Social media blanketed the Boston police shoot-out, and who knew an alleged terrorist was tweeting? Lauren Ashburn on how the mainstream press was eclipsed.
While most of us were sound asleep, Andrew “You can call me Kitz” Kitzenberg took to Twitter to chronicle the most intensely watched news event in the world—all from his Massachusetts home.
Spectators clap and cheer while law-enforcement members leave the scene near Franklin Street on April 19, 2013, in Watertown, Massachusetts. (Photo Illustration: TDB. Photo: Jared Wickerham/Getty)
12:55 a.m. Shoot out outside my room in Watertown. 62 Laurel st.
The two suspects—one dead, one still on the loose—in the Boston Marathon attack are Chechen. Journalist Andrew Meier explains what that means—and why they’re here.
First off—who are these young men?
From what I’ve been able to gather about the Tsarnaev brothers, only one direct link to Chechnya has emerged. Anzor Tsarnaev, their father—who claims to have spoken with one of his sons the day after the Marathon attacks—lives in Makhachkala, Dagestan, a small region of the Russian Federation that borders Chechnya on the Black Sea. The father has said that his elder son, Tamerlan, now dead, visited “relatives” in Chechnya last year. (U.S. officials report that Tamerlan flew to Moscow in January, 2012, and returned to the U.S. six months later.)
The young men’s father is said to be an ethnic Chechen, but born and raised in Kyrgyzstan—a former Soviet republic in Central Asia. (On Red Army Day in the winter of 1944, Stalin deported hundreds of thousands Chechens from their homeland—many died, but many who survived the journey resettled in Central Asia.) The Tsarnaevs' mother, who does not have a traditional Chechen first name, is said to be from Dagestan. Tamerlan, the older brother, was reportedly born in Dagestan, while his younger brother, Dzhokhar, was born in 1993—in Kyrgyzstan. So it would seem—at this early point—that their ties to Chechnya were tenuous. It remains to be seen, if in fact Tamerlan Tsarnaev visited Chechnya last year, what he did during his time there.
As the world’s attention levels on the Tsarnaev brothers, a question is bubbling up—was the older brother named after a vicious warlord? By Eliza Shapiro
As information trickles out about the two brothers named primary suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, some in the media are starting to observe that 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed Thursday night in a chaotic shootout with police, may be named after one of history’s most ferocious conquerors.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev arrives at the Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts center in April 2009 in Boston. (Barcroft Media, via Landov)
Amir Temur, also known as Tamerlane, was a Central Asian ruler and warlord who lived in the 14th and 15th centuries. Scholars estimate that his military campaigns throughout Central Asia, Africa, Europe, and the modern Middle East killed about 17 million people, or 5 percent of the world’s population at the time.
With the manhunt for second suspect in the Boston Marathon underway, historian Charles King urges caution against tying the brothers into any Chechen movement or history. Instead it seems we should see them as homegrown American terrorists.
The killing of one suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings and the ongoing hunt for another have focused attention on the motivations and background of the suspects themselves. The revelation that the brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev are of ethnic Chechen origin has led commentators to look to culture and history for clues about the sources of this week’s attack.
Brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev in an image taken before the explosion at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. (Handout/UPI, via Landov)
This angle is misguided, at least at this stage of the investigation and still-ongoing manhunt. In fact, any “Chechnya angle” to the story is overshadowed by the American one. The Tsarnaevs look much more like other homegrown terrorists—animal-rights extremists, white supremacists, anarchists, and lone-wolf ideologues—than like religious warriors fighting on a faraway and exotic frontier.
Did al Qaeda ideology inspire the attack or were the two brothers driven by other motivations? Christopher Dickey, Eli Lake, and Daniel Klaidman report on the latest.
The Boston Marathon bombing was not another 9/11. Not close. The order of magnitude speaks for itself: three dead in Boston, nearly 3,000 in New York City. Still, in the aftermath of the Boston tragedy with what now appear to be links to conflicts half a world away in the Caucasus, it is impossible not to ask the same questions that came on the heels of 9/11: just how safe are we in our homes, in our workplaces, on our streets, and at our celebrations? Why on earth would the United States be targeted so often by so many people with so many grievances—why do “they” hate us? And given the destructive power now available to almost any lunatic, just how safe can we be?
Investigators sift through evidence on Boylston Street, just up from the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, on April 18, 2013. (Winslow Townson/AP)
A blazing gun battle with police in a Boston suburb early Friday morning left little doubt as to the identity of the two main suspects in the marathon attack: two young brothers, 19 and 26, whose family originally came from Chechnya. During the fighting, they exploded bombs made from pressure cookers, much like the ones used to attack the marathon finish line. The elder, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died in the firefight. The younger, Dzhokhar, who identified himself on VKontakte, a Russian-language social-network site, as a 2011 graduate of the prestigious Cambridge Latin School, is still at large.
Jeff Bauman—the man who had his legs blown off and was pictured with the cowboy—may have helped identify one of the suspects. Read Michael Daly’s report, published before the shootout in Watertown early Friday morning.
The investigators kept at it around the clock, pursuing thousands of leads.
“Working methodically and with a sense of urgency,” Richard DesLauriers, the FBI’s special agent in charge of the Boston division, later noted.
An image released by the FBI shows two suspects in the ongoing investigation of the Boston Marathon bombing. (FBI.gov)
Boston authorities caught up with the two men suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon late Thursday night and engaged in an hours-long firefight. One is dead, and the other is on the run. See the latest in the case of the Boston bombers.
Two towns just outside Boston’s city limits became a fiery war zone overnight as two fugitives suspected in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings shot and killed a policeman, hijacked a car, and engaged in a roiling gun battle with police.
Police work a crime scene Friday, April 19, in Watertown, Massachusetts. A tense night of police activity that left an MIT officer dead on campus just days after the Boston Marathon bombings amid a hunt for two suspects led officers to converge on a neighborhood outside Boston, where residents heard gunfire and explosions. (Matt Rourke/AP)
Addressing reporters at an early-morning news conference, Col. Timothy P. Alben, superintendent of the Massachusetts state police, said the drama began with reports of a robbery at approximately 10:20 p.m. at a convenience store in Cambridge, just 15 minutes from the site of the first blast.
Two men linked to the convicted New York policeman were charged with planning to rape, torture, and murder female family members. Psychiatrists say this coterie may not be alone.
We know about the Cannibal Cop, the former New York City police officer convicted last month of planning to kidnap, torture, rape, and kill numerous women before cooking them up, slicing them apart, and eating them.
Now prepare to meet his online friend—a school librarian. And his Internet buddy who’s a police chief, too—and what is it with law enforcement these days anyway?
It turns out there may be a whole global village living online sharing similar dark fantasies.
Prosecutors released this exhibit photo containing items Asch brought to April 15 meeting with FBI undercover in lower Manhattan to allegedly be used in kidnapping. (SOUTHERN DISTRICT NEW YORK U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE)
One is still at large.
After hours of speculation, according to the Middlesex District Attorney’s office, one suspect wanted in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings is dead after a shootout with police officers. A police officer was transported to Mount Auburn Hospital and is currently in critical condition. The other suspect, described as the man wearing a white hat in surveillance videos, is still at large and is the subject of a massive manhunt. Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis told reporters early Friday morning, “We believe this to be a terrorist. We believe this is a man who’s come here to kill people.” He also warned residents not to venture out of their houses.
After massive car chase in Watertown, MA.
Early Friday morning, The Boston Globe is reporting, one suspect in Monday’s marathon bombings was killed after a high-speed car chase in Watertown, Mass. A massive firefight broke out after police answered a carjacking call about an hour after a Massachusetts Institute of Technology officer was killed on duty. Two suspects fired automatic weapons and threw explosives at officers. One suspect was killed, but another remains on the loose, with FBI agents, SWAT members, and a helicopter patrol on his trail.
In a rousing commencement speech at Morehouse College, the president urged the graduates to become the influential black men that this country needs. 'You now wield something even more powerful than the diploma you're about to collect, and that's the power of your example,' said Obama. 'Use that power for something larger than yourself.'