The Dzhokhar Complaint

As I noted in the last thread, the complaint against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been released.

The affidavit supporting the complaint was sworn yesterday evening at 6:47, not in Boston, but in Brookline.

It charges Dzhokhar with two counts: unlawfully conspiring to use a WMD (which is a terrorism charge) and maliciously destroying, by use of an explosive, property used in interstate and foreign commerce, resulting in death. The WMD charge is completely consistent with past charges, though it is used more consistently with Muslim terrorists than with white terrorists (though it was used, then plead down, against the Spokane MLK bomber, who used a bomb similar to the one Dzhokhar allegedly used).

The complaint describes what surveillance footage of Dzhokhar shows just after he dropped his knapsack on the ground outside the Forum Restaurant:

The Forum Restaurant video shows that Bomber Two remained in the same spot for approximately four minutes, occasionally looking at his cell phone and once appearing to take a picture with it. At some point he appears to look at his phone, which is held at approximately waist level, and may be manipulating the phone. Approximately 30 seconds before the first explosion, he lifts his phone to his ear as if he is speaking on his cell phone, and keeps it there for approximately 18 seconds. A few seconds after he finishes the call, the large crowd of people around him can be seen reacting to the first explosion. Virtually every head turns to the east (towards the finish line) and stares in that direction in apparent bewilderment and alarm. Bomber Two, virtually alone among the individuals in front of the restaurant, appears calm. He glances to the east and then calmly but rapidly begins moving to the west, away from the direction of the finish line. He walks away without his knapsack, having left it on the ground where he had been standing. Approximately 10 seconds later, an explosion occurs in the location where Bomber Two had placed his knapsack.

[snip]

I can discern nothing in that location in the period before the explosion that might have caused that explosion, other than Bomber Two’s knapsack.

There are a few more details about the bombs and aftermath of interest.

The complaint appears to depart from some reports from Watertown cops, in that it reports both brothers took the Mercedes SUV together to the shootout. (Read the complaint to hear the chilling exchange with the Mercedes owner.)

The complaint describes apparent gunshot wounds to Dzhokhar’s head, neck, legs, and hand. If these are indeed gunshot wounds, it indicates more gunshot wounds than has been previously revealed by the FBI.

Finally, the complaint describes finding what appears to be the clothes Dzhokhar wore at the Marathon — his white hat and black jacket. They also found some BBs there.

Update: neil on asks a question a lot of people are asking: why include the carjacking when it wasn’t charged?

Remember, this is a complaint. All it has to do is prove probable cause for arrest. It doesn’t have to lay out all the evidence or charges (though indictments don’t have to provide all that much detail either).

But the carjacking is important because it records one of the brothers (it doesn’t specify which one, but for a variety of reasons I suspect it is Tamerlan) admitting to being the marathon bomber. Then, it describes the carjackers proceeding to use a pressure cooker bomb against the Watertown cops that is very similar to the pressure cooker found at the marathon. Without the carjacker episode, you’ve only got video evidence against Dzhokhar, and not even that definitive evidence. But with the carjacking, you tie it to a confession and further physical evidence.

Update: NYT has made the transcript of his appearance before the judge available.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

58 replies
  1. neil says:

    I thought it was strange that they included the carjacking in the indictment, since Dzhokhar isn’t being charged with that and was apparently not even present. What was the point?

  2. Jim White says:

    I’m wondering if the guy who was “arrested” and forced to strip naked was actually the carjacking victim and they were making sure he hadn’t been rigged with explosives. Has that point been clarified yet?

  3. emptywheel says:

    @neil: I think it’s an important step in probable cause. It ties the brothers to the bombing. Cause it has one of them admitting to it, and then ties it to the pressure cookers that were built the same way.

  4. neil says:

    @emptywheel: I was curious about the admission in the indictment, too — wouldn’t that be hearsay? (Not that it’s key to the indictment, but it doesn’t seem to me to be doing any work at all.)

  5. scribe says:

    The “Brookline” x-ing-out “Boston” tells me that they went to the Magistrate’s house to have her sign it, rather than do it over the phone. Given it’s a 6:47 pm signing, that tells me the meeting was 600 or 630 pm last night. More likely 6 pm so they could go through the preliminaries of meeting with the judge and have the judge actually read it before signing.

    In other words, the decision to go to the civilian courts was made long enough in advance of the actual signing – dinnertime last night – that Lindsey Graham was in the position of Donald Trump at the White House Correspondent’s Ball while the Seals were en route to binLaden’s house. He was the butt of Obama’s joke but didn’t even know it yet. To get the paperwork ready for a 6 pm-at-the-judge’s-house at a minimum they had to have it in the AG’s hands by yesterday morning – probably before MTP – for proofreading and comments and back and forth between Washington and Boston and ultimate approval. Which means they were writing it up Saturday all day and all night.

    All of which tells me they’re dotting all their i’s and crossing all their t’s to make sure this case has absolutely zero defects the best defense available in the civilian courts can latch onto.

    That addresses a primary reason the Rethugs give every time they bark about wanting military commissions – that we can’t take the chance of there being an acquittal. You’ll recall after the celebrated trial in Florida a year or two ago of a woman accused of killing her child, in which she was acquitted, several prominent Rethugs got up and pointed to that result – where they decided she was “clearly guilty” – as a good reason for military commissions.

  6. emptywheel says:

    @scribe: Oh, I don’t think there was ever a chance they’d not use civilian courts. Just that they were going to do a long presentment period of interrogation. They appear to have decided not to do that either, presumably bc they’re fairly sure this is not a big international plot.

  7. P J Evans says:

    @Jim White:
    Apparently it was a guy on his way home, probably drunk, who ended up in the wrong place. (His punishment was having to finish the trip on foot.)

  8. harpie says:

    Has an “improvised explosive device” always been referred to as a weapon of mass destruction?

    When I hear the term WMD, I usually think of something like nuclear war heads.

  9. P J Evans says:

    @harpie:
    I suspect they’ve expanded the working definition, but the pressure-cooker bombs would probably qualify anyway.

  10. lefty665 says:

    @Jim White: The chatter at the time had a cop saying “This guy has shit all in his pockets”. I thought it was strange at the time, but on reflection it seems likely it was literally true. They scared the shit out of the guy. Hence stripping, but not to search for explosives.

  11. What Constitution says:

    @harpie: I thought an IED was a WMD when used near a Catholic church. No? My point being, the guiding principle appears to be “whatever sounds scariest, we’ll call it that.” They’re IEDs in Afghanistan, WMDs in the US if anyone was hurt.

  12. scribe says:

    @harpie: If it goes “boom”, it’s a “weapon of mass destruction” as defined in the statute. I suspect a common bottle rocket or firecracker would fit the definition, if they wanted to make that case.

  13. harpie says:

    18USC 2332a(a)

    (a) Offense Against a National of the United States or Within the United States. – A person who, without lawful authority, uses, threatens, or attempts or conspires to use, a weapon of mass destruction –

    (1) against a national of the United States while such national is outside of the United States;
    (2) against any person or property within the United States […]

    […] (2) the term “weapon of mass destruction” means(A) any destructive device as defined in section 921 of this title […]

    18USC921

    (4) The term “destructive device” means –
    (A) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas –
    (i) bomb,
    (ii) grenade,
    (iii) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces,
    (iv) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce,
    (v) mine, or
    (vi) device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding clauses

  14. orionATL says:

    well, look on the bright side.

    this expansion of the definition of “weapon of mass destruction ” will make it much easier to declare that a target of american natural resources predation must be got rid of on the grounds of possessing wmd’s.

    all that would be needed would be a shipping container full of pressure cookers.

  15. FrankProbst says:

    I read the NYT transcript but not the complaint. The transcript was pretty much EXACTLY how it should have been done. Miranda warning, defense lawyer, and everything by the book.

    As a physician, I’m a bit surprised that he’s not in worse shape. He’s got gunshot wounds to the head and neck, but he obviously isn’t intubated (in other words, no breathing tube), because he’s trying to speak and is awake enough to answer questions. He can also reportedly write, so he’s got at least one hand that isn’t paralyzed. If he really tried to commit suicide by shooting himself through the mouth, he’s a REALLY bad shot.

  16. Greg Bean (@GregLBean) says:

    @harpie: I think the alarming conclusion is that Saddam obviously also had WMD’s. NO wars of aggression here, he had a pot bomb, move along, nothing to see.

    When WMD’s are trivialised to this level one has to wonder what the definition of MASS is? Now redefined to be more than 1 from the sound of it.

    So, what country does not have WMD’s?

    You’re right harpie, very troubling.

  17. FrankProbst says:

    I agree with others about the ever-expanding definition of the term “weapon of mass destruction”, but in the very narrow sense of this case, it was obviously a weapon, and it caused mass destruction. (I obviously agree with others who say that if you’re defining it this way, then you should include guns.)

  18. Snoopdido says:

    Yesterday, phred asked:

    “Clearly, these guys weren’t the brightest bulbs in the box, but one thing we still don’t understand is why would two guys whose pictures were plastered all over the internet and MSM out of nowhere decide to attract so much attention to themselves? And why shoot the MIT cop in his cruiser??? We don’t get it.”

    I’ve given it some thought overnight and here’s a scenario that I think fits the bill:

    On Thursday, the Brothers Tsarnaev find out that their pictures have now been made public and they start to panic. They have little or no money and they figure they need to get out of town.

    They go out to find a new ride because they think law enforcement has an ID on them and their existing car. They think the MIT campus is good place to look for a new ride.

    MIT campus police officer Sean Collier happens to intersect with the Brothers Tsarnaev. It may be he was suspicious of their behavior. The Brothers Tsarnaev may have been so paranoid that they believed MIT campus police officer Sean Collier knew who they were and their arrest was imminent.

    MIT campus police officer Sean Collier might have asked the Brothers Tsarnaev for some ID. The Brothers Tsarnaev might have figured it was game over and instead of pulling out ID, pulled out guns and started firing.

    In any event, this scenario seems to fit better than the idea that the Brothers Tsarnaev deliberately went out to shoot a police officer.

  19. FrankProbst says:

    @Snoopdido They appear to have meticulously planned the bombing but seem to have thought that they wouldn’t be identified. Had he kept his cool, Dzhokhar MIGHT have been able to get away with this. “My brother gave me his backpack and told me to meet him at the finish line. I put the backpack down while I was waiting for him, and when I heard the first bomb go off, my instinct was to get as far away as I could. When I heard the second blast, I got the hell out of there. I didn’t even know it was Tamerlan’s backpack that had the bomb in it until I saw our pictures on TV. I can’t believe my own brother tried to kill me!”

    In fact, now that I think about it, “Tamerlan made me do it” will probably be his defense. “He said he’d kill me/our parents/our uncle if I didn’t do what he told me to.” I doubt he’d beat a conviction with that defense, but he’d probably beat the death penalty.

  20. phred says:

    @Snoopdido: Thanks, that’s certainly plausible, except I would think Collier would have gotten out of the car to ask for id. So… perhaps they gave it to him, then he got back in the cruiser to run the id and then they killed him?

    All speculation of course, and no mention of this in the complaint today according to the Guardian, which went on to suggest that this part of the crime will be covered by a state complaint. I look forward to learning more.

    Definitely not the brightest bulbs in the box, for which I am grateful.

  21. FrankProbst says:

    Wait a sec. Doesn’t the timeline established by the complaint mean that only one of the two men was involved in the killing of the MIT police officer?

  22. phred says:

    @FrankProbst: Nope. I just read the complaint, there is no mention at all of the killing of the MIT officer.

    Perhaps you are confusing that with the carjacking? The carjacking started with just one brother.

  23. Ian Osmond says:

    As far as the number of bullet wounds Dzhokhar suffered: I’ve got a great-aunt and uncle who live three doors from there, and my father says that they’ve got a number of bullet holes in their walls. So I assume that a fair number of rounds were fired. That’s why they were evacuating the nearby homes, anyway.

  24. Snoopdido says:

    @phred: Just speculation here on my part, but a couple of thoughts on why MIT campus police officer Sean Collier would have remained in his car:

    He was a rookie cop for little over a year with little experience.

    The experience he did have was a campus police officer where the types of crimes he usually dealt with were at the low end of the violence and crime scale like fraternity fights, pot smoking, and other student hijinks.

    He was a lone police officer without a partner for backup. That may make staying in his car a type of safety blanket when confronting one or both of the Brothers Tsarnaev.

    He was used to dealing with young students and whether just one or both of the Brothers Tsarnaev were present, both would fit Collier’s mindset as students.

  25. scribe says:

    @FrankProbst: That’s why the affidavit takes the time and pains to lay out how, on viewing the videos, the agent saw this defendant was the only one in the crowd not perturbed by or looking toward the first explosion but, instead, remaining calm.

  26. Jeff Kaye says:

    @harpie: Decided I’d have to answer the question I have for myself: WMD as a part of law refers to 18 USC §2332a), where it is defined as:

    “(A) any destructive device as defined in section 921 of this title (i.e. explosive device);
    (B) any weapon that is designed or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals, or their precursors;
    (C) any weapon involving a biological agent, toxin, or vector (as those terms are defined in section 178 of this title)(D) any weapon that is designed to release radiation or radioactivity at a level dangerous to human life.”

    Section §2332a was added to the statute in 1994, i.e., during the Clinton years.

    See here.

    Pub. L. 103-322, title VI, Sec. 60023(b), title XXV, Sec.
    250002(a)(1), (b)(2), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1981, 2082, 2085,
    renumbered chapter 113A as 113B, amended chapter heading generally,
    substituting “113B” for “113A”, and added item 2332a.

    OK, so some of you are asking, “what is the definition of a ‘destructive device’ as found in 18 U.S.C. § 921, and referenced in 18 USC §2332a above”? So here is that definition:

    (4) The term “destructive device” means –
    (A) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas –
    (i) bomb,
    (ii) grenade,
    (iii) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four
    ounces,
    (iv) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more
    than one-quarter ounce,
    (v) mine, or
    (vi) device similar to any of the devices described in the
    preceding clauses;
    (B) any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or a shotgun shell
    which the Attorney General finds is generally recognized as
    particularly suitable for sporting purposes) by whatever name
    known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a
    projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and
    which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in
    diameter; and
    (C) any combination of parts either designed or intended for
    use in converting any device into any destructive device
    described in subparagraph (A) or (B) and from which a destructive
    device may be readily assembled.
    The term “destructive device” shall not include any device which is
    neither designed nor redesigned for use as a weapon; any device,
    although originally designed for use as a weapon, which is
    redesigned for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line throwing,
    safety, or similar device; surplus ordnance sold, loaned, or given
    by the Secretary of the Army pursuant to the provisions of section
    4684(2), 4685, or 4686 of title 10; or any other device which the
    Attorney General finds is not likely to be used as a weapon, is an
    antique, or is a rifle which the owner intends to use solely for
    sporting, recreational or cultural purposes.

    So there you have it. Don’t say you didn’t know where this whole WMD BS in the criminal code came from. I know I won’t ask anymore.

  27. pdaly says:

    The timeline according to the Cambridge Police Department (as printed in the Harvard Crimson):
    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2013/4/18/gunshots-report-mit-campus/

    “In a statement released early Friday morning, the Cambridge Police Department wrote that they received a report around 10:20 p.m. Thursday that shots had been fired on the MIT campus. When they arrived on the scene at 10:30 p.m., CPD found an MIT officer with multiple gunshot wounds in his car. He was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was declared dead, according to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office.

    CPD launched an immediate investigation and “determined that two males were involved in the shooting,” the statement said.

    Cambridge police also received reports of an armed robbery at a 7-Eleven in Central Square at 10:30 p.m. Shortly thereafter, they said, an armed hijacking occurred around Third Street in Cambridge, when two male suspects held the owner of the car, a Mercedes SUV, at gunpoint. The car owner was released roughly a half hour later at a gas station off Memorial Drive.

    When the stolen Mercedes was spotted in Watertown by police in that area, Alben said, a mass chase ensued as CPD, Massachusetts State Police, and the FBI joined the effort. It ultimately resulted in a firefight between law enforcement and the two suspects, who threw explosives and traded gunshots from their vehicle.”

    So,
    10:20pm MIT police officer shot/execution style while sitting in his car
    10:30pm 7-Eleven robbed (presumably by same suspect(s)), then
    “a short time later” (the criminal complaint states “near midnight”) an individual carjacked the SUV.
    Depending on how close to midnight, this “short time later” could represent almost 1.5 hours, enough time to watch a movie and eat popcorn if the brothers were into that sort of thing.
    At the Mobil gas station on Memorial Drive, Cambridge (which has an ATM), the carjacking victim was “released” (according the the CPD report) or the carjacking victim “escaped” (according to the criminal complaint). This station is at the corner of River Street and Memorial Drive in Cambridge, MA

    The CPD states about 30 minutes elapsed from the time “two men” held the SUV car owner at gunpoint until they arrived at the Mobil gas station and the car owner parted company. The criminal complaint states one man held up the SUV.

    When the SUV was spotted in Watertown (a five to ten minute drive down Memorial Drive which then turns into Greenough Boulevard; or alternatively, the suspects could have driven the SUV down to the next bridge from the Mobil gas station on Memorial Drive and taken a left over the Charles River on the Western Ave Bridge. They would have arrived at the Watertown Mall a few minutes later via Western Avenue), the car owner was still in Cambridge. So to answer Jim White @ 2, the car owner would not have been the guy forced to strip naked at gunpoint in Watertown.

  28. Jeff Kaye says:

    @Jeff Kaye: I will add to my earlier comment (which I hope escaped from “moderation” limbo), from a paper by W. Seth Carus from the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction, National Defense University (p. 29):

    In 1994, the U.S. Congress amended the criminal code to incorporate a definition for WMD. The Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994, enacted as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (H.R. 3355, Pub. L. 103–322), allowed Federal courts to impose a death sentence for the commission of nearly 60 different crimes, including killing someone through use of a WMD.98 In addition to CBRN, the act’s WMD definition (see appendix A, definition 4) added any “destructive devices as defined in section 921 of this title.” A review of that section indicates that destructive devices include bombs, grenades, mines, or any gun with a barrel larger than one-half inch.99 As a result, Congress determined that a wide range of conventional armaments were WMD. Congress never debated this provision, and there is no explanatory legislative history. Nor has the law enforcement community advanced a rationale for it.

    Federal prosecutors have relied extensively on this legislation, typically using it to prosecute cases involving “destructive devices” and not CBRN [chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons].

  29. P J Evans says:

    @pdaly:
    As far as I can tell (and I haven’t seen anything against this), the 7-11 robbery was coincidence. If they’d robbed the store, they shouldn’t have needed to carjack the Mercedes and hit ATMs for more money.

    I’d like to know what they were doing (or planning to do) at MIT.

  30. pdaly says:

    @P J Evans:
    You mean with the time they had from 10:20pm until “close to midnight”, assuming they were not in Central Square in the meantime holding up a 7-Eleven? Me, too.

    Agree that the hold up at the 7-Elevan in Central Square Cambridge may have been a coincidence. Third Street is closer to the shooting scene. Why successfully leave the scene of the shooting near MIT’s Stata Center to hold up a 7-Eleven in Central Square only to then backtrack to Third Street to carjack a Mercedes SUV? You would run the risk of driving into a group of cops investigating the murder.

  31. pdaly says:

    @citizen92:

    I’m guessing the authorities are planning to use the witness in the trial and are therefore keeping him out of the public eye.

  32. FrankProbst says:

    @pdaly I’m a bit more cynical. I’m guessing that Mrs Mercedes didn’t know where Mr Mercedes was that night.

  33. FrankProbst says:

    @padaly I don’t know the geography, but the complaint makes clear that ONE of the two brothers car-jacked the Mercedes, and then the second brother was picked up some time later. So they weren’t together at the time of the initial car-jacking. My question is about the timeline. The MIT Police Officer appears (to me, at least) to have been killed prior to the car-jacking. Perhaps the brothers were together, then split up, then reunited during the car-jacking, but it seems more likely to me that the original car-jacker killed the MIT Police Officer and then car-jacked the Mercedes.

  34. emptywheel says:

    @citizen92: Been wondering that myself.

    I saw a fleeting report that he was released bc he wasn’t an American. If that’s true–who knows at this point?!?!–I wonder if he’s also not documented, or in some other way that the FBI has to arrange his visa to make sure he can be around for the trial (not a slamdunk process).

    I also wondering, particularly given the slippage in the language about whether he was released or escaped, whether he did something to get released that they don’t want to tell about, for fear of tainting a critical witness.

    I do know this–after surviving that kind of scare I’d be laying low.

  35. Snoopdido says:

    @emptywheel: While we should take everything in the media with a grain of salt, and particularly from Fox News, this on the owner of the carjacked Mercedes SUV (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/04/19/gas-station-owner-worker-recounts-moment-man-carjacked-by-bombing-suspects/):

    “Tarek Ahmed was working at gas station in Cambridge, Mass. Thursday night when a young man ran into his store screaming.

    “Call the police! Call the police! These people are trying to kill me!”

    The young man was allegedly carjacked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by the two men authorities now say have been identified as the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

    Authorities said early Friday the suspects dropped off the victim after driving around with him for about 30 minutes.

    Ahmed, 45, described the young man as Caucasian and between 20 and 25 years old. He said the young man ran into his store “shaking and scared and very nervous.”

    “I thought he was drunk. I didn’t believe him when he came in it just sounded very crazy,” Ahmed told FoxNews.com in an exclusive interview.”

  36. Snoopdido says:

    Here’s a question that I haven’t seen really asked anywhere:

    How did the Russian’s FSB intelligence service determine that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was becoming radicalized? Were they monitoring his communications somehow? Were they tipped off by an informant? US communications and a US informant?

    Remember that Russia asked the US to investigate Tamerlan Tsarnaev before he left for his 6 month trip to Russia.

    What did Russia know about Tamerlan Tsarnaev and more importantly, how did they know it?

  37. Greg Bean (@GregLBean) says:

    @Jeff Kaye: Jeff, the paper you linked to states, “Contrary to the views of many pundits, there is an authoritative definition for WMD. The term is integral to the international community’s long-standing disarmament dialogue. In its original formulation, “weapons capable of mass destruction,” the term appears in the very first resolution passed by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1946.

    By 1948, an alternate form, “weapons of mass destruction,” became the preferred usage. Already it was so integral to discussions of disarmament that the United Nations tasked a committee to generate an authoritative definition. That committee generated the following definition:

    [WMD are]
    . . . atomic explosive weapons, radio active material
    weapons, lethal chemical and biological weapons, and any weapons developed in the future which have characteristics comparable
    in destructive effect to those of the atomic bomb or other weapons
    mentioned above.

    Disarmament diplomacy has relied on that definition ever since.”

    In short, the “MASS” element is critically important to the definition and pot bombs and much of the other bumpf described by the US as WMD’s don’t cut it.

    No one interpreted the claim that Saddam had WMD’s to mean anything less that the definition above; anything less is not acceptable as it leads to overblown reaction and permits wars of aggression.

  38. harpie says:

    @Greg Bean (@GregLBean): I haven’t been able to read much, yet, but looking a bit at the legislation and the votes in Congress, I wonder if it got put into the legislation as a response to the 1993 WTC bombing.

  39. Jeff Kaye says:

    @Greg Bean (@GregLBean): By 1994, it was evident that the manipulation of actual or false flag “terror” (or both) to frighten the populace was being ratcheted up. I truly believe the real story around the 1st WTC bombing has not been fully told (there are those tapes by Emad Salem, for instance). But whatever, the loose use of the term WMD can only be to make the population, who had already made the connection with nukes, BW/CW, etc., feel as if WMD threats were coming at the society over and over again. All the better to implement attacks on civil liberties, move towards a more militarized, surveillance society.

    Thanks, Greg, for pointing out that passage.

  40. pdaly says:

    This is confusing. From USA Today

    “The [Boston Marathon bombing] suspects were at the 7-Eleven around the time of the [7-Eleven] robbery but they did not rob the store said, State Police Superintendent Timothy Alban at an evening press conference on Friday.”
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/19/7-eleven-robbery-boston/2097915/

    So 10:20pm shoot the MIT police officer, 10:30pm go to Central Square 7-Eleven,
    then “near midnight” carjack SUV on Third Street. Thirty minutes later release the SUV owner at the Memorial Drive gas station (corner of River St and Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA)

  41. reliable says:

    Who exactly is this carjacking victim?

    What if he was a contact for the brothers, they showed up to meet him (either together or separately), he gives them cash as promised, and then he surprises them by running into the gas station screaming about a carjacking and telling the gas station guy to call the police. He’s conveniently left his cell phone in the car so that the car can be tracked by LE. And the brothers (or one of them) have conveniently identified themselves as the bombers to the alleged carjacking victim or so the victim says.

    It’s the carjacking — or rather, the victim’s ‘release’ or ‘escape’ — that sets the manhunt in motion. The carjacking is the motivation for the manhunt, that’s clear. The motivation for the carjacking? Not so clear.

  42. citizen92 says:

    @ PJ Evans

    Are we talking G-Wagen or something lesser?

    Early reports had Dzhokar picking up a white Mercedes sedan from an auto body shop on 4/17, before any work was done on the car. Wonder why it was there in thr first place. The widely circulated photo of Tamerlan wearing shades and a scarf may have been taken in front of the same Mercedes sedan.

    Perhaps they had a penchant for the brand?

  43. Kim says:

    He hung around right next to the bomb until 10 seconds from when it exploded??? This would seem to preclude the use of a timer. Even if remotely detonated this seems very odd.

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