Marathon Bombing: Investigation And Aftermath

Editor’s Note: As of 4 p.m. on April 26, 2013, we are no longer updating this blog. For complete coverage of the marathon bombing and aftermath, see more stories here.

1:56 PM

Bombing Suspect’s Mother Was On Terrorism Watchlist, Officials Tell AP

The Associated Press reports:

The mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was added to a federal terrorism database about 18 months before the attack, government officials said Thursday.

Two government officials said the CIA had Zubeidat Tsarnaeva’s name listed along with that of her son Tamerlan Tsarnaev after Russia contacted the agency in 2011 with concerns that the two were religious militants about to travel to Russia. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

Being in the classified TIDE database does not automatically mean a person is suspected by the U.S. of terrorist activity and does not automatically subject someone to surveillance, security screening or travel restrictions.

12:48 PM

Mass. Congressional Delegates Recognize Marathon Victims, Survivors, ‘Public Safety Heroes’

One week after the suspect in the marathon bombings was captured, members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation will honor victims and first responders on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

From 1:00-1:30 p.m. today, the “delegation along with members of Congress from neighboring states will recognize and thank law enforcement officers, medical professionals, first responders, and citizen heroes for their incredible bravery, dedication, and sacrifice,” according to the delegation’s press release.

The representatives will also honor those who lost their lives — Martin RichardKrystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi, and MIT officer Sean Collier — as well as those injured in the attacks, now totaling over 200.

“It was a difficult time not just for Massachusetts and the Greater Boston area but for the country,” Rep. Joseph Kennedy III of Massachusetts’ 4th District told WBUR earlier today. “There has been a silver lining to it, seeing how the community has come together has certainly been inspiring for a lot of people, myself included.”

Watch live on CPSAN.

7:03 AM

Bombing Suspect Moved To Prison Facility

The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has been moved to federal medical detention facility about 40 miles west of Boston.

The U.S. Marshals Service says 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was moved overnight from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston to the Federal Medical Center Devens in central Massachusetts.

According to its website, the facility is an “administrative facility housing male offenders requiring specialized or long-term medical or mental health care” and also has a “satellite camp housing minimum security male inmates.”

5:55 PM

Setting The Record Straight On Evolving Manhunt Details

The bombing suspects’ involvement in a robbery of a 7-Eleven. The Watertown resident’s boat not being in the police perimeter. The resident seeing blood on the boat’s tarp, which led him to find the suspect.

Over the last week, we’ve noted that these and a few other initial details from the manhunt — offered by authorities and then reported by us — have since been deemed incorrect.

In fact — and in the interest of setting the record straight on what we’ve reported — the suspects did not rob a convenience store, State Police told us later; the boat was within the sealed-off perimeter, Boston police said later; and the owner of the boat did not see blood, he told WCVB-TV. Additionally, officials told The Associated Press the suspect was unarmed in the boat when captured, which counters what Boston’s police commissioner had said earlier.

WBUR’s David Boeri and Anthony Brooks discussed these evolving details and the nature of fact-finding in a manhunt on Radio Boston. It’s worth a listen:

Benjamin Swasey

2:59 PM

Marathon-Worn Sneakers On Boston Magazine’s Cover

Boston Magazine released its May cover this morning:

Boston Magazine's May cover

The cover is of shoes worn during the marathon and the soon-out issue features stories of runners who wore the shoes. Boston Magazine’s editor explains the story behind the cover here.

2:30 PM

NYC Officials: Boston Suspects Sought To Set Off More Bombs In Times Square

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, left, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg hold a news conference, Thursday on the suspected Boston Marathon bombers. (Mark Lennihan/AP)

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, left, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg hold a news conference on the suspected Boston Marathon bombers. (Mark Lennihan/AP)

In a just-completed news conference, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the Tsarnaev brothers intended to set off additional explosives in the city’s Times Square.

The NYC officials said the suspected Boston Marathon bombers had a pressure cooker bomb and five pipe bombs in their possession.

The Boston Globe adds:

… Kelly said that the Tsarnaevs had initially told investigators that he and his brother had decided to go to New York to “party.” But that story changed, he said, in a subsequent investigation.

Kelly said the brothers had “decided spontaneously” on Times Square as a target, while they were driving around [Greater Boston] in a carjacked Mercedes.

11:00 AM

Tamerlan On 2 Watch Lists, And Other Developments Today

A roundup of today’s (Thursday) developments:

The Boston Globe and The New York Times report that killed bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was placed on two separate terror watch lists — by the FBI and the CIA — after the two agencies were alerted to his suspicious activities by Russian authorities.

— Officials told The Associated Press surviving bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was unarmed when he was captured in a Watertown boat. The AP adds: “Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said earlier that shots were fired from inside the boat.”

— The suspects’ father today told reporters, including the AP, that he plans to leave Russia for the U.S. “today or tomorrow.” The father has expressed a desire to come to the U.S. to defend his younger son “and if possible bring his older son’s body back to Russia for burial,” the AP reports.

Meanwhile, in Rhode Island, Tamerlan’s widow “has not yet said whether she plans a funeral or wants to claim his body,” the AP reports.

5:28 PM

Bombs Used Remote-Controlled Triggers, Officials Tell AP

More from The Associated Press in Washington:

U.S. officials say the Boston Marathon explosions that killed three people and wounded more than 260 were triggered by a remote-controlled detonator.

Two officials on Wednesday said the bombs were not very sophisticated. One of the officials described the detonator as “close-controlled” — meaning it had to be triggered within several blocks of the bombs.

It’s not clear what the detonation device was, the AP adds, but in the criminal complaint against him, authorities described Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as holding a cellphone before the blasts.

Separately, The Los Angeles Times (via NPR) reports that the bombs “were triggered by long-range remote controls for toy cars.”

4:05 PM

Officials: U.S. Wars Fueled Suspects, AP Reports

Citing officials, The Associated Press reports from Washington:

U.S. officials say the surviving suspect in last week’s attack on the Boston Marathon has told investigators he and his brother were angry about U.S. wars in Muslim countries.

Two officials said that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev acknowledged the anti-U.S. motive while being questioned by investigators last weekend.

One official on Wednesday said Tsarnaev cited the U.S.-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan as the motive for the Boston attack. The official was briefed on the investigation by the FBI.

The other official is close to the investigation. Both officials demanded anonymity to talk about the ongoing probe.

Neighbors have described Dzhokhar’s older brother, Tamerlan, as visibly angry about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The development follows a similar report from The Washington Post.

2:29 PM

Free Parking On Boylston Street, Entire Back Bay Through Sunday

We reported earlier that Boylston Street and the Copley Square MBTA station have reopened to the public, but now there’s also this from the city:

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced that parking at meters on Boylston Street, as well as throughout the entire Back Bay, will be free today through Sunday. The City encourages all to come back to the area, go to our restaurants, go to our shops and get involved in the recovery effort.

“Boston is strong and we will support Boylston Strong all weekend long,” Mayor Menino said.

He continued, “As of today, these businesses that have been off limits since Marathon Monday are open and are looking forward to receiving and serving their customers once again. To support the efforts of our local businesses through the end of the weekend, the City of Boston is offering free parking at meters on Boylston Street and throughout the entire Back Bay.”

The meters in question are located on all Back Bay streets between Arlington Street and Massachusetts Avenue, as well as those parking meters adjacent to the Public Garden.

10:43 AM

Video: Veterans Bring Hope To Blast Victims

Less than a week after losing both her legs below the knee in the blasts at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Celeste Corcoran sits in a hospital bed next to her daughter, 18-year-old Sydney, who suffered injuries from severe shrapnel wounds.

“I can’t do anything right now,” Celeste says.

But Gabe Martinez and Cameron West, two Marines with the nonprofit Semper Fi Fund, are there to tell her it gets better.

“Right now, yes, but I’m telling you, with all my heart, you are going to be more independent than you ever were,” Martinez says. “This is basically the start, you know, this is the new beginning for the both of you.”

According to The Boston Globe, between West and Martinez, they had lost three legs and part of a hand in separate bomb blasts in Afghanistan in 2010. The veterans visited four hospitals in a 24-hour trip to Boston.

Watch the full video, which was posted on a fundraising page for the Corcorans, here:

10:28 AM

Timeline: How Events Unfolded In The Search For The Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects

WBUR has reconstructed a timeline of the chaotic manhunt for the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings. On Thursday evening, the FBI released surveillance images of two suspects. Here’s what happened after that.

6:27 AM

Map: Cambridge Road Closures

The city of Cambridge is closing various roads beginning before the Wednesday morning rush hour for the memorial service in honor of MIT police officer Sean Collier.

The following roads will be closed to vehicular traffic:

  • Vassar Street — between Audrey Street and Mass Ave
  • Mass Ave — from Albany Street toward Boston
  • Mass Ave Bridge into Cambridge

The following roads will be closed to both vehicular traffic and pedestrian and bicycle traffic:

  • Memorial Drive — between Mass Ave and the Boston University bridge

(Map source; View full size)

Update at 2 p.m.: Here’s the report on the now-completed memorial.

6:11 AM

Boylston Street, Copley Square T Station Reopen

Update at 5 p.m.: Here’s WBUR’s Fred Bever on the reopening.

The Associated Press reports:

Traffic was allowed to flow all the way down Boylston Street on Wednesday morning for the first time since two explosions on April 15 killed three spectators and sent more than 260 to the hospital.

Delivery trucks made their way down the street under a heavy police presence.

Workers at some businesses and hotels in the area were allowed to return to their jobs on Tuesday to prepare for reopening.

Some stores directly affected by the blasts are still boarded up.

The Copley subway station that had been closed since the bombings also reopened, while the main branch of the Boston Public Library was also scheduled to reopen Wednesday.

8:57 PM

Man Who Found Suspect In His Boat Calls Himself ‘Incidental Hero’

David Henneberry, the Watertown resident who found the surviving Marathon bombing suspect in his boat Friday evening, called himself an “incidental hero” in an interview with WCVB-TV.

The Associated Press adds these details of the interview:

Henneberry said he didn’t see blood outside his boat Friday evening, but went to check it twice because its cover was disarranged. The second time, he climbed a ladder, lifted the wrap, and saw “a good amount” of blood on the floor.

Henneberry said he saw a body inside, but didn’t see the face. He said he doesn’t remember going down the ladder to call 911, but says “I didn’t waste any time.”

You can watch the full WCVB interview here.

5:31 PM

One Fund Boston Has Raised More Than $20M

One Fund Boston administrator Kenneth Feinburg, surrounded by public officials, offers details on the fund and its workings Tuesday. (George Hicks/WBUR)

One Fund Boston administrator Kenneth Feinburg, surrounded by public officials, offers details on the fund and its workings Tuesday. (George Hicks/WBUR)

Donations to the One Fund Boston, benefiting victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, have surpassed $20 million, officials said today.

Fund officials will begin taking applications from victims on May 15, and people will have a month to register. The first payments are expected to be distributed June 30.

In a news conference, the fund’s administrator, attorney Kenneth Feinberg, said: “One hundred percent of funds allocated to One Fund Boston will be distributed by the Fourth of July to every eligible claimant, who have examined the claim form and have satisfied that they’re eligible.”

He added:

It’s not a lot of money when you look at the nature of injuries, the number of injuries, how you’re going to divide this money. It is a wonderful outpouring, but it won’t make people whole.

4:59 PM

Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Wife In ‘Absolute Shock’

Katherine Russell, the wife of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, says “reports of involvement by her husband and brother-in-law came as an absolute shock,” according to a statement released through her attorneys and obtained by The Boston Herald.

More from the statement, via the Herald:

As a mother, a sister, a daughter, a wife, Katie deeply mourns the pain and loss to innocent victims — students, law enforcement, families and our community. In the aftermath of this tragedy, she, her daughter and her family are trying to come to terms with these events.

3:11 PM

Looking Back At Dzhokhar Tsarvaev’s Tweets

The tweets from the account believed to be Tsarvaev’s are a mixture of profane, mundane, silly and sometimes ominous.

12:48 PM

Tsarnaev’s Condition Now ‘Fair’

This just in from the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts:

12:14 PM

Martin Richard, Youngest Bombing Victim, Laid To Rest

This statement was just released from Denise and Bill Richard, parents of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old killed in last week’s bombing:

The outpouring of love and support over the last week has been tremendous. This has been the most difficult week of our lives and we appreciate that our friends and family have given us space to grieve and heal.

A private Funeral Mass was celebrated this morning with immediate family. We laid our son Martin to rest, and he is now at peace. We plan to have a public memorial service in the coming weeks to allow friends and loved ones from our community to join us for a celebration of Martin’s life.

WBUR’s Delores Handy reports on response of the family’s community:

11:36 AM

MIT Cancels Classes For Wednesday

MIT has decided to cancel classes Wednesday in order to “allow a day of reflection for the MIT community upon the loss of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier.”

MIT is hosting a memorial service in honor of Collier at noon Wednesday. The event is open to “law enforcement and members of the MIT community with MIT IDs” only. It is not open to the general public. Vice President Joe Biden is expected to attend. (More information on on the memorial here.)

The city of Cambridge has announced multiple road closures around the event, including the closure of Memorial Drive midnight Wednesday between Massachusetts Avenue and the Boston University bridge. The Massachusetts Avenue bridge will close at 7 a.m. Wednesday. (See the city of Cambridge website for more details on road closures.)

A private funeral for Collier was held on Tuesday.

11:10 AM

Businesses, Residents Begin Returning To Boylston Street

Residents and business owners are returning to parts of Boylston Street this morning for the first time since the bombings.

Block-by-block, city officials are taking people from the Hynes Convention Center to Boylston Street to review their property and help identify any issues with which the city can help.

While the street remains closed to traffic and the general public from Hereford to Berkeley until further notice (see current access map), the Associated Press reports that police this morning were allowing pedestrians and traffic to cross Boylston Street on Clarendon for the first time since the bombings.

The mayor’s office says at this time it is unclear when businesses closest to the bombing sites will be allowed to reopen.


10:54 AM

Claiming Property Left At Crime Scene

The Boston Police Department has begun the process of returning belongings people left behind while fleeing last week’s attacks. The FBI has released the items it says are not needed for evidence and they can be collected in three ways.

From the city of Boston:

  • Visit in person at One Schroder Plaza, Media Room — 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. beginning Tuesday, April 23 to Friday, April 26. Bring proper identification. Parking will be available on Tremont Street. Please follow direction of officers.
  • Email with name, phone number, email address and description of items lost (as detailed as possible). You will be contacted if the item is in possession of BPD.
  • Call the mayor’s hotline at 617-635-4500 with a description of lost items. You will receive a follow up call from BPD.

The BPD says it will work with other police departments to deliver items to people living outside of the region.

10:48 AM

Photo: A Pause At The Finish Line

Jack Fleming, of the Boston Athletic Association, paused at the finish line on Boylston Street between Dartmouth and Exeter streets yesterday after a ceremony in which federal investigators formally released the finish line bombing crime scene to the city of Boston:

(Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

(Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

10:41 AM

Stoneham Mourns Slain MIT Police Officer

Pallbearers carry the casket of fallen Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier into St. Patrick's Church before a funeral Mass in Stoneham Tuesday. (Steven Senne/AP)

Pallbearers carry the casket of fallen Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier into St. Patrick’s Church before a funeral Mass in Stoneham. (Steven Senne/AP)

Sean Collier, the MIT police officer authorities say was killed in a confrontation with the suspected Marathon bombers on Thursday, was memorialized in Stoneham today. It was a reminder for many locals that several of their neighbors were hurt in the original attack.

The funeral at St. Patrick Church was a very private affair. Dozens of police officers from Somerville, Cambridge and Arlington stood at attention before the funeral, which Gov. Deval Patrick also attended.

After the hearse carrying Collier’s coffin drove away, his colleagues from the MIT police force made a somber parade march down the street.

It was a cold and raw day, but a few bystanders stood outside during the service, and afterward. As the police officers marched past, Mary Ellen Monahan walked down the street, tears streaming from her eyes.

“To be that young and to be a real man and to just put your life on the line for people you don’t know,” she said. “That man doesn’t know me. And he dies for us to be able to live like us, for us to walk down the street, for us to be free and now he’s dead and he’s just a baby and he didn’t get to have the life I have.”

Many in Stoneham seem traumatized by last week’s events. Mary Susan Blout says the attack was merciless to the community.

“It’s just amazing how many people were injured that day from this town,” she said. “Obviously the Dorchester effect was a whole family but other than that I don’t know any town that had so many people from it that were directly affected. Three people lost limbs, two were burned, and now this poor guy, it’s unbelievable.”

Locals describe this Boston suburb of 23,000 as a close-knit town; it seems like everyone knows someone whose life was affected by the bombings and their aftermath. Two of the injured, brothers JP and Paul Norden, were regulars at a restaurant in bordering Wakefield, the Dockside.

The restaurant held fundraisers for the victims last week, and “Boston Strong” T-shirts are still on sale. Bartender Melanie Hartrey says she’s known the brothers and family for a decade.

“I hear they are doing well,” she said. “I believe they had surgeries yesterday but I believe they are doing well. We just saw some pictures on facebook and they look like they are in good spirits. I know they are more worried about each other and being in different hospitals, and worried about their mom, than anything else.

Town officials are planning a “Stoneham Strong” fundraiser at the high school football field this Friday.

This post was reported by Fred Bever and updated at 5:15 p.m.

A separate memorial service at MIT’s Briggs Field is planned for noon Wednesday. That service, which Vice President Joe Biden is expected to attend, is open to law enforcement and members of the MIT community with MIT IDs only. (More information on who is invited here.) MIT has also cancelled classes Wednesday.

The city of Cambridge has announced multiple road closures around the event, including the closure of Memorial Drive midnight Wednesday between Massachusetts Avenue and the Boston University Bridge. The Massachusetts Avenue Bridge will close at 7 a.m. Wednesday. (See the city of Cambridge website for more details on road closures.)

10:22 AM

New Bombing Injury Tally: 264

The Associated Press reports:

Public health officials are now saying that 264 people sought treatment at Boston area hospitals for injuries sustained in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Authorities had been saying that about 180 people were injured, but that was just victims brought to the hospital in the immediate aftermath of the April 15 explosions. Three people were killed and at least 14 people lost all or part of a limb.

The Boston Public Health Commission says some people delayed seeking treatment, for example, people who had ringing in their ears from the blasts they thought might go away, but persisted for several days. Other people sought delayed treatment for minor shrapnel wounds. Twenty-seven different hospitals treated the injured.

The commission said as of Tuesday, 51 people were still hospitalized.

This post was updated at 3 p.m.

8:16 AM

The Rev. Liz Walker: Evil Exists, But It Will Not Have The Last Word

The memorial that grew organically on Boylston Street is following the bombings is just one of the powerful things that have brought people together in response to last week’s attacks.

The Rev. Liz Walker, a longtime Boston TV news anchor who is now pastor of the Roxbury Presbyterian Church, says she is struck by the community that has emerged in response to the attack:


6:52 PM

FBI Turns Boylston Street Back To Boston

The city of Boston says, in a press release:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation presented Mayor Menino with a commemorative American flag that has flown at half-staff over the Boston Marathon Finish line in a ceremony that turned Boylston Street back over to the City of Boston.

This will enable the City to commence its five phase plan for re-opening the street.

The city details its five-point plan here.

5:36 PM

DA: Bombing Might Provide Leads In Unsolved 2011 Slaying

The Middlesex County district attorney’s office says it will investigate if any links turn up between a suspected Marathon bomber and an unsolved 2011 slaying.

The Associated Press details:

Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was pronounced dead early Friday after a shootout with police, was a friend of one of three men found dead in an apartment in Waltham on Sept. 12, 2011, with their necks slit and their bodies reportedly covered with marijuana.

Tsarnaev’s friend, Brendan Mess, was also a boxer.

3:10 PM

Moment Of Silence Held For Victims

People observe a moment of silence for Boston Marathon victims on the city's Berkeley Street Monday afternoon. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

People observe a moment of silence for Boston Marathon victims on the city’s Berkeley Street Monday afternoon. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

At 2:50 p.m. — one week to the minute after two explosions rocked the Boston Marathon — people in Boston and other cities observed a moment of silence for the attack’s victims.

Per State House News Service reporter Matthew Murphy, Gov. Deval Patrick led the moment on the State House steps. “God bless the people of Massachusetts,” he said after it was over. “Boston Strong.”

Added The Boston Globe’s Andrew Ryan, elsewhere in the city:

From left: Speaker Robert DeLeo, Gov. Deval Patrick, Attorney General Martha Coakley and Treasurer Steve Grossman observe the moment of silence on the State House steps Monday afternoon. (@MassGovernor/Twitter)

From left: Speaker Robert DeLeo, Gov. Deval Patrick, Attorney General Martha Coakley and Treasurer Steve Grossman observe the moment of silence on the State House steps Monday afternoon. (@MassGovernor/Twitter)