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Federal Grand Jury Indicts Marathon Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

This article is more than 7 years old.

A federal grand jury has returned a 30-count indictment against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (FBI)
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (FBI)

The indictment charges the 19-year-old with using a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a place of public use, resulting in death, among other charges.

Tsarnaev and his late older brother, Tamerlan, are accused of planting twin explosives near the marathon's finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others. They are also accused of fatally shooting an MIT campus police officer.

Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police in Watertown on April 19. Dzhokhar was captured later that day.

On May 22, the U.S. Department of Justice charged Dzhokhar with using a weapon of mass destruction.

Federal and state authorities have planned a 3 p.m. news conference to detail the indictment.

Update at 2:15 p.m.: A few excerpts from the indictment:

Under "general allegations" section:

On April 19, 2013, while DZHOKHAR A. TSARNAEV was hiding from police in a drydocked boat in a Watertown, Massachusetts backyard, he wrote a message on an inside wall and beams of the boat that said (among other things): "The u.s. Government is killing our innocent civilians;" "I can't stand to see such evil go unpunished;" "We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all;" "Now I don't like killing innocent people it is forbidden in Islam but due to said [unintelligible] it is allowed;" and "Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop."

Under "overt acts" section:

At a time unknown to the Grand Jury, but before on or about April 15, 2013, DZHOKHAR A. TSARNAEV downloaded to his computer a digital copy of a book entitled, "The Slicing Sword, Against the One Who Forms Allegiances With the Disbelievers and Takes Them as Supporters Instead of Allah, His Messenger and The Believers." The version that DZHOKHAR A. TSARNAEV downloaded had a foreword by Anwar Al-Awlaki, who was a well-known al-Qaeda propagandist. This publication directs Muslims not to give their allegiance to governments that invade Muslim lands.

At a time unknown to the Grand Jury, but before on or about April 15, 2013, DZHOKHAR A. TSARNAEV downloaded to his computer a publication entitled "Defense of the Muslim Lands, the First Obligation After Imam," by Abdullah Azzam, who is also known as "the Father of Global Jihad." This publication advocates violence designed to terrorize the perceived enemies of Islam, among other things.

At a time unknown to the Grand Jury, but before on or about April IS, 2013, DZHOKHAR A. TSARNAEV downloaded to his computer a copy of Volume One of Inspire magazine, which includes instructions on how to build IEDs using pressure cookers or sections of pipe, explosive powder from fireworks, and shrapnel, among other things.

Update at 3:30 p.m.: Federal and state authorities detailed the indictment in a just-completed news conference. In addition to reading the event's timeline, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said Tsarnaev faces "life and, possibly, death, if convicted." She added that it's up to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder as to whether to seek the death penalty.

This article was originally published on June 27, 2013.

This program aired on June 27, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

Benjamin Swasey Twitter Digital Manager
Ben is WBUR's digital news manager.


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