Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Charged With Murder in Boston Bombings

3:13 PM, Jun 27, 2013   |    comments
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Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged on Thursday with killing three people in the Boston Marathon bombings and fatally shooting a police officer in a federal indictment that alleged that he downloaded instructions on building a homemade bomb from an al-Qaeda website.

The 56-page indictment also said that Dzhokhar contributed to the death of his 27-year-old brother, Tamerlan when he drove over him while trying to escape a confrontation with police three days after the April 15 bombings..

The 19-year-old Cambridge, Mass., student is also charged with using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and the use of a firearm resulting in death.

Tsarnaev, who faces a possible death sentence if convicted, is scheduled to be arraigned July 10.

The indictment alleges that for three months beginning in February, Tsarnaev conspired with Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the use of improvised explosives -- made of pressure cookers, black powder and shrapnel -- near the crowded finish line of annual race.

It said he obtained instructions on building the crude explosive device from an al-Qaeda website.

The explosions, only seconds apart, killed three people and injured more than 200 others.

The court documents said that Tsarnaev had downloaded material from a number of extremist jihad sites, including Defense of the Muslim Lands, the First Obligation After Imam, by Abdullah Azzam, who is also known as "the Father of Global Jihad."

"This publication advocates violence designed to terrorize the perceived enemies of Islam, among other things," the indictment said.

Three days after the bombings, when the FBI had released photos of the two suspects, the brothers allegedly drove to the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology armed with five explosive devices, a semi-automatic handgun, a machete and hunting knife.

They allegedly shot and killed campus officer Sean Collier there and tried to steal his service weapon, according to the indictment.

Hours later, Tamerlan Tsarnaev died during a confrontation with police, while Dzhokhar, who was injured, fled the scene in a car.

He was captured early the next morning while hiding in a boat in the backyard of a local resident in the Boston suburb of Watertown.

According to court documents, authorities later found a series of messages scrawled on the inside wall and beams of the boat:

'The U.S. government is killing our innocent civilians...I can't stand to see such evil go unpunished... We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all... Now I don't like killing innocent people it is forbidden in Islam but due to said (unintelligible word) it is allowed... Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop.'
The Tsarnaev brothers had roots in the turbulent Russian regions of Dagestan and Chechnya, which have become recruiting grounds for Islamic extremists. They had been living in the United States for about a decade.

Dzhokhar has been held at a prison medical center outside Boston. Tamerlan was secretly buried in a rural Virginia cemetery.

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