During the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, two bombs exploded at 2:49 p.m. EDT (18:49 UTC), killing 3 people and injuring 282 others. The bombs exploded about thirteen seconds and 180 yards (170 m) apart near the finish line on Boylston Street. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) took over the investigation and on April 18 asked the public for assistance before and after releasing photographs and videos of two suspects.The men were identified later that day with help from the public as the brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26.
The Tsarnaev brothers were born in Kyrgyzstan and are of Chechen heritage. Chechnya, a long-disputed Muslim territory in southern Russia, sought independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union and then fought two bloody wars with the authorities in Moscow. Russian assaults on Chechnya were brutal, killing tens of thousands of civilians as terrorist groups from the region staged attacks in central Russia. It was during this mayhem that the brothers sought refuge in America and eventually became U.S. citizens.
Shortly after the release of the photos, the suspects allegedly shot MIT campus police officer Sean Collier, 26, multiple times while he sat in his car. Officer Collier was later pronounced dead at Massachusetts General Hospital. The brothers went on to carjacked a Mercedes SUV and take the police on a chase through the streets of Watertown, Massachusetts. The police reported that the suspects were throwing explosive devices out the window and a gunfight ensued. Over 200 rounds were fired during the exchange and MBTA Officer Richard Donohue Jr. was critically injured. The oldest brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was injured but escaped. An unprecedented city-wide lockdown and manhunt followed. Hundreds of police, national guard and FBI agents went door-to-door searching a 20-block area of Watertown. Law enforcement were beginning to think the suspect had alluded them when they received a call from a Watertown residence who thought the suspect was hiding in a boat in his backyard. The resident bravely checked the boat and found the bloody suspect. On April 19 at approximately 8:45 p.m., Dzhokhar arrested, given emergency care at the scene, and then transported to Massachusetts General Hospital. The Boston Police Department notified the public of his capture via Twitter and other social media platforms.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev remains in the hospital. He was wounded during at least one of two gun battles with police on Friday, suffering gunshot wounds to his head, neck, legs and hand. Dzhokhar is mostly unable to speak because of the throat wound, but he has answered some questions by nodding his head. Thus far law enforcement has been able to confirm that other attacks were planned by the brothers, but that they were acting alone. No additional terrorist network cells or international plots have been linked to the Boston bombing.
Dzhokhar’s first court appearance took place in his room at Massachusetts General after Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler found he was lucid and aware of the nature of the proceedings. On April 22, he was charged with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and with malicious destruction of property resulting in death. The charges were issued shortly before the city paused at 2:50 p.m. (1850 GMT) to mark the moment a week ago when the bombs exploded.
A funeral was held for Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager who was killed in the bombings, and a memorial service was planned for another victim, Chinese graduate student Lingzi Lu, 23. An 8-year-old boy, Martin Richard, was also killed.
A few words about my sources, a few personal thoughts: I compiled the information above from numerous news sources -both foreign and domestic. I made every reasonable effort to verify the accuracy of the info and to not sensationalize the story. The week was dramatic enough. Unlike mainstream media, I deliberately choose not to jump to any conclusions or speculate about whether the brothers’ country of origin contributed to their decision to kill innocent citizens. I am currently of the opinion that the men were U.S. citizens who committed acts of domestic terrorism. I further believe that justice and healing for the victims, for the victims’ loved ones, for Boston and for this country should not come at the expense of our values. We don’t need to create special labels, torture anyone or establish secrets trials. Our regular state and federal courts are equip to deal domestic terrorist and have done so successfully in the past.
Last but not least, I want to say that I am proud of the Boston Police Department, FBI, national guard, Gov. Deval Patrick, emergency assistance, the staff at Massachusetts General Hospital, and all the regular Bostonians who worked tirelessly to help each other, comfort each other, identify the suspects and bring the manhunt to an end quickly.