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The FBI is now focusing on Katherine Russell Tsarnaev after federal officials investigating the Boston bombings have discovered radical Islamist materials on a computer belonging to the widow of Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, 24, has repeatedly claimed through her attorney that she knew nothing about the deadly April 15 bombings allegedly set off by her late husband, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and his younger brother, Dzhokhar.
The FBI is now focusing on Katherine Russell Tsarnaev after agents have discovered radical Islamist materials on her computer
However, the discovery of al-Qaeda’s Inspire magazine on Katherine Russell’s computer, along with the presence of explosive residue throughout their home, have raised new questions about her possible involvement in the act of terror.
According to a government document obtained by NBC News, an analysis of the bombs used at the Boston Marathon and pipe bombs that the Tsarnaevs had allegedly thrown at police may have been built following instructions that appeared in an Inspire article titled: Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.
Officials have yet to determine whether the Islamist files found in Katherine Russell’s possession belonged to the 24-year-old mother, her late 26-year-old husband or a third party, a source told The Washington Post.
Tamerlan Tsranaev was shot dead in a gun battle with police four days after the marathon bombings when he and his brother allegedly carjacked a vehicle in a Boston suburb.
His younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, had fled, setting off a massive manhunt that ended when he was discovered gravely wounded hiding in a boat.
Katherine Russell’s attorney, Amato DeLuca, had previously said his client was kept in the dark about the deadly plot, and she was shocked to learn that her husband and brother-in-law were allegedly responsible for the attacks.
Meanwhile, CNN reported that investigators inspecting Katherine Russell and Tamerlan Tsranaev’s home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, found traces of explosive residue in the kitchen sink, the bathtub and on a table.
Following his arrest, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told police that he and his older brother built the pressure cooker bombs in the basement of the Cambridge residence.
However, it was established earlier this week that female DNA found one a piece of an explosive device used in the attacks did not match Katherine Russell’s, but rather belonged to a department store clerk where the Tsarnaev brothers had purchased the pressure cookers.
In another development in the case, federal and state law enforcement officials accompanied by bomb-sniffing dogs scoured a wooded area near Dartmouth, Massachusetts, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev attended college, in search of new evidence possibly related to the attacks.
According to witness accounts, the brothers may have tested explosives in the woods two weeks before the bombings.
It was revealed earlier this week that Tamerlan Tsarnaev called his wife in the hours after the FBI released surveillance images of him and his younger brother.
But only Katherine Russell knows what was said in the conversation, as she has stopped cooperating with authorities over recent days, the New York Times reported.
Authorities are skeptical of her insistence that she played no role in the attack or in helping the Tsarnaev brothers escape the authorities following the release of the photographs, the Times reported.
A source told CNN that the bombs were built in the apartment that Tamerlan Tsarnaev shared with Katherine Russell and their 3-year-old daughter, Zahara. Residue samples were found on the kitchen table, the kitchen sink, and the bathtub, the source said.
Katherine Russell’s silence comes as sources told the newspaper that the fingerprints and female DNA found on at least one of the bombs did not belong to her. Authorities had taken a sample from her this week.
Spokesman Jason Pack confirmed that agents investigating the Boston bombings visited the North Kingstown home of Katherine Russell’s parents, where Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s widow has been staying since the attacks.
An official had revealed that female DNA was found on at least one of the bombs, although investigators haven’t determined whose it is or whether it means a woman helped the two suspects.
Her lawyer says Katherine Russell denies any involvement in the bombings, but authorities are still working to establish what exactly she knew – if anything – before or after the April 15 attacks.
On Wednesday, attorney Amato DeLuca insisted Katherine Russell “will continue to meet with law enforcement, as she has done for many hours over the past week, and provide as much assistance to the investigation as she can”.
Katherine Russell met Tamerlan Tamerlan while she was a student at Suffolk University, according to her lawyer. She converted to Islam and they married in 2010 before having a daughter.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev died on April 19 following a shoot out with police in Watertown. Investigators say his younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, hit him with a car as he fled the scene.
Posters expressing support for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is charged with last month’s bombings at the Boston Marathon, have been put up on walls in Chechnya’s capital, Grozny.
It is not clear who is behind the posters declaring Dzhokhar Tsarnaev “not guilty”, which appeared after Russia’s May Day celebrations.
The posters show pictures of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, and include an appeal for online donations.
The Tsarnaev family are ethnic Chechens but have lived mostly outside Chechnya.
Residents of Grozny say the posters most likely came from someone trying to make money out of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Posters expressing support for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have been put up on walls in Chechnya’s capital, Grozny
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s elder brother Tamerlan – a fellow suspect – was killed during a clash with police three days after the April 15 bombings, which killed three people and wounded 264.
Reports say the Tsarnaevs lived for years in Kyrgyzstan – in Central Asia – and Dagestan, another Russian republic in the North Caucasus which borders Chechnya.
In the 1990s, Russia’s war in Chechnya spilled into Dagestan. It is now more violent, and is experiencing an Islamist insurgency and harsh police crackdown.
Pro-Tsarnaev leaflets have also appeared in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital, Russia’s Interfax news agency reports. Police are trying to find out who stuck them on the walls of underpasses in the city centre.
The posters in central Grozny follow an earlier campaign there in support of the Tsarnaevs. The authorities removed the earlier ones, which appeared on April 24.
The latest posters in Grozny say: “This is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a 19-year-old lad accused of a terrorist attack in Boston. But as many people now know, that is a groundless accusation, there is absolutely no evidence against him.
“Now he is in a serious condition, in a prison hospital, he needs medical and legal help. Dzhokhar’s parents ask you for help, to collect money for their son, whom they cannot lose, as they have already lost the older son, cruelly, unjustly. We will be grateful for any help, in the name of the Almighty do not remain indifferent.”
The message includes a number for the Russian online payment system, Qiwi Wallet, and the Tsarnaev family address in the social network, VKontakte.
According to Chechnya’s Moscow-backed President Ramzan Kadyrov, the Tsarnaevs spent little time in Chechnya, a republic devastated by war between Russia and separatist rebels in the 1990s.
Since then, Grozny has been rebuilt and now boasts skyscrapers and a huge central mosque.
Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev initially planned to attack Boston’s 4th of July Independence Day celebrations, US media have reported.
But they finished making the bombs more quickly than expected at Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s home, anonymous US officials are quoted as saying.
It is unclear if they planned to target a specific event, but Boston hosts major 4th of July festivities each year.
Meanwhile, the body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been claimed by family.
A spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety confirmed a funeral home hired by his relatives picked up the remains on Thursday.
The suspect’s widow, Katherine Russell, gave consent a day earlier for the body to be released.
Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev initially planned to attack Boston’s 4th of July Independence Day celebrations
His uncle Ruslan Tsarni, who lives in the state of Maryland, said on Tuesday night the family would take the remains.
The medical examiner has said Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s cause of death has been determined, but the information will not be released until a death certificate has been filed. It was unclear if that had happened on Thursday evening.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died after a gun battle with police during which he was run over by his younger brother as he fled the scene in a vehicle, police have said.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, who was later captured and is recovering in a prison hospital from gunshot wounds, reportedly told FBI investigators of the plan for a 4th of July attack.
He also told interrogators that the two of them had initially considered suicide attacks, the New York Times reports.
Instead Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev decided to use pressure-cookers to make the two bombs they allegedly detonated on April 15 near the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three people and wounding 264.
Also according to the newspaper, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told investigators he and his brother had listened to internet sermons by Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born al-Qaeda suspect killed in a 2011 drone strike in Yemen.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faces a possible death sentence if convicted for his alleged role in the Boston attack.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev lived with his wife, Katherine Russell, and their three-year-old daughter, Zahara, in an apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Police have said they found bomb material at the residence.
The FBI has removed evidence, including DNA samples, from the Rhode Island home of Katherine Russell’s parents, where she has been staying since her husband’s death.
Katherine Russell’s lawyers say she did not know much about her husband’s activities because she spent most of her time outside the home working as a health aide while he watched their child.
Three of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s college friends appeared in court on Wednesday, accused of obstructing the police investigation into the attacks.
Police say Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev – both from Kazakhstan – threw away the suspect’s backpack after realizing he was one of the bombers.
Robel Phillipos, a US citizen, is accused of lying to investigators.
The backpack was recovered at a landfill site. A lawyer for Dias Kadyrbayev told CNN his client had turned over the laptop to the FBI, but did not specify when.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s ex-girlfriend says that she was so attracted to him when she saw him outside that she immediately went over and flirted.
“I met him standing outside a building and honestly, his face was enough to capture my heart. I walked right up to him and I was like, <<Oh my God, you are adorable. Can we hang out?>> I’m very forward,” the girl told Mother Jones.
The girl, who is a fellow UMASS-Dartmouth student that is not releasing her name, started a romantic relationship with Boston Marathon suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev last fall that only lasted about two weeks.
During that time, the girl also met his three friends – Dias Kadyrbayev, Azamat Tazhayakov and Robel Phillipos – who were arrested on Wednesday for destroying evidence and lying to federal investigators.
The girl said that they all looked up to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whom they referred to as “Jahar”.
“They all sort of idolized Jahar,” she said.
Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both Kazakh nationals, were charged with conspiring to obstruct justice by destroying evidence. American Robel Phillipos is charged with knowingly and willfully making false statements to investigators.
Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
She said that she met the three other young men through Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, though she described him as being the “leader of his group”.
The girl said that she was shocked by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s involvement in the bombing, as well as any help that he received from his friends.
“There was no indication that they were crazy at all. They just seemed goofy, kind of lackadaisical, not interested in their studies. But, you know, whatever, it was their first semester of college. No one really cared about books,” she said.
Dhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and the unidentified young woman spent their time together involved listening to music and smoking pot, though she says she ended things when he wanted to move faster than she did though she doesn’t consider that as an indication that he was bound to be a killer.
“I don’t think that’s necessarily being a terrorist. I think that’s just called being a hands-y teenaged boy,” she said.
The girl told Mother Jones that she was surprised by implications that the bombing had anything to do with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s religious beliefs as he never mentioned his religion during their time together.
She said that Dias Kadyrbayev, who seemed the closest to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was more conservative as he once made a comment to her at a party about her dress being too revealing.
After Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Dias Kadyrbayev appears to be the most in-command of the group as he was the one who texted.
Dias Kadyrbayev, 19, warned his friend that that he was plastered across television news outlets.
“Tsarnaev’s return texts contained <<lol>> and other things Kadyrbayev interpreted as jokes,” documents say.
On the same day that the FBI released pictures and video clips of the Tsarnaev brothers at the bomb scene, Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov removed items from the younger bomber’s dorm room.
That was just two days before the FBI searched the room.
The criminal complaint lists that they removed Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s backpack from his room and “agreed to get rid of it after concluding from news reports that Tsarnaev was one of the Boston Marathon bombers”.
The three friends- Dias Kadyrbayev, Azamat Tazhayakov and Robel Phillipos- went over to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s on-campus dormitory after seeing the news reports.
When the group arrived at the dorm, Dias Kadyrbayev showed Azamat Tazhayakov a text from the bomber that said: “I’m about to leave if you need something in my room take it.”
He did not specify where he was going, but Azamat Tazhayakov told investigators that he felt that this meant he would never see Dzhokhar Tsarnaev alive again.
Dias Kadyrbayev “knew when he saw the empty fireworks that Tsarnaev was involved in the Marathon bombing”.
Azamat Tazhayakov, 19, was more alarmed because the tubes had been emptied but not destroyed, meaning that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could have either used the explosives or planned to use them.
Dias Kadyrbayev found Vaseline in the room, which he told the others Dzhokhar Tsarnaev used to make bombs.
At one point in the police interviews, Azamat Tazhayakev said that during a meal a month before the attack, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told him and Dias Kadyrbayev that he knew how to make a bomb.
Dias Kadyrbayev was reportedly the one who “decided to remove the backpack from the room in order to help his friend Tsarnaev avoid trouble”.
In a slightly unexpected explanation, Dias Kadyrbayev says that he took Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s laptop because he did not want to the roommate to think that he was “stealing or behaving suspiciously by just taking the backpack”.
Three new suspects were arrested in connection to the Boston Marathon bombing and they are thought to be Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s roommates, Kazachs Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov and an unamed American, who helped him cover his tracks after the fatal blasts.
The Boston Police Department were the first ones to report the arrest over their Twitter feed, and The Boston Globe claimed that the three people in custody were college students and the roommates of the younger bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Federal sources told The Washington Post that the three students disposed of undisclosed material in a landfill on behalf of their 19-year-old Chechen friend Dzhokhar Tsarnaev following the bombing.
The clue fits as police were seen searching a landfill in nearby New Bedford, Massachusetts last week during their search for evidence in the case.
Two of the suspects, identified as Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, were already in police custody in regards to an immigration issue that investigators discovered after questioning them over their license plates that read “TERRORISTA#1”. Those two friends are Kazakh citizens and the third is thought to be an American national.
The three are charged with making false statements and conspiracy to obstruct justice, which implies that they were not involved in actually carrying out the attack but rather helping the suspect evade police after the fatal blasts.
Azamat Tazhayakov, Dias Kadyrbayev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Times Square last year
The claims were reiterated by NBC’s Pete Williams, who said that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s roommates were arrested Wednesday and charged with giving false information to police.
The three were all students at UMass Dartmouth- where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was enrolled- and that they helped him after the April 15 bombings.
This is not the first time that the bomber’s roommates have come under investigation, as they prompted alarm bells after it was revealed that they were driving a BMW with license plates that read “TERRORISTA#1”.
Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov remained in custody over immigration issues as they are Kazakh nationals whose academic visas had expired.
CNN has since identified Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov as two of the three friends that were arrested today.
The third person in custody on Wednesday is believed to be an American citizen who will be charged with making a false statement, according to CBS.
Attorney Robert Stahl told CBS that they were drawn to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev because he also spoke Russian.
The attorney confirmed they now face separate federal charges and have an afternoon court appearance related to the bombing case.
CBS reports that the men will be charged conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements.
ABC affiliate WCVB reports, citing a lawyer who was briefed on the case early Wednesday, that the three suspects disposed “of a backpack full of fireworks that was in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dorm room, done at the request of Tsarnaev sometime after the bombing.”
CBS reports that the suspects were arrested for “harboring or aiding the suspects after the fact” and that they are in the custody of the FBI.
“At this point, we’re not really in a position to make any comment,” FBI spokesman Alison Mahan told Talking Points Memo.
The Boston police followed up their initial tweet by confirming that there is no threat to public safety.
The news of the arrests comes one day after the elder suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s wife Katherine Russell was interviewed by investigators after they spent hours searching her home.
New reports reveal Saudi Arabia sent a written warning about Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2012, long before Boston Marathon blasts, according to a senior Saudi government official with direct knowledge of the document.
It appears the Saudi warning came separately from the multiple red flags raised by Russian intelligence in 2011, and was based on human intelligence developed independently in Yemen.
Citing security concerns, the Saudi government also denied an entry visa to Tamerlan Tsarnaev in December 2011, when he intended to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the source said.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s plans to visit Saudi Arabia have not been previously disclosed.
The Saudis’ warning to the U.S. government was also shared with the British government and it “did name Tamerlan specifically”, according to the source.
“It was very specific” and warned that “something was going to happen in a major U.S. city”. The document did not name Boston or suggest a date for his planned attack.
If true, the account will produce added pressure on the Homeland Security department and the White House to explain their collective inaction after similar warnings were offered about Tamerlan Tsarnaev by the Russian government.
A DHS official denied, however, that the agency received any such warning from Saudi intelligence about Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
And so the White House: “We and other relevant U.S. government agencies have no record of such a letter being received,” said Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the president’s National Security Council.
The letter likely came to DHS via the Saudi Ministry of Interior, the agency tasked with protecting the Saudi kingdom’s homeland.
However, a Homeland Security official confirmed Tuesday evening on the condition of anonymity that the 2012 letter exists.
Meanwhile, House Homeland Security Committee chairman Mike McCaul plans to announce on Wednesday an investigative hearing to probe what U.S. intelligence knew prior to the Boston attacks.
Separately, President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that the U.S. government will launch a wide-ranging inquiry into the sharing of information among the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security and other intelligence and law-enforcement agencies of the federal government.
The internal review will be led by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and several inspectors general.
It is not yet clear whether information from Saudi Arabia will be involved in James Clapper’s inter-agency review.
Saudi Arabia sent a written warning about Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2012, long before Boston Marathon blasts
It appears the Saudi government alerted the U.S. in part because it believed American authorities should be inspecting packages that came to Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the mail in order to search for bomb-making components.
The written warning also allegedly named three Pakistanis who may be of interest to British authorities. The official declined to provide more details about the warning to the UK, but said the two governments received the same information.
The Ministry of Interior, he said, sent the letters in 2012, likely after Tamerlan Tsarnaev returned from Russia to the US in July.
President Barack Obama’s published schedule indicates that he met in the Oval Office with Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi Interior minister, on January 14, 2013.
The Saudis denied Tamerlan Tsarnaev entry to the kingdom when he sought to travel to Mecca in December 2011 for a pilgrimage known as an Umrah – one that is undertaken during months that don’t fall within the regular Hajj period of the year.
That rejected application came one month before he traveled to Russia, where U.S. intelligence sources believe he acquired training enabling him to construct and detonate the bombs that he and his younger brother Dzhokhar placed hear the Boston Marathon’s finish line.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is in federal custody at a prison medical facility.
The Saudi official speculated that Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s residence in the US might have made it more difficult for him to gain entry into the kingdom.
“U.S.-based Muslims who become radicalized and want to visit Mecca create an unusual problem,” he said, compelling the Saudi government “to carefully examine applications”.
In the wake of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal met with Secretary of State John Kerry on April 16, and then had an unscheduled meeting with President Barack Obama on April 17.
“This is the DNA of the Saudi government,” said the Saudi official, referring to officials in the royal court in Riyadh.
“This is how they work. They sent the letter, but that wasn’t enough. They then sent the top guy to meet personally with the president.”
The Saudi official dismissed the idea that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was likely trained by al-Qaeda while he was outside the US last year.
The Saudis’ Yemen-based sources, he explained, said militants referred to Tamerlan dismissively as “the volunteer”.
“He was a gung-ho, self motivated jihadi who wasn’t tasked by a larger group,” he said.
“There is no reason for anyone in Afghanistan to have in his thinking a scenario like this.
“He took the initiative. That’s why they call him <<the volunteer>>.”
“The Boston thing is beneath them,” he said of al Qaeda.
“They don’t think like this. This is like a firecracker to them. They want something big.”
Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have boasted about his plans online, the Saudi official said, offering an explanation for how Yemen-based sources first learned of him. Islamist militants have well-developed social networks that can enable news to migrate quickly across vast distances.
The Saudi government sometimes tracks such radicals by launching fake jihadi websites to attract extremists. The Ministry of Interior then tracks them electronically, often across the world, and shares information with governments it considers friendly, including the US.
The Saudi intelligence services have a long history of providing credible information to America and Great Britain about looming threats.
“This is the fourth time the Saudi Arabian government has given the U.S. specific intel” about a possible terror plot, the official said, citing prior warnings about Richard Reid, the so-called shoe bomber who repeatedly tried to light a fuse in his shoe to bring down American Airlines flight 63 bound for Miami in December 2001.
He also cited the 300-gram “ink-cartridge bombs” planted on two cargo planes headed for the US from Yemen in October 2010. Those explosives were intercepted in Dubai, and at an East Midlands airport in Great Britain.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s namesake was a 15-century Central Asian warlord who referred to himself as “the sword of Islam”. Sometimes spelled “Tamerlane” in English, he was known for his cruelty.
When he conquered Baghdad, Tamerlane reportedly made a pyramid of human skulls from unfortunate residents of that city.
Although still revered in Chechnya and throughout Central Asia, the original Tamerlane is sometimes vilified in modern-day Saudi textbooks.
According to legal sources, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyer have started very early talks about a possible deal in which the Boston Marathon bomber would cooperate in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team got a major boost on Monday with the addition of prominent anti-death penalty lawyer Judy Clarke, who has managed to get life sentences for several high-profile clients.
A judge approved the appointment of death penalty expert Judy Clarke to defend 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction during the April 15 marathon.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team got a major boost with the addition of prominent anti-death penalty lawyer Judy Clarke, who has managed to get life sentences for several high-profile clients
Three people were killed and more than 260 injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
But judge Marianne Bowler denied, at least for now, a request from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s public defender, Miriam Conrad, to appoint a second death penalty lawyer – David Bruck, a professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers could renew their motion to appoint another death penalty expert if he is indicted, the judge said.
The news that he could escape the death penalty for divulging information was reported on NBC News.
Judy Clarke’s clients have included the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski; Susan Smith, a woman who famously drowned her two children; Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph; and most recently Jared Loughner, who shot former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the head.
All received life sentences instead of the death penalty.
Judy Clarke has rarely spoken publicly about her work, however, at a speech Friday at a legal conference in Los Angeles, she talked about how she had been “sucked into the black hole, the vortex” of death penalty cases 18 years ago when she represented Susan Smith.
“I got a dose of understanding human behavior, and I learned what the death penalty does to us,” Judy Clarke said.
“I don’t think it’s a secret that I oppose the death penalty.”
David Bruck has directed Washington and Lee’s death penalty defense clinic, the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, since 2004.
Nadine Ascencao, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s ex-girlfriend, has revealed that he tried to turn her against the U.S. and beat her if she wore Western clothing.
Nadine Ascencao, 24, says that over the course of her relationship with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, he was transformed from a fun-loving student into an Islamic extremist who shunned American life.
She lost her virginity to the Chechen immigrant and said she was besotted with him – but now she admits she had a “lucky escape”.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a stand-off with police four days after he and his brother Dzhokhar, 19, apparently set off two bombs at the Boston Marathon on April 15.
Since the terror attack, which left three by-standers dead and more than 270 injured, Tsarnaev brothers’ interest in Islamic terror has been revealed.
Nadine Ascencao, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s ex-girlfriend, has revealed that he tried to turn her against the U.S. and beat her if she wore Western clothing
Nadine Ascencao told The Sun: “One minute he’s this funny, normal guy who liked boxing and having fun, the next he is praying four times a day, watching Islamic videos and talking insane nonsense.
“He became extremely religious and tried to brainwash me to follow Islam. Tamerlan said I couldn’t be with him unless I became a Muslim. He wanted me to hate America like he did.”
Tamerlan Tsarnaev apparently stopped her from listening to pop music or watching television, and tried to control who she spent time with.
“Tamerlan told me I should only talk to Muslim girls, not other <<slutty>> girls,” Nadine Ascencao said.
When she wore Western clothing, Tamerlan Tsarnaev would fly into a rage and even attack her, Nadine Ascencao added.
“He hated my tight trousers and made me wear long skirts,” Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s ex-girlfriend told The Sun.
“Towards the end I was wearing a hijab. He once ripped a pair of my jeans and hit me in the face with them.”
Nadine Ascencao and Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s relationship seems to have hit the rocks after he started seeing Katherine Russell after meeting her at a nightclub.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev would apparently play the two women off against each other, pitting them in competition to learn Islamic verses.
A police report from July 2009 indicated that he slapped Nadine Ascencao during an argument at their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
She called 911 to complain, but although Tamerlan Tsarnaev was arrested and charged with assault the charges were dropped before trial.
The couple broke up later that year after three years together, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev went on to marry Katherine Russell, who converted to Islam in order to be with him.
Nadine Ascencao says she had no contact with her ex-boyfriend in the years before he launched his terror attack this month, but was questioned by the FBI over her links to the Islamic extremist.
“When they said Tamerlan was dead, I didn’t cry,” she told The Sun.
“I was more shocked Dzhokhar was involved. He was a nice kid.”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is currently in police custody in hospital after being injured in a shoot-out with police which led to his arrest hours after Tamerlan’s death on April 19.
The Rhode Island home of Katherine Russell Tsarnaev’s parents have been visited by FBI agents reportedly to take a sample of her DNA after traces of a woman were found on one of the bombs used in the Boston Marathon attacks.
Spokesman Jason Pack confirmed that agents investigating the Boston bombings visited the North Kingstown home of Katherine Russell’s parents, where Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s widow has been staying since the attacks.
According to The Wall Street Journal, FBI agents went to the house today to collect a DNA sample from Katherine Russell in a bid to rule out her involvement in the bombings.
An official close to the case told the newspaper that female DNA has been found on at least one of the bombs used in the Boston Marathon attacks. Though investigators haven’t determined whose DNA it is or whether the DNA means a woman helped the two suspects carry out the bombings.
FBI agents investigating the Boston bombings visited the North Kingstown home of Katherine Russell’s parents, where Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s widow has been staying since the attacks
Jason Pack said the FBI visited the house as part of its investigation into the April 15 blasts, which killed three people and injured hundreds more.
“The FBI is there as part of our ongoing investigation, but we aren’t permitted to discuss specific aspects of our case,” the agency said in a statement.
After agents finished their job, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, 24, left with her attorneys through a separate door. She was later photographed smiling as she left a Providence law center with her attorney.
Katherine Russell’s attorneys have previously said she and her family were in shock when they learned of the allegations against her husband Tamerlan and brother-in-law, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a gun battle with police while surviving suspect 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction.
No one has yet come to claim Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body, which is in the custody of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, said Department of Public Safety spokesman Terrel Harris.
The medical officer has determined Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s cause of death, but won’t release the information until the body has been claimed, Terrel Harris told The Boston Globe.
Katherine Russell converted to Islam before marrying Tamerlan Tsarnaev and having his child, 3-year-old daughter, Zahara.
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.
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.
According to a new report, Russian authorities secretly recorded one of the Boston bombers discussing jihad with his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, in 2011 but failed to alert U.S. security agencies.
U.S. officials were told for the first time this week that two calls of note were discovered when the Russian internal security service, the RSB, were bugging calls at the Tsarnaevs family home in Dagestan, according to reports.
The recording picked up a “vague conversation” about jihad between either Dzhokhar or Tamerlan Tsarnaev and their mother Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the Associated Press reported.
It also picked up a phone call between Zubeidat Tsarnaeva and a man under FBI investigation living in Southern Russia.
American security sources anonymously revealed the information to the news agency and said if the calls had been flagged to the FBI, the agency may have conducted a more detailed investigation into the two men.
There was no evidence of a plot against America in the calls, according to the report.
Russian authorities secretly recorded one of the Boston bombers discussing jihad with his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, in 2011 but failed to alert U.S. security agencies
The news comes as the FBI attempts to defend itself against criticism that it failed to fully investigate Tamerlan Tsarnaev that year.
In January, the FBI investigated and interviewed the family after Russian authorities flagged the elder bomber as a possible security threat.
It is not clear why the phone calls would not have been reported to American security officers as part of that briefing and the RSB were unavailable for comment.
Following their probe, the FBI concluded Tamerlan Tsarnaev did not present a threat and ceased monitoring him stating they saw no links to “terrorism activity, domestic or foreign”.
Sen. Lindsay Graham (R. South Carolina) said the agency had “dropped the ball” in that probe.
On Friday, the New York Times reported that the Russian government followed up their concerns over Tamerlan Tsarnaev six months later – asking the CIA for whatever information it had on him.
It is not clear what prompted the Russian request but the CIA review agreed with the FBI that Tamerlan Tsarnaev posed no threat.
As a precaution they placed him on a 70,000 name watch-list called the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE).
However, there were mistakes in both the spelling of his name and in his date of birth, so his six month departure from the country in 2012 wasn’t properly identified, according to the Times.
The first Russian request came in March 2011 through the FBI’s office in the United States Embassy in Moscow.
In a one-page request they said Tamerlan Tsarnaev “had changed drastically since 2010” and was preparing “to join unspecified underground groups”.
By June 2011 the FBI said they were satisfied he provided no threat and notified Russia.
They also added Tamerlan Tsarnaev to another watch-list – the Treasury Enforcement Communications System.
According to the Times, the FBI repeatedly went back to Russia to request more detail but they failed to provide any new information.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva has come under increasing scrutiny in recent days given her outspoken denial of her sons’ actions and wild accusations of a cover-up.
She has repeatedly said her sons were framed and even claimed blood on the streets, after the bombings, was paint.
On Friday, it emerged agents now consider Zubeidat Tsarnaeva “a person of interest” in their investigation.
“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.
Both sons appear to have had a close relationship with their mother.
Just before his death Tamerlan Tsarnaev made a final call to her saying: “Mama I love you.”
She was intending to travel with her husband to the U.S. last week but both delayed those plans.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said any suggestion she has links to terrorist activity are “lies and hypocrisy”.
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.
An amateur video has revealed how off-duty firefighter Matt Patterson came to the rescue of 7-year-old Jane Richard in the Boston Marathon terror attack which killed her 8-year-old brother Martin.
Matt Patterson wearing a red T-shirt is seen rushing to the aid of little Jane Richard, who lost a leg in the attack and remains hospitalized in a critical condition.
Jane Richard is seen sitting up and then lying in the middle of the road, moments after standing on the sidelines where she was photographed alongside her brother Martin.
The photograph reveals how Jane and Martin Richard were standing just yards from terror suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Following the bomb attack others are filmed standing around stunned but Matt Patterson leaps into action.
Just before the explosion the firefighter had been enjoying a meal with his girlfriend in a nearby restaurant.
Matt Patterson wearing a red T-shirt is seen rushing to the aid of Jane Richard, who lost a leg in the Boston Marathon attack and remains hospitalized in a critical condition
“This child for some reason just jumped at me – it was tunnel vision,” Matt Patterson said.
“I could see the damage. I could see that she needed a tourniquet. She needed surgery, it was obvious from what I saw.”
“I go up to a business guy and ask for his belt, he hands it over without hesitation. I have to stop the bleeding. I am making the tourniquet and another man comes and I ask him to hold it for pressure. I’m looking up and down the street – looking for where I can bring the child to an ambulance or more care.”
Matt Patterson and the other man ran with Jane Richard to a waiting ambulance. The girl has lost a leg and remains in a critical condition in hospital but is expected to survive her injuries.
Yesterday it emerged Jane Richard is an enthusiastic Irish dancer having attended classes at the Clifden Academy of Irish Dance in Milton since the age of three.
Several Irish dance groups are now raising money to support her.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was receiving Massachusetts welfare benefits in the lead up to the deadly attacks at the Boston Marathon.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, lived off state aid while his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, worked as a home healthcare worker, sometimes clocking as many as 80 hours a week while her unemployed husband stayed at home, Massachusetts welfare officials revealed on Wednesday.
Ultimately Katherine Russell’s income made the couple ineligible for welfare and they stopped receiving state money in 2012.
Sources who knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev said that though he sported a flashy appearance, he failed to earn very much money for his family and was essentially a stay-at-home dad.
His younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,on the other hand, has been described as more entrepreneurial.
Katherine Russell Tsarnaev worked as a home healthcare worker, sometimes clocking as many as 80 hours a week, while her unemployed husband Tamerlan Tsarnaev stayed at home
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, who was a sophomore at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, attended the school on a scholarship and earned petty cash selling marijuana, sources told the Boston Globe.
Investigators are scrutinizing the Tsarnaev brothers’ source of income, as they probe whether the pair received outside assistance for their attack, either from a radical group or foreign government.
Security experts have noted though that the modus operandi was relatively cheap, estimating that the materials for each of the pressure cooker bombs used at the Boston Marathon attack could have cost a total of $100 each.
It is not known when Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Katherine Russell, the mother of the couple’s 3-year-old daughter, began receiving the aid.
They “were not receiving transitional assistance benefits at the time of the [Boston Marathon blasts]”, Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services spokesman Alec Loftus told the Boston Herald.
Both suspects believed to be behind the bombings, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother, Dzhokhar, had also received welfare as children.
Their parents, Anzor Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, relied on state assistance when they moved to America from the Russian republic of Dagestan.
State officials have been reluctant to discuss whether the Tsarnaevs had received state money when they immigrated to the U.S. in the early 2000s.
Ultimately, after pressure from the press the state welfare benefits office divulged the information to the Boston Herald.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, has launched into a bizarre rant in which she claims she does not care if she or her youngest son are to be killed by US authorities.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, who now lives in Dagestan, Russia, said in an emotional telephone interview that she believes her sons, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, have been framed for the bombings.
The suspects’ father, Anzor Tsarnaev, has already been interviewed by Russian and American authorities and will make his way to the United States along with his ex-wife as early as Thursday.
Their eldest son, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died after a shootout with police in Watertown, Massachusetts on Friday, while Dzhokhar, 19, is in hospital recovering from a wound to the neck.
“If they are going to kill him, I don’t care,” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva told CNN of Dzhokhar.
“My oldest one is killed, so I don’t care. I don’t care is my youngest one is going to be killed today. I want the world to hear this.
‘And I don’t care if I am going to get killed too. And I will say Allahu akbar!”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva has launched into a bizarre rant saying she does not care if she or her son Dzhokhar are to be killed by US authorities
While Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was reportedly injured from a self-inflicted gunshot wound as he sought to hide from police in a boat parked in a backyard, his mother said she does not believe this account.
“You know what I think? I think now they will try to make my Dzhokhar guilty because they took away his voice, his ability to talk to the world… They did not want the truth to come out,” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said.
She added that the only reason her sons were targeted was because they were Muslim, adding that she saw footage of Tamerlan Tsarnaev being killed “really cruelly”.
U.S. authorities are on their way to speak with Zubeidat Tsarnaeva in the aftermath of the bombings.
It appears that Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, the widow of suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, has a criminal record and is a confessed shoplifter.
According to a police report from 2007, Katherine Russell was arrested that year for stealing $67 worth of clothing from an Old Navy store in Warwick, Rhode Island.
And in an intriguing twist, Katherine Russell, who was 18 at the time, told officers she was married though she was living at parent’s North Kingstown home and did not meet Tamerlan Tsranaev until some two years later.
The startling revelation of this tawdry incident raises fresh questions over the past and character of the “all-American girl” “brainwashed” according to her friends, by her fanatic husband.
Katherine Russell, no 25, was arrested along with an unnamed female minor on 26 June 2007. Then, the police report states, she was “skinny” with hazel eyes and red or auburn hair – now firmly concealed by the Hijab. She is described as unemployed and married.
Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, the widow of suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, has a criminal record and is a confessed shoplifter
Old Navy store security guard Linda Lewis stopped the girls having watched Katherine Russelll and her companion enter the store, select several items and put them in their handbags.
In 2011 Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, was charged with stealing several designer dresses worth $1,600 from a store in suburban Natick.
Katherine Russell’s foray was hardly on the same scale. She took five items valuing $67; her friend took three with a total item of $125.
She was placed in handcuffs and taken to Warwick Police Department.
According to the store Loss Prevention Agent Linda Lewis: “They admitted to shoplifting the items and handed the over without further incident.”
Katherine Russell was summonsed to appear at Kent County Courthouse where her charge was dismissed on paying a $200 fine and doing community service.
That fall Katherine Russell enrolled in a Communications course at Suffolk University, Boston, an act that led to her meeting Tamerlan Tsranaev in a nightclub and the relationship that would ultimately derail her college dreams completely.
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