[NATL]Terror in Boston: Boston Marathon Explosions

NATL

Three Dead, Hundreds Injured After Explosions Near Marathon Finish

Charges Against Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Delayed

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev remained hospitalized in serious condition Sunday

By BRIDGET MURPHY and KATIE ZEZIMA
|  Monday, Jul 8, 2013  |  Updated 3:55 PM EDT
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New video shows an aerial view of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's arrest. Jonathan Vigliotti reports.

New video shows an aerial view of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's arrest. Jonathan Vigliotti reports.

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No charges will be filed Sunday against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the lone surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, NBC News reported.

Law enforcement sources had said earlier they were putting the final touches on charges against Tsarnaev and would announce them Sunday. However, Justice Department officials said late Sunday, that there would be no announcement on charges until perhaps Monday, according to NBC News.

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Investigators planned to question Tsarnaev but he remained in "serious condition," the FBI said in a statement released Sunday, and apparently in no shape for interrogation after being pulled bloody and wounded from a tarp-covered boat in a Watertown, Mass. backyard. The capture came at the end of a tense Friday that began with his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, dying in a gun battle with police.

There were also reports the injuries the suspect sustained in the firefight that lead to his capture may be preventing him from speaking to investigators, according to NBC News.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev suffered a wound to his throat that has left him unable to talk, a senior law enforcement official confirmed Sunday. 

This has delayed efforts by the special high value detainee interrogation team to talk to him without advising him of his Miranda rights, the source said.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said Sunday investigators may never be able to orally question  Tsarnaev. “And we don’t know if we’ll ever be able to question the individual,” Menino said without further explanation.

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Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick said Sunday on “Meet the Press" that surveillance video from the bombing shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev dropping his backpack and calmly walking away from it before the bomb inside exploded. "It's pretty clear about his involvement and pretty chilling, frankly," Patrick said.

He added that investigators were also looking into Tsarnaev’s behavior after he returned to the campus of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth after the Monday bombings.

“There is evidence of some frankly kind of normal student behavior in those ensuing days, which when you consider the enormity of what he was responsible for certainly raises a lot of questions in my mind and as I say more to the point in the minds of law enforcement as well,” Patrick said. “Those are the kinds of leads that still have to be pursued and run to ground.”

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union and a federal public defender raised concerns about investigators' plan to question 19-year-old Tsarnaev without reading him his Miranda rights.

U.S. officials said an elite interrogation team would question the Massachusetts college student without reading him his Miranda rights, something that is allowed on a limited basis when the public may be in immediate danger, such as instances in which bombs are planted and ready to go off.

For full coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings investigation, visit NBCNews.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said the legal exception applies only when there is a continued threat to public safety and is "not an open-ended exception" to the Miranda rule, which guarantees the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.

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

The most serious charge available to federal prosecutors would be the use of a weapon of mass destruction to kill people, which carries a possible death sentence. Massachusetts does not have the death penalty. The twin bombings killed three people and wounded more than 180.

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

Gov. Deval Patrick said Saturday Tsarnaev was at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where 11 victims of the bombing were still being treated.

"I, and I think all of the law enforcement officials, are hoping for a host of reasons the suspect survives," the governor said after a ceremony at Fenway Park to honor the victims and survivors of the attack. "We have a million questions, and those questions need to be answered."

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

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

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

Michael Spellman said he bought tickets to Saturday's Red Sox game at Fenway Park to help send a message to the bombers.

"They're not going to stop us from doing things we love to do," he said, sitting a few rows behind home plate. "We're not going to live in fear."

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

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

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

Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said Sunday that investigators believe the Tsarnaev brothers were likely planning other attacks. Davis told CBS' "Face the Nation" that authorities found an arsenal of homemade explosives after a gun battle between police and the suspects.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Mike Rogers said on “Meet the Press” on Sunday that Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have traveled under an alias to Russia in 2012.

That trip, according to Rogers, may have been when Tamerlan Tsarnaev “got that final radicalization to push him to commit acts of violence and where he may have received training.”

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said on Sunday that he has not seen evidence to link the bombings to any militant or terrorist group and would not speculate on whether or not Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could be sent to Guantanamo Bay.

“We just don’t have the facts, and until we get the facts, then it will be the responsibility of law enforcement, DOJ, and other institutions to make some determination as to how that individual should be treated, detained, charged, and all that goes with it,” Hagel said. “But right now we just don’t know enough about it.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

As of Sunday, 52 victims of the bombing remained hospitalized, three in critical condition.

A wake for 29-year-old bombing victim Krystle Campbell was held Sunday at a funeral home in Medford, Mass. A private funeral is scheduled for Monday.

At Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Cardinal Sean O'Malley spoke about the city's pain but urged tolerance toward those who come from the same religious or ethnic background as the suspects.

"Our task is to keep this spirit of community alive going forward," he said. "We must be people of reconciliation, not revenge. The crimes of two young men must not be the justification for prejudice against Muslims or against immigrants."
 

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