Boston Bombing: The Latest

[Content Note: Terrorism; death; injury; self-harm.]

Here are some of the best articles I've read over the past couple of days:

David Montgomery, Sari Horwitz, and Marc Fisher in the Washington PostPolice, Citizens, and Technology Factor into Boston Bombing Probe. This is such an excellent article about the official investigation, the crucial tip from survivor Jeff Bauman, the decision to release images of the suspects, and how social media vigilantism complicated the work of law enforcement. Highly recommended reading.

FBI: 2011 Request for Information on Tamerlan Tsarnaev from Foreign Government. The foreign government has since been identified as Russia.

Pete Williams, John Schoen, and Matthew DeLuca for NBC News—Badly Wounded Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Responding to Questions: "Nearly 48 hours after he was taken into custody following an intense gun battle and manhunt, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was communicating with a special team of federal investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital. He was responding to questions mostly in writing because of the throat wound, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The suspect remains in serious condition. The throat wound may be the result of a suicide attempt, investigators said."

It has been reported, but not confirmed, that D. Tsarnaev attempted to shoot himself while hiding in a boat for most of the day on Friday. It is not known whether that injury, even if self-inflicted, was in addition to any injuries sustained the previous night in the shoot-out with police that ended with his brother's death.

Laura Sullivan and Robert Siegel for NPR—Older Suspect Described As Controlling, Manipulative. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, like many domestic terrorists, had a history of domestic violence.

* * *

Although the precise motivations of the brothers are not yet known (and maybe never will be), the current narrative being written is that they were unsettled with life in the US and were having trouble navigating complex identities. Without endorsing the writing of these narratives, especially when one brother survives but has not yet been able to fully give his account, I think it's important to be aware of the emergent story being crafted about the brothers, so following are two of the better articles written in that vein:

Scott Shane in the New York TimesSuspects With Foot in Two Worlds, Perhaps Echoing Plots of Past: "As law enforcement and counterterrorism officials try to understand why Mr. Tsarnaev, 19, and his brother, Tamerlan, 26, would attack the Boston Marathon, they will have to consider a cryptic mix of national identity, ideology, religion and personality."

David Remnick in The New YorkerThe Culprits: "The Tsarnaev family had been battered by history before—by empire and the strife of displacement, by exile and emigration. Asylum in a bright new land proved little comfort. When Anzor fell sick, a few years ago, he resolved to return to the Caucasus; he could not imagine dying in America. He had travelled halfway around the world from the harrowed land of his ancestors, but something had drawn him back. The American dream wasn’t for everyone. What they could not anticipate was the abysmal fate of their sons, lives destroyed in a terror of their own making."

* * *

In other news, the AP reports that the brothers didn't have gun permits; it's unclear at this point how they got the firearms used in the Thursday night shootout with police, which left one officer dead and another wounded.

And finally: Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is already leading the charge in accusing the FBI of "dropping the ball" on T. Tsarnaev. The FBI says it did question T. Tsarnaev after Russia's request, but did not find anything that indicated at the time he was a potential threat.

I'll update as and when new information becomes available.

UPDATE 1: Ben at Think Progress reports:
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Monday that Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will not be considered an "enemy combatant" and instead will be processed through the U.S. criminal justice system.

Republicans led by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have been calling on the Obama administration to designate Tsarnaev as such but Carney today put the idea to rest. "He will not be treated as an enemy combatant,” Carney said at Monday’s press briefing. “We will prosecute this terrorist through our civilian system of justice."

...Also on Monday, U.S. officials officially brought charges against Tsarnaev. ...Federal authorities charged Tsarnaev with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death. Read the complaint here. [pdf]

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus