Boston bombings notebook

April 22, 2013 

Surviving suspect charged

The Justice Department on Monday publicly charged Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with one count of using and conspiring to use a WMD resulting in death. The 19-year-old ethnic Chechen, a naturalized U.S. citizen, also was charged with one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death. If convicted on either charge, Tsarnaev faces the death penalty or life in prison. He also faces the possibility of state criminal charges, as well, in connection with the bombings.

The charges against Tsarnaev were presented to him Monday in his room at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he’s listed in serious condition. FBI officials said Monday that Tsarnaev was wounded in the head, neck, leg and hand after two shootouts with law enforcement officers.

No military trial; defendant is a U.S. citizen

President Barack Obama believes the civilian justice system can handle cases of domestic terrorism and supports the decision to try the Boston Marathon bombing suspect in federal court, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday.

“The effective use of the criminal justice system has resulted in the interrogation, conviction and detention of both U.S. citizens and noncitizens for acts of terrorism committed inside the United States and around the world,” Carney said.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev became a citizen on Sept. 11, 2012.

Memorial services and a moment of silence

BOSTON — At 2:50 p.m. — the moment that the first of two bombs exploded near the finish line of the venerated marathon — residents observed a statewide moment of ­silence, followed by a ringing of bells, at the request of Gov. Deval Patrick.

Earlier in the day, funeral services were held for bombing victim Krystle Campbell at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Medford, her home town, just outside Boston.

In the town of Dartmouth, where the younger of the two brothers accused of carrying out the bombings was enrolled at a campus of the University of Massachusetts, students held a vigil to “begin the healing process and honor the victims of the attacks,” the university said.

Hundreds of people packed a hall at Boston University to say goodbye to Lu Lingzi, the 23-year-old graduate student from China who also was killed in the blasts.

The third person killed in the bombings was 8-year-old Martin Richard of Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. His mother and younger sister were badly injured. Area residents crowded into a tearful Mass at St. Ann Parish on Sunday to remember him and pray for his family, the Boston Globe reported.

Congressional hearings to come

Amid disclosures that Russia tipped the FBI in 2011 that one of the Boston Marathon bombers had become a ­Muslim radical, Republican leaders of the House Homeland Security Committee plan to hold hearings to examine what the bureau and U.S. intelligence agencies might have done to thwart last week’s attack.

The committee’s chairman, Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, and New York Rep. Peter King, a key subcommittee chairman, asserted that the elder of the two Chechen brothers implicated in the Boston attacks appeared to be the fifth person since Sept. 11, 2001, “to participate in terror attacks” after being interviewed by the FBI.

Across Capitol Hill, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has asked FBI officials to appear before her panel on Tuesday to talk about the Russian tip about Tsarnaev.

Mosque recounts older brother’s outbursts

When an imam told congregants at a mosque in November that it was appropriate for Muslims to celebrate U.S. holidays such as the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, a man who would later be a suspect in last week’s the Boston Marathon bombing stood up to argue, mosque leaders said. Tamerlan Tsarnaev stood up and argued that “celebration of any holiday was not allowed in the faith.”

The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center on Monday said that Tsarnaev was not a member of its Cambridge mosque but sometimes attended Friday services and daily prayers over the last year or so. His younger brother, Dzhokhar, showed up sometimes for prayers, the group said.

Both mosque incidents happened after the older brother returned from a months-long trip to Russia last year. An aunt there said he was studying Islam but struggled to fit in.

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