Boston manhunt aftermath: Live updates after police capture Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

April 20, 2013

With one suspect dead and the other captured, investigators turned from the manhunt for those responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings to questions of motivation and whether they had help. Follow along below with the latest updates in the story.

Day 1 updates | Day 2 updates | Day 3 updates | Day 4 updates

No charges yet in Boston case

As night fell in Boston on Saturday after a tumultuous week, federal prosecutors had not yet filed a complaint in U.S. District Court  against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. A federal official told The Washington Post that they planned to bring charges against Tsarnaev, but the suspect’s medical condition will preclude him from being brought to court for an initial appearance until at least next week. The law requires authorities to bring suspects before a magistrate judge “as soon as practicable after arrest.”

Numerous federal agencies are interviewing family members in the United States and abroad, scouring records for any travel information and poring over financial documents, school records and Internet activity. The questions now turn to why Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan, who died after a gun battle with police Thursday, allegedly planted two bombs at the Boston Marathon on Monday.

We’ll be wrapping up our live blog of the events, but follow the latest developments on The Washington Post home page and see how the story developed over the past week here:

Day 1 updates | Day 2 updates | Day 3 updates | Day 4 updates | Day 5 updates

FCC Chairman: ‘David Ortiz spoke from the heart’

During an emotional opening to the Red Sox game Saturday, David Ortiz may have slipped up on the FCC rules that ban expletives on air. The Red Sox designated hitter, better known as Big Papi, said: “This is our [expletive] city!” On Twitter, outgoing FCC chairman Julius Genachowski let it be known that he, for one, was not concerned with Ortiz’s language:

Photo: Memorial to MIT patrol officer Sean A. Collier

People visit a memorial to MIT patrol officer Sean A. Collier in Cambridge, Mass. Collier was shot outside the MIT Stata Center, allegedly by the marathon bombing suspects.

(Dominick Reuter/EPA)
(Dominick Reuter/EPA)

See more photographs from Boston here.

Despite billions spent on counterterrorism, still vulnerabilities

Six days after the Boston bombings, there has been no calls for a major addition to the nation’s counterterrorism infrastructure, in part because it is difficult to identify a realistic measure that might have prevented the attacks. The Post’s Greg Miller and Scott Wilson report that the attack exposed the limits of the extraordinary defenses erected over the past 12 years in response to 9/11.

The United States has spent billions of dollars on counterterrorism efforts during that span, an investment that has accomplished much of its aim. Overseas operations have pushed al-Qaeda to the brink of collapse, and domestic steps have dramatically reduced the country’s exposure to an attack of the scale and sophistication of Sept. 11.

But the Boston bombings highlighted a lingering vulnerability that officials consider impractical, if not impossible, to eliminate. It centers on small-scale plots carried out by individuals who are unlikely to surface on federal radar. They rely on devices made from common ingredients like gunpowder, nails and a pressure cooker. They target public gatherings where security resources are stretched.

Read the full story here.

Intelligence community pores through federal databases

The intelligence community is poring through all terrorism-related intelligence in federal databases, including State Department, Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security and FBI systems, to see what can be found on Tsarnaev, said an intelligence official who was not authorized to speak on the record. The CIA and the National Security Agency, which gathers phone call, e-mail and other electronic intelligence overseas, are going through their holdings, he said.

“What we are doing now is going through basically everything we have, looking for non-obvious terrorist links we might have missed, looking for internal connections, overseas connections,” the official said. “We may have snipped something up — some electron out there…The intelligence community collects far more than we analyze every day.”

Police release thermal images of suspect

Massachusetts State Police released five images on Twitter from last night’s operation to capture Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Three of the images show the thermal imaging police used to confirm there was a body hidden in a boat under a plastic cover. The other two images show the mechanical arm moving the cover back. The police released no further information on the photographs, tweeting only that the photos were taken from the State Police Air Wing.

thermal
(Massachusetts State Police)
thermal4
(Massachusetts State Police)
thermal5
(Massachusetts State Police)
thermal2
(Massachusetts State Police)
thermal3
(Massachusetts State Police)

President meets with National Security Council

President Obama met in the Situation Room with National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Attorney General Eric Holder, FBI Director Robert Mueller, CIA Director John Brennan, and Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, to review the ongoing investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing.

From a White House press release:

The President commended the work that was done to pursue justice in the Boston Marathon bombing, and underscored the need to continue gathering intelligence to answer the remaining questions about this terrorist attack going forward. As he did last night, the President also expressed appreciation for the efforts made by state and local officials, and law enforcement, in Boston and Massachusetts.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The robots that helped the police

Mashable has some details on at least one of the robots used by police during last night’s search and capture of suspected bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. A local witness got a photo of the robot investigating a car:


A robot was used to pull the tarp off the boat where Tsarnaev was hiding. Another robot was used in Cambridge, at a home where the brothers had recently lived:


A member of the Cambridge police bomb squad deploys a robot during the search for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings in Cambridge, Mass., April 19. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

To Boston, from Philly, with love

For sports-hungry Philadelphia fans, it may be a sight as jarring as Yankee fans singing “Sweet Caroline.”

The Inquirer‘s Sunday edition has a stirring full-page house advertisement with side-by-side skylines of The Hub and the City of Brotherly Love, with a big ”B” and the words: “Hang tough, Boston. Philly’s behind you.”


The ad directs readers to onefundboston.org, a charity set up by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to help families most affected by the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday and the mayhem that followed.

Russian relative: Tamerlan radicalized in U.S.

An anonymous Russian relative of the Tsarnaev brothers told ABC News that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two brothers, unnerved family members with his extremism on a trip to Russia in 2012.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told the network he is concerned that Tsarnaev was radicalized and trained in Russia. The family member said Tsarnaev was radicalized in the United States, not on his six-month trip to Russia.

The FBI was asked in 2011 by an unnamed foreign government to investigate Tamerlan Tsarnaev, in response to “information that he was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups,” according to a statement for the bureau. The FBI found no evidence of terrorism activity, domestic or foreign.

Suspect ‘in serious but stable’ condition

Mass Gov. Deval Patrick told reporters Saturday afternoon that suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is “in serious but stable” condition but is not yet able to communicate, according to local news reports.

We “hope he survives, because we have a million questions,” Patrick added.

The governor spoke outside Boston’s Fenway Park, where he participated in an emotional pre-game ceremony.

On Twitter, claims of Tsarnaev’s innocence

Many of Dzhokar Tsarnaev’s friends and relatives expressed shock yesterday at the idea that the 19-year-old could have been involved in last Monday’s Boston bombings. On social media this morning, some people took their shock even further, launching a campaign to convince someone — anyone — that the man they call Jahar had been set up.

Troy Crossley, who describes himself as a 20-year-old rapper and personal friend of Tsarnaev, launched the campaign #TroyCrossleyTruth shortly after 11 p.m. Friday. The hashtag has since been used more than 600 times, often by apparent conspiracy theorists who insist that government agents set off Monday’s bombs.

But Crossley and the other posters aren’t the first to claim the Tsarnaev brothers were framed. In interviews with media yesterday, the men’s father and aunt also said they believed they were set up, possibly by the FBI.

Front pages from the day after

Newspapers across the country greeted the capture of suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with bold-face relief and jubilation — but nowhere was that more apparent than in Boston, the city indelibly scarred by Monday’s bombings and paralyzed by yesterday’s day-long search.

Below are a selection of today’s front pages from the Boston region, all courtesy of the Newseum. (See more front pages here.)

When will Tsarnaev be charged?

Federal prosecutors are planning to bring charges against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, but it is unclear whether they will file a complaint in U.S. District Court in Boston on Saturday, according to a U.S. official. The suspect’s medical condition will preclude him from being brought to court for an initial appearance until at least next week, the official said. The law requires the authorities to bring suspects before a magistrate judge “as soon as practicable after arrest.”

Emotional opening to Red Sox game

At Fenway Park, Saturday’s game against the Kansas City Royals began with a long and moving tribute to the city of Boston and what it has endured over the past six days.

“We will run another marathon,” the announcer said. “One bigger and better than ever. We are one. We are Boston. We are strong. We are Boston strong.”

Onto the field walked volunteers who had helped in the wake of the bombings, Gov. Deval Patrick, Mayor Thomas Menino, Sen. Mo Cowan, Police Chief Ed Deveau, FBI special agent Richard DesLauriers and members of the Watertown and Boston police departments. Representing the marathon runners were Dick and Rick Hoyt. The elder Hoyt has raced with his wheelchair-bound son in 31 Boston Marathons.

Organist Josh Kantor led the crowd in “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which the announcer called a “new Boston tradition” of crowd-led song. At a Bruins game Wednesday, singer Rene Rancourt asked the crowd to sing the national anthem together.

After that emotional opening, Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (better known as Big Papi) gave his own tribute, in traditional Boston vernacular: “This is our [expletive] city!”

Friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev was brutally slain

A young man who Tamerlan Tsarnaev once referred to as his best friend was brutally killed, along with two others, in September 2011.

Edward Mess, together with Raphael Teken and Erik Weissman, was killed in a Waltham apartment where Mess lived. Their throats were slit. The Boston Globe reported at the time that drugs were believed to be a factor in the attack. But a year later, there were few answers, and the case remains unsolved. All three were Cambridge natives; Mess was 25, and the two others were in their thirties.

Miranda delay upsets civil libertarians

Civil liberties advocates have objected to the delay in reading suspected bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his rights could provoke a legal challenge.

Federal officials decided to delay reading Tsarnaev his Miranda rights under a public safety exception to the warning, outlined in a 1984 Supreme Court decision. A 2010 memorandum from the Justice Department said a delay in issuing Miranda warnings was justified when suspected terrorists were captured in the United States. 

The American Civil Liberties Union has objected to federal officials’ delay.

“The ACLU shares the public’s relief that the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has been apprehended,” said ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero in a statement. “Every criminal defendant is entitled to be read Miranda rights. The public safety exception should be read narrowly. It applies only when there is a continued threat to public safety and is not an open-ended exception to the Miranda rule.”

Advocate Glenn Greenwald told Talking Points Memo that the case could prompt a legal challenge to the Obama Justice Department’s interpretation of the exception.

GOP lawmakers: Make him enemy combatant

Four Republican lawmakers who are outspoken on issues of national security and foreign affairs strongly urged the Obama administration Saturday to treat the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings as an enemy combatant and not a common criminal.

In a joint statement, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) credited local law enforcement and federal authorities for moving quickly to apprehend Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and for deciding to delay reading him his Miranda rights.

But the quartet said Tsarnaev should be treated as an “enemy combatant,” because failing to do so “could very well be a national security mistake. It could severely limit our ability to gather critical information about future attacks from this suspect.”

Tsarnaev, they said, “clearly is a good candidate for enemy combatant status. We do not want this suspect to remain silent.”

Obama did away with the term “enemy combatant” when he took office, but has retained the broad right to detain anyone who provides “substantial” assistance to al-Qaeda and its associates around the globe.

“We should be focused on gathering intelligence from this suspect right now that can help our nation understand how this attack occurred and what may follow in the future,” the four senators wrote. “That should be our focus, not a future domestic criminal trial that may take years to complete.”

As Republicans called on the administration to handle the suspect differently than currently planned, some congressional Democrats urged the Justice Department to maintain its current course.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the administration “should resist hasty calls” to treat Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant. “This is not a foreign national caught on an enemy battlefield, but an American citizen arrested on American soil,” he said. “The Justice Department has demonstrated a far greater ability to successfully prosecute suspected terrorists in federal courts than the military commissions have thus far been able to show.”

Pressure cooker bomb was thrown at police

Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau confirmed Saturday in an interview with CNN that an explosive thrown at police during Thursday night’s chase was a pressure cooker bomb — the same kind used to set off the deadly marathon blasts.

A witness in Watertown told NBC News Friday that he witnessed the scene and saw the bomb.

“I saw them light this bomb. They threw it towards the officers,” he said. “There was smoke that covered our entire street.”

MLB crowds react to news of capture

The reaction of baseball fans at a Sunday night game between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies was an iconic moment the day Osama bin Laden was captured. Without an announcement being made, word spread through the crowd as folks checked their smartphones and other electronic devices and boisterous U-S-A chants filled the stadium while the Mets won in 14 innings.

MLB put together a round up of reactions from around league games last night as crowds learned of Dzhokar Tsarnaev’s capture.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s normal Wednesday on campus

The Boston Globe has the story of how the man now known as Suspect No. 2 spent his time leading up to the metro-wide manhunt to locate him:

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev spent an apparently normal day Wednesday at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where he was a sophomore, according to a school official, working out in the gym, then sleeping in his dorm room that night, while law enforcement officials frantically scanned photos trying to identify the men who planted deadly bombs at the Boston Marathon on Monday.

Card swipes told officials that Tsarnaev, described as a good and typical student who played intramural soccer, was on campus Wednesday, but it was not clear if he had been there earlier in the week.

A student, who did not want to be identified, also said she saw Tsarnaev at a party on Wednesday night that was attended by some of his soccer friends.

“He was just relaxed,” she said.

Read the full story here.

Bomb threat at South Station

A suspicious package was called in Saturday morning at Boston’s South Station T district:

But the station was cleared just a few minutes later:

The station is the largest in Boston’s transit system and is located in the middle of downtown. Most Boston transit service is up and running again Saturday, but Copley Station — near the site of the marathon bombing — remains closed.

Investigating at UMass Dartmouth

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. — About 60 miles south of Boston, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s former college town is recovering after teams of state and federal officials in armored vehicles and SWAT gear descended on the community Friday, searching the grounds of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and an apartment a few miles from campus.

The FBI took three college-age individuals with connections to Tsarnaev into custody at an apartment complex in New Bedford, about five miles from campus, on Friday evening, according to the Boston Globe and several other local news outlets. New Bedford police Lt. Robert Richard told the Globe that the FBI took two men and a woman into custody.

When reached by The Washington Post on Friday evening, Richard referred all questions to the FBI, saying he was no longer allowed to speak about the case. During a news conference Friday night, Boston police officials said they did not have information about the situation.

State, local and federal police closed down a street near the apartment for hours on Friday afternoon and evening. Officers at the scene said they were collecting evidence from a first-floor apartment.

The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth was evacuated Friday, with students sent to a nearby high school, hotels or their parents’ homes. Chancellor Divina Grossman said in a statement posted on the school’s Web site that law enforcement officials “operating with an abundance of caution” had searched the room of the student suspected in the case, as well as other buildings, and concluded that the campus was secure. Late into the evening Friday, the entrance to the school was blocked by more than a dozen police cars and armed officers.

The university remained closed Saturday morning “due to logistical considerations.”

Boston Bruins, Red Sox games today

As life returns to normal in Boston, area sports teams are gearing up for games that were postponed in the aftermath of Monday’s bombings.

The Bruins face off against the Penguins today at 12:30 p.m., and the Red Sox will play the Royals at 1:10 p.m.

 

Thermal imaging helps find bombing suspect

Thermal imaging played an important role in capturing Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Friday night.

Officials said they used a thermal-imaging sensor on board a helicopter to determine if there was a body inside a covered boat parked in a Watertown resident’s backyard. Readings picked up a heat source and confirmed that there was a person, still alive, under the boat’s plastic cover.

“Our helicopter had actually detected the subject in the boat,” Timothy Alben, the head of the Massachusetts State Police, told reporters after Tsarnaev was taken into custody. “We have what’s called a FLIR — a forward-looking infrared device — on that helicopter. It picked up the heat signature of the individual, even though he was underneath what appeared to be the ‘shrink wrap’ or cover on the boat itself. There was movement from that point on. The helicopter was able to direct the tactical teams over to that area.”

Local memorial runs for Boston

D.C. area runners are lacing up, donning yellow and blue, and hitting the roads and trails this weekend in a show of support for Boston.

Free memorial runs have been scheduled in the District, Fairfax, Vienna and elsewhere on Saturday and Sunday. Organizers are asking participants to wear old race shirts, gear representing Boston or yellow and blue — the colors of the Boston Marathon.

At some events, donations will be collected for victims of Monday’s bombings.

See the list of runs, locations and times here.

No ‘Miranda’ warning for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: Why?

Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was not read his “Miranda” rights when he was arrested Friday. Here’s why:

Federal officials said they would use a public safety exception to delay giving Tsarnaev his “Miranda” warning, which imparts a right to counsel and a warning about self-incrimination.

A 2010 memorandum from the Justice Department said a delay in issuing Miranda warnings was justified when suspected terrorists were captured in the United States. The exception allows agents to ask questions reasonably prompted by an immediate concern for the public’s safety. Additionally, it says that in “exceptional” cases, agents may conclude that continued “unwarned” investigation is warranted.

Measured sympathy from suspects’ uncle

Ruslan Tsarni, the uncle of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects who previously denounced his nephews and called them “losers,” spoke on NBC’s “The Today Show” this morning.

Speaking live from his Montgomery Village home, he was calm and expressed measured sympathy for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who Tsarni believes was taken advantage of by his older brother, Tamerlan.

“I want him alive,” Tsarni said of Dzhokhar. “He was used by his older brother. He’s a victim of his older brother… I don’t believe he had full comprehension of what he did.”

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was apprehended Friday night after a massive manhunt and is now in serious condition at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died after a shootout with police.

“I can’t call these boys victims,” Tsarni said, expressing his “sorrow and condolences” to those killed and injured in the bombings and the ensuing search. “But I saw them as kids… I love him [Dzhokhar] to be alive.”

‘I’ve met the Boston bombers’

A Massachusetts woman blogged that she met Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as a teenager, when she would get facials about three times a year from their mother.

Alyssa Lindley Kilzer described Dzhokhar as “perfectly nice and normal.” Kilzer also wrote that she “only met Tamerlan twice, and he wasn’t friendly.” She said that their mother, whom Kilzer described as a devout woman who “started quoting conspiracy theories” after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, used to argue with Tamerlan.

Still, she said, the men’s involvement with the bombings surprised her.

“When my mom called me [Friday morning], telling me about how she had seen the picture of Dzhokar … and called the FBI, I couldn’t believe it,” she wrote.

 

What we know

 

 

Man who saw something said something


(Lucas Jackson / Reuters)

After a citywide lockdown and an intense manhunt, it was a little thing that did in Dzhokar Tsarnaev: An untied tarp on a Watertown man’s beloved boat, spending the winter in his backyard.

After authorities relaxed the lockdown with Tsarnaev still at large late Friday afternoon, David Henneberry headed outside and noticed that the tarp had become unsecured — something it had not done during the blizzards that hit Boston this winter. That, as boat owners know, simply will not do, so he went to fix it.

“He got closer and realized that one of the retention straps had literally been cut — not chafed, not broken or unhooked,” his stepson, Robert Duffy, told CNN’s Piers Morgan.

Henneberry noticed what appeared to be blood on the tarp and thought that perhaps an animal had gotten into the boat, so he climbed a stepladder and took a look. That’s when he saw something chilling.

“He definitely noticed that there was something crumpled up in a ball in the forward portion, and at that point, he became an absolute hero,” Duffy said. “He did the right thing, As law enforcement had urged, he jumped off the ladder and called 911. They were within foot traffic distance. Immediately my mother and David were evacuated from the home.”

Suspect taken to Beth Israel

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev , in an AP photo taken from video. (Robert Ray / AP)
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev , in an AP photo taken from video. (Robert Ray / AP)

After his capture, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the same hospital in which his brother was pronounced dead after a shootout with law-enforcement officers early Friday morning.

A hospital spokesman confirmed that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is a patient there, and police said late Friday that his condition was listed as serious. His brother, Tamerlan, also a suspect in the Boston Marathon shootings, died of multiple gunshot wounds and what may have been an explosive blast to his chest.

Gov. Deval Patrick told the Boston Globe late Friday that he hopes “very deeply [Dzhokar Tsarnaev] survives those wounds, because I’ve got a lot of questions and I know investigators have a lot of questions for him.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Washington Post · April 20, 2013