 that left 3 dead and more than 260 injured.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, 45, has sparked outrage for her incendiary comments to the media and now officials say they are probing her possible involvement in the tragedy.
“She [Zubeidat Tsarnaeva]is a person of interest that we’re looking at to see if she helped radicalize her son, or had contacts with other people or other terrorist groups,” Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat from Maryland, who serves on the House Intelligence Committee, said on Friday.
Rep. Michael McCaul, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said investigators are looking into whether the mother encouraged her son, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to embrace Islam extremism.
“The mother in my judgment has a role in his radicalization process in terms of her influence over him (and) fundamental views of Islam,” the Texas Republican told reporters.
Michael McCaul added that a team of US investigators had traveled to the Chechen region to interview sources who knew the family.
Unnamed officials have also reveled that the CIA asked for the Boston terror suspect and his mother to be added to a terrorist database in the fall of 2011, after the Russian government contacted the agency with concerns that both had become religious militants, according to officials briefed on the investigation.
About six months earlier, the FBI investigated Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, also at Russia’s request, one of the officials said.
The FBI found no ties to terrorism.
The revelation that the FBI had also investigated Zubeidat Tsarnaeva and the CIA arranged for her to be added to the terrorism database deepened the mystery around the family.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva slammed officials who are trying to implicate her.
“It’s all lies and hypocrisy,” she told The Associated Press from 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.”
A former official of the Russian government told Congress on Friday that Cold War-era distrust may have made American officials less inclined to act on tips from Russian security services about one of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers.
Andranik Migranyan, a former member of the President Council of the Russian Federation, told a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Friday that Russia and the United States have long viewed each other warily.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was put on the CIA terrorist watchlist 18 months before the tragedy
Because of that, he said, American officials, in his words, “just didn’t pay enough attention” when Russian agencies asked the FBI and CIA to look into bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
The Tsarnaevs are ethnic Chechens from southern Russia who immigrated to the Boston area in the past 11 years.
This new revelation shows that both major intelligence agencies were aware of his possible terrorist ties, as it has been reported that the Russians contacted the FBI about Tamerlan Tsarnaev earlier that year.
The FBI conducted an investigation and did not find he had any terror connections.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was listed on the US government’s highly classified central database of people it views as potential terrorists.
But the list is so vast that authorities did not automatically keep close tabs on him, sources close to the bombing investigation said on Tuesday.
The details come as it’s revealed that Russian authorities had contacted the US government repeatedly about Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s suspected ties to radical Islam, according to senators briefed on the FBI investigation.
The FBI has previously said that it was only contacted once regarding a potential threat posed by Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but after an investigation, found nothing of concern.
Following a closed briefing of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican representing North Carolina, said he believed that Russia alerted the United States about Tamerlan Tsarnaev in “multiple contacts”.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a police shootout early on April 19, while his younger brother Dzhokhar, 19, was captured later that day.
Prosecutors say the brothers, ethnic Chechens who had been living in the United States for more than a decade, planted two bombs that exploded near the finish line of the marathon on April 15.
Sources said Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s details were entered into the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) list, a database maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center, because the FBI spoke to him in 2011 while investigating a Russian tip-off that he had become a follower of radical Islamists.
The FBI found nothing to suggest he was an active threat, but all the same placed his name on the TIDE list. The FBI has not said what it did find about Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
But the database, which holds more than half a million names, is only a repository of information on people who US authorities see as known, suspected or potential terrorists from around the world.
Because of its huge size, US investigators do not routinely monitor everyone registered there, said officials familiar with the database.
As of 2008, TIDE contained more than 540,000 names, although they represented about 450,000 actual people, because some of the entries are aliases or different name spellings for the same person.
Fewer than 5% of the TIDE entries were US citizens or legal residents, according to a description of the database on the NCTC website.
The TIDE database is one of many federal security databases set up after the September 11, 2001, attacks.
The database system has been criticized in the past for being too cumbersome, especially in light of an attempted attack on a plane in 2009. Intelligence and security agencies acknowledged in Congress that they had missed clues to the Detroit “underpants bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
Officials said after the incident that he had been listed in the TIDE database.
Republican Senator Susan Collins said there were problems in sharing information ahead of the Boston bombings, too.
“This is troubling to me that this many years after the attacks on our country in 2001 that we still seem to have stovepipes that prevent information from being shared effectively,” she said.
Susan Collins was speaking after the FBI gave a closed-door briefing to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, but she did not elaborate.
However, in the case of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the issue appeared to be that because he was not deemed an active threat, his name was only briefly on a list that would have triggered monitoring.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was not put on the “no-fly” list that would have banned him from boarding an airplane in the United States. Neither was he named on the Selectee List, which would have required him to be given extra security screening at airports.
Another list, the Terrorist Screening Database, is a declassified version of the highly classified TIDE with fewer details about terrorist suspects. One source said Tamerlan Tsarnaev was on this list, too.
After being put in the TIDE system, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s name was entered in another database, this one maintained by the Homeland Security Department’s Customs and Border Protection bureau which is used to screen people crossing US land borders and entering at airports or by sea.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was flagged on that database when he left the United States for Russia in January 2012 but no alarm was raised, presumably because the FBI had not identified him as a threat after the interview.
When he returned from Russia six months later, Tamerlan Tsarnaev had already been automatically downgraded in the border database because there was no new information that required him to continue to get extra attention.
So he did not get secondary inspection on his re-entry at New York’s JFK Airport. It was unclear exactly what the procedure was for such a downgrade.
Sean Joyce, deputy director of the FBI, defended the FBI’s performance in the Boston bombings at two closed hearings in Congress on Tuesday.
While government agencies declined to publicly discuss how the watch list system handled Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano disclosed some details at a separate, open hearing on immigration on Capitol Hill.
“Yes, the system pinged when he was leaving the United States. By the time he returned, all investigations – the matter had been closed,” Janet Napolitano told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
The FBI has identified the American known as Misha who helped radicalize the Boston bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Family members of Tamerlan Tsarnaev have described Misha as the guiding influence in the elder bomber developing radicalized views.
Speculation as to who Misha is has varied wildly in the past week, with some suggesting he is the mastermind behind the marathon bombings while others believe he could be a Russian spy – sent to identify and keep tabs on young men like Tamerlan Tsarnaev who are at risk of turning to militant Islam.
To date all that is known about Misha is that he is an Armenian man in his 30s with distinctive red beard and that he has disappeared – no longer living in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area.
However, family members have been telling reporters that in the years before the Boston Marathon bombings, Tamerlan Tsarnaev , 26, fell under the strong influence of a new friend, a Christian who converted to Islam and who steered the religiously apathetic young man towards adopting strong Islamic views.
“It started in 2009. And it started right there, in Cambridge,” said Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s uncle Ruslan Tsarni to CNN from his home in Maryland.
“This person just took his brain. He just brainwashed him completely.”
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a police shootout Friday, April 19. His younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was charged Monday with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill, and he could face the death penalty if convicted.
Under the tutelage of a friend known to the Tsarnaev family only as Misha, Tamerlan gave up boxing and stopped studying music, his family said. He began opposing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev turned to websites and literature claiming that the CIA was behind the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, and Jews controlled the world.
According to Ruslan Tsarni, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s radicalization happened right under the nose of his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva.
Ruslan Tsarni said that Misha was around 30-years-old and that he was an Armenian who, unusually for such a largely Christian people, had converted to Islam.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s relationship with Misha could be a clue in understanding the motives behind his religious transformation and, ultimately, the attack itself.
Although The Daily Beast claims that now officials know more about Misha he might be a less important part of the case than previously thought.
During his hospital room interrogation, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told FBI agents this week that he and his brother were influenced by the internet sermons of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born preacher who was killed in a US drone strike in Yemen in September 2011.
There is a long trail of hardened terrorists who have acknowledged coming under his sway. Among them are Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani-American who attempted to set off a car bomb in Times Square in May 2010, and Nidal Malik Hasan, the US Army officer who killed 13 people in a shooting spree at Fort Hood in 2009.
The charismatic cleric was seen by the Obama administration as a uniquely dangerous terrorist because of his sermons, his intuitive grasp of US culture, and a burning desire to strike his birth nation.
As authorities try to piece together that information, they are touching on a question asked after so many terrorist plots: What turns someone into a terrorist?
Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev emigrated in 2002 or 2003 from Dagestan, a Russian republic that has become an epicenter of the Islamic insurgency that spilled over from the region of Chechnya.
They were raised in a home that followed Sunni Islam, the religion’s largest sect. They were not regulars at the mosque and rarely discussed religion, said Elmirza Khozhugov, 26, the ex-husband of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s sister, Ailina.
Then, in 2008 or 2009, Tamerlan Tsarnaev met Misha, a slightly older, heavyset bald man with a long reddish beard. Elmirza Khozhugov didn’t know where they’d met but believed they attended a Boston-area mosque together.
The FBI has identified the American known as Misha who helped radicalize the Boston bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev
Misha was an Armenian native and a convert to Islam and quickly began influencing his new friend, family members said.
Once, Elmirza Khozhugov said, Misha came to the family home outside Boston and sat in the kitchen, chatting with Tamerlan Tsarnaev for hours.
“Misha was telling him what is Islam, what is good in Islam, what is bad in Islam,” said Elmirza Khozhugov, who said he was present for the conversation.
“This is the best religion and that’s it. Mohammed said this and Mohammed said that.”
The conversation continued until Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s father, Anzor, came home from work.
“It was late, like midnight,” Elmirza Khozhugov recalled.
“His father comes in and says, <<Why is Misha here so late and still in our house?>> He asked it politely. Tamerlan was so much into the conversation he didn’t listen.”
Elmirza Khozhugov said Tamerlan’s mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, told him not to worry.
“Don’t interrupt them,” Elmirza Khozhugov recalled the mother saying.
“They’re talking about religion and good things. Misha is teaching him to be good and nice.”
As time went on, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his father argued about the young man’s new beliefs.
“When Misha would start talking, Tamerlan would stop talking and listen. It upset his father because Tamerlan wouldn’t listen to him as much,” Elmirza Khozhugov said.
“He would listen to this guy from the mosque who was preaching to him.”
Anzor Tsarnaev became so concerned that he called his brother, Ruslan Tsarni, worried about Misha’s effects.
“I heard about nobody else but this convert,” Ruslan Tsarni said.
“The seed for changing his views was planted right there in Cambridge.”
It was not immediately clear whether the FBI has spoken to Misha or was attempting to.
While Misha is a very common name across the former Soviet Union, Dan Amira makes the point that “there can’t be that many bald, red-bearded Armenian Muslims in Boston”.
Respected national security writer Laura Rozen took to Twitter to speculate that Misha could be “the kind of mole Russia plants to keep on eye on émigré communities of concern”.
Indeed, she theorizes that Misha could even be the source that tipped off Russian security services to Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s conversion to radical Islam in 2011.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev became an ardent reader of jihadist websites and extremist propaganda, two US officials said. He read Inspire magazine, an English-language online publication produced by al-Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate.
The young man loved music and, a few years ago, he sent Elmirza Khozhugov a song he’d composed in English and Russian. He said he was about to start music school.
Six weeks later, the two men spoke on the phone. Elmirza Khozhugov asked how school was going.
“I quit,” Tamerlan Tsarnaev said.
“Why did you quit?” Elmirza Khozhugov asked. “You just started.”
“Music is not really supported in Islam,” he replied.
“Who told you that?”
“Misha said it’s not really good to create music. It’s not really good to listen to music,” Tamerlan Tsarnaev said, according to Elmirza Khozhugov.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev took an interest in Infowars, a conspiracy theory website. Elmirza Khozhugov said Tamerlan was interested in finding a copy of the book The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the classic anti-Semitic hoax, first published in Russia in 1903, that claims a Jewish plot to take over the world.
“He never said he hated America or he hated the Jews,” Elmirza Khozhugov said.
“But he was fairly aggressive toward the policies of the US toward countries with Muslim populations. He disliked the wars.”
One of the Tsarnaev brothers’ neighbors, Albrecht Ammon, recently recalled an encounter in which Tamerlan argued about US foreign policy, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and religion.
Albrecht Ammon said Tamerlan Tsarnaev described the Bible as a “cheap copy” of the Quran, used to justify wars with other countries.
“He had nothing against the American people,” Albrecht Ammon said.
“He had something against the American government.”
Elmirza Khozhugov said Tamerlan Tsarnaev did not know much about Islam beyond what he found online or what he heard from Misha.
“Misha was important,” he said.
“Tamerlan was searching for something. He was searching for something out there.”
However, the Boston bombers mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, denied reports that her sons had been radicalized by a mysterious convert to Islam named Misha.
“Nonsense. He was just a friend,” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva told ABC News by phone today shortly before she sat down with FBI investigators for a second day of interviews here in the restive region of Dagestan, in southern Russia.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said Misha knew a lot about Islam and that it was interesting to learn from him, but denied his views were extreme.
She said their relationship with Misha, an Armenian with a red beard whose identity and full name remain a mystery, was short because he moved to another part of the United States since. She would not say where.
Throughout his religious makeover, Tamerlan Tsarnaev maintained a strong influence over his siblings, including Dzhokhar, who investigators say carried out the deadly attack by his older brother’s side, killing three and injuring 264 people.
“They all loved Tamerlan. He was the eldest one and he, in many ways, was the role model for his sisters and his brother,” said Elmirza Khozhugov.
“You could always hear his younger brother and sisters say, <<Tamerlan said this>>, and <<Tamerlan said that. Dzhokhar loved him. He would do whatever Tamerlan would say.”
“Even my ex-wife loved him so much and respected him so much,” Elmirza Khozhugov said.
“I’d have arguments with her and if Tamerlan took my side, she would agree: <<OK, if Tamerlan said it>>.”
Elmirza Khozhugov said he was close to Tamerlan when he was married and they kept in touch for a while but drifted apart in the past two years or so.
He spoke to the AP from his home in Almaty, Kazakhstan. A family member in the United States provided the contact information.
“Of course I was shocked and surprised that he was Suspect No. 1,” Elmirza Khozhugov said, recalling the days after the bombing when the FBI identified Tamerlan Tsarnaev as the primary suspect.
“But after a few hours of thinking about it, I thought it could be possible that he did it.”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been transferred from hospital to prison, US police say.
The US Marshals Service said the 19-year-old had been moved from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to a facility at Fort Devens, Massachusetts.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been in hospital since his arrest following a huge police operation a week ago.
He was found badly injured in a boat in a suburban backyard. His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during the manhunt.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whose condition has been described as fair, was taken overnight to the Federal Medical Center Devens some 40 miles west of Boston
Many of the injured have also been treated at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and were reported to be unhappy at having the surviving bombing suspect in the same building.
The US Marshals Service said the accused, whose condition has been described as fair, was taken overnight to the Federal Medical Center Devens some 40 miles west of Boston.
The facility, on the decommissioned Fort Devens US Army base, treats federal prisoners and detainees who require specialized long-term medical or mental health care, the Associated Press reports.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged, by a magistrate at his hospital bedside earlier this week, with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death.
He could be sentenced to death if convicted on either count.
Having suffered apparent gunshot wounds to the head, neck, legs and hand, he was reported to have responded to questions in writing because a throat wound left him unable to speak.
The two bombs, placed in pressure cookers and left close to the finishing line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, killed three people and wounded more than 260.
Danny, aka Jiang Lantan, is a 26-year-old Chinese entrepreneur whose Mercedes was carjacked by Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev last Thursday evening.
The incident occurred at almost 11p.m. when the man, who has asked to only be identified by his American nickname Danny, but now known by Chinese bloggers as Jiang Lantan, had just pulled his car to the curb on Brighton Avenue, Boston.
While Danny was texting, a man in dark clothes approached his car and knocked on the window. Before the driver could react the man had unlocked the door, climbed in and was brandishing a silver handgun, according to the Boston Globe.
The man, who would later be identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, asked Danny if he had followed the news about Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings.
“I did that,” said the man.
“And I just killed a policeman in Cambridge.”
Danny says he has been able to fill in important blanks between the murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier, just before 10:30 p.m. on April 18, and the Watertown shootout that ended just before 1 a.m. with the death of Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the serious wounding of his brother Dzhokhar, 19.
Jiang Lantan has described a truly harrowing ordeal which included a bizarre mix of bursts of life-threatening violence and everyday conversation on mundane subjects such as girls, how much payments on his Mercedes ML 350 were, the iPhone5 and whether anyone still listens to CDs.
At one point Tamerlan Tsarnaev told Danny not to look at his face, to he said he would not remember his face.
The bomb suspect replied: “It’s like white guys, they look at black guys and think all black guys look the same. And maybe you think all white guys look the same.”
In another moment during the carjacking, the suspects were disappointed that Danny did not have any CDs in his car. They flipped through the radio avoiding news stations and later put on a CD of chatting after they had made a stop.
To begin with Jiang Lantan was driving his car with Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the passenger seat beside him, while Dzhokhar following behind in a sedan. Later the brother’s moved all the gear into Danny’s car and Tamerlan drove.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev enters a gas station in Cambridge, Massachusetts, wearing a gray hoodie and carrying snacks on Thursday evening
The late-night drive lasted an hour and a half. At one stage during his ordeal, Danny says a friend called him on his phone and he was told by Tamerlan Tsarnaev that he would be killed if he spoke to the person in Chinese.
“Death is so close to me,” said Danny, recalling his thinking at the time.
“I don’t want to die.”
“I have a lot of dreams that haven’t come true yet,” said the student from central China, who attended a graduate school at Northeastern University before joining a tech start-up company.
Jiang Lantan had come to the US in 2009 for a master’s degree and graduated in January 2012, before returning to China to await a work visa.
He had returned two months ago, however he chose to told Tamerlan Tsarnaev that he was still a student and had been in the US barely a year.
Jiang Lantan says the brothers had some difficulty understanding his English when he tried to tell them he was from China.
“Oh, that’s why your English is not very good,” said Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
“OK, you’re Chinese… I’m a Muslim.”
“Chinese are very friendly to Muslims!” Danny said.
“We are so friendly to Muslims.”
Danny also revealed that could hear the brothers openly discussing driving to New York, although he couldn’t make out if they were planning another attack or just looking to escape.
Fortunately for Danny there was a problem because his car was almost out of gas and then a set of circumstances played out which afforded him an opportunity to escape his captors.
In search of petrol they stopped at a Shell Station and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was forced to go inside the Shell Food Mart to pay for petrol.
When Tamerlan Tsarnaev put his gun in the door pocket to fiddle with a navigation device, Danny seized his moment to escape.
“I was thinking I must do two things: unfasten my seatbelt and open the door and jump out as quick as I can. If I didn’t make it, he would kill me right out, he would kill me right away.”
He unbuckled his seat belt, opened the door, then slammed it behind, and sprinted off at an angle that would be a hard shot for any marksman.
“F***!” he heard Tamerlan Tsarnaev saying, but the man did not follow.
Jiang Lantan reached the safe haven of a Mobil station across the street and sought cover in a supply room, while he shouted at the clerk to call 911.
Authorities have said that Danny’s quick-thing escape allowed police to swiftly track down the Mercedes, abating a possible attack by the Tsarnaev brothers on New York City and precipitating a wild shootout in Watertown that killed Tamerlan and left a severely injured Dzhokhar hiding in the neighborhood.
After an hour of talking to police – as the shootout and manhunt erupted in Watertown -Danny was brought to East Watertown for a “drive-by lineup”, studying faces of detained suspects in the street from the safety of a cruiser.
He did not recognize the suspects in the line-up. He spent the night talking to local and state police and the FBI before being dropped at home at 3 p.m. the next afternoon.
Jiang Lantan said, when he was back in Cambridge, after questioning: “I think, Tamerlan is dead, I feel good, obviously safer. But the younger brother – I don’t know.”
Danny had wondered if Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had discovered his address and would come looking for him. But the police knew the wallet and registration were still in the bullet-riddled Mercedes, and that a wounded Dzhokhar could not have gone far.
That night, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was caught, ending a harrowing week across Greater Boston and in particular for Jiang Lantan.
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said the Boston Marathon suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev planned to detonate the rest of their explosives in Times Square.
Michael Bloomberg said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect, had told the FBI he and his brother Tamerlan “spontaneously” decided that New York would be next.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters the suspects had a pressure cooker bomb and five pipe bombs.
Three people died and over 260 were wounded in the April 15 Boston Marathon attack.
“Last night we were informed by the FBI that the surviving attacker revealed that New York City was next on their list of targets,” Michael Bloomberg said during Thursday’s news conference at city hall.
“He and his older brother intended to drive to New York and detonate those explosives in Times Square.”
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said the Boston Marathon suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev planned to detonate the rest of their explosives in Times Square
Raymond Kelly said the brothers had planned to head to New York after hijacking a car and its driver in Boston last Thursday night.
“That plan, however, fell apart when they realized that the vehicle they hijacked was low on gas and ordered the driver to stop at a nearby gas station,” Raymond Kelly said, adding that the driver escaped and alerted police.
Police intercepted the brothers in the stolen car, prompting a gun battle that left 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead.
Michael Bloomberg praised Massachusetts law enforcement for their work in stopping the suspects, saying “we know they had the capacity to carry out the attacks”.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is said to have travelled to New York at least once last autumn.
He is now in police custody in hospital and has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill people.
Before reportedly telling investigators he and his brother planned an attack on Times Square, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had said they were planning to go to New York “to party” after the bombings.
Following 16 hours of interrogation, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev stopped responding to investigators’ questions after being read his legal rights to remain silent and have a lawyer, US media report.
Michael Bloomberg said there was no evidence New York was currently a target, but that the Tsarnaevs’ alleged plan proved the city remained a prime location for people who want to “bomb and kill Americans”.
On Thursday afternoon, police vehicles lined Times Square in a show of force, with officers standing shoulder to shoulder.
“Why are they standing like that? This is supposed to make me feel safer?” Elisabeth Bennecib, a tourist from France, told the Associated Press.
“It makes me feel more anxious, like something bad is about to happen.”
The suspects’ father, Anzor Tsarnaev, has said he will travel imminently to the US. The family wants to take Tamerlan’s body back to Russia. But it is not clear if his former wife will join him.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva left the US and failed to make a court appearance after being arrested last June on suspicion of stealing $1,624 of women’s dresses from a Massachusetts department store.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the Boston marathon bombers, says she regrets that her family emigrated to the US, more than 10 years ago.
At a news conference in the Russian republic of Dagestan, where she now lives, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said America had taken her children away from her.
The Boston bombers’ mother also reiterated she was sure her sons were not involved in the attack.
It is being reported that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was added to a terrorism database 18 months ago at the CIA’s request.
Three people were killed and more than 260 wounded when two devices exploded at the Boston marathon on 15 April.
“I would prefer not to have lived in America. Why did I go there?” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said at Thursday’s news conference in Makhachkala, Dagestan.
At a news conference in the Russian republic of Dagestan, where she now lives, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said America had taken her children away from her
“I thought America would protect us. America took my kids away from me… I’m sure my kids were not involved in anything.”
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed a few days after the bombing during a shootout with police.
His younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was captured and charged in connection with the attack.
The suspects’ father, Anzor Tsarnaev, has said he will travel to the US on Thursday or Friday. The family wants to take Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body back to Russia.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, 45, has said she is still undecided whether to go, AP news agency reports, because she was charged with shoplifting in the US last year and fears arrest if she returns.
In questioning from his hospital bedside, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is being treated for gunshot wounds, he has reportedly said he and his brother Tamerlan were angry about the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2012, Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent six months with relatives in Dagestan, which has an Islamist militant insurgency.
But congressmen said on Wednesday after closed-door briefings that the brothers are not believed to have had direct contact with a militant organization.
Meanwhile, there are questions as to whether the authorities did enough to prevent the bombings.
US media report that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was added in 2011 to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), at the request of the CIA.
The database contains as many as 745,000 entries; individuals on that list are not necessarily on the so-called terrorist watch list.
The FBI investigated after Russian authorities alerted US counterparts to the activities of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, saying he had become a follower of radical Islam.
About six months before the CIA requested his name be added to TIDE, the FBI asked the Russians for more information about the elder brother but received none, and closed its investigation.
US officials said earlier that their intelligence community had no information about threats to the marathon ahead of last week’s attacks.
After a classified briefing at the House intelligence committee on Wednesday, Democratic Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger said he believed the FBI was not at fault.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev admitted his role in the Boston Marathon attacks to the FBI before he was told of his constitutional right to keep quiet and seek a lawyer.
It has been revealed that once Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was read his rights, he immediately stopped talking.
The FBI normally tells suspects they have the right to remain silent before questioning them so all their statements can be used against them in court.
But two anonymous US officials said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been questioned by police for 16 hours before he was read his rights.
It is unclear as to whether this will matter in court as the FBI says Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has already confessed to a witness.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev admitted his role in the Boston Marathon attacks to the FBI before he was told of his constitutional right to keep quiet and seek a lawyer
A spokeswoman for US Attorney Carmen Ortiz said: “Before being advised of his rights, the 19-year-old suspect told authorities that his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, only recently had recruited him to be part of the attack.”
The debate over whether suspected terrorists should be read their Miranda rights has become a sticking point.
Many Republicans believe they hinder intelligence gathering.
The Department of Justice has said investigators may wait until they have gathered intelligence about other threats before reading those rights in terrorism cases.
Investigators have found pieces of remote-control equipment among the debris and are analyzing them, officials said.
One official described the detonator as “close-controlled”, meaning it had to be triggered within several blocks of the bombs.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is recovering in a hospital from injuries suffered during a getaway attempt last Friday.
Boston bomb suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was added to a terrorism database 18 months ago at the request of the CIA, officials have told US media.
The FBI has already said it investigated Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, but had found no evidence of a threat.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a police chase last week. His brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is in custody over the bombs.
Three people were killed and more than 260 wounded when two devices exploded at the Boston Marathon on April 15.
A US politician earlier confirmed the bombs were set off by remote control.
But the devices were not sophisticated and apparently had to be triggered from a few streets away.
Officials said Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been added to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) on the request of the CIA.
CIA tracked Tamerlan Tsarnaev 18 months before Boston attack and added him to terrorism database
The database contains as many as 745,000 entries, and individuals on that list are not necessarily on the so-called terrorist watch list.
The Russian authorities had alerted US counterparts to the activities of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, whose family has its origins in the war-torn Russian republic of Chechnya.
About six months before the CIA requested his name be added to TIDE, the FBI asked the Russians for more information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev but received none, and closed its investigation.
The authorities earlier said the US intelligence community had no information about threats to the Boston Marathon ahead of the April 15 attacks.
After a classified briefing in the House intelligence committee on Wednesday, Democratic Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger said he believed the FBI was not at fault.
“I feel, based on the testimony today, that the FBI did exactly what they would do and they followed through the protocols that were necessary once they got that information,” Dutch Ruppersberger told reporters.
He also said he had been told the bombs were detonated with a “garage door opener-type of device”.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was injured during the police manhunt and remains in hospital in a fair condition.
Officers captured him as he hid in a boat covered by a tarpaulin in a garden in Watertown, Massachusetts.
Officials initially had said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev exchanged gunfire with police for more than an hour before he was captured on Friday.
But the Associated Press quoted two unnamed officials as saying Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had been unarmed when he was captured.
The younger brother has been charged in hospital with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could be sentenced to death if convicted on either count.
In bedside questioning, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has said he and his brother were angry about the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But the brothers are not believed to have had direct contact with a militant organization, politicians said after closed-door briefings.
It is suspected the brothers became radicalized online.
The suspects’ parents, Anzor Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, are due to arrive in the US on Thursday, Russian media reported.
The Tsarnaev family has origins in the predominantly Muslim republic of Chechnya in southern Russia.
Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been living in the US for about a decade at the time of the Boston Marathon attack.
In 2012, Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent six months with relatives in Dagestan, another Russian republic, which has an Islamist militant insurgency.
Two unnamed US officials have revealed to the Associated Press that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was unarmed when police captured him hiding inside David Henneberry’s boat in Watertown.
The report contradicts the Boston police department’s own account of Dzhokar Tsarnaev’s capture on Friday – after commissioner Edward F. Davis described a firefight between him and officers before the terror suspect was captured.
The New York Times also said an M4 rifle had been found on the boat – another claim contradicted by the latest revelations.
Officers had originally said they had exchanged gunfire with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for more than one hour Friday evening before they were able to subdue him.
But on Wednesday, the law enforcement officials told the AP that no gun was found aboard the vessel.
It also contradicts many media accounts of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s final moments of freedom.
The New York Times reported that an M-4 carbine rifle – similar to the weapon used by American troops fighting in Afghanistan – was found aboard the boat and that officials had recovered two handguns and a bb gun used by the two brothers.
Two unnamed US officials have told the AP that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was unarmed when police captured him hiding inside the boat
The throat wound sustained by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was also said by numerous law enforcement sources to be self inflicted.
Sources told Newsday that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s bullet wound looked to be self-inflicted, due to the location of the wound and the trajectory of the bullet.
Reuters reported that the Boston bomber was shot through the mouth by a round that exited through his neck.
Dozens of bullet holes were seen on the exterior of David Henneberry’s boat in photos taken shortly after the final standoff in the Watertown backyard.
The officials told the AP that say investigators only recovered a 9 mm handgun believed to have been used by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerlan, from the site of a gun battle Thursday night, which injured a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officer.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was believed to have been shot before he escaped.
Meanwhile the suspect told the FBI that they were angry about the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the killing of Muslims there, officials said.
How much of those conversations will end up in court is unclear.
The FBI normally tells suspects they have the right to remain silent before questioning them so all their statements can be used against them.
Under pressure from Congress, however, the Department of Justice has said investigators may wait until they have gathered intelligence about other threats before reading those rights in terrorism cases.
The American Civil Liberties Union has expressed concern about that.
Regardless, investigators have found pieces of remote-control equipment among the debris and were analyzing them, officials said.
One official described the detonator as “close-controlled”, meaning it had to be triggered within several blocks of the bombs.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, could be jailed if she returns to the US to see her hospitalized son, it has been revealed.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, 45, now lives in Dagestan, Russia
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a gunbattle with cops on Friday. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is in fair condition in a Boston hospital where he is being treated for injuries sustained in the same shootout.
ABC News reported on Tuesday that Zubeidat Tsarnaeva failed to show up at a court hearing stemming from a July 2012 arrest for shoplifting.
So if she returns to the US to visit her hospitalized son Dzhokhar or make burial arrangements for Tamerlan, she could be arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva allegedly stole $1,600 worth of clothes from a Massachusetts Lord & Taylor store.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, could be jailed if she returns to the US to see her hospitalized son
She was charged with two counts of malicious/wanton damage and defacement to property after allegedly swiping the merchandise from the retailer’s Natick, Massachusetts location in June 2012.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva was due in court on October 25 last year for a hearing in the case, but never showed up.
The Lord & Taylor location is not the same as the one on Boyleston Street in Boston, where a surveillance camera captured what police say is her younger son dropping a pressure cooker bomb that was hidden inside a backpack.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva additionally faces questioning by US investigators, who have traveled to Dagestan to speak with her.
No one has come forward to claim Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s dead body, it has been revealed, as investigators continue to piece together his movements prior to the Boston Marathon attack.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was shot during a dramatic gunbattle with cops in Watertown, Massachusetts on Friday, before police said he was run over by his younger brother Dzhokhar as he tried to escape.
No one has come forward to claim Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s dead body
He was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
ABC News reported that so far, neither his wife – Katherine Russell Tsarnaev – nor other family members have claimed Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body for burial.
Katherine Russell was 21 when she converted to Islam and married Tamerlan Tsarnaev. After marrying, she left Suffolk University without graduating.
They had a daughter, Zahara, now 3. Tamerlan Tsarnaev seems never to have found a full-time career. His family members say Katherine Russell supported him, while he stayed home with the child.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is recovering from a gunshot wound to the neck in the hospital, has told investigators that his older brother was the ringleader in the Boston Marathon attacks.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev apparently used an online magazine produced by al-Qaeda as their guide for how to make pressure cooker bombs that they set off at the finish line of last week’s Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 180 others.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, reportedly confessed to the FBI that he and his brother Tamerlan were the ones behind the bombing and that they acted alone.
The Boston bomber also said that they were driven to commit the attack because of their feelings against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev used an al-Qaeda online magazine to make pressure cooker bombs they set off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev remains in a Boston hospital but he is expected to be transported in the next few days as his condition was downgraded from “serious” to “fair”.
The suspect sustained unspecified damages during the course of the last week, most likely from the firefight with police on Friday morning that led to the death of his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is reportedly telling investigators that the deadly attacks were spearheaded by his brother, Tamerlan, who is thought to be the more radical of the two.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a 26-year-old father of one, allegedly went through fits of rage, both verbally and physically abusing his wife who he called a “slut” and a “prostitute”.
Federal investigators have already questioned Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s wife, 24-year-old Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, and the brothers’ parents, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva and Anzor Tsarnaev, are thought to be on their way to America for questioning from their native Russia.
It was revealed earlier today that no relatives have claimed Tamerlan Tamerlan’s body.
David Henneberry, the man who discovered Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding out inside his boat, got choked up when talking about the victims of the deadly blasts.
David Henneberry, 66, dismisses claims that he is a national hero, saying that if anything, he is an “incidental hero”.
“It makes me feel wonderful that people that are thinking like that, but it is my boat. People lost lives and lost limbs,” David Henneberry told local station WCVB.
David Henneberry’s role in the saga came when he walked outside of his Watertown home early Friday evening after the shelter-in-place order was lifted in Boston, and the first place he went was to check his boat, that he calls “my baby”.
Earlier in the day, when he was still indoors, David Henneberry noticed that two of the pads that he puts in between the shrink wrap and his boat in order to prevent chaffing had fallen out of place.
“It was really windy, so I didn’t think twice about it,” he said.
David Henneberry dismisses claims that he is a national hero, saying that if anything, he is an incidental hero
As he tells it, David Henneberry was not expecting to find anything out of the ordinary when he went to adjust the pads.
“Go out and get some air. I am just going to put the pads back. They were bugging me all day. So I went out in the yard and felt the freedom that everyone is Watertown was feeling. When I pulled the strap, it was a lot looser than it usually is. But again, the wind could have loosened things up,” he told WCVB.
Even when he saw “a good amount” of blood on the inside of the cabin, he initially doubted himself, thinking back to whether he had accidentally been cut when he was inside the boat weeks earlier.
“And I looked back and forth a couple of times and my eyes went to the engine block and there was a body,” David Henneberry said.
He then ran back to his house and called the police, who immediately took over the scene. David Henneberry and his wife remain displaced from their home as investigators continue to comb over the boat and the property for clues.
“We had great sight and cover on what we had in the boat,” Boston Police Superintendant William Evans said in a Tuesday evening press conference.
“It was just a matter of holding until the tactical team came in to get him out.”
Police did in fact find the second bombing suspect inside the boat, ironically named the “Slip Away II”.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was taken into police custody and transported to Beth Israel Hospital for treatment from various wounds likely sustained from the early Friday morning altercation with police, where his older brother Tamerlan was killed.
“Slip Away is slipping away. But I say it did its job. It held a bad guy and is going away like a Viking ship,” David Henneberry said to WCVB.
He also said that he is aware of a social media campaign where supporters are raising money to buy him a new boat after his was damaged in the apprehension of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Instead, David Henneberry wants people to donate to a fund set up for those who were injured in last Monday’s bombing.
“I am lucky I am alive. These other people were killed. Sometimes, I just sit and say, <<Wow>>,” David Henneberry said.
“This hits you more afterwards when you think <<My God, we probably slept last night, this guy could be in the (boat)>>… It’s surreal.”
New images of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with his arms full of Doritos and Red Bull as he and his brother Tamerlan attempt a getaway after becoming prime terror suspects.
Dressed in a grey hoodie, the surveillance footage is believed to show 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as he enters a gas station in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The man following him into the store in the beige cap appears to be 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
In another image, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is seen wearing a beige flat cap pulled low at an ATM machine, withdrawing $800.
Cambridge gas station surveillance images show Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with arms full of Red Bull and Doritos
The card was stolen from a man taken hostage by the alleged terrorists after he was car-jacked last Thursday during the bombers’ desperate but futile plan to escape.
The victim was able to jump out of the car and flee while the alleged terrorists went to buy snacks.
The terrifying sequence of events began when Tamerlan Tsarnaev carjacked a Mercedes SUV car at gun point barely 40 minutes after MIT campus police officer Sean Collier was killed as he sat in his patrol car.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev jumped into the passenger seat of the Mercedes and told the driver: “Did you hear about the Boston explosion… I did that.”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was caught on a CCTV camera entering an all night garage with his face partially hidden by a grey hooded sweatshirt.
But he left empty handed after his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev hammered on the glass front door of the gas station kiosk saying: “We’ve got to go.”
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s intervention came after the victim of the carjacking managed to escape and run across to another all night gas station across the street where he pleaded for help.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the Boston bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, watches the video of her dead son’s mutilated body and cries, her lawyer revealed on Tuesday, after it emerged that she is to be questioned by US investigators.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva appeared publicly outside her home for the first time since her sons Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were named as suspects. She was ushered past journalists and into a taxi, which sped away.
US investigators traveled to southern Russia today to speak to Zubeidat Tsarnaeva and her husband Anzor Tsarnaev, an American Embassy official said.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva is in Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim province in Russia’s Caucasus, where Islamic militants have waged an insurgency against Russian security sources for years.
The family’s lawyer Heda Saratova, asked for the family to be left alone and said that the parents had just seen pictures of the mutilated body of their elder son Tamerlan Tsarnaev and were not up to speaking with anyone at the moment.
“The mother is in very bad shape,” Heda Saratova said.
“She watches the video [of Tamerlan Tsarnaev] and cries.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva appeared publicly outside her home in Dagestan for the first time since her sons Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were named as suspects
The trip by the US team was made possible because of Russian government cooperation with the FBI investigation into the bombing at the Boston Marathon.
Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev are accused of setting off the bombs that killed three people and wounded more than 180 others on April 15.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a police shootout, while his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar was captured alive but badly wounded.
The embassy official said he could not confirm whether the US investigators had already talked to the suspects’ parents.
“Naturally, the parents are not ready to meet with anyone because the grief is enormous,” Russian official Zaurbek Sadakhanov told a crowd of journalist in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan.
“They … are asking to be left alone, at least for a while, to be able to recover.
“As to the case, I think that detectives and policemen in the United States are knowledgeable and will find out what happened in an objective and unbiased way.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva is from Dagestan, while the suspects’ father, Anzor Tsarnaev is from neighboring Chechnya.
Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev had spent little time in either place before the family moved to the US a decade ago, but Tamerlan was in Russia for six months last year.
The father of the two Boston bombing suspects will apparently travel to the US later this week in order to seek “justice and the truth.
Anzor Tsarnaev says he has “lots of questions for the police” and is keen ‘to clear up many things’”when he arrives from his home in Makhachkala in Russia.
He had previously said that he would return to America this week in the wake of the death of his elder son Tamerlan and the arrest of 19-year-old Dzhokhar.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva added that the family hoped to bring Tamerlan’s body back to Russia.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has told investigators that his brother Tamerlan orchestrated the Boston Marathon attacks because he “wanted to defend Islam from attack”, it emerged today.
In scrawled notes made from his hospital bed, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, told Guantanamo Bay interrogators that Tamerlan, 26, was motivated by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and his belief that they represented an assault on his faith, according to reports.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told investigators that he and his brother were not linked to any Islamic terrorist groups. Instead, authorities believe Tamerlan Tsarnaev “self-radicalized” by watching online videos of extremist Muslim preachers.
According to CNN, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said Tamerlan was the ringleader in the Boston attacks that shook the nation a week ago, but that the pair were working alone.
In preliminary interviews with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the terror suspect said his brother “wanted to defend Islam from attack”, a source told CNN.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has told investigators that his brother Tamerlan orchestrated the Boston Marathon attacks because he wanted to defend Islam from attack
The Washington Post reports that Tamerlan Tsarnaev believed he had to defend his faith because the US had waged war against Islam in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Two US officials said last night the evidence from the bedside interrogation suggests the terror suspects did not have any accomplices, despite previous fears they were part of a 12-man terror “sleeper cell”.
TamerlanTsarnaev died in a police shootout on Friday.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was formally charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction after being questioned by federal officials in his hospital room where he is recovering from multiple injuries.
He could face a death sentence, despite the fact Massachusetts has no death penalty, as he is being prosecuted under the federal system.
A probably cause hearing has been scheduled for May 30.
Investigators have been quizzing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev about whether there were more bombs, explosives or weapons beyond the ones already uncovered by police as well as who came up with the plot.
Interrogators are questioning Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in his room every few hours as doctors sit by his bedside, CNN reported.
The suspect is reportedly unable to speak because of a gunshot wound to the throat.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is believed to be communicating in writing to a special team of FBI counter-terrorism agents trained in interrogating “high-value” detainees that were sent to his bedside at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
The FBI is to face questions in the US Congress over whether they mishandled information about Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
The security officials will brief the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed hearing, after some lawmakers accused the FBI of failing to act on Russian concerns.
Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was questioned in 2011 amid claims he had adopted radical Islam.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a manhunt after the attack but his wounded brother Dzhokhar has been charged over the bombings.
Federal prosecutors charged Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in hospital with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death. He could be sentenced to death if convicted on either count.
Anonymous officials have told US media that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said he and his brother had planned the attack themselves without help from foreign militants.
The officials say his written answers from his hospital bed to investigators’ questions lead them to believe that the Tsarnaev brothers were motivated by jihadist ideology and that they devised the bombings using the internet.
However, the sources also said the interviews were preliminary and they must verify the defendant’s responses.
The FBI is to face questions in the US Congress over whether they mishandled information about Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev
Both Tsarnaev brothers had origins in the troubled, predominantly Muslim republic of Chechnya in southern Russia. They had been living in the US for about a decade at the time of the attack.
The twin bombs which exploded near the finishing line of the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured more than 200.
Of those injured, 13 lost limbs. More than 50 people remain in hospital, three of them in a critical condition.
Members of Congress want to know why no further action was taken after Tamerlan Tsarnaev was investigated in 2011 at the request of the Russian government.
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the intelligence committee, said that she and her colleagues would have to “sort it out” when they met FBI officials later on Tuesday.
The full Senate is expected to receive a briefing later in the week.
The FBI has defended itself, saying in a statement on Friday that it had run checks on the suspect but found no evidence of terrorist activity.
A request to Russia for further information to justify more rigorous checks went unanswered, and an interview by agents with Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his family also revealed nothing suspicious.
However, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham questioned why the FBI was unable to identify him as a threat based on his alleged links to radical websites.
He called for better co-operation with Russia and the amendment of privacy laws to allow closer scrutiny of suspects’ internet activity.
Senator Lindsey Graham added that the US authorities did not know Tamerlan Tsarnaev had gone to Russia in 2012 because his name was misspelled in travel documents.
The suspect spent six months in Dagestan, another mainly Muslim Russian republic bordering Chechnya. During the visit, he also reportedly spent two days in Chechnya itself.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed during the police manhunt last Friday. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was captured later that day and remains in hospital with serious injuries.
A 10-page criminal complaint was filed against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Monday during a court hearing held around his hospital bed.
According to a transcript of the hearing, he managed to speak once despite a gunshot wound to his throat sustained during his capture.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said the word “no” when asked if he could afford a lawyer. Otherwise he nodded in response to Judge Marianne Bowler’s questions from his bed at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
The next hearing in his case has been scheduled for the end of May.
The complaint seeks to locate both suspects at the scene of the bombing and then pieces together the operation to intercept them three days later, as they allegedly drove a hijacked car near the city, hours after images of their faces were broadcast by the media.
No mention is made of their possible reasons for attacking the marathon.
US Congress questions for the FBI:
- Why was no further action taken after the 2011 investigation of Tamerlan Tsarnaev?
- Why Tamerlan Tsarnaev was not identified as a threat based on links to radical websites?
- Why were the authorities unaware of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s visit to Russia in 2012?
New photographs taken by an eyewitness reveal the dramatic gun battle which broke out between police and the Tsarnaev brothers in a residential street of Watertown, leaving Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead.
The images, taken by Andrew Kitzenberg, a resident of the Watertown street, in the early hours of Friday, show the Tsarnaev brothers sheltering behind a vehicle and clearly taking aim at police officers.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and his brother Tamerlan, 26, are seen running to a car for more supplies before hauling out a pressure cooker bomb they then detonated, filling the street with smoke.
The photographs, taken on the eyewitness’ phone from a third-floor bedroom overlooking the harrowing scene, are the first images giving insight into the fraught battle that left one brother dead.
They come as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is recovering from a gunshot wound to the neck in hospital, told investigators that his brother Tamerlan was the ringleader in the attacks.
Andrew Kitzenberg, who snapped the photographs as he sought refuge in his home, shared the dramatic images and details on his blog.
“I was in my living room working on my computer when I heard multiple <<pops>> coming from outside,” he recalled.
“At that point, I had no idea that I was about to become an eye witness to the biggest news story in the country.
The images, taken by Andrew Kitzenberg, a resident of the Watertown street, in the early hours of Friday, show the Tsarnaev brothers sheltering behind a vehicle and clearly taking aim at police officers
“When I looked outside my window, I could clearly see two people [the Tsarnaev brothers] taking cover behind an SUV and engaging in gunfire.”
Andrew Kitzenberg ran to the third floor of the home to seek shelter from the gunfire.
“As I ran into my room, overwhelmed by shock, adrenaline, and curiosity, I jumped onto my bed to stay below the windows but also have a clear view at the shooters and photograph the event,” he said.
He described seeing the men jump out of a green sedan, which they returned to for supplies – “assumingly, more ammunition and explosives”.
In another picture, he highlights a dark object that he identifies as a pressure cooker bomb.
“The use of this explosive created an enormous cloud of smoke that covered the entire street,” he wrote.
“While the street was still cloudy with smoke one of the brothers started running down the street towards the officers, while still engaging them in gunshots.
“As he got closer to the officers, within 10 -15 yards of them he was taken down.”
Andrew Kitzenberg added he had been unable to see whether police knocked him to the ground or shot him.
His brother then jumped in their car and barreled towards the police cars barricading the end of the street. Authorities said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ran over his brother, who was later pronounced dead.
The images reveal the moment Dzhokhar Tsarnaev headed for the police cars – dodging between two.
“The SUV side swiped both cars taking out doors and windows and ultimately broke through the vehicle barricade and continued driving west on Laurel St.,” Andrew Kitzenberg wrote on his blog.
“This was the last I saw of the black SUV.”
The battle took place after the FBI released the Tsarnaev brothers’ photographs on Thursday – four days after they allegedly detonated two bombs at the Boston marathon, killing three and injuring 180.
Boston SWAT officers who handcuffed Dzhokhar Tsarnaev say that they didn’t “have time to be afraid” as they inched toward his hiding spot on Friday.
The SWAT officers from the MBTA held a press conference on Monday, as they were officially recognized for their efforts in taking down Boston Marathon suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after an all-day manhunt in Watertown.
Watertown was gripped with fear as the sun went down on Friday, when pops of gunfire and the booms of flash grenades were heard – all focused on a boat parked in a Franklin Street driveway.
The well-trained SWAT team then approached David Henneberry’s boat, not knowing whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was armed or had rigged the vessel with the same bombs he allegedly used in the attack at the marathon days prior.
SWAT Officer Jeff Campbell – who pulled Dzhokhar Tsarnaev off the boat – noted how the officers had proceeded carefully, saying: “We had no idea if the boat was rigged with explosives. He could have done anything.”
The officers admitted that they were sitting ducks – out in the open in the backyard as they moved in.
Jeff Campbell told former FBI assistant director John Miller in a CBS interview airing on Tuesday: “As we’re approaching what we call the danger zone… That’s the danger zone because there’s no cover for us except that ballistic shield.”
But as they got closer, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev suddenly stood up in the boat, acknowledging that he was ready to surrender.
Officer Jeff Campbell noted that the suspect “looked weak” and was “shaky”.
Boston SWAT officers who handcuffed Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at his hiding spot on Friday
He told John Miller: “[Dzhokhar Tsarnaev] appeared to be losing consciousness and did have some wounds to his body. You could see the blood on his body.”
Once the suspect was off the boat, Officer Saro Thompson said: “Officer [Kenny] Tran helped me secure the suspect along with other people from different teams that we do not know the names of.”
Sgt. Sean Reynolds, who is also part of the team, told reporters: “You don’t really have time to be afraid.”
Officer Saro Thompson added: “At a time like that, training kicks in. We don’t have emotion going into something like that.
“We ended up putting him in cuffs and we turned him over to the medics after we moved him away from the boat.”
When asked if Dzhokhar Tsarnaev spoke as he was arrested, Saro Thompson said: “I don’t think he had the energy to say anything. Once we got him on the ground, he was compliant and was going in and out of consciousness.”
One of their colleagues, transit police officer Richard H. Donahue, 33, was seriously injured during the wild shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers early on Friday morning.
Officer Saro Thompson said that when he visited Richard H. Donahue in the hospital on Monday, he proudly informed him: “We got him.”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s older brother Tamerlan died in a hospital after that confrontation, likely from injuries sustained when he was run over by a stolen vehicle driven by Dzhokhar.
The interview with the SWAT officers came after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was read his Miranda Rights on Monday as he was charged with using weapons of mass destruction during an arraignment while he laid in his hospital bed.
During the proceedings in his Boston hospital bed, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev only uttered the word “no” when asked if he could afford a defense attorney.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was arraigned in his hospital bed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center on Monday by a magistrate judge, court officials said.
A probable cause hearing in the case was then set for May 30.
Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been read his Miranda Rights as he was charged with using weapons of mass destruction during an arraignment while he laid in his hospital bed.
During the proceedings at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, only uttered the word “no” when asked if he could afford a defense attorney.
The teenager was officially read his Miranda Rights at the time was he was arraigned on Monday by a magistrate judge, court officials said.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was also asked several questions in which he nodded his head to respond.
The hearing began with a doctor being asked whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is alert.
“You can rouse him,” the doctor said, according to a transcript of the hearing obtained by The New York Times.
Dzhokar Tsarnaev then nods his head when asked how he’s feeling.
At the end of the hearing, Judge Marianne B. Bowler said: “At this time, at the conclusion of the initial appearance, I find that the defendant is alert, mentally competent and lucid.
“He is aware of the nature of the proceedings.”
A probable cause hearing in the case was then set for May 30.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is specifically charged with one count of using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction – namely, an improvised explosive device or IED – against persons and property within the US 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.
If he is convicted, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faces the death penalty or life imprisonment. He also faces a fine of up to $250,000.
Regardless of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s sentence if found guilty, rocker Ted Nugent has weighed in on the case, arguing that his punishment be much more severe, and as America’s “Founding Fathers” intended.
In a column for World Net Daily entitled, “Time to Stretch Neck of Jihadist Punk”, Ted Nugent wrote: “Imagine if this jihadist punk had basically committed the same crimes 150 years ago. He would have been swinging from an oak tree in Boston Common no longer than 60 days from the date of his arrest. That would be justice.”
The charging documents reveal dramatic new details of the investigation and events following the bombings, including a list of items obtained from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s college dorm room and claims that during a carjacking at least one suspect was advertising his role in the marathon bombings.
“Although our investigation is ongoing, today’s charges bring a successful end to a tragic week for the city of Boston, and for our country,” US Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will not be tried as an enemy combatant because he is a naturalized US citizen and under federal law, citizens cannot be tried in military commissions, the White House said Monday. Instead, he will be tried in the US justice system.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been read his Miranda Rights as he was charged with using weapons of mass destruction
The charging papers allege that Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev carjacked a man around midnight on Thursday and that older brother, Tamerlan, told the car’s owner that he had carried out the Boston Marathon bombings.
“The victim stated that while he was sitting in his car on a road in Cambridge, a man approached and tapped on his passenger-side window,” according to the charges.
“When the victim rolled down the window, the man reached in, opened the door, and entered the victim’s vehicle. The man pointed a firearm at the victim and stated, <<Did you hear about the Boston explosion?>> and <<I did that>>.”
The gunman, identified by the FBI as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, removed the magazine from his firearm to show the victim that it was loaded, then re-inserted it and said: “I am serious.”
Tamerlan Tsarnaev then allegedly forced the victim to drive to a location where they picked up Dzhokhar.
One of the suspects then got behind the wheel of the car and demanded money and an ATM card from the victim. The suspects drove to a gas station and got out of the car to withdraw money, at which point the victim managed to escape.
The stolen vehicle with the two suspects inside was located by authorities a short time later in Watertown, Massachusetts. As police cruisers descended on the scene, the men threw at least two small IEDs from the car windows, sparking a firefight.
During the exchange of fire Tamerlan Tsarnaev got out of the car and was shot several times. Meanwhile, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev managed to escape in the car – but not without first running over Tamerlan’s body.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead, and authorities launched a manhunt for Dzhokhar, who apparently abandoned the carjacked vehicle shortly after making his getaway.
CACHE OF EXPLOSIVES
From the scene of the shootout, the FBI recovered two unexploded IEDs, as well as the remnants of numerous exploded devices. Another in-tact device was found inside the abandoned vehicle.
A preliminary examination of the explosive devices that were used at the Boston Marathon revealed that they were low-grade explosives housed inside pressure cookers with metallic BBs and nails. Many of the BBs were contained within an adhesive material, authorities said.
Investigators discovered the exact same type of explosives at the scene of the firefight and inside the abandoned getaway car.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was on the run for nearly a full day when authorities located him hiding in David Henneberry’s boat parked outside his home in Watertown.
The bomber engaged in a firefight with police from inside the boat before he was eventually coaxed out of the vessel, authorities said.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had visible injuries, including apparent gunshot wounds to the head, neck, legs, and hand. He was searched and authorities found several means of identification in his pockets, including credit cards and a Dartmouth student ID.
“At the end they were just making demands of him: Show your hands, lift your shirt. And eventually that’s what he did,” Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau told ABC News.
“He was very slow and lethargic in every move that he made and they could see that there was no device on his chest. They kept creeping closer to him and then they felt it safe enough to pull him away from the boat.”
Authorities initially said they couldn’t question the terror suspect because of his severe throat wound.
Authorities conducted a search at Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Dartmouth dorm, where they found a pyrotechnic as well as a white hat and black jacket like the ones he is pictured wearing in surveillance footage from the scene of the marathon bombings.
The charging documents also contain new details about the marathon bombings and allege that at least one of the suspects was using a cell phone shortly before the explosions.
The documents state that at approximately 2:41 p.m. – about 8 minutes before the explosions – both bombing suspects were standing together about a half-block from the Forum Restaurant on Boylston Street near the finish line, according to footage from surveillance cameras.
About one minute later, one suspect – believed to be Tamerlan Tsarnaev – appears to break away from the crowd and begin walking east on Boylston street toward the finish line.
At 2:45 p.m. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – referred to in the charging documents as “Bomber Two” – walks in the same direction but stops short of the finish line, directly in front of Forum Restaurant.
“He appears to have the thumb of his right hand hooked under the strap of his knapsack and a cell phone in his left hand,” FBI special agent Daniel R. Genck wrote in the documents.
About 15 seconds later, “Bomber Two” appears to drop his knapsack to the ground.
The suspect stays in that position for about four minutes, occasionally looking at his cell phone and once appearing to snap a picture with it.
“At some point he appears to look at his phone, which is held at approximately waist level, and may be manipulating the phone,” the charging papers state. “Approximately 30 seconds before the first explosion, he lifts his phone to his ear as if he is speaking on his cell phone, and keeps it there for approximately 18 seconds.
“A few seconds after he finishes the call, the large crowd of people around him can be seen reacting to the first explosion.”
As others are reacting to the explosion, “Bomber Two” “calmly but rapidly” begins moving away from the finish line – without his backpack, which he had left on the ground.
About 10 seconds later, an explosion occurs in the location of the discarded knapsack.
A newly released photo of David Henneberry’s boat, where Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was discovered, shows a bloodied, bullet-ridden port side.
The damage has undoubtedly devastated 66-year-old David Henneberry, whose adoration for the rare 21-foot Seahawk boat is widely known among family and friends.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, who was pulled from the boat after a two-hour standoff with police, was shot in his head, neck, legs and hand, according to federal authorities. He’s now in serious condition in Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where on Monday he was charged in the twin Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and injured more than 180.
David Henneberry, meanwhile, has been deemed a hero by local and national authorities after he inadvertently discovered Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Friday evening.
During the standoff, David Henneberry and his wife fled to the home of his neighbor, George Pizzuto, while officers fired on his beloved boat and helicopters swarmed overhead, using infrared lights to peer through the tarp and locate the suspect’s body.
A newly released photo of David Henneberry’s boat, where Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was discovered, shows a bloodied, bullet-ridden port side
Several hours later, following a brief exchange of fire and some negotiating, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was taken into custody.
It is unknown whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sustained all of his injuries during Friday night’s standoff or during the running gun battle with police early that morning. His brother and suspected accomplice in the bombings, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in the Friday morning gun battle.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s neck wound is reportedly self-inflicted. He is believed to have put his pistol in his mouth and fired, but he survived because the bullet passed through his throat instead of his brain.
Officers believe he sustained at least one of the leg wounds on Friday morning.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged on Monday with one count of using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction – namely, an improvised explosive device or IED – against persons and property within the US resulting in death, and one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death, according to a criminal complaint.
If he is convicted, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could face a penalty of death or imprisonment for life.
Since the standoff that centered around his beloved boat, David Henneberry has tried to stay out of the media spotlight.
He stayed with relatives over the weekend to avoid reporters swarming outside his home and he declined Watertown officials’ invitation to be honored at Saturday’s Boston Bruins hockey game.
But David Henneberry’s stepson, Robert Duffy, has gladly shared the story of his stepfather’s courage and quick thinking with a number of television networks and newspapers.
His neighbor, George Pizutto, said David Henneberry would be “heartbroken” by the damage to his boat.
“That boat’s his baby. He takes care of it like you wouldn’t believe. And they told him it’s all shot up,” George Pizzuto told ABC affiliate WHAM-13.
“He’s going to be heartbroken.”
George Pizzuto later told reporters that David Henneberry feels overwhelmed by all the attention and that he isn’t ready to talk about what happened or his role in finding the suspect.
A fund set up online to help David Henneberry buy a new boat has raised $256 with a goal of raising $50,000.
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