What started in Boston on the afternoon of April 15th during the Boston Marathon ended last night, April 19th in Watertown, a Boston suburb, when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured and taken to Mt. Auburn Hospital. His older brother, Tamerlan, who may have been the leader of this duo, was already dead from having been run over by Dzhokhar after a firefight with police the night before, he now clings to life at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where several of their victims are also recovering from their horrific week of terror.
Two bombs, packed with shrapnel such as nails, BB’s, and ball bearings and placed in pressure cookers, exploded near the finish line of the Marathon last Monday, killing 3 and injuring 176, along a crowded street, packed with spectators and runners alike. The bombs sent hundreds into panic and running for cover. Many of the injured were severely wounded and at least a dozen amputations have been performed by surgeons at local hospitals. The bombs were strong but not sophisticated. The projectiles from the bombs were designed to blow horizontally outward to fulfill the purpose of the bombers, which was to maim and kill as many as possible.
The profile of these two brothers is interesting. Tamerlan had dropped out of college at Bunker Hill Community College, where he was studying to become an engineer, and was married with a young girl, age 3, but had not visited his wife, Katherine Russell, in over a year. Katherine and her daughter currently reside with her parents in Providence, R.I. Neighbors says that Tamerlan would visit on weekends but stopped visiting for unknown reasons. He was athletic and enjoyed boxing as a hobby. Evidently, money was not an issue for both men as Tamerlan drove a Mercedes. There has been no word if, or where, he was employed. But Tamerlan had a dark side. In fact, on his YouTube page, he had a folder to house terrorism videos, which was created only 5 months ago. That folder was empty, it is unclear if he emptied it, or YouTube deleted the contents. In addition, he had videos of Amir Abu Dudzhan and Timur Mutsuraev, both in their own rights, are Muslim leaders who call for jihad, with Dudzhan saying, “Jihad is the duty of every able-bodied Muslim.” On his Amazon wish list, he had such things as “How to make Driver’s Licenses and other ID on your home computer” and “The I.D. Forger: Homemade Birth Certificates & Other Documents Explained” as well as “Secrets of a Back Alley ID Man: Fake ID Construction Techniques Of The Underground” and “The Lone Wolf And the Bear: Three Centuries of Chechen Defiance of Russian Rule” and, notably “How to Win Friends & Influence People.” Tamerlan has been quoted as saying he didn’t smoke or drink anymore, believing “God said no to alcohol.” He went on to say “There are no values anymore,” and worried that “people can’t control themselves.” But Tamerlan was not known at local Mosques in Boston. Although obviously a Muslim, it appears he was not very religious, and certainly not faithful. Interestingly, he traveled to Russia last year, where his father lives in Dagestan, and stayed there for 6 months. Also of note is the fact that the FBI was asked by an unknown foreign nation to investigate him because of his extremism, believing he was involved in nefarious activities. The FBI interviewed him in 2011, and finding nothing amiss, concluded the case and then requested more information from this foreign nation, but never heard from them again.
Dzhokhar, is 19 and a college student at UMass – Dartmouth, which is located about an hour south of Boston. It has been reported that he was about to fail out of school, but the college has not made any such statement. He lived on the third floor of Pine Dale dormitory and was even seen on campus Wednesday, two days after the bombing and is said to have slept there that night, in his room. He kept up an active presence on a Russian social networking site, Vkontakte, he has indicated some interest in conflicts and causes that have been connected to terrorist activities, there is no solid evidence to suggest that he is motivated by religious or nationalist causes. Indeed, he seems like a pretty normal young adult, has friends and classmates that had thought highly of him before he was identified as one of the bombers. He had a habit of smoking cigarettes and pot, even smoking pot quite often, almost every day, according to friends. On his Vkontakte page, he has posted video messages sympathetic to the cause of Chechen independence, and also for rebel fighters in Syria. In one of the videos, the Russian subtitles of the video read, “They are killing your brothers and sisters without any reason, simply because they say our Lord is Allah.” It should be noted that the rebel forces in Syria are comprised mostly by Sunni Muslims and another video on his page indicates a sympathy for Salafi Islam, an extreme form of Sunni Islam. Like his brother, he was not known to local Mosques and doesn’t seem that religious. Additionally, he was active on Twitter, having the handle of @j_tsar. In fact, you can view his most interesting tweets here: Dzhokhar’s Tweets. Jahar, as he is known to friends, was captured Friday night in Watertown, a suburb of Boston.
The brothers went unidentified until late Thursday afternoon, when authorities released video and pictures of the two at the marathon. Later that night, there was a call of a disturbance at MIT, and Sean Collier, an MIT police officer responded. Sean did not even get a chance to exit his vehicle before he was gunned down by the two. They then car-jacked a Mercedes SUV, informing the victim that they were the Marathon bombers, that they had just killed a police officer, and they would kill again if the vehicle was not released to them. They left with the victim, later releasing the driver unharmed. Then, as police descended on the scene they chased the vehicle in Watertown and the vehicle crashed. The brothers then began hurling explosives at the officers and a Boston transit policeman was seriously injured in the shootout. Tamerlan was also severely injured, and he also had explosives strapped to his chest. He was laying in the street as officers approached to handcuff him when Dzhokhar got into the vehicle and while escaping, ran over his brother, and that is what led to Tamerlan’s death, according to authorities. Suddenly, Dzhokhar crashed the vehicle and escaped on foot. He was wounded but found refuge later that morning in a 24 foot boat that was in David Henneberry’s backyard. He cut through the shrink-wrap that encased the boat and hid there until he was discovered Friday night by Henneberry, who had decided to walk his dog in the backyard after the shelter in place order, which closed Boston and the surrounding area all day, was lifted by authorities. Henneberry noticed that there was a hole in the shrink wrap with blood on it and he climbed up on a ladder to see what was going on and he saw a man lying in the back of the boat. Scared, he quickly got down, ran inside, and called Watertown police. A helicopter with thermal imaging confirmed that there was someone in the boat and police descended on the house and established a perimeter. It should be noted that a number of houses had been searched in Watertown that day, but this house fell outside of that area. Also worth noting is the fact that as police went house to house within the search area, they asked each resident if they wanted their home searched, it was not as if they barged in. Once police arrived and surrounded the house they evacuated the nearby houses quickly and established it was him by looking into the boat and then proceeded to enter into a gunfight with Dzhokhar, and this wounded him even further. The police then set off Flash Bangs to disorient him all the while encouraging him to surrender. After about an hour and forty five minutes, and he was not responding, police went to the boat and took him in custody and administered medical aid to him and transported him to Mt. Auburn Hospital.
The brothers had lived in the United States about 10 years prior to this. They had moved around a bit before that, living in a Russian area near Chechnya, and then in Degastan , a predominately Muslim republic that has become the epicenter of the Islamic insurgency that spilled over from Chechnya. They were schooled in the U.S. and Dzhokhar graduated from the prestigious Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in 2011. He earned a $2500.00 scholarship to attend college from the city of Cambridge. Tamerlan is quoted as saying about his friendships that “I don’t have a single American friend. I don’t understand them.”
It seems the brothers found America to be lacking, in varying degrees. One of Dzhokhar’s tweets indicated he wanted out. Many Bostonians wish now that they had just gone back to Degastan, instead of inflicting the destruction that they have done. Their uncle, Ruslan Tsarni of Maryland, put it this way, “They’re losers and had hatred to those who were able to settle themselves. Anything else to do with religion, to do with Islam, it’s a fraud. It’s a fake.”
Hopefully, we can get some questions answered from Dzhokhar, and we all have a lot of questions. One very important thing though is that Boston can return to normalcy after a week of absolute hell.