Boston Marathon Bombing Timeline
The following timeline of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and injured many more provides a platform to better understand how the event was publicly presented by corporate and alternative news media.
The chronological assemblage of coverage is not comprehensive of all reports published on the incident but is an ongoing project that also seeks to explain how the storyline was largely constructed by federal and state law enforcement, medical authorities and major media around the eventual theory that Dzokhar and Tamarlan Tsarnaev were the sole instigators of the bombing.
This scenario has become an established reality through the news media’s pronounced repetition of law enforcement’s narrative. This is underscored with the cultural tendency toward correlating non-Western and/or Muslim individuals with terrorism and related types of crime. This proposed scenario of deviant Muslim terrorists has also tended to obscure the possibility that the Tsarnaev brothers may have been tortured and Tamarlan murdered at the hands of federal and state law enforcement officers. Moreover, the April 18-19 search for Dzokhar Tsarnaev involved the removal of Constitutional protections against illegal searches and seizures throughout the Boston area and enactment of de facto martial law.
Note: Times of occurrences referenced are Eastern Standard and in some instances signify time of publication rather than the specific incident cited. Time of publication does not always correlate with exact time of incident. Thus “n.t.” denotes “no time” of event or publication referenced in the given news article. An estimate of an approximate time is followed by “[estimate]”.
Richard Serino, Director of Boston’s Emergency Medical Services, authors Marathons – A Tale of Two Cities and the Running of a Planned Mass Casualty Event (PDF).
As the title suggests, the document provides a detailed and fully operationalized plan for carrying out a mass casualty drill around the Boston Marathon. The 39-frame slide presentation details how emergency personnel and resources are to be coordinated and deployed. It also emphasizes “Working with the media.” “Their mission is to get a story,” frame 11 instructs. “Building a longstanding relationship with journalists and reporters ensures that they get the right story and that they serve as a resource when needed.” Several maps of downtown Boston “based on consistent grid coordinates” and including “zone designations for incident reporting” (frame 26) delineate the Marathon route and finish line area on Boylston Street.
Specific procedures for medical providers, including electronic patient tracking via barcodes (frame 31) further indicate the scope and precision of the mock event. James F. Tracy, “Obama’s FEMA Director Planned Boston Mass Casualty Event in 2008,” Memoryholeblog.com, May 21, 2013.
- October 22
Richard Serino retires from his post at Boston EMS upon being appointed Deputy Administrator at the Federal Emergency Management Administration by President Obama. “First of all, people need to understand what FEMA is and isn’t,’’ Serino tells the Boston Globe. “It provides support to states and localities – it is not there to dictate how the local EMS and first responders operate.” Christie Coombs, “Serino ‘Retires’ to Top-Level FEMA Post,” Boston.com, October 22, 2009.
President Obama signs Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness.
“This directive is aimed at strengthening the security and resilience of the United States through systematic preparation for the threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation, including acts of terrorism, cyber attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters … The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism shall coordinate the interagency development of an implementation plan for completing the national preparedness goal and national preparedness system.”
Barack H Obama, “Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness,” US Department of Homeland Security, March 30, 2011.
- May 21
Operation Urban Shield Boston transpires throughout the city, the first major exercise to take place in Boston since 9/11. “The scenarios are fakes, but the response is real,” CBS’s Boston affiliate WBZ reports. “Terrorists hijack a boat in Winthrop. Firefighters search for victims in a Quincy building collapse. A bomb squad diffuses an explosive in Chelsea … A grant from the Department of Homeland Security makes the elaborate setups possible.”
The drills bring together emergency response teams from the around region and even some as far as California. There are a variety of scenarios carried out. In one, SWAT teams storm a boat at Winthrop Public Landing with the notion that a group of terrorists attacked the ship and took hostages.
Other simulations included a gunmen running loose at the Boston Copley Marriott Place, a terrorist seizure of a control room in Everett, and an explosive device at Quincy High School. The last scheduled event, from 5PM to 8PM, recreated the Mumbai terror attacks at the Boston Marine Industrial Park. Actors pose as terrorists and victims while special effects teams set off fake gunshots and explosions. Alana Gomez, “Boston Area Holds Large Terror Drills As Part of Urban Shiled Training Program,” WBZ / CBS Boston, May 21, 2011.
- October 7
The Obama administration continues with the implementation of Presidential Policy Directive 8 by announcing “the first-ever National Preparedness Goal.” According to the White House the goal intends
“[t]o have a secure and resilient Nation with the capabilities required across the whole community to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk.”
There is emphasis on “stakeholder groups from around the nation.” The full 26 page document is available here. Craig Fugat, “PPD-8: Announcing the National Preparedness Goal,” The White House Blog, October 7, 2011.
Complete finish line video from 2012 Boston Marathon.
- October 31
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Merino announcers that Urban Shield: Boston will take place on November 3, 2012.
Urban Shield is a US Department of Homeland Security-sponsored 24-hour training operation, and is part of the 2011 Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness and the National Preparedness Goal. The exercise that simulates large-scale public safety incidents scheduled to transpire in the metro-Boston area. Urban Shield: Boston is to begin at 8AM November 3 and conclude at 8AM November 4. The wide-ranging operation is to include personnel from the following agencies:
- the Boston Police Department;
- the Brookline Police Department;
- the Cambridge Police Department;
- the Revere Police Department;
- the Northeastern Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC);
- the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Association (MBTA) Police Department;
- the Massachusetts State Police;
- the Middlesex County Police Department;
- the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council;
- the Manchester, NH Police Department
This exercise is intended to evaluate each agency’s ability to successfully respond to, and manage, public safety events and other emergencies occurring concurrently throughout the Boston area. Mayor Merino’s announcement emphasizes the following:
Urban Shield: Boston will run for a 24-hour period. As a result residents in the area may hear simulated gunfire, observe officers responding to simulated emergencies, or see activity in the Boston Harbor. Each scenario will be run multiple times, and organizers urge residents not to be alarmed. There is no danger to anyone in the area, and exercises will be done in cordoned-off areas away from the public.
“Training is vital for our first responders,” Mayor Merino says.
They are on the frontlines when an emergency occurs, and we want them trained in the best ways possible to handle any situation. Urban Shield: Boston displays the steps the metro-Boston region takes to prepare for all-hazards and sets a national example for cities around the country to create a coordinated full-scale training exercise.
“Mayor Merino Announces Urban Shield: Boston Simulated 24-Hour Publc Safety Exercise,” City of Boston, October 31, 2012.
The Department of Homeland Security-sponsored 24-hour emergency preparedness drill “Urban Shield,” incorporating police, firefighters and EMT’s from Boston and eight surrounding towns begins. Brookline Police Chief Daniel O’Leary says several simulated crisis events are to take place around the region simultaneously, including an emergency drill on the water.
“The federal government has given us a lot of money to protect Boston Harbor, so we’re going to test the assets on different things,”O’Leary tells WBZ NewsRadio 1030. There will also be a mass casualty incident to test eight hospitals and simulated disasters on the subway to test Transit Police. Kim Tunnicliffe, “It’s Only a Drill: Simulated Emergencies in Boston Area,” CBS Boston, November 3, 2012.
- April 15
Mobility Impaired Division of 2013 Boston Marathon begins race at Hopkinton. 2013 Boston Marathon, Boston Athletic Association, n.d.
Wheelchair Division of 2013 Boston Marathon begins race at Hopkinton. 2013 Boston Marathon, Boston Athletic Association, n.d.
Handcycle Participant Division of 2013 Boston Marathon begins race at Hopkinton. 2013 Boston Marathon, Boston Athletic Association, n.d.
Elite Women’s Division of 2013 Boston Marathon begins race at Hopkinton. 2013 Boston Marathon, Boston Athletic Association, n.d.
Elite Men’s Division and Wave 1 of 2013 Boston Marathon begins race at Hopkinton. 2013 Boston Marathon, Boston Athletic Association, n.d.
Wave 2 of 2013 Boston Marathon begins race at Hopkinton. 2013 Boston Marathon, Boston Athletic Association, n.d.
Wave 3 of 2013 Boston Marathon begins race.
Two bombs explode 550 feet apart on Boylston Street in the proximity of the Boston Marathon Bombing finish line, killing three people and injuring over 140. The scene is reportedly punctuated by broken glass and severed limbs. Onlookers fear that terrorists have struck America again. A White House official says the attack was being treated as an act of terrorism. “They just started bringing people in with no limbs,” runner Tim Davey of Richmond, Virginia tells the Associated Press. Jimmy Golen, “Boston Marathon Bombing Kills 3, Injures Over 140,” Associated Press, April 16, 2013.
Carlos Arredondo, a Boston Marathon onlooker, quickly departs the finish line bleachers, runs across Boylston Street, vaults over security fencing and lands on a bloody sidewalk, the Washington Post reports. In front of him, two women are on the ground frozen. Another woman meanders about in the thick smoke, looking down at the fallen bodies. “Oh, my God,” Arredondo says she repeated, confused. “Oh, my God.” He carries a camera and a small American flag, drops the flag, takes four pictures, focusing specifically on a young man who lay on the sidewalk and had lost at least one leg as a result of the ordnance. Then Arredondo puts the camera away and asks the injured man his name. “Stay still,” he recalls saying. “The ambulance is here.” David A. Farenthold, “Boston Marathon Bystander Carlos Arredondo Says He Acted Instinctively,” Washington Post, April 16, 2013.
Boston fireman Charles Buchanan Jr. comes upon the body of eight-year old Martin Richard and his sister whose leg is blown asunder. “We stopped an ambulance. The ambulance was full,” Buchanan tells CNN.
But we said, you have to take this girl. And they were great. They were Boston EMS. And this firefighter said, you know, she needs a tourniquet. We got a tourniquet small enough to — I mean her leg is as big as your arm. All right? So they put her inside the — the ambulance. But as you say, the only thing that I could see and see to this day are her little eyes looking up at me. That’s it. All right? And me thinking — thinking about my own grandson, Malachi. And my Malachi is the same age as this young girl who is six years old. Who is—first thing he did was give me a big hug when I went home.
Brooke Baldwin, “First Responder’s Emotional Story,” CNN, April 18, 2013.
Iraq war veteran who also acts as a first responder Jim Assiante and an unidentified male first responder are on the scene administering first aid to bombing victims, CNN later reports. “We were triaging for at least half an hour, forty-five minutes, longer than I’m sure,” the unidentified man accompanying Assiante tells a CNN reporter. “I treated a double amputee, a young child, and I also treated a young woman [who] had a cardiac arrest … I personally touched 25 people, and there were at least twice that in hospitals.” Erin Burnett, “Boston First Responder: ‘It Was a Flashback to Iraq,’” CNN, April 15, 2013.
From the Sandy Hook Massacre Timeline:
Two makeshift explosive devices detonate at the finish line of the famed Boston Marathon. The 2013 run is designed in honor of the 26 Sandy Hook Elementary School victims with its 26.2 mile course. It is also attended by several parents from Newtown participating in the event. Yet the six Sandy Hook families present are caught in a milieu of emergency vehicles and carnage. “It was all those same things, the police and fire and all of that. It’s severely traumatic,” says Lauren Nowacki, one of the Newtown parents in town for the April 15 marathon. “We thought things were finally getting to a good place from the first go-around, and now this.” Nowacki’s daughter was at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14 but was not injured. Nowacki says all of the Newtown marathoners completed the run before the bombs detonated that purportedly injure 170 people and kill three. “Boston really reached out to us,” Nowacki notes. “Even after the bombing, the communications director from the race called to make sure all the kids were all right.” The Newtown group will now attempt to reciprocate by honoring the victims of the Boston bombings with their own annual race, the Sandy Hook 5k Run. Colleen Curry, “Sandy Hook Families at Boston Marathon Traumatized Again,” ABC News, April 16, 2013.
Following the 2:49PM bombings two or more unexploded bombs are found near the finish line of the Boston Marathon and disarmed, according to an anonymous senior U.S. intelligence official. Jimmy Golen, “Boston Marathon Bombing Kills 3, Injures Over 140,” Associated Press, April 16, 2013.
An eyewitness tells WMUR Channel 9 that the second bomb originated in a trash can. The interview is broadcast on India’s ABP News. “I saw the first explosion happen,” the eyewitness recalls, “and there was some commotion. I saw fire and smoke, and I didn’t know what it was. And then from about me to where that gentleman is standing over there I saw a trash can explode and people started throwing down the barricades and running over each other and I just ran in the other direction as fast as I could.” “So the second explosion came from a garbage barrel?” the reporter asks to confirm. “Yes,” the man responds, “it came from a—I literally saw the garbage barrel explode.” “Boston Blasts: Eyewitness Accounts,” APB News, April 15, 2013.
Boston CBS affiliate WBZ News 4 interviews two female medical personnel who have attended to Maraton spectators injured and killed by the bombing.
Anchor Jack Williams: … Almost across the street from the explosion, ah, when it took place. Let’s go back now to near where the emergency tents are. Are they still bringing victims in, by the way?
Reporter Michael Rosenfield: Jack, I think they’ve slowed. There’s no more victims coming in at this point. In fact, I’m standing now with some of the personnel—some of the emergency personnel who have been evacuated out of the tent. They wanted to basically go through and clear the tent. And I guess the law enforcement wanted to give it a once over. Alice Is joining me. She is a nurse as well. What happened in there?
“Alice”: When we were in there we just heard two very loud rumbling sounds—big bangs, twice. We weren’t sure what they were. We originally thought maybe a speaker had blown [or] something like that. But I think we all had that feeling that it was something more than just that. and we had—there was an announcement, “All medical personnel to the end of the tent, and then they started rus—rushing people in [immediately] with bleeding.
Reporter: And you saw the injured?
“Alice”: Yes. Some of them were very profound. One woman had lost her leg—lots of bleeding. Some children were involved as well. And, ah, we took care of the ones we could and got them into the ambulances as soon as possible.
Reporter: And we saw—I was standing right across the street from where it went off—and I saw these injuries—and I could swear that a couple of people, for sure, were not going to make that trip and—
“Alice”: That-that’s correct. There were a few that didn’t—uhm—unfortunately make it and we—we do have those people here in the tent … So—
Reporter: What was your immediate reaction when you heard the blast and then you started to see some of these injuries. I mean you’re used to dealing with blisters and people with shortness of breath.
“Alice”: That’s true. I kind of just had to—just collect myself a bit and prepare myself for what I was going to see. And, as just a team we really tried to work together and hold our own so we could take care of the people coming in. And that’s what we did.
Reporter: Are you doing OK?
“Alice”: Yeah, we’re doing OK.
Reporter: How about you. [Moves with microphone in hand toward woman standing to right of first interviewee.] Same story?
Maureen: Uhm, pretty much, uhm. I’m Maureen Korato [sp] and I’m a nurse practitioner. So I actually was, you know, helping a runner at the time, uhm, and, uhm, he became pretty nervous as to what actually was going on, so my first focus was to take care of him and to reassure him and then—but then once his wife came in and another nurse came I then went up to the scene because I have some, you know, trauma experience. So I—I did go up the street.
Reporter: I—I gotta say I’ve been doing this business a long time and I’ve seen a lot of horrible stuff. That-that goes right to the top of the list.
Maureen: Yeah, it pretty much does. Uh, I think what really surprised me was, ah, the number of people, and just the, ah, really the amount of blood [and] the amount of injuries. Uhm, but everybody was really just working together as a team, uhm, it was chaotic but it was organized chaos.
Maureen: Uhm, so, and then once things were stabilized up there I ran back here to the tent.
Reporter: You’re going to run back into the tent as soon as they give you the green light.
Reporter: Thank you so much. Thank you for your help as well. Thank you for your service. I know now that we’re hearing that two are dead and nearly two dozen have been injured from these two blasts.
“Special Report: Interview with Medical Tent Personnel,” WBZ CBSBoston.com, April 15, 2013.
CNN reports that two are dead and 119 injured. The cable news network’s anchor Erin Burnett conducts a live interview with eyewitness Cassidy Quinn Brettler. CNN fails to preface the interview by noting that Brettler is a self-described vlogger and professionally-trained freelance reporter and actor.
“Blood everywhere,” Brettler tells Burnett. “Body parts that should never look in the state they were looking [sic]. Just total—I mean [it was] disturbing.” Erin Burnett, “Eyewitness: ‘Blood Everywhere’ in Boston,” CNN, April 15, 2013.
President Obama speaks from the White House and vows to bring those responsible for the blast to justice. “We will get to the bottom of this,” the president says. “We will find who did this, and we will find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.” John Eligon and Michael Cooper, “Blasts at Boston Marathon Kill 3 and Injure 100,” New York Times, April 16, 2013.
A procession of mourners carrying candles and flowers gather overnight and through the early morning hours of April 16, leaving bouquets, balloons, and stuffed animals on the front porch of eight-year-old decedent Martin Richard’s family. Over one thousand congregate with candles at a Dorchester playground in the evening, with many more gathering via the Internet. Richard’s mother and sister are reported as severely injured. A photograph of Martin Richard holding a hand-lettered sign “goes viral.” The boy’s father, Bill Richard endures the bombing with shrapnel injuries to his legs. “My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston,” Bill Richard remarks in a written statement. “My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries.” Evan Allen and Jenna Russell, “Photo of Victim Martin Richard Now a Symbol,” Boston Globe, April 16, 2013.
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis says the bombing’s death toll had risen to three. CNN tells its viewers:
Scores were injured at the scene. One of the dead was an 8-year-old boy, according to a state law enforcement source. Hospitals reported at least 144 people are being treated, with at least 17 of them in critical condition and 25 in serious condition. At least eight of the patients are children. At least 10 people injured had limbs amputated, according to a terrorism expert briefed on the investigation. Several of the patients treated at Massachusetts General Hospital suffered injuries to lower limbs that will require “serial operations” in the coming days, trauma surgeon Peter Fagenholz said Monday night. Some injuries were so severe amputations were necessary, Fagenholz adds.
Josh Levs and Monti Plott, “Boy, 8, One of Three Killed in Bombings at Boston Marathon,” CNN.com, April 18, 2013.
CNN reports three dead, including an eight year old boy, and more than 144 injured from the bombing. Erin Burnett, “Boston First Responder: ‘It Was a Flashback to Iraq,’” CNN, April 15, 2013.
Dan Bidondi, a freelance reporter working for alternative news outlet Infowars.com, gains admittance to a press conference featuring federal, state, and local officials, asking,
Was there any prior knowledge though? Because according to Boston Globe dot com [law enforcement authorities] said they were doing drills this morning for the same exact thing to happen? Now was youz guyz given any prior warning ahead of time of this taking place?
Bidondi then asks, “Well, sir, why were loudspeakers telling people in the audience to be calm moments before the bomb[s] went off? Is this another false flag staged attack to take our civil liberties and put more Homeland Security sticking their hands down our pants on the streets?” After Bidondi persists, officials appear perturbed and apprehensive, apparently cutting the press conference short to avoid further queries on the nature of the event and its broader implications for civil liberties. Rob Dew, “Inside Boston Marathon Bombing Press Conferences,” Infowars Nightly News, April 16, 2013.
Alternative news outlets including NaturalNews.com point out that a “controlled explosion” was underway in Boston on April 15, the same day as the marathon explosion. The Boston Globe tweeted on April 15, “Officials: There will be a controlled explosion opposite the library within one minute as part of bomb squad activities.” Some observers think one of the explosions might have been part of the demolition of another bomb. It seems unlikely, however, that a bomb at the library, one mile away, could be so quickly located and rigged to be exploded by the bomb squad in less than one hour following the initial explosions at the marathon. Furthermore, according to Local15TV.com, a University of Mobile’s Cross Country Coach attests how there were bomb-sniffing dogs at both the start and finish lines, long before any explosions went off. He said: “They kept making announcements on the loud speaker that it was just a drill and there was nothing to worry about. It seemed like there was some sort of threat, but they kept telling us it was just a drill.” Mike Adams, “Boston Marathon Bombing on Same Day as ‘Controlled Explosion Drill’ by Boston Bomb Squad,” NaturalNews.com, April 15, 2013.
The 2:49PM bombing was at a time when the race had more or less concluded, with only amateurs making their way toward the finish line, according to a timeline put together for Marathon spectators in 2003 by ESPN columnist and comedy writer Bill Simmons.
“1:45 – This is my favorite group … the fifth tier. For the next 30 minutes, expect to see a variety of athletes running by, including the following groups:
A. Average runners like my buddy Nez, who hope to finish around the four-hour mark but don’t mind stopping for a second to chat.
B. Older guys chugging along nicely, even though they look like they could drop dead at any moment …
2:15 — Now we’ve entered the “freak” portion of the race: People trying to finish in four hours or less, running alongside college kids carrying fraternity flags, transvestites, people dressed in Viking garb and wackos wearing Larry Bird jerseys or multi-colored afros. There are some seriously strange people out there. This usually lasts for about 20-25 minutes. After that, you’ve seen enough and you’re probably buzzed enough to call it a day.
Bill Simmons, “Idiot’s Guide to the Boston [Marathon],” ESPN.com, April 18, 2003.
- April 16
The New York Times carries graphic front page accounts and disturbing images of the Boston Marathon bombing’s aftermath under the April 16 headline, “BLASTS AT BOSTON MARATHON KILL 3 AND INJURE 100.” “These runners just finished and they don’t have legs now,” Roupen Bastajian, 35, a Rhode Island state trooper and former Marine tells the Times. “So many of them. there are so many people without legs. It’s all blood. There’s blood everywhere. You got bones, fragments. It’s disgusting … We put tourniquets on,” Mr. Bastajian said. “I tied at least five, six legs with tourniquets.” Another eyewitness, Deidre Hatfield, 27, claims to have been steps away from the finish line when she heard a blast. She sees bodies flying out into the street and a couple of children who appeared lifeless. She sees people without legs. “When the bodies landed around me I thought: Am I burning? Maybe I’m burning and I don’t feel it,” Ms. Hatfield says … She looked inside a Starbucks to her left, where she thought a blast might have occurred. “What was so eerie, you looked in you knew there had to be 100 people in there, but there was no sign of movement.” Tim Rohan, “War Zone at Mile 26; ‘So Many People Without Legs,’” New York Times, April 16, 2013.
Cassidy Quinn Brettler is again interviewed on CNN, this time by reporter Chris Quomo. “What is the look through your lens? What kinds of things did you see?” Cuomo asks.
“As I was walking and taking video,” Quinn Brettler recalls,
I walked past a restaurant on Newbury Street that I thought was giving out pitchers to water to people. So I looked down and there was actually a person bleeding on the street there, right off the sidewalk, just laying down and luckily the restaurant was helping them. It was great to actually see people teaming up together to help people in need. Everyone around me, no one knew what to do. That’s basically what I captured on video was this utter chaos.
“Press Conference From Boston Regarding the Recent Bombings,” CNN, April 16, 2013.
Federal authorities say the bombs were probably simple devices made from ordinary kitchen pressure cookers, only they were designed to shoot shrapnel consisting of nails and ball bearings into anyone within reach of their blast and maim them severely. Officials say the “pressure cooker bombs” were set off by “kitchen-type” egg timers. According to the New York Times, “The resulting explosions sent metal tearing through skin and muscle, destroying the lower limbs of some victims who had only shreds of tissue holding parts of their legs together when they arrived at the emergency room of Massachusetts General Hospital, doctors there said.” Law enforcement authorities surmise the devices were concealed inside dark nylon duffel bags or backpacks and left on the street or sidewalk close to the finish line. Forensic experts say that the design and components of the homemade devices were generic but that the marking “6L,” indicating a six-liter container, could help identify a brand and manufacturer and possibly provide details about the buyer. Katharine Q. Stellye, Eric Schmitt and Scott Shane, “Boston Bombs Were Loaded to Main,” New York Times, April 16, 2013.
President Obama announces that the F.B.I. is investigating the attack as “an act of terrorism,” and plans to travel to Boston on April 18 for an interfaith service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. “The range of suspects and motives remains wide open,” the FBI’s Richard DesLauriers says. And, he adds, no one has claimed responsibility. “Someone knows who did this,” he says. “Cooperation from the community will play a crucial role.” Officials claims to have received over 2,000 tips from around the world. As marathoners left through Logan Airport on April 16, security personnel remind them to share relevant pictures with the FBI. Counterterrorism experts say authorities plan to use facial recognition software against numerous databases for visas, passports and drivers licenses. “It’s our intention to go through every frame of every video that we have to determine exactly who was in the area,” Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis tells journalists at a news briefing. “This was probably one of the most well-photographed areas in the country yesterday.” Katharine Q. Stellye, Eric Schmitt and Scott Shane, “Boston Bombs Were Loaded to Main,” New York Times, April 16, 2013.
Law enforcement officials from Israel are reportedly sent to the United States to take part in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, Israel papers report on April 15 and 16. Israel Police Chief Yohanan Danino says he dispatched officials to Boston where they will meet with Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and other authorities, according to the Times of Israel. An earlier report in the newspaper Maariv indicates that Danino sent police officers to participate in discussions that “will center on the Boston Marathon bombings and deepening professional cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of both countries.” Maariv notes that Israeli law enforcement made plans for the trip before the Marathon bombings, and the talks will now address how help from abroad can broaden the investigation. “Israeli Police Head to US to Aid in Boston Marathon Bombing Investigation,” RT.com, April 17, 2013.
Harvard faculty members and students give eyewitness accounts of what they experienced on or around the Boston Marathon finish line when the explosions occurred. There were “lots of emergency responders,” one student recalls,
and I mean instantly hundreds and hundreds of ambulances and state police officers and things were headed in the direction of the finish line. But none of us—not myself or the folks around me—had any idea of what was going on. We’re all sort of—we’re in panic and shock and didn’t really know what to do. We were being told to sit against the wall and just sit there and wait for further instructions … [There was] no data service on my cellphone. No voice service. I could get limited text messages and I was getting lots of broken texts from my family.
“Boston Marathon Bombing: Harvard Eyewitness Accounts,” The Harvard Crimson, April 16, 2013.
Dr. George Velmahos of Boston General Hospital tells reporters that the bombs used in the April 15 bombing were created out of pressure cookers and packed with shrapnel consisting of metal, nails and ball bearings. “We removed pellets and nails,” Velmahos says. “[The injuries] are numerous, numerous, They have ten-twenty-thirty-forty of them in their body … or more.” “Doctors: Boston Victims Had Nails, Pellets,” Associated Press, April 16, 2013.
- April 17
Less than 48 hours after her death, family members of Boston Marathon bombing victim Krystle Campbell speak on camera to reporters. “She was the best,” Campbell’s mother, Patty, tells reporters. “You couldn’t ask for a better daughter.” The family is heartbroken and still in shock, Patty Campbell says, reading a statement on the family’s porch. “She had a heart of gold. She was always smiling,” Patty Campbell said as her son, Billy, clutched her with his right arm. Krystle’s grandmother observes that the 29-year-old was a special kind of person who nurtured deep friendships. “Oh, she was a beautiful girl,” Lillian Campbell tells CNN’s Jake Tapper. “She was very happy, outgoing, a hard worker.” Lillian Campbell said her granddaughter even lived with her for a year and a half and was “great with me.” Her granddaughter was always willing to help someone in need, she says. “And she was, she was just beautiful. She was a fun-loving girl.” Steve Almasy, “Boston Marathon Bombing Victims: Promising Lives Lost,” CNN, April 17, 2013.
Boston news media report that authorities have identified the image of a possible suspect through surveillance video, suggesting a potential turning point in a case where investigators are closely analyzing audio visual evidence from the scene. “Lord & Taylor Video Leads to Identification of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect,” WCVB.com, April 18, 2013.
The FBI cancels a press conference as Special Agent Greg Comcowich of the FBI’s Boston division scolds news media for relying on “unofficial sources” and reporting earlier in the afternoon that an arrest had been made in the Boston Marathon bombing, says in a statement. “[T]hese stories often have unintended consequences. Contrary to widespread reporting,” Comcowich continues, “no arrest has been made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack.” “FBI Warns of Unintended Consequences From False Media Reports,” The Daily Caller, April 17, 2013.
asserts that the cable news channel’s staff sense humiliation and remorse after their dubious reportage earlier in the day that an arrest was made in the Boston Marathon bombings case. The source reveals that the network was first to report that a suspect had been identified. Anchor John King transmitted a report that a source “briefed” on the investigation had told King a positive identification had been made. CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist approves that report, according to the source. Brett Logiurato, “CNN Source: Everyone Went Silent for Fifteen Minutes After We Screwed Up the Boston Marathon Report,” Business Insider, April 17, 2013.
Authorities identify a potential suspect Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombings, CBS New York reports, noting that surveillance video may furnish a vital clue in apprehending the attacker. A newly released photo appears to show a bag that may contain an explosive device, behind a fence at the second explosion site. “Authorities Identify Potential Suspect In Boston Marathon Bombings,” CBS New York, April 17, 2013.
CBS New York reports that earlier in the day that a suspect was in custody in relation to the Boston bombings. This conclusion was attributed to an unidentified law enforcement official speaking to the Associated Press. Yet the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston said that no arrests had been made. An official news briefing, originally scheduled for 5 p.m. and later for 8 p.m., was postponed. “Contrary to widespread reporting, there have been no arrests made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack,” the FBI said in a statement. “Authorities Identify Potential Suspect In Boston Marathon Bombings,” CBS New York, April 17, 2013.
Alternative news outlet Infowars.com publishes numerous photos of the Boston bombing scene appearing on the 4chan.org website that show numerous images of questionable individuals donning large backpacks at the scene of the Boston Marathon bombings. Three of the male figures look to be Arab or Middle Eastern in appearance, while another two of the individuals are white. The images show the persons looking away from the marathon runners, speaking on cellphones and absconding from the scene immediately after the blast. Paul Joseph Watson, “Potential Boston Bombing Culprits and Person of Interest Identified?” Infowars.com, April 17, 2013.
Independent journalist Anthony Gucciardi interviews key Boston Marathon eyewitness Alastair Stevenson. A veteran of marathons and track coach at the University of Mobile in Alabama, Steveonson confirms that drills were taking place the morning of the Boston Marathon that included bomb squads and rooftop snipers. “At the start at the event, at the Athlete’s Village, there were people on the roof looking down onto the Village at the start,” Stevenson recollects. “There were dogs with their handlers going around sniffing for explosives, and we were told on a loud announcement that we shouldn’t be concerned and that it was just a drill. And maybe it was just a drill, but I’ve never seen anything like that — not at any marathon that I’ve ever been to. You know, that just concerned me that that’s the only race that I’ve seen in my life where they had dogs sniffing for explosions, and that’s the only place where there had been explosions.” Anthony Gucciardi, “Interview With Boston Eyewitness Confirms Bomb Squad Drill,” Infowars.com, April 17, 2013.
Dr. Peter Burke, Boston Medical Center’s Chief of Trauma Services, appears at a news conference to explain the care given to victims of the bombing.
Of the 19 patients that were admitted 16 received emergen[cy] operations within the first 18 hours and remain hospitalized at this time. Ah, 19 patients were–ah–remain hospitalized for the next 24 hours. At that point we considered ten of them critical, three serious and six were considered in fair condition. We operated on five of those patients yesterday, and, ah, they continue to improve. As of the 19 patients in the hospital, two are considered critical, ten are serious and seven are fair. We plan on operating on about eight of these patients today. We are looking to discharge one or two of these patients as well today. So things are moving along as expected and the patients are doing well.
Burke also tells reporters that some patients have been informed their limbs must be amputated, and he remarks on how the medical staff has “taken out large quantities of pieces of things” from the victims.” “Boston Doctor: Bomb Victims Had Much Shrapnel,” Associated Press, April 17, 2013.
- April 18
Upon Zhokhar Tsarnaev escaping a substantial police gauntlet while hurling bombs out the window of a stolen SUV, his at-large status and authorities’ fears that he may possess additional explosives prompts an intense manhunt. SWAT teams and Humvees roll through residential streets with military helicopters hovering overhead and bomb squads ushered to several locations. Boston is effectively in lockdown. Transit service is suspended. Classes at Harvard, MIT, Boston University and other nearby colleges are canceled. Amtrak halts service into Boston. The Red Sox game and a concert at Symphony Hall are postponed. Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts directs residents to stay behind locked doors all day, finally lifting the order shortly after 6PM as transit service resumes. Katharine Q. Steelye, William R. Rashbaum, and Michael Cooper, “2nd Bombing Suspect Caught After Frenzied Hunt Paralyzes Boston,” New York Times, April 19, 2013.
FBI Special Agent in charge of the Boston division Richard DesLauriers releases images and video captured from closed-circuit surveillance cameras that show Tamarlan and Dhzokhar Tsarnaev on the sidewalk in the proximity of the Boston Marathon finish line. “Today, we are enlisting the public’s help to identify the two suspects,” DesLauriers announces. “After a very detailed analysis of photo, video, and other evidence, we are releasing photos of the two suspects. They are identified as Suspect 1 and Suspect 2. They appear to be associated.” DesLauriers then warns against considering other photographic or video evidence. “For clarity, these images should be the only ones—the only ones—that the public should view to assist us. Other photos should not be deemed credible and unnecessarily divert the public’s attention in the wrong direction and create undue work for vital law enforcement resources.” Greg Comcowich, “Remarks of Special Agent in Charge Rick DeLauriers at Press Conference on Bombing Investigation,” FBI Boston, April 18, 2013.
26-yearl-old Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev calls his uncle, initiating a five-minute conversation and asking for forgiveness, the uncle asserts. Alvi Tsarnaev tells The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News that his nephew calls for the first time in roughly two years. “He said, ‘I love you and forgive me.’” Alvi Tsarnaev resides in Montgomery Village, Md. “We were not talking for a long time because there were some problems,” he remarks. “We were not happy with each other.” They spoke about family and spiritual matters. “I told him I was praying to Allah, not drinking, not smoking, and he told me he was happy,” Alvi Tsarnaev says. “He was asking, ‘Did you pay your mortgage?’ I told him I was trying to pay. I asked him what he was doing. He said, ‘I fix cars, I got married, got a baby.’ ” Natalie DiBlasio and Shawn Cohen, “Tamarlan Tsarnaev Called, Asked for Forgiveness,” USA Today, April 19, 2013.
Three friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Robel Phillipos, Dias Kadyrbayev, and Azamat Tazhayakov, visit Tsarnaev’s dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, gathering after seeing photos of one of the suspects that resembled their classmate. According to a US government criminal complaint against the three filed in federal court in Boston, Tsarnaev, was not present and his roommate let the men in. While proceeding to watch a movie, they noticed a backpack containing fireworks emptied of powder. Dias Kadyrbayev, “knew when he saw the empty fireworks that Tsarnaev was involved in the marathon bombing,” FBI Special Agent Scott Cieplik says in a criminal complaint. Hours earlier the FBI had released images of the Tsarnaev brothers at the scene of the April 15 bombing. According to the complaint Asamat Tazhayakov “started to freak out” when they realized from news reports that Tsarnaev was implicated in the bombing. Eric Larson, David McLaughlin, and Janelle Lawrence, “Friends Land in Jail After Dumping Bomb Suspect Backpack,” Bloomberg News, May 2, 2013.
Visiting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dorm room, Dias Kadyrbayev sends Tsarnaev a text message remarking that he looks like one of the suspects whose photos are in the news. Tsarnaev responded, “lol”, according to a criminal complaint against Robel Phillipos, Dias Kadyrbayev, and Azamat Tazhayakov filed by FBI Special Agent Scott Cieplik on May 1. In the messages Tsarnaev tells Kadyrbayev “you better not text me” and suggests his friend “come to my room and take whatever you want,” which the friend at first interprets as a joke. Kadyrbayev decides to remove the backpack “in order to help his friend Tsarnaev avoid trouble,” Agent Cieplik writes in the US complaint. He takes the laptop as well, “because he did not want Tsarnaev’s roommate to think he was stealing or behaving suspiciously by just taking the backpack,” according to the complaint. Eric Larson, David McLaughlin, and Janelle Lawrence, “Friends Land in Jail After Dumping Bomb Suspect Backpack,” Bloomberg News, May 2, 2013.
Carrying Tsarnaev’s backpack containing remnants of consumer fireworks and the laptop, Robel Phillipos, Dias Kadyrbayev, and Azamat return to the apartment near campus shared by Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov and continue viewing news reports on the bombing. Then together they decide to throw the backpack and fireworks cartridges in the trash, the U.S. says in its complaint, citing Kadyrbayev’s version of events. Kadyrbayev places the backpack in a black plastic bag and put it in a Dumpster near the apartment building, the complaint reads. While the two other men didn’t assist in the disposal, they knew it was happening, according to the US officials’ allegations. Eric Larson, David McLaughlin, and Janelle Lawrence, “Friends Land in Jail After Dumping Bomb Suspect Backpack,” Bloomberg News, May 2, 2013.
Lingzi Lu, a Chinese graduate student pursuing mathematics at Boston University, is announced as one of the Boston Marathon bombing victims by the president of BU in an open letter published on the school’s website, also confirming that Lu’s friend was wounded. “Our hearts and thoughts go out to the family and friends of both victims,” writes college President Robert Brown. The university initially declined to release Lu’s name at her family’s request, but the school received permission from a family representative, according to BU spokesman Colin Riley. The university establishes the Lingzi Lu Scholarship Fund in her honor. The Chinese consulate in New York issues a statement of condolence. A wave of sympathy is generated on social media sites in China. By April 17, more than 17,000 comments are added to the victim’s last post on Weibo where she commented on her breakfast. Ben Brumfield and Steven Jiang, “Chinese Student Killed in Bombings Had Followed Her Passion to Boston,” CNN, April 18, 2013.
MIT Police officer Sean Collier is reported shot at 10:48PM near the Stata Center on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus and is transported to Massachusetts General Hospital where he is pronounced dead at 12:15AM April 19. At around 10:25PM a postdoctoral student working on campus contacts MIT Police to report loud noises that may be gunshots. At 10:31PM Collier is discovered and tended to by another MIT officer. Greg Steinbrecher, “MIT Officer Killed, Marathon Bombers Responsible,” The Tech, April 19, 2013.
A Saudi “person of interest” is to be deported on “national security grounds” after President Obama has impromptu meeting with Saudi official. A terrorism expert notes that the move is “very unusual,” particularly in light of an unscheduled meeting yesterday between Obama and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal. Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, the Saudi national with suspected involvement was put under armed guard in the hospital after the bombing, visited by Saudi diplomat Azzam bin Abdel Karim, and later had his apartment raided by federal and state law enforcement agents. Congressman Jeff Duncan asks DHS chief Janet Napolitano about the Saudi linked to the Boston bombings being deported for “national security” reasons. Napolitano denied any knowledge of the man being deported. Paul Joseph Watson, “Obama Covering Up Saudi Link to the Boston Bombing?” Infowars.com, April 18, 2013.
Jeff Bauman is interviewed by the FBI in his hospital bed. Despite being in intensive care after having lost both legs and under heavy sedation, Bauman informs the FBI that he encountered Tamerlan Tsarnaev and looked in his eyes as Tsarnaev planted the bomb, thereafter identifying him in a photograph the FBI produced. “He woke up under so much drugs [sic],” Bauman’s brother Chris tells reporters, “asked for a paper and pen and wrote, ‘bag, saw the guy, looked right at me’.” Chris Bauman attests that the account is emphatic and convincing. “I’ve had many times alone with him, and yes, he told me every single detail.” The FBI thus narrowed its inquiries down to two suspects who were related from tens of thousands of people pictured in the area before the attacks. Damien McElroy, “Boston Marathon Victim Jeff Bauman Helped Identify Bombers,” UK Telegraph, April 19, 2013.
- April 19
Police encounter Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the streets of Watertown, and Dzhokhar reportedly tosses bombs at officers as he drives out of their closing cordon, leaving the elder Tamarlan dying in the wake. Police are heard shouting over the police scanner, “Loud explosion, loud explosion, loud explosion, shots fired, shots fired.” One police officer was severely wounded in the confrontation. Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, a member of the House intelligence committee, remarks, “They clearly amassed a small arsenal of explosives.” Police report carrying out one or more controlled explosions on Norfolk Street, in Cambridge, not far from where the bombers apparently share a home. Ray Sanchez, “Boston Bombs: The ‘Small Arsenal’ of Weapons Suspects ‘Used Against’ Police,” UK Telegraph, April 20, 2013.
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Emergency room physician Dr. David Schoenfeld, while catching up on paperwork at his Watertown residence, hears police sirens, then gunfire and explosions. He telephones the emergency room and tells staff to prepare for trauma patients. Schoenfeld arrives at the hospital at about 1:10AM. Fifteen minutes later an ambulance carrying Tamerlan Tsarnaev pulls up. According to Dr. Schoenfeld, Tsarnaev is handcuffed, unconscious, and in cardiac arrest. As a throng of police officers observe, Dr. Schoenfeld and a team of other trauma doctors and nurses began to perform CPR. “There was talk before the patient arrived about whether or not it was a suspect,” Dr. Schoenfeld recalls. “But ultimately it doesn’t matter who it is, because we’re going to work as hard as we can for any patient who comes through our door and then sort it out after. Because you’re never going to know until the dust settles who it is.” The trauma team puts a breathing tube in Tsarnaev’s throat, according to Dr. Schoenfeld, then cuts open his chest to check if blood or other fluid is collecting around his heart. His handcuffs are removed at some point during the resuscitation attempt, Schoenfeld says, because “when the patient is in cardiac arrest and we’re doing all these procedures, we need to be able to move their arms around.” The team’s attempts to resuscitate Tsarnaev are unsuccessful, and he is pronounced dead at 1:35AM. Only as they begin to turn the body over to the police does Schoenfeld recognize Tsarnaev as resembling one of the suspects whose pictures were released by the FBI hours earlier. “We all obviously had some suspicion given the really large police presence,” he says, “but we didn’t have a clear identification from the police.” Dr. Schoenfeld’s emergency room also treated a number of people injured in the bombings on Monday. “I can’t say what I’ll be feeling as I reflect on this later on,” he remarks in an interview before Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured. “But right now I’m more concerned with everybody who’s still out there and still in harm’s way … I worry about everybody in the city, that everyone’s going to be O.K.” Katharine Q. Steelye, William R. Rashbaum, and Michael Cooper, “2nd Bombing Suspect Caught After Frenzied Hunt Paralyzes Boston,” New York Times, April 19, 2013.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Robel Phillipos, Dias Kadyrbayev, and Azamat Tazhayakov see news reports identifying Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev as the bombers and stating that Tamarlan was killed during a shootout with police. Eric Larson, David McLaughlin, and Janelle Lawrence, “Friends Land in Jail After Dumping Bomb Suspect Backpack,” Bloomberg News, May 2, 2013.
New Hampshire state representative Stella Tremblay posts on Facebook that the Boston Marathon bombing was “Top Down, Bottom UP.” “The Boston Marathon was a Black Ops ‘terrorist’ attack,” Tremblay write in a message to conservative commentator Glenn Beck. “One suspect killed, the other one will be too before they even have a chance to speak. Drones and now ‘terrorist’ attacks by our own Government. Sad day, but a ‘wake up’ to all of us. First there was a ‘suspect’ then there wasn’t.” Tremblay also posted a link to a video hosted on YouTube, titled “PROOF! Boston Marathon Bombing is Staged Terror Attack.” A news media frenzy ensues around the legislator. House Minority Leader Gene Chandler writes that Tremblay’s comments are “highly offensive, egregious, and irrational.” Jim Haddadin, “N.H. Rep Thinks Boston Marathon Bombing Was Done By the Government,” Foster’s Daily Democrat, April 23, 2013.
Tamarlan and Dhozhar Tsarnaev’s mother Zubeidat Tsarnaeva states her younger son is innocent and, similar to many of the brothers’ acquaintances, claims they were polite youths and model students – especially the younger 19-year-old Dzhokhar. Upset and saddened, Zubeidat expresses her shock at the allegations, pointing to how Dzhokar was an honors student and regarded fondly by many of his friends and teachers. Along these lines older brother Tamerlan was a star athlete and student, who dreamed of becoming a member of the US Olympic wrestling team. “’They Were Set Up: FBI Followed Them for Years’—Tsarnaev’s Mother to RT,” RT.com, April 19, 2013.
Tamarlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s mother Zubeidat Tsarnaeva remarks on the perpetual FBI surveillance she said her family was subjected to over the years. She finds it especially unusual that after such extensive surveillance the FBI had no idea the sons were supposedly planning a terrorist act. “They used to come [to our] home, they used to talk to me…they were telling me that he [the older, 26-y/o Tamerlan] was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him. They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets from these extremist sites… they were controlling him, they were controlling his every step…and now they say that this is a terrorist act! Never ever is this true, my sons are innocent!” When asked if maybe she didn’t know about some of her sons’ more secret aspirations and dark secrets, she said “That’s impossible. My sons would never keep a secret.” Finally, she says that if she could speak to her youngest – Dzhokhar, she would tell him, “Save your life and tell the truth, that you haven’t done anything, that this is a set up!” The brothers’ father Anzor Tsarnaev also believes that they are innocent and somebody might have set them up. “I’m sure about my children, in their purity. I don’t know what happened and who did this. God knows and he will punish them,” he tells the Russian Zvezda channel. “Somebody might have set them up. I don’t know who and because of their cowardice killed the boy.” The father says he is unable to contact his sons or other relatives as communications to the US have been inoperable. “’They Were Set Up: FBI Followed Them for Years’—Tsarnaev’s Mother to RT,” RT.com, April 19, 2013.
Russian ‘Alpha’ Special Forces team-veteran and vice-president of the division’s International Association, Aleksey Filatov, thinks there is more to the case than meets the eye. He underscores, firstly, that the national origin and religious beliefs of the suspect, along with the specifics of the bombing, have all been carefully pre-meditated and planned by someone within the United States in order to distract the public from the true identity and long-term aims of the actual planners. “Putting a young Chechen in those shoes was top-notch professionalism in distracting everyone from the true identity and motives of the planner,” he explains to RT. “The executors were chosen to confuse the American public and simultaneously untie the White House’s hands in a way that would justify a departure from the rhetoric of non-involvement in military action on foreign territories.” “’They Were Set Up: FBI Followed Them for Years’—Tsarnaev’s Mother to RT,” RT.com, April 19, 2013.
CBS News reports that the FBI admits to having interviewed now-deceased Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011. The FBI interviewed the elder Tsarnaev at the request of a foreign government to see if he had any extremist ties, but failed to find any linkages. CBS News correspondent John Miller observes it is likely Russia asked to have the elder Tsarnaev vetted because of suspected ties to Chechen extremists. The FBI probably conducted a background check, running Tsarnaev’s name through all relevant databases, including those of other agencies, checking on his communications and all overseas travel, surmises Miller. Miller further reports that this culminated in a sit-down interview where they probably asked him a lot of questions about his life, his contacts, his surroundings. This was then likely written up and directed to the requesting government. “FBI Interviewed Dead Boston Bombing Suspect Years Ago,” CBS News, April 19, 2013.
Dave Henneberry, the Watertown Massachusetts resident who owns the boat where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev took refuge to dodge a daylong dragnet, describes in an interview with a local television outlet how he discovered the bombing suspect, which he claims developed differently than has been reported. “I know people say there was blood on the boat — he saw blood and went in,” he says. “Not true.” When on April 19 Watertown residents were advised they could exit their homes, Henneberry went out to his boat, climbed three steps up the ladder, and when he could see into the boat, he looked on the floor and saw “a good amount of blood.”
“And I said, wow, did I cut myself last time I was in the boat a couple of weeks ago and forget?” he said. “No, no.” Mr. Henneberry then saw the body — but not a face. “Oh my God,” is what went through his head, Mr. Henneberry recounted in his distinct Boston brogue. He jumped off the ladder, he said, and called 911. Mr. Henneberry refers to himself an “incidental hero,” explaining: “I wasn’t out on the prowl. I was out to see my boat.” An online fundraiser to replace the bullet-ridden ship has raised more than $10,000. “Boat Owner Calls Himself ‘Incidental Hero’ in Ending Terror,” WCVBtv 5 April 23, 2013.
Heavily armed police conclude a 22-hour manhunt for the surviving Boston bombing suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is captured alive after being surrounded. Tsarnaev emerges from a boat in the backyard of a home in Watertown, Massachusetts, a small town near Boston. For roughly two hours Tsarnaev is surrounded by SWAT teams and hundreds of other police, surviving a barrage of gunfire and incendiary “flash” grenades. Authorities say Tsarnaev was injured in a shootout with police on April 18 and hence had significant blood loss. Police report he is in a serious condition in hospital. Boston mayor Thomas Menino says, “We got him.” A large crowd gathering close to the location of Tsarnaev’s arrest start clapping and shouting “Thank you” as a police ambulance carrying the suspect cruises by. Massachusetts police superintendent Colonel Tim Alben says, “We are so grateful to bring justice and closure to this case. We are grateful for the outcome here tonight. We’re exhausted, folks, but we have a victory here tonight.” Ed Pilkington, Adam Gabbatt, and Miriam Elder, “Boston Suspect Captured Alive After Dramatic Finish to Day-Long Manhunt,” UK Guardian, April 20, 2013.
FBI investigators interview Asamat Tazhayakov, who says he became friends with Tsarnaev in 2011 and that the two became closer in 2012 when Tsarnaev began spending more time at their apartment. On April 18 at 4:00PM Tsarnaev had dropped Tazhayakov off at the apartment after they attended classes together. Eric Larson, David McLaughlin, and Janelle Lawrence, “Friends Land in Jail After Dumping Bomb Suspect Backpack,” Bloomberg News, May 2, 2013.
- April 20
Former United States Assistant Attorney General and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick appears on NBC’s Meet the Press to provide his perspectives on the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath. In his observations Patrick reveals he has not been allowed to view the closed-circuit video that federal authorities used to designate Tamarlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as the principal suspects. “Well, the videotape is not something I’ve seen but it’s been described to me in my briefings.” Patrick explains.
But it does seem to be pretty clear that, uh, that ah, [sic] this suspect took the backpack, uh, off, put it down, uhm, did not react when the first explosion went off and then, ah, moved away from the backpack for the time for the second, uh, explosion. So pretty, uh, pretty clear, uhm, about his, ah, involvement and pretty chilling, frankly, as it was described to me.
“Deval Patrick, National Security Experts Give Latest Update on Boston Bombing,” Meet the Press with David Gregory, NBC News, April 20, 2013.
Investigators report that they are now turning to what motivated the Tsarnaev brothers to carry out the attacks on the Boston Marathon. Federal investigators are reviewing a visit that one of the suspected bombers made to Chechnya and Dagestan, mainly Muslim republics in the north Caucasus region of Russia. Both have active militant separatist movements. Members of Congress expressed concern about the FBI’s handling of one request from Russian authorities before the trip to examine the man’s possible links to extremist groups in the region. Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent six months in Dagestan in 2012, and analysts think the trip may have been decisive in his alleged path toward the bombings. Eric Schmitt, Micahel S. Schmidt, and Ellen Barry, “Boston Marathon Inquiry Turns to Motive and Russian Trip,” New York Times, April 20, 2013.
- April 21
FBI Special Agent Daniel R. Genck files a request for a criminal complaint in United States District Court against Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev for his alleged role in bombing the Boston Marathon on April 15. The complaint accuses Tsarnaev of using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death. Agent Genck relies largely on analysis of video and photographic evidence depicting the April 15 scene at the Boylston Street Marathon finish line and testimony from law enforcement involved in the apprehension of Tsarnaev to develop his conclusions. Judge Marianne B. Bowler, United States of America versus Dzokhar A. Tsarnaev, Case No. 13-2106 MBB, United States District Court for the State of Massachusetts, April 21, 2013.
A somewhat nervous-sounding woman identifying herself as Linda calls in to a talk show on WE97.3FM and describes the scene on Dexter Street in Watertown where Tamarlan Tsarnaev was killed. She claims to have seen the first suspect run over “by a police SUV, and then after he was hit [by the vehicle he was] shot multiple times. Minutes later an ambulance arrived. [They] put the suspect into the ambulance and then off [they went].”
The caller asserts that she didn’t believe the suspect was holding a pipe bomb or suicide vest. “Eyewitness: Suspect Run Over By Police: No Bombs,” Liveleak.com, April 21, 2013.
- April 22
Doctors announce that all of the over 180 people reportedly injured in the Boston Marathon blasts one week ago who made it to a hospital are likely to survive. This includes numerous people that arrived with legs attached by just a little skin, a 3-year-old boy with a head injury and bleeding on the brain, and a little girl wounded with nails. Even a transit system police officer whose heart had stopped and was close to bleeding to death after a shootout with the bombing suspects now appears headed for recovery. “All I feel is joy,” says Dr. George Velmahos, chief of trauma surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, referring to that hospital’s 31 blast patients. “Whoever came in alive, stayed alive.” Marilynn Marchione, “Doctors: All Boston Bomb Patients Likely to Live,” NBC News/Associated Press, April 22, 2013.
The New York Times reports that Boston Marathon bombing victims will face major financial burdens in addition to their physical injuries, and that there will be challenges to distributing the beneficiary funds collected. The monetary toll will likely be high for many because of trauma care, prosthetic limbs, drawn-out rehabilitation and future equipment to deal with everyday life with severe injuries and loss of limbs. Attorney Kenneth R. Feinberg, who has overseen compensation funds for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the shootings at Virginia Tech and other disasters, will arrive in Boston on April 22 to determine who will be eligible for payouts from a new benefit fund, the One Fund Boston, and how much individuals wounded in the bombings and family of the deceased will be allotted. The One Boston Fund has already raised more than $10 million for victims and victims’ families. Individual victims have also set up donation pages on social media sites such as Facebook. Over 170 bystanders were wounded in the blasts, and presently more than 50 remain in hospital. Abby Goodnough, “For Wounded, Daunting Cost; for Aid Fund, Tough Decision,” New York Times, April 22, 2013.
- April 23
Federal prosecutors experience difficulties attempting to put together a full-proof case that Tamarlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev were motivated to carry out the Boston Marathon bombing because of radical Islamist or Chechen separatist beliefs. Tamerlan Tsarnaev is now the focal point of an international FBI investigation into whether an organised group or broader conspiracy lay behind the bombings. The 26-year-old Tamarlan is believed to have been the mastermind of the event. There is also no known link to any nationalist or Islamist group in the Caucasus region that the brothers regarded as their homeland. Such an association would suggest they were recruited as foot soldiers and given operational instructions to strike the Boston Marathon. US law enforcement and counter-terrorism experts increasingly think the brothers acted independently and that Tamarlan Tsarnaev was a “lone wolf,” mostly receiving personal motivation and training via the internet. Ed Pilkington, “Tamarlan Tsarnaev: Experts Puzzled as Hunt for Terror Links Yields Little,” UK Guardian, April 23, 2013.
Defense attorneys ruminate on Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev’s fate, saying Tsarnaev might entirely avoid a trial and win a modicum of mercy. “We know he’s 19 years old, we don’t think he has a criminal record or been in trouble before. There are a lot of people out there that seem to have warm, positive things about him,” says Tamar Birckhead, whose client, Richard Reid, tried to blow an airliner out of the sky but received a life sentence through a plea bargain. “To predict he’ll get a life sentence is not unreasonable.” Stephen Jones, whose client was Oklahoma City bomber client Timothy McVeigh, notes how McVeigh received the death penalty, but he said he believes the baby-faced Tsarnaev may be able to seek mercy as an impressionable youth. “If the younger brother can shed any light on the circumstances of the older brother’s alleged involvement,” according to Jones, “that’s valuable information that the government would want.” Geoffrey Fieger, whose clients include assisted-suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian, says, “Nothing about the outcome is assured.” Fieger and the other major defense attorneys state the government’s case has many weak spots that a shrewd defense attorney can exploit, beginning with the possibility that federal officials failed to immediately Mirandize Tsarnaev. Chris Cassidy, “Experts: Feds Case vs. Dzokhar Tsarnaev Has Holes,” Boston Herald, April 23,2013.
News Hampshire newspaper Foster’s Daily Democrat contacts state representative Stella Tremblay, who maintains that she questions the explanation of the bombings offered by police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Tremblay says she started questioning the official story shortly after the bombing transpired.
I was with, it was one of my constituents that sent me an email, and it went to a site where a, I think it was a major retired marine was speaking, and then he said, “Please go to Infowars,” and they had pictures of, what is it, black ops? With black backpacks. They show them at the scene, so they knew something was going on, because there wouldn’t have been that many of them.
The lawmaker also notes how a Saudi Arabian man at the bombing site received burn wounds. Tremblay notes how the man was questioned for nine hours, and the FBI created an “event file” about him. Thereafter, she says, when authorities went to search his apartment, Secretary of State John Kerry met with the Saudi Arabian ambassador behind closed doors. “There’s just too many things going on that, to me, doesn’t make any sense.” Jim Haddadin, “N.H. Rep Thinks Boston Marathon Bombing Was Done By the Government,” Foster’s Daily Democrat, April 23, 2013.
- April 24
A video cameraman and anchorperson Melissa Bagg from WPTV News Channel 5 accosts Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy following his evening class. Tracy wrote an April 22 blog post questioning many aspects of what happened on Boylston Street the day of the bombings. “We have the official narrative that this was carried out by two individuals, two Chechen immigrants, but it could be more complex than that,” Tracy tells NewsChannel 5. “The government was carrying out drills on that day. We don’t know exactly what was taking place, what the dynamics were.” Marissa Bagg, “James Tracy, Boston Bombing Hoax? FAU Professor Defends Questioning if Boston Bombs Were Staged,” WPTV News Channel 5, April 24, 2013.
Federal law enforcement authorities now admit that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was unarmed when he sustained a substantial barrage of police gunfire that repeatedly struck the boat where he was hiding, Police previously feared that Tsarnaev was heavily armed. The FBI declined to discuss what prompted the gunfire. Sari Horwitz and Peter Finn, “Officials: Boston Suspect Had No Firearms When Barrage of Bullets Hit Hiding Place,” Washington Post, April 24, 2013.
- April 25
The New York Police Department and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces that Tamarlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were poised to travel to New York City to detonate their remaining explosives in Times Square. CBS New York reports that when New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly began heightening security measures after the Boston Marathon bombing it was more than mere precaution. “New York was next on the list of targets,” Bloomberg says. “The two brothers had at their disposal six improvised explosive devices,” Kelly similarly observes, “One was a pressure cooker bomb, similar to the two that had exploded at the marathon. The other five were pipe bombs.” Bloomberg: New York Was Next Target for Boston Bombing Suspects,” CBS New York, April 25, 2013.
- April 26
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is transported from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to the Federal Medical Center at Fort Devens in Ft. Devens, Mass., U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Drew Wade tells Fox News. The FMC Devens is a federal prisons facility for male inmates who necessitate specialized or long-term medical or mental health care, according to the facility’s website. “Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Moved to Federal Medical Center,” FoxNews.com, April 26, 2013.
- May 1
Robel Phillipos, Dias Kadyrbayev, and Azamat Tazhayakov are charged by the US government with obstruction of justice and false statements. They all agree to voluntary detention. If convicted, they face as long as five years in prison for obstruction and eight years for false statements. Robert Stahl, a lawyer for Kadyrbayev, and Tazhayakov’s attorney, Harlan Protass, say their clients will plead not guilty. “As we’ve said from the very beginning, he assisted the FBI in this investigation,” Stahl says of Kadyrbayev outside the courtroom yesterday. “He was just as shocked by the violence in Boston as everyone else. He did not know this individual was involved with the bombing.” Eric Larson, David McLaughlin, and Janelle Lawrence, “Friends Land in Jail After Dumping Bomb Suspect Backpack,” Bloomberg News, May 2, 2013. See also “Lawyers on Charges Facing Bombing Suspect’s Friends” (video), Bloomberg News, May 1, 2013.
- May 6
Ibragim Todashev, 27, a Chechen man with ties to Boston bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev, is shot seven times by a Boston-based Federal Bureau of Investigation agent at his home in Orlando, Florida. The killing takes place during an interrogation by the FBI and two Massachusetts State Police officers regarding his ties to the Boston marathon bombing suspects and his role in a related 2011 triple murder in Massachusetts allegedly turns violent. Todashev purportedly wields a knife against the officers. The FBI releases a statement that the agent had acted on an “imminent threat” and shot the interview subject. The man being questioned was killed and the FBI agent was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The FBI later releases a statement that does not specify which of the law enforcers fired the fatal shot killing Todashev. “FBI Shoots Chechen Dead in Florida, Man Questioned in Links to Boston Bombers,” RT.com, May 6, 2013.
In excess of $1.2 million is raised for families of about two dozen victims of the Boston bombings on GiveForward. The donation website collects the assistances through credit and debit cards, then passes these on to the beneficiaries after deducting a 7 percent processing fee. Of the $1.2 million, over $700,000 is raised for a young couple, Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky, who were both critically wounded and went to different hospitals. Some of the Web sites, and accompanying Facebook and Twitter accounts, provide an avenue into the lives and challenges that lie ahead for many of the victims. “Victims in Boston Marathon Bombing Turn to Crowdfunding for Support,” New York Times The Lede, May 6, 2013.
- May 7
Eyewitness accounts support the probability that MBTA Transit Police Officer Richard H. Donohue Jr. was shot and almost killed by a fellow officer in Watertown on April 19 in the midst of a barrage of gunfire directed at Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Donohue was felled in the early-morning hours as a dozen police officers or more from four departments exchanged up to 300 rounds of gunfire with Dzhokhar’s older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Jane Dyson, who lives 140 feet from where Donohue was shot on Dexter Avenue, says she saw the police officer collapse and fall to the ground near the end of the gunfight as 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sped away. She says the officer appeared to be a victim of “friendly fire.” Sean P. Murphy and Todd Wallack, “Witnesses Suggest Friendly Fire Felled MBTA Officer,” Boston Globe, May 7, 2013.
- May 8
Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis testifies before the US House Committee on Homeland Security regarding the Boston Marathon bombings and funding for homeland security preparedness. In his remarks Davis discloses how Boston area law enforcement and emergency response personnel benefitted greatly in preparation for terror attacks through its collaboration with Israeli law enforcement and military personnel.
Representative Eric Swalwell: And you mentioned that you were able to work with international law enforcement agencies. Were you able to work with forces from Israel and antiterror departments from Israel?
Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis: Yes, the Israeli military and police services have been very helpful to us in sending people over to train us. As a matter of fact, the tactic that Sargent Conley used in opening the bags up—the cut and tag tactic—was taught to us by the Israelis.
“Swalwell and Boston Police Commissioner Praise Alameda County Training Program,” Congressman Eric Swalwell, May 9, 2013.
- May 16
CBS News reports that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wrote a note in the boat he was hiding in as he bled from gunshot wounds sustained in the April 19 shootout between brother Tamarlan and police. The note is scrawled with a marker on the interior wall of the cabin, saying the bombings were retribution for U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq. It called the Boston victims “collateral damage” in the same way Muslims have been in the American-led wars. “When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims,” said Tsarnaev. “Boston Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Left Note in Boat He Hid In, Sources Say,” CBS News, May 16, 2013.
- June 3
The Boston Fire Department announces on its Twitter account that Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira submitted his letter of resignation following deputy chiefs’ criticism of Abraira’s handling of the Boston Marathon bombing aftermath. In an April 26 letter to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, 13 deputy fire chiefs asserted no confidence in Abraira, arguing that he failed to assume command responsibility or show any leadership at the scene. “At a time when the city of Boston needed every first responder to take decisive action, Chief Abraira failed to get involved in operational decision-making or show any leadership,” the letter read. In the letter, the deputies describe an e-mail Abraira sent to all department members, noting that when he arrived at the scene, “it was clear that our Command Officer had the incident well in hand and that our department was fully active in a support role with our law enforcement partners.” The deputies call Abraira’s argument “illogical” and “mere rationalization to justify his behavior,” pointing out that when Abraira arrived, the Boston Fire Department was “still heavily involved in the incident” because of the possibility of “second explosions,” “additional suspicious packages” and “structural stability concern of buildings,” among other issues. Stephanie Gallman and Kristina Sgueglia, “Boston Fire Chief Resigns After Criticism of Bombing Response,” CNN, June 4, 2013.
After 50 days Erika Brannock, hospitalized after bombs at the Boston Marathon wreak havoc with her legs, is the last of over 250 victims to be released from hospital. Monday was a long time coming — 50 days in fact. “I leave here today — after 11 surgeries, some pretty dark moments, and 50 days in this hospital — with nothing but admiration for this great city,” Brannock says upon leaving Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. On April 15 she, her sister and brother-in-law attended watch Brannock’s mother runThey were standing near the finish line when the bombs detonated. “I fell backwards, and I could see oranges and yellows,” Brannock tells CNN. “I could hear the sirens and people crying and screaming. But I never heard the actual boom.” “I had a conversation with God in my head, and I told him I wasn’t ready to go.” Just then a woman crawled over to Brannock and grabbed her hand, using her belt as a tourniquet on Brannock’s leg. “She had heard me screaming for help and she said, ‘My name is Joan from California, and I’m not going to let you go.’ And she stayed with me the whole time.” Brannock began having nightmares after she learned that surviving bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was at the same hospital as her, and dreamed he was going to blow up Beth Israel. Randi Kaye, Dana Puente, and Dana Ford, “’Ready to Go Home:’ Last Boston Bombing Victim Leaves the Hospital,” CNN, June 4, 2013.
- June 8
The Boston Globe reports that the entire April 15 Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath played out in almost identical fashion to a Department of Homeland Security-sponsored terrorist drill scheduled for June. The drill scenario had been painstakingly planned: A terrorist group intending to injure scores of people around Boston leave backpacks filled with explosives at Faneuil Hall, the Seaport District, and in other towns, spreading waves of panic and fear. Detectives pursue and catch the culprits. “Operation Urban Shield” was developed to train dozens of detectives in the Greater Boston area to work together to thwart a terrorist threat. The hypothetical terrorist group was even given a name: Free America Citizens, a home-grown cadre of militiamen whose logo would be a metal skull wearing an Uncle Sam hat and a furious expression, according to a copy of the plans obtained by the Boston Globe. “The real thing happened before we were able to execute,” says a law enforcement official intimately aware of the planned exercise. “We’ve already been tested.” This would have been the third year for Urban Shield, a 24-hour federally funded training exercise meant to test the response of law enforcement and other public safety personnel in a major emergency. The training is funded by a $200,000 Homeland Security grant and will probably be rescheduled to early next year, Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan, whose agency was slated to participate. The basic plot was this: Half a dozen members of Free America Citizens wanted to gauge police response to a bomb scare. They would plant hoax devices, then stay on the scene to watch and record the bomb squad and detectives as they responded, as a dry run to a larger attack. Yet the participating detectives would not have known they were being watched, only that they were responding to an urgent terrorist threat. The goal of the training was for them to figure out the motives of Free America Citizens as they investigated the case, the official said. The planned exercise has eerie similarities to the police investigation that led to the capture of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whose images were caught on video cameras and who were captured after a car chase and shoot-out with police. Officials intend to repeat the drill at a future date. A police spokeswoman, declined to say what a new training might look like. “We can’t talk about what we’re doing for emergency preparedness,” she says. “The people who participate in this don’t know what the scenario is.” Maria Cramer, “Police Response Training Planned, But Bombs Hit First,” Boston Globe, June 8, 2013.
- June 19
John Hancock Financial and the Boston Athletic Association announce that the 2013 Boston Marathon champion, Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, will give his championship medal to the City of Boston to honor the victims and families affected by the April 15, 2013 bombing. Desisa is scheduled to present his medal to Mayor Thomas M. Menino on June 23, 2013, at 10:00AM on the Boston Common. Desisa will make the tribute after competing in the Boston Athletic Association 10K, which begins at 8 a.m. In a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Ethiopia last month, Desisa announced his intention of returning to Boston to gift his medal to the City. “Tribute to Be Held on the Boston Common on June 23, 2013, at 10:00AM,” Boston Athletic Association, June 19, 2013.
During Game 6 of the Stanley Cup series at Boston’s TD Garden Boston bombing victim Jeff Bauman is wheeled out onto the ice with the help of his friend Carlos Arredondo, and stands up using two prosthetic legs, waving to the crowd. Arredondo gained national attention after the well-known photo of him running alongside Bauman following the April 15 attack. The duo were picked to be banner captains and raise a “Boston Strong” flag before the game. Steve Annear, “Boston Victim Jeff Bauman Stands Up During Flag Ceremony at Bruins Game,” Boston Magazine, June 24, 2013.
- July 10
Supporters of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev gather at the federal courthouse in Boston where Tsarnaev is to appear for his arraignment on charges of his direct involvement in bombing the Boston Marathon. Participants of the Freejahar movement contend that the suspect is innocent of all such charges. Pamela Engel, “Fans of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Show Up At Court to Support Boston Bombing Suspect–And One of Them is Wearing This Shirt,” Business Insider, July 10, 2013.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears in federal court in Boston and pleads not guilty to a broad terrorism indictment that may result in him receiving the death penalty. 30 bombing victims are in attendance, with some wearing the Boston Marathon gear. Tsarnaev articulated “not guilty” pleas in a thick accent seven times to assemblages of charges that include using a weapon of mass destruction. US Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler orders Tsarnaev to answer himself when his attorney attempts to intercede. The judge also gave victims an opportunity to speak at the brief hearing, but no one did. Tsarnaev wears an orange prison jumpsuit with the top unbuttoned, and a black T-shirt underneath. His hair is shaggy and his face appears distorted at times as he fidgets in his seat. There was a visible scar beneath his throat and he wears what appears to be a cast on his left arm. Eric Moskowitz, David Abel, Milton J. Valencia, and John R. Ellement, “Marathon Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Pleads Not Guilty to 30 Terror Charges at Arrainment in Federal Court in Boston,” Boston.com, July 10, 2013.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of Tamarlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, tells ABC News that those who are angry with her son are only angry because they do not know he is innocent. One supporter of Tsarnaev’s said before the hearing that he believed Tsarnaev was framed. Tsarnaeva says that she and her husband will be monitoring the trial from their home in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, in southern Russia. Michael McFee, John Haskell, and Kirit Radia, “Accused Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Smiles in Court, Pleads Not Guilty,” ABC News, July 10, 2013.
- July 17
The Federal Bureau of Investigation orders a Florida medical examiner’s office not suppress the autopsy of Ibragim Todashev, a 27-year-old Chechen man killed by an FBI agent during an interrogation in May concerning his ties to suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The interrogation which took place in his apartment on May 22 was set for release on July 8. Yet the FBI contends that an internal probe into Todashev’s death is ongoing. “The FBI has informed this office that the case is still under active investigation and thus not to release the document,” according to a public statement by Tony Miranda, forensic records coordinator for Orange and Osceola counties in Orlando. The forensic report is expected to clarify the circumstances of Todashev’s death. The Bureau’s statement issued on the day of the incident only says that the person being interviewed was killed when a “violent confrontation was initiated by the individual.” “FBI Withholds Autopsy of Tsarnaev’s Associate ‘Shot in Head’ During Questioning,” RT, July 17, 2013.
- July 18
With accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s being featured on the cover of the latest Rolling Stone magazine, a wave of harsh criticism is initiated in social media and boardrooms around the country. “THE BOMBER,” the cover reads. “How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster.” The condemnation erupted on platforms including Twitter and Facebook and from political leaders in Boston. Still, some defended Rolling Stone‘s decision, arguing that the cover draws attention to the story of a young man who appeared as an unlikely terrorist. Julie Cannold, Mayra Cuevas, and Joe Sterling, “Rolling Stone Cover of Bombing Suspect Called ‘Slap’ to Boston,” CNN, July 18, 2013.
- July 26
Sgt. Sean Murphy, regarded as heroic for leaking images of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s capture to offset what many see as a positive cover photo of the Boston bombing suspect, stays on the State Police force with a reassignment to administrative duties. “We have confidence that the State Police will do the right thing,” Murphy’s attorney Leonard Kesten says. “Yes, [Murphy] broke some rules. But he acted to ease the pain of victims and the outpouring of support has been palpable.” Michael Muskal, “Officer Who Leaked Boston Bombing Suspect Photos Now On Limited Duty,” Los Angeles Times, July 26, 2013.
- July 31
Six law enforcement agents from the Joint Terrorism Task Force surround Long Island resident Michele Catalano’s family. The call is prompted by Catalano’s web searches for pressure cookers, her husband’s online quest for backpacks and her “news junkie” son’s desire for information on the Boston bombings, all of which coalesced in the internet ether to create a “perfect storm of terrorism profiling”. Catalano is away at work and says the raid is due to shopping for such a cooker to prepare vegetables. The authorities eventually explained how the investigation was prompted by online searches a family member had made for pressure cooker bombs and backpacks made at Mr. Catalano’s previous workplace. The former employer judged the searches suspicious and contacted police. Adam Gabbatt, “New York Woman Visited By Police After Researching Pressure Cookers Online,” UK Guardian, August 1, 2013.
US Representative William Keating sends a letter to newly-inducted FBI Director James Comey, requesting information to determine whether there were security shortcomings in the events leading up to the Boston Marathon bombings. Martin Finucane, “Keating Calls for Answers From FBI on Marathon Bombings,” Boston Globe, August 1, 2013.
- August 2
Andrea Gause, 26, is arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on charges of receiving almost half a million dollars from One Fund Boston, the nonprofit fund established for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Gause was arrested on July 19 in her hometown of Troy, New York, on a Massachusetts fugitive warrant, according to a statement from Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. Gause is formally charged with larceny over $250, to which she pleads not guilty. Judge Thomas C. Horgan set her bail at $200,000 cash. The nonprofit — The One Fund Boston — began distributing nearly $61 million to 232 eligible claimants starting June 30. Gause was awarded $480,000 from the fund after claiming that as a result of the Boston Marathon bombing she suffered a traumatic brain injury resulting in long-term memory loss, impaired speech and loss of some motor function that would require future surgery. Elizabeth Landers, “N.Y. Woman Arraigned in One Fund Boston Scam,” CNN, August 2, 2013.
- August 6
Abdulbaki Todashev, the father of 27-year-old Ibragim Todashev, the Chechen man fatally shot by a Boston FBI agent, arrives in the United States with the intent to file a lawsuit against the agency and investigate the mysterious death of his son. Todashev, who lived in Orlando, Florida at the time of the interrogation, had been friends with the suspected bomber when they both lived in Massachusetts.
After several hours of questioning, Todashev was shot dead by the FBI in a case that remains obscure and the FBI has sought to withhold information on. Abdulbaki Todashev, who lives in Chechnya, described the incident as an execution-style murder. “Killed Chechen’s Father Arrives in US to Sue the FBI,” RT, August 6, 2013.
- August 8
A federal grand jury indicts Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both 19 and from Kazakhstan, with conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstructing justice with the intent to impede the bombing investigation. If convicted, they each face up to 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, as well as deportation. According to the FBI complaint the two allegedly went to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s room at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on the evening of April 18 and at Tsarnaev’s suggestion removed his laptop computer and a backpack containing fireworks, a jar of Vaseline, a thumb drive and other items. Richard A. Serrano, “Tsarnaev Friends Indicted in Boston Marathon Bombing Case,” Los Angeles Times, August 8, 2013.
- August 9
Reporters and national counterterrorism correspondents from the Boston Globe and National Public Radio participate in a panel discussion to discuss “One of the worst domestic terrorism cases in years and hour journalists covered it” at the annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in Washington DC. “Analysis of Media Coverage of the Boston Bombing,” CSPAN, August 9, 2013.
TO BE CONTINUED.