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 US prosecutors seek execution of marathon suspect
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2 months ago

US prosecutors seek execution of marathon suspect

BOSTON (AP) - Federal prosecutors Thursday announced they will seek the death penalty against 20-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston Marathon bombing, instantly raising the stakes in what could be one of the most wrenching trials the city has ever seen.

Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to press for Tsarnaev's execution was widely expected. The twin blasts killed three people and wounded more than 260 others, and 17 of the 30 federal charges against him - including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill - carry the possibility of the death penalty.

"The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision," Holder said in a statement that consisted of just two terse and dispassionate sentences.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty. No trial date has been set.

In a notice of intent filed in court, federal prosecutors in Boston listed factors they contend justify a sentence of death, including his "betrayal" of the U.S., where he had lived since moving from Russia about a decade ago.

"Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received asylum from the United States; obtained citizenship and enjoyed the freedoms of a United States citizen; and then betrayed his allegiance to the United States by killing and maiming people in the United States," read the notice filed by U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz.

Prosecutors also cited Tsarnaev's "lack of remorse" and allegations that he killed an MIT police officer as well as an 8-year-old boy, a "particularly vulnerable" victim because of his age. They also said Tsarnaev committed the killings after "substantial planning and premeditation."

Tsarnaev's lawyers had no immediate comment.

Prosecutors allege Tsarnaev, then 19, and his 26-year-old brother, ethnic Chechens from Russia, built and planted two pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the marathon in April to retaliate against the U.S. for its military action in Muslim countries.

The older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died in a shootout with police during a getaway attempt days after the bombing. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was wounded but escaped and was later found hiding in a boat parked in a yard in a Boston suburb.

Authorities said he scrawled inside the boat such things as "The US Government is killing our innocent civilians" and "We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all."

Killed in the bombings were: Martin Richard, 8, of Boston; Krystle Campbell, 29, of Medford; and Lu Lingzi, 23, a Boston University graduate student from China. At least 16 others lost limbs.

Tsarnaev is also charged in the slaying of the MIT police officer and the carjacking of a motorist during the brothers' getaway attempt.

Campbell's grandmother, Lillian Campbell, said she doesn't think Tsarnaev should live but isn't sure she supports the death penalty, even though she fears he will "end up living like a king" in prison.

"I don't know, because it's not going to bring her back," she said. "I don't even like to discuss it because it makes me so upset. She was my granddaughter and I miss her so much."

Tsarnaev's case has attracted a high-profile defense team, including Judy Clarke, one of the nation's foremost death penalty specialists. The San Diego attorney negotiated plea agreements that saved the lives of such clients as the Unabomber and Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph.

Legal experts have said that court filings suggest the defense will try to save Tsarnaev's life by arguing that he fell under the evil influence of his older brother.

Since the federal death penalty was reinstated in 1988, 70 death sentences have been imposed, but only three people have been executed, including Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in 2001.

The last federal execution was in 2003, when Gulf War veteran Louis Jones Jr. was put to death for kidnapping 19-year-old Army Pvt. Tracie McBride from a Texas military base, raping her and beating her to death with a tire iron.

Massachusetts abolished its state death penalty in 1984, and repeated efforts to reinstate it have failed.

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5 months ago

Feds to advise on death penalty in marathon attack

BOSTON (AP) - Prosecutors plan to make their recommendation this week on whether they believe Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should face the death penalty if convicted in the deadly attack.

In court Tuesday, prosecutors said they are in the process of completing their written proposal to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. He will make the ultimate decision on whether to seek the death penalty against the 20-year-old Tsarnaev.

Tsarnaev's lawyers also complained that prosecutors are withholding evidence they need to defend him against the death penalty, including information on a 2011 triple slaying in Waltham in which Tsarnaev's brother, Tamerlan, is a suspect. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, also suspected in the marathon bombing, died following a shootout with police several days later.

The judge did not immediately rule on the request to order prosecutors to turn over evidence.

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5 months ago

Tsarnaev wants access to records in triple slaying

BOSTON (AP) - The surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect, who faces a potential death penalty, is fighting to get access to investigative records that implicate his dead older brother in a triple slaying in 2011.

In a filing this week in federal court, prosecutors say they have alerted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that a friend alleges that Tsarnaev's older brother, Tamerlan, participated in the killings.

The friend, Ibragim Todashev, was later shot to death in Florida while being questioned by authorities.

The younger Tsarnaev's lawyers have argued that evidence about his brother's involvement in the triple killings provides "mitigating information" that is critical to his defense.

But prosecutors argue it is an ongoing investigation that could be harmed by such a disclosure.

The Middlesex district attorney's office would not comment on the filing.

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8 months ago

Doctor details Boston Marathon suspect's injuries

BOSTON (AP) - Newly unsealed court papers describe the injuries to the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect.

According to a doctor who treated him, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's injuries included multiple gunshot wounds, including one to the face, and a skull fracture.

The injuries were described by Dr. Stephen Ray Odom in a legal proceeding at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center three days after Tsarnaev was captured hiding in a boat in a backyard. Transcripts of the testimony were unsealed Monday.

Odom says one bullet appeared to enter through the left inside of his mouth and exit the lower section of his face on the left side. He says Tsarnaev also had wounds to his lower extremities and bone injuries to his left hand.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to the April 15 bombing.

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9 months ago

Grand Jury indicts Boston Marton bombing suspect

BOSTON (AP) - A federal grand jury on Thursday returned a 30-count indictment against the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, and many of the charges carry the possibility of life in prison or the death penalty.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was indicted on charges including using a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a place of public use, resulting in death.

Three people were killed and more than 260 injured in twin explosions near the finish line of the marathon on April 15. The charges also cover the death of MIT police officer Sean Collier, who authorities say was shot to death in his cruiser by the Tsarnaevs a few days after the bombing.

Tsarnaev's older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed following a shootout with police on April 19.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured later that day hiding in a boat in a backyard in Watertown, Mass. According to the indictment, he wrote a message on the inside 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," and "We Muslims are one body you hurt one you hurt us all."

The Tsarnaev brothers had roots in the turbulent Russian regions of Dagestan and Chechnya, which have become recruiting grounds for Islamic extremists. They had been living in the United States for about a decade.

Authorities said each of the brothers placed a knapsack containing a shrapnel-packed pressure cooker bomb near the finish line of the 26.2-mile race. The bombs went off within seconds of one another.

The U.S. attorney's office says 17 of the charges against Tsarnaev could bring life in prison or the death penalty.

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10 months ago

Local music acts set for Boston benefit show

BOSTON (AP) - Aerosmith, James Taylor and Jimmy Buffett are joining other artists for a benefit concert for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Tickets for the show scheduled Thursday at the TD Garden sold out in minutes after they went on sale May 6. Proceeds will benefit One Fund Boston, the compensation fund established by Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to help those injured in the April 15 bombings and the families of three people killed.

Other confirmed acts include Jason Aldean, Boston, Extreme, Godsmack, The J. Geils Band, Carole King and New Kids on the Block.

Comedians Dane Cook and Steven Wright are also included in the lineup.

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11 months ago

UPDATE: Man shot to death while questioned in Boston probe

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Officials say a Chechen immigrant who was being questioned about his ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was shot to death after a violent confrontation with an FBI agent.

Three law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said earlier Wednesday that Ibragim Todashev lunged at the FBI agent with a knife before he was shot. However, two of those officials said later Wednesday it was no longer clear whether Todashev lunged at the agent with a knife. The third had not received any new information since earlier in the day.

The FBI has publicly characterized the incident as a violent confrontation, providing no other details of what happened inside a townhouse in Orlando, Fla., before Todashev was shot.

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11 months ago

FBI: Man fatally shot in Boston bombing probe

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A Chechen immigrant was shot to death by authorities at his home early Wednesday while being questioned in the Boston Marathon bombing case, officials said.

Ibragim Todashev, a 27-year-old mixed martial arts fighter, was gunned down after turning violent during a meeting with an FBI agent and two Massachusetts state troopers, authorities said. The agent was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

The FBI gave no details on what investigators had hoped to learn from Todashev.

Khusn Taramiv, who described himself as a friend of Todashev, told Orlando TV station WESH that Todashev had known one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, from mixed martial arts fighting. Public records also show Todashev lived in Watertown, Mass., just outside Boston, last year.

The authorities "were talking to us, both of us, right?" Taramiv said. "And they said they need him for a little more, for a couple more hours, and I left, and they told me they're going to bring him back. They never brought him back."

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police days after the April 15 bombings. His brother, Dzhokhar, survived and is charged with carrying out the attacks that killed three and wounded more than 260.

Saeed Dunkaez, a roommate of Todashev's, told The Associated Press that Todashev had lived off and on with a group of other Chechens in a townhouse in the Orlando suburb of Kissimmee.

"He's a regular guy, nothing wrong," Dunkaez said. Dunkaez said the roommates had been interviewed in recent days about the Boston bombing.

An FBI team was dispatched from Washington to review the shooting, a standard step in such cases.

The FBI initially said the agent fired the fatal shot, but later in the day the bureau left open the question of who was responsible.

Todashev was arrested earlier this month on a charge of aggravated battery after getting into a fight over a parking spot with two men - a father and son - at an Orlando shopping mall. The son was hospitalized with a split upper lip and several teeth knocked out, according to a report from the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Todashev claimed self-defense.

"Also by his own admission Todashev was recently a former mixed martial arts fighter," the arresting deputy said in his report. "This skill puts his fighting ability way above that of a normal person."

Todashev was released on $3,500 bail after his May 4 arrest. His attorney, Alain Rivas, didn't immediately respond to a call for comment Wednesday.

Police tape blocked off the complex of townhouses near Universal Studios where Todashev was shot.

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11 months ago

Judge rejects defense bid to photograph Tsarnaev

BOSTON (AP) - The attorneys for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev cannot take their own periodic photos of him, a judge ruled Friday, denying the request pertaining to "his evolving mental and physical state" and whether his statements to authorities after his arrest were made voluntarily.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler found Tsarnaev's lawyers could not take their own photos, saying the Fort Devens prison where Tsarnaev is housed has a policy against visitors bringing cameras.

The motion from Tsarnaev's lawyers remained sealed Friday. But in her ruling, Bowler included excerpts from the defense filing which suggest Tsarnaev's lawyers may want to use the photos to argue for "sentence mitigation."

Tsarnaev, 19, is charged with using a weapon of mass destruction in the April 15 bombings. The two explosions near the finish line of the marathon killed three people and injured more than 260.

Bowler said Tsarnaev's lawyers asked if they could regularly take their own photos of Tsarnaev.

"The defendant contends that his 'injuries over time' provide evidence of 'his evolving mental and physical state' which, in turn, is probative of 'the voluntariness of (his) statements and sentence mitigation argument,'" Bowler wrote.

Tsarnaev was badly wounded in a gun battle with police before his arrest. His lawyers could argue that statements he made to authorities after his arrest on April 19 were not voluntary because of his poor physical condition.

Bowler said the Bureau of Prisons could take photos of Tsarnaev with his lawyers present but those pictures would have to be shared with prosecutors.

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11 months ago

Toughened school safety bill wins final passage

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Public schools, already required to have written crisis management plans, will now have to coordinate those plans with local law enforcement and emergency preparedness officials - and hold annual safety drills to rehearse them.

The bill rewriting Louisiana's school safety law received final passage Thursday with a unanimous Senate vote. It comes in response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

It will require classroom doors to remain locked during instructional time, as long as that's in compliance with fire safety standards.

School crisis management plans won't be subject to Louisiana's public records law.

The measure by Abbeville Rep. Bob Hensgens heads to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is expected to sign the bill.

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11 months ago

Boston chief: Wasn't told FBI got Tsarnaev warning

WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI did not initially share with Boston police the warnings it had received from Russia about one suspect in last month's marathon bombings, despite the work of four city police representatives on a federal terrorism task force, Boston's police commissioner told Congress on Thursday.

Yet Commissioner Ed Davis acknowledged that police might not have uncovered or disrupted the plot even if they had fully investigated the family of Tamerlan Tsarnaev based on those warnings. The FBI after a cursory investigation closed its assessment on Tsarnaev, who died in a police shootout after the bombings. Boston police learned about the Russian security service warnings only later.

"That's very hard to say. We would certainly look at the information, we would certainly talk to the individual," Davis said. "From the information I've received, the FBI did that, and they closed the case out. I can't say that I would have come to a different conclusion based upon the information that was known at that particular time."

In Massachusetts, meanwhile, Tsarnaev was secretly buried in an undisclosed location outside Worcester after a weeklong search for a community willing to take the body. Worcester police Sgt. Kerry Hazelhurst said Thursday the body was no longer in that city and had been entombed, but he would not say where.

The congressional hearing was the first in a series to review the government's initial response to the attacks, ask what information authorities received about Tsarnaev and his brother before the bombings and consider whether everything was handled correctly.

Some lawmakers questioned whether Boston police could have more thoroughly investigated Tsarnaev after 2011, based on Russia's vague warnings then to the FBI and CIA or the discovery by the Homeland Security Department in 2012 that he was traveling to Russia for six months, and whether Justice Department rules intended to protect civil liberties constrained the FBI's own inquiry.

"Why didn't they involve the local law enforcers who could have stayed on the case and picked up signals from some of the students who interacted with them, from the people in the mosque," asked former Sen. Joe Lieberman, who also testified. "In this case, aggravatingly, you have two of our great homeland security agencies that didn't involve before the event the local and state authorities that could have helped us prevent the attack."

Davis' testimony revealed a gap in information-sharing between federal and local officials. That was somewhat reminiscent of intelligence failures that preceded the 2001 terror attacks. Unlike those lapses, however, it's not clear that anything would have been different, whatever coordination there might have been.

Led by the FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Forces operate in many cities as a way to bring federal, state and local officials together to share information. The model has existed for decades but, after 9/11, task forces sprouted up in cities nationwide to ensure that police were not out of the loop on investigations like the one the FBI conducted into Tsarnaev.

Davis said that while his officers weren't given specific information about the elder Tsarnaev, they did have access to computer databases maintained by the terrorism task force. Later Thursday, Boston FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers issued a statement detailing how and why representatives from local agencies have access to the databases.

He said giving task force members access to the databases provides necessary "accessibility and awareness that otherwise would be unfeasible" given the volume of such investigations.

Under questioning from lawmakers, Davis said he was not aware of anyone from a local mosque where Tamerlan Tsarnaev once worshipped calling police after photographs of the suspects were released by the FBI. He said authorities also did not hear from classmates of Tsarnaev's brother, Dzhokhar, at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured and faces federal terrorism charges in the attacks.

In a time of widespread budget cuts, the hearing also began laying the groundwork for an expected push for more counterterrorism money. Both Davis and Kurt Schwartz, the Massachusetts homeland security chief, praised federal grants that for years have kept cities flush with money for equipment and manpower.

"People are alive today" because of money for training and equipment, Schwartz said.

The hearing was conducted by the House Homeland Security Committee. The panel's chairman, Rep. Michael McCall, R-Texas, and ranking Democrat, Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, both spoke of the importance of federal money, as did Lieberman.

"You can't fight this war without resources," Lieberman said.

In written testimony, Davis told lawmakers that cities should look at deploying more undercover officers and special police units and installing more surveillance cameras - but not at the expense of civil liberties.

"I do not endorse actions that move Boston and our nation into a police state mentality, with surveillance cameras attached to every light pole in the city," Davis said. "We do not and cannot live in a protective enclosure because of the actions of extremists who seek to disrupt our way of life."

Investigators used surveillance video from a restaurant near one of the explosions to help identify the Tsarnaev brothers.

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11 months ago

Worcester police: Get suspect's body out of city

BOSTON (AP) - The dispute over where to bury suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev escalated Wednesday as a Massachusetts police chief urged someone to step forward with a cemetery plot, saying: "We are not barbarians. We bury the dead."

Worcester police Chief Gary Gemme's plea came a day after he said that a deal struck Monday to bury the 26-year-old's remains at a state prison site dissolved, with state officials no longer offering cooperation Tuesday.

State corrections officials didn't immediately return a message Wednesday.

Police said it's costing the department tens of thousands of dollars a day to provide security at the funeral home that is holding Tsarnaev's body, and officer details are wasting precious resources.

Gemme said sending the body to Russia is "not an option," as Boston Mayor Thomas Menino suggested Tuesday, when he also said through an aide that he didn't want the bombing suspect buried in Boston.

Worcester funeral home director Peter Stefan has said none of the 120 offers of graves from the U.S. and Canada have worked out because officials in those cities and towns don't want the body.

At the same time, U.S. law enforcement officials have been trying to determine whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev was indoctrinated or trained by militants during a 2012 visit to Dagestan, a Caspian Sea province that has become the center of a simmering Islamic insurgency.

On Tuesday, FBI director Robert Mueller discussed the bombing investigation with his Russian counterparts during a trip to Moscow. The U.S. and Russia have been collaborating on a criminal investigation into the late 26-year-old and his brother, 19-year-old bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Authorities allege that the two brothers carried out the April 15 bombings near the race's finish line, using pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails, ball bearings and metal shards. The attack killed three people and injured more than 260 others.

Tamerlan died following a gunbattle with police, and authorities captured Dzhokhar after a massive manhunt following his escape from the same encounter. The younger brother is now in prison hospital, facing charges that could bring the death penalty.

On Tuesday, the father of a student charged with conspiracy in the Boston Marathon bombing case said his son believes Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is "not a human" if he's responsible for the attacks.

Amir Ismagulov, the father of Azamat Tazhayakov, also insisted during an Associated Press interview that his son is not a terrorist.

He said he has visited his son once in prison since arriving in the United States from Kazakhstan more than a week ago. He said he left flowers several times at a memorial near the Boston Marathon finish line at the 19-year-old's request.

"Azamat loves the United States and the people of the United States," Ismagulov said as Arkady Bukh, his son's new Russian-speaking lawyer, translated for him. "He is not aggressive. He is not a terrorist. He is a simple boy."

Tazhayakov is in a federal prison on charges that he conspired to destroy, conceal and cover up objects belonging to Tsarnaev, a college friend from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if found guilty.

Ismagulov, 46, who works in the oil field business in Kazakhstan, described his son as an engineering student who was "happy in life" before "in one day, his life was shattered." He said Tazhayakov told him "it took days to get out of the shock because of the accusations" against him.

Bukh, a New York City lawyer from the former Soviet Union, now represents Tazhayakov and said Tazhayakov 's family is "absolutely devastated" over the bombings.

He stressed that Tazhayakov was cooperating with the government before his arrest last week.

The lawyer said his client handed over Tsarnaev's laptop to the FBI on April 19 after he and friend Dias Kadyrbayev learned that federal agents were looking for them. Kadyrbayev also is charged with obstruction of justice in the bombing case.

A third college friend, Robel Phillipos, got out of federal lockup on $100,000 bond Monday while awaiting trial for allegedly lying to federal investigators.

Tazhayakov's next court date is May 14, but Bukh said arguing for his release would be a "problematic issue" in part because immigration agents could try to detain him again even if he satisfies bail conditions.

Authorities initially charged Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev with violating the terms of their student visas while attending UMass Dartmouth.

Immigration officials said Tuesday that they have temporarily suspended the immigration court proceedings against the two men but will continue the immigration removal process after their criminal cases are resolved.

The FBI has alleged that on April 18, just hours after surveillance camera photos of the Tsarnaev brothers became public, the three students went to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's dorm room and removed his backpack and laptop computer.

Authorities said one of them later threw the backpack in the garbage, and it wound up in a landfill, where law enforcement officers found it. In the backpack were fireworks that had been emptied of their gunpowder.

Bukh said the criminal complaint alleges it was Kadyrbayev, and not his client, who threw away the backpack with the fireworks.

Ismagulov said his son told him he never intended to help Tsarnaev hide evidence. He also said Tazhayakov wasn't sure if Tsarnaev was one of the suspects in the first photos that were released because those images weren't high quality.

"He would never intend to do anything bad to people in the United States," Ismagulov said of his son.

He said he has left flowers at the memorial site because his son asked him "to express condolences to innocent people who were hurt and killed."

In other developments Tuesday, the administrator of the One Fund Boston charity said potential recipients should have low expectations because the $28 million fund won't pay out nearly enough to fully compensate the families of those who died or who suffered injuries.

Attorney Kenneth Feinberg said at a public meeting in Boston that his draft plan for distributing the money reserves the highest payments for the families of those killed at the marathon and for the relatives of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer who authorities say the bombing suspects killed.

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11 months ago

Boston bomb suspect's pal released pending trial

BOSTON (AP) - A friend of the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was released from federal custody Monday amid a swell of support from family and friends as a Massachusetts funeral director tried to find a place willing to bury a second suspect who was killed after a gun battle with police.

Robel Phillipos, a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was released on $100,000 bond while he awaits trial for allegedly lying to federal investigators probing the April 15 bombings.

Meanwhile, a Worcester funeral home director said he was still trying to find a cemetery to bury Tsarnaev's brother, Tamerlan, who died four days after the bombings. Peter Stefan said he has been turned down by several cemeteries in Massachusetts. He planned to ask the city of Cambridge, where the Tsarnaev brothers lived for the past decade, to allow Tamerlan to be buried in a city-owned cemetery.

But Cambridge City Manager Robert Healy urged the Tsarnaev family not to make the request.

"The difficult and stressful efforts of the citizens of the City of Cambridge to return to a peaceful life would be adversely impacted by the turmoil, protests, and wide spread media presence at such an interment," Healy said in a statement Sunday.

On Monday, Stefan said he is looking outside of Massachusetts and does not believe Russia will take the body.

If Russia refuses to accept the body, Cambridge may be forced to take it, said Wake Forest University professor Tanya Marsh, an expert in U.S. law on the disposal of human remains.

Massachusetts law requires every community to provide a suitable place to bury its residents, she said. Cambridge's appeal to the family not to ask it to bury the body is likely a way to set up its defense if the family goes to court to try to force the burial, Marsh said.

Such a case would be unprecedented in Massachusetts, she said. She added that even in a country that's had its share of notorious accused killers, this kind of opposition to a burial is unheard of and is exposing holes in the law, Marsh said.

"It's a mess," she said. "We're really sort of in uncharted territory."

Gov. Deval Patrick said the question of what to do with the body is a "family issue" that should not be decided by the state or federal government. He said family members had "options" and he hoped they would make a decision soon.

He declined to say whether he thought it would be appropriate for the body to be buried in Massachusetts.

"We showed the world in the immediate aftermath of the attacks what a civilization looks like, and I'm proud of what we showed, and I think we continue to do that by stepping back and let the family make their decisions," the governor told reporters.

Phillipos, 19, who was a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with Tsarnaev, was charged last week with lying to investigators about visiting Tsarnaev's dorm room three days after the bombings. He faces up to eight years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors initially asked that Phillipos be held while he awaits trial, arguing that he poses a serious flight risk.

But prosecutors and Phillipos' lawyers agreed in a joint motion filed Monday that Phillipos could be released under strict conditions, including home confinement, monitoring with an electronic bracelet and a $100,000 secured bond.

Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler agreed to the request during a hearing Monday, saying he would be under "strict house arrest," and only allowed to leave his home to meet with his lawyer and for true emergencies.

"We are confident that in the end we will be able to clear his name," defense attorney Derege Demissie said.

Assistant U.S .Attorney John Capin said documents filed over the weekend by Phillipos' defense, including many affidavits showing support from family and friends, might be viewed as indirectly questioning the government's case against Phillipos.

"The government stands by its allegations," Capin said.

Defense attorney Susan Church described Phillipos as a well-liked, honor roll student with many friends and supporters. At least 50 relatives, friends and other supporters attended the court hearing.

Church emphasized that Phillipos is not accused of helping Tsarnaev and his brother plan or carry out the bombings.

"At no time did Robel have any prior knowledge of this marathon bombing," she said.

Two other friends were charged with conspiring to obstruct justice by taking a backpack with fireworks and a laptop from Tsarnaev's dorm room. All four had studied at UMass Dartmouth.

In letters filed in court, friends and family members urged the court to release Phillipos on bail, describing him as peaceful and non-violent.

"I was shocked and stunned when I heard the news of his arrest. I could not control my tears," wrote Zewditu Alemu, his aunt. "I do not believe that my beloved Robel crosses the line intentionally to support or assist such a horrendous act against us the people of the USA. By nature he does not like violence. He loves peaceful environment."

The Tsarnaev brothers are accused of carrying out the bombings using pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails, ball bearings and metal shards. The attack killed three people and injured more than 260 others near the marathon's finish line.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured and remains in a prison hospital. He has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and faces a potential death sentence if convicted.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev's uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, of Montgomery Village, Md., and three of his friends met with Stefan on Sunday to wash and shroud Tsarnaev's body according to Muslim tradition.

Tsarni told reporters that he is arranging for Tsarnaev's burial because religion and tradition call for his nephew to be buried. He would like him buried in Massachusetts because he's lived in the state for the last decade, he said.

"I'm dealing with logistics. A dead person must be buried," he said.

The state medical examiner ruled that Tsarnaev died from gunshot wounds and blunt trauma to his head and torso, and authorities have said his brother ran him over in a chaotic getaway attempt.

Tsarni has denounced the acts his nephews are accused of committing and said they brought shame to the family and the entire Chechen ethnicity. The brothers are ethnic Chechens from Russia who came to the United States about a decade ago with their parents. Both parents returned to Dagestan last year.

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11 months ago

2 men charged in Boston bomb case waive bail

BOSTON (AP) - A third college friend of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects is being held pending a detention and probable cause hearing.

Robel Phillipos is charged with making false statements to federal investigators. He appeared Wednesday in court, where a hearing was scheduled for Monday.

Two other friends of bombing suspect waived bail during their court appearances Wednesday.

Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev are charged with conspiring to obstruct justice. Their next hearing is scheduled for May 14.

An FBI affidavit says the three men removed Tsarnaev's backpack containing fireworks emptied of gunpowder from his dorm room at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth three days after the bombing.

11 months ago

FBI: Three friends tried to keep bombing suspect from getting in trouble

BOSTON (AP) - Authorities say three college friends of the surviving Boston Marathon bomber didn't want him to get in trouble for it.

They say the three students concluded from news reports three days after the bombings that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was one of the bombers. According to court papers, they went to Tsarnaev's dorm room and found a backpack with fireworks that had been emptied of powder.

The FBI says the three removed the backpack and a laptop from the room, and went to an apartment to watch news reports featuring photographs of Tsarnaev.

According to the affidavit, one of the men told authorities that the three then decided together to "throw the backpack and fireworks into the trash because they did not want Tsarnaev to get into trouble."

Two of the men, from Kzakhstan, have been held in jail for more than a week on allegations that they violated their student visas.

The three aren't accused of any direct involvement in the bombing. But according to court papers, the FBI said that about a month before the bombing, Tsarnaev told two of them that he knew how to make a bomb.

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11 months ago

Official: Arrested student entered US without visa

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal law enforcement official says one of the students from Kazakhstan arrested Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombings was allowed to return to the United States this year despite not having a valid student visa. Authorities say that after the explosions he helped remove a laptop and backpack from the bombing suspect's dormitory room before the FBI searched it.

The official says Azamat Tazhayakov left the U.S. in December. Tazhayakov's student-visa status was terminated in early January after he was academically dismissed from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, the official says. Despite not having a valid student visa, Tazhayakov was allowed to re-enter the U.S. on Jan. 20.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss details of Tazhayakov's immigration status.

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11 months ago

FBI: 3 removed backpack from Boston suspect's room

BOSTON (AP) - Three college friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev removed a backpack containing fireworks emptied of gunpowder from his dorm room at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth three days after the attack, according to charges filed Wednesday. Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev are charged with conspiring to obstruct justice. A third man, Robel Phillipos, is charged with making false statements to federal investigators. The affidavit says Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev agreed to get rid of the backpack after concluding from news reports that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was one of the bombers. A court appearance for the three is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. Three people were killed and more than 260 injured on April 15 when two bombs exploded near the finish line. The suspect's brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died after a gunfight with police several days later. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured and lies in a prison hospital. Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev have been held in jail for more than a week on allegations that they violated their student visas while attending UMass. Linda Cristello, the Boston attorney who represented them at a hearing on the immigration case Wednesday morning, confirmed earlier that they were facing separate federal charges. All three men charged Wednesday began attending UMass with Tsarnaev at the same time in 2011, the FBI affidavit says. Authorities allege that on the night of April 18, after the FBI released photos of the bombing suspects and the three men suspected their friend was one of them, they went to Tsarnaev's dorm room. The men noticed a backpack containing fireworks, which had been opened and emptied of powder. The FBI said that Kadyrbayev knew when he saw the empty fireworks that Tsarnaev was involved in the bombings and decided to remove the backpack from the room "in order to help his friend Tsarnaev avoid trouble." He also decided to remove Tsarnaev's laptop, the FBI said in the affidavit. After the three men returned to Kadyrbayev's and Tazhayakov's apartment with the backpack and computer, they watched news reports featuring photographs of Tsarnaev. The affidavit says Kadyrbayev told authorities the three men then "collectively decided to throw the backpack and fireworks into the trash because they did not want Tsarnaev to get into trouble." Kadyrbayev said he placed the backpack and fireworks along with trash from the apartment into a large trash bag and threw it into a garbage bin near the men's apartment. Meanwhile, Tamerlan Tsarnaev's relatives will claim his body now that his wife has agreed to release it, an uncle said. The body of Tsarnaev, 26, has been at the medical examiner's office in Massachusetts since he died after a gunfight with authorities more than a week ago. Amato DeLuca, the Rhode Island attorney for his widow, Katherine Russell, said Tuesday that his client had just learned that the medical examiner was ready to release Tsarnaev's body and that she wants it released to his side of the family. Police said Tsarnaev ran out of ammunition before his 19-year-old brother dragged his body under a vehicle while fleeing the scene. His cause of death has been determined but will not be made public until his remains are claimed. "Of course, family members will take possession of the body," uncle Ruslan Tsarni of Maryland said Tuesday night. "We'll do it. We will do it. A family is a family." He would not elaborate. Tsarnaev's parents are still in Russia, but he has other relatives on his side of the family in the U.S., including Tsarni.

11 months ago

Boston police: 3 more suspects in custody bombings

BOSTON (AP) - Boston police say three more suspects have been taken into custody in the marathon bombings.

In a tweet Wednesday morning, the police department says only that three more suspects are in custody and more details will follow. Police spokeswoman Cheryl Fiandaca confirmed the tweet but referred all other questions to the FBI.

Three people were killed and more than 260 injured on April 15 when two bombs exploded near the finish line.

Suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a gunfight with police several days later. His brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured and lies in a hospital prison.

Both are Russian natives who lived for several years in the U.S. They are accused of using a weapon of mass destruction.

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11 months ago

Atlanta mayor vows enhanced security for road race

ATLANTA (AP) - Officials in Atlanta and organizers of an annual road race that draws 60,000 runners to the city say they will be taking enhanced security measures in the wake of the April 15 Boston marathon bombings.

Mayor Kasim Reed said Monday that details are still being worked out but participants and spectators at the very least can expect to see more police officers at the AJC Peachtree Road Race on July 4. Reed says authorities also will be taking measures behind the scenes, using every city resource to ensure public safety.

The 10K race is in its 44th year. It is held by the Atlanta Track Club, one of the largest running organizations in the U.S., which was founded in 1964.

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11 months ago

Bombing suspects' mom also in terror database

WASHINGTON (AP) - Two government officials tell The Associated Press that U.S. intelligence agencies added the Boston bombing suspects' mother to a federal terrorism database about 18 months before the attack.

Officials say this was done after Russia contacted the CIA late in 2011 with concerns that the now-dead suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev (TAM'-ehr-luhn tsahr-NEYE'-ehv), and his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva (zoo-bay-DAHT' tsahr-NEYE'-eh-vuh), were religious militants about to travel to Russia. The CIA asked that Tsarnaev and Tsarnaeva be added to a classified intelligence database called TIDE. Being on the database does not automatically mean the U.S. suspects a person of terrorist activity and does not automatically subject a person to surveillance, security screening or travel restrictions.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

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11 months ago

Russia detains 140 suspected Islamic extremists

MOSCOW (AP) - Russian police and security agents have detained 140 people at a mosque in Moscow on suspicion of involvement with Islamic extremism.

A statement from the Federal Security Agency reported by Russian news agencies said among those detained in the Friday action were 30 citizens of unspecified foreign countries.

The detentions come a week after the two suspects in the fatal Boston Marathon bombing were identified as originating from the Russian region of Chechnya and sympathizing with Islamic extremists.

There were no immediate reports of charges being filed. The security agency referred The Associated Press to a district office, where the telephone was not answered.

The reports cited the agency as saying the mosque previously has been visited by people who had been involved in preparing or carrying out terrorist attacks.

11 months ago

NYC Mayor: Boston suspect said NY was next target

New York City officials say the Boston Marathon bombing suspects intended to blow up their remaining explosives in Times Square. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly spoke at a briefing Thursday. Kelly says the two suspects had a pressure cooker bomb and five pipe bombs they wanted to set off. They said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told Boston investigators from his hospital bed that he and his brother had discussed going to New York to detonate their remaining explosives. They said they decided it spontaneously. Kelly had said a day earlier that the Boston Marathon bombing suspects were planning to party in New York, but was later briefed by federal officials. Tsarnaev traveled to New York at least once last fall. There is a photo of the suspect in Times Square. Tsarnaev's older brother, Tamerlan, died in a shootout with police.

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11 months ago

Man describes finding marathon suspect in boat

BOSTON (AP) - A Massachusetts man who found the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect hiding in his boat says he's glad he was able to help and feels lucky to be alive.

David Henneberry of Watertown spoke in an interview Tuesday with Boston's WCVB-TV.

Henneberry says 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 says he saw a body inside but didn't see the face. He says he doesn't remember going down the ladder to call 911 but "didn't waste any time."

Police arrested Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after an intense daylong manhunt.

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1 year ago

Officials: Boston suspects motived by religion

WASHINGTON (AP) - Two U.S. officials say preliminary evidence from an interrogation suggests the suspects in the Boston Marathon attack were motivated by religion but were apparently not tied to any Islamic terrorist groups.

The two brothers, born in the Chechen region of Southern Russia, practiced Islam.

The U.S. officials spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation.

One of the brothers died in a police shootout Friday. The other brother was formally charged Monday after being questioned by federal officials in his hospital room where he is recovering from multiple injuries.

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1 year ago

Marathon suspect charges detailed

BOSTON (AP) - The U.S. Attorney General says the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has been charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property resulting in death.

In a statement Monday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder detailed the charge against 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The charge carries a possible death sentence.

Tsarnaev made his initial court appearance in his room in Beth Israel hospital. He is listed in serious but stable condition.

Officials say Tsarnaev and his older brother set off the twin explosions at Monday's marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 180 others.

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1 year ago

Bombing suspect charged with conspiring to use weapon of mass destruction

BOSTON (AP) - Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged by federal prosecutors in his hospital room Monday with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction - a crime that carries a possible death sentence. Officials have said Tsarnaev, 19, and his older brother set off the twin explosions at last week's marathon that killed three people and wounded more than 180. His brother, Tamerlan, 26, died Friday after a fierce gunbattle. Tsarnaev was listed in serious but stable condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, unable to speak because of a gunshot wound to the throat. The charges represented a decision by the Obama administration to prosecute him in the federal court system instead of trying him as an enemy combatant in front of a military tribunal. Under the military system, defendants are not afforded some of the usual U.S. constitutional protections. Tsarnaev is a naturalized U.S. citizen, and under U.S. law, American citizens cannot be tried by military tribunals, White House spokesman Jay Carney said. Carney said that since the Sept. 11 attacks, the federal court system has been used to convict and incarcerate hundreds of terrorists. Tsarnaev is also likely to face state charges in connection with the shooting death of an MIT police officer. Seven days after the Boston Marathon bombings, the city was bustling Monday, with runners hitting the pavement, children walking to school and enough cars clogging the streets to make the morning commute feel almost back to normal. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick asked residents to observe a moment of silence at 2:50 p.m. Monday, the time the first of the two bombs exploded near the finish line. Bells were expected to toll across the city and state after the minute-long tribute to the victims. Also, hundreds of family and friends packed a church in Medford for the funeral of bombing victim Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant worker. A memorial service was scheduled for Monday night at Boston University for 23-year-old Lu Lingzi, a graduate student from China. At the Snowden International School on Newbury Street, a high school set just a block from the bombing site, jittery parents dropped off children as teachers - some of whom had run in the race - greeted each other with hugs. Carlotta Martin of Boston said that leaving her kids at school has been the hardest part of getting back to normal. "We're right in the middle of things," Martin said outside the school as her children, 17-year-old twins and a 15-year-old, walked in, glancing at the police barricades a few yards from the school's front door. "I'm nervous. Hopefully, this stuff is over," she continued. "I told my daughter to text me so I know everything's OK." The city was also beginning to reopen sections of the six-block area around the bombing site. Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Sunday the surviving brother's throat wound raised questions about when he will be able to talk again, if ever. The wound "doesn't mean he can't communicate, but right now I think he's in a condition where we can't get any information from him at all," Coats told ABC's "This Week." It was not clear whether Tsarnaev was shot by police or inflicted the wound himself.

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1 year ago

Mourners say final goodbyes to marathon victim

MEDFORD, Mass. (AP) - Mourners are lining up outside a church in Medford, Mass., for a funeral for one of the Boston Marathon bombing victims.

The line outside St. Joseph Church on Monday for the funeral of 29-year-old Krystle Campbell stretched down the block.

Campbell was one of three people killed near the finish line a week ago. The restaurant manager had gone to watch a friend finish the race.

In addition to the mourners, union members and a local motorcycle club showed up to stop a church group from disrupting the funeral.

Teamsters Local 25 President Sean O'Brien says the union members planned to stand in front of protesters to block them from the Campbell family's view.

Wallie Hawkins says his motorcycle club will rev their bikes to drown out protesters.

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1 year ago

Acadiana Students Living in Boston

The City of Boston is often described as "America's College Town," home to tens of thousands of students from across the country and the world for that matter, and that includes students from here in Acadiana. KATC's Erin Steuber checked in with student on Skype, who say it's been a surreal experience to be in the middle of it all. One student, walked away from the finish line Monday just minutes before the bombs exploded.

"I thought today was going to be my first normal day getting back to work and school," said Chelsea Meyers, a St. Landry Parish native. "Then to wake up today and to hear you're on lockdown, one bombers on the loose, it was just kinda trauma all over again."

Monday, Chelsea , her mother and a few friends were standing at the finish line to cheer on two runners from Opelousas. And just minutes before the bombs exploded they walked away.

"I guess one thing that I remember more than anything is how silent it was after the bomb went off," said Meyers. "There was a good 5 minutes where a bunch of us were just walking like zombies and I finally grabbed some people next to me and said 'do you have any idea what just happened.'"

Overnight, Boston was again turned upside down as one bombing suspect remained on the loose. Another student from Lafayette, now studying and living in Downtown Boston, was on the train near MIT completely unaware what was going on.

"I got off the T last night there were police officers there with machine guns at the door," said Ciera Dawn, a Lafayette native. "Then I realized I was at that area 20 minutes before it actually happened which was kinda scary."

All over the city, residents were told to stay inside and not to open the door for anyone, except uniformed officers with a badge.

"It's been kinda surreal I guess. It's definitely been a scary week. You know with all the terrible events that have happened, when you really look at the city right now, you can really see the good in people," said Lafayette native Hudson Breaud.

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1 year ago

Suspect 2 in Police Custody

Federal Agents: Suspect 2, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is in custody. The condition of the suspect is unknown at this time.

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1 year ago

Suspect 2 Found in Boat in Watertown, Mass., Neighborhood

A law enforcement official says the suspect being hunted in the Boston Marathon bombing is in a boat stored in a Watertown, Mass., neighborhood.

The official said he was briefed on the situation and spoke on condition of anonymity because he's not authorized to discuss it publicly.

The official does not know if Dzhokhar Tsarnae is dead or alive.

Authorities are telling residents of the area to stay indoors.

The burst of activity came at the end of a tense day in and around Boston, and less than an hour after police announced that they were scaling back the hunt because they had come up empty-handed following an all-day search that sent thousands of SWAT team officers into the streets and paralyzed the metropolitan area.

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1 year ago

Gunshots, police activity in Watertown, Mass.

WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) - The sound of gunfire has been reported in Watertown, Mass., where authorities have been searching for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Television footage is showing emergency and military vehicles speeding through town Friday evening.

It wasn't immediately clear whether authorities had found 19-year-old college student Dzhokar Tsarnaev.

Authorities are telling residents of the area to stay indoors.

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1 year ago

Governor says mass transit resuming in Boston

WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) - Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says mass transit service is resuming in Boston even though one Boston Marathon bombing suspect is still on the lam.

Authorities in Boston had suspended all mass transit and warned close to 1 million people in the entire city and some of its suburbs to stay indoors as the hunt for one suspect went on. The other suspect, his brother, died in a desperate getaway attempt.

The brothers are suspects in Monday's marathon bombings, which killed three people and wounded more than 180 others. The men are also suspected of killing a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer in his vehicle late Thursday.

Patrick reminded people to "remain vigilant if you are out."

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1 year ago

Boston travel: Trains, buses halted, planes flying

NEW YORK (AP) - Mass transportation to, from and within the Boston area was virtually shut down Friday as police conducted a massive manhunt for a suspect in Monday's Boston Marathon bombing.

The message from authorities - shared early in the morning via Twitter - was clear: "Go/stay home."

As the manhunt stretched into the afternoon, Amtrak stopped all trains on the heavily traveled corridor between New York and Boston. Its service from Boston to Maine was also halted. All major intercity bus lines suspended service to the area. Authorities also stopped service on commuter trains into Boston as well as the city's subway - called the T - and the city's buses.

Only air travel functioned normally. Planes took off and landed mostly on schedule at Logan International, although passengers entering the airport drew extra scrutiny from state police.

All major highways in the region remained open except in Watertown, Mass., the center of the manhunt. But they - and most city streets - remained eerily empty as people heeded the government's advice and stayed home.

"I'm just like everybody else in Greater Boston, just staying at home, glued to the television," said Bob Trane, an elected alderman in Somerville, Mass., a densely populated city minutes from downtown Boston. "There is nobody out in the streets, very few cars, very few people walking."

Elsewhere, travelers scrambled to find a way home.

Stranded by the Amtrak shutdown, the Rev. Victoria Weinstein passed the time with a beer in a New York bar. She weighed her options for getting home to a Boston suburb.

"I have my Plan A, B, C, and D," she said. There were rides with friends, family or waiting a day. She even considering hitching a ride with a stranger from New England she met at the bar.

"I really just want to be home with my community," said Weinstein, a Unitarian Universalist pastor. "I'm just thinking about all the people whose hearts are broken."

Travelers whose trains or buses were canceled are getting full refunds. All airlines allowed passengers scheduled for Friday to change flights to other days, although policies varied widely. American Airlines said passengers must fly by Sunday, while United Airlines is giving passengers up to a year from the date they purchased their tickets to fly.

Passengers trying to leave Boston by air were met by Massachusetts State Police searching vehicles at entrances to Logan. The airport handles about 1,000 flights a day and has been operating at a heightened level of security since Monday's attack, according to Matthew Brelis, director of media relations for MassPort, the public agency that runs Logan.

Government officials refused to say why flying was the only form of mass transit allowed.

But airports are a very different environment than bus or train stations. Every person and piece of luggage moving through an airport goes through a security screening. Each passenger's name, date of birth and gender is compared to those on terrorism watch lists. And before boarding a plane out of town, each person must pass through a checkpoint where police have ample time to compare them to photos of suspects.

Friday's manhunt capped off a tiring and emotional week for Boston residents.

"This thing just doesn't stop. It's been constant for the past week," said Ian Deason, director of Boston operations for JetBlue, the largest airline in the city with about 120 daily flights.

He noted that pilots and flight attendants resting in a crew lounge prior to their flights were "glued to the TV."

While Friday's mass transit shut down was unusual it wasn't the first closure.

Boston cut off the T for two days in February. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority shut down all bus and train service ahead of Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy. New York also shut down its public transportation system in advance of the storms.

New York's subways shut down after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but limited parts were quickly restored. The first subway car ran just 2 hours and 28 minutes after service was halted, although parts of the system took days to resume.

London's July 7 bombings - in which four suicide bombers detonated themselves aboard three trains and a double-decker bus in 2005 - temporarily crippled the European capital's transit system. The next day, the majority of the system reopened.

In Los Angeles, buses, freeways and the airport were shut down following the 1992 riots. Bus service resumed three days later when schools reopened and a dawn-to-dusk curfew was lifted.

Even when Boston's public transportation system starts up again, some Bostonians are likely to change their behavior.

Maria D'Amico, 23, started this week to only sit in the front or back of the subway.

"If anything happened on the train, it would probably happen in the middle," she said.

Back at the airport, passengers had to adapt with no mass transit linking them to the city center. Private cars, taxis and the Logan Express - a bus service to suburban park-and-ride facilities - were still able to enter the airport.

The biggest hassle for travelers was waiting for a taxi. Brelis described the lines as "exceedingly long" during the late morning. Officials were asking people to share cabs to nearby location. The backlog cleared by afternoon.

James Kearney, an information technology consultant from East Amwell, N.J. was in town for business and managed to make it home on a United flight at 10 a.m. He said via email that the 15-mile trip from the Marriott in the western suburb of Newton, Mass. to Logan on the Massachusetts Turnpike "was extremely quiet during rush hour."

Once at the airport, he said, the situation was "pretty standard."

"Even security was fast and uneventful," Kearney wrote.

Kacey Brister, a senior at Louisiana State University, was supposed to have an interview for a public relations job in Boston at 3 p.m. Friday. She was flying on Southwest Airlines from New Orleans to Boston via St. Louis.

Before boarding the last leg of her trip, Brister said that everyone was fairly calm at the gate.

"The biggest concern for most people was how they were going to get from Logan to their hotel, home," she wrote in an email, adding that there was "a sense of camaraderie between passengers."

Not everyone was so calm, however. "My mother has begged me" to turn around, she said.

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1 year ago

Opelousas Woman Recalls Experience after Boston Bombing

Jennifer Castille, of Opelousas completed the Boston Marathon shortly before the bomb went off near the finish line. Tonight on Acadiana's NewsChannel at 5:00 and 6:00, KATC's Akeam Ashford speaks with her about her experience on that fateful day.

1 year ago

Gov't sources: Boston bomb suspect went to Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) - Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev traveled to Russia last year and returned to the U.S. six months later, government officials told The Associated Press. Investigators believe that Tsarneaev and his brother Dzhokhar are responsible for the deadly Boston Marathon attack that killed three people and wounded more than 180 others. The 26-year-old Tsarnaev died in a police shootout overnight. Dzhokhar is still being sought. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they couldn't talk publicly about an investigation in progress. Tsarnaev traveled from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, according to one of the officials. The ethnic Chechen brothers lived in Dagestan, which neighbors the Chechnya region in southern Russia. They lived near Boston and had been in the U.S. for about a decade, one of their uncles said. There are no known ties at this point to Chechen extremist groups, one of the officials said.

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1 year ago

Abbeville runner reacts to Boston manhunt

We reached out to Abbeville resident Anne Sagrera, in light of the manhunt in Boston right now for the suspect wanted in connection with the bombs placed at the marathon.

Anne tells us "I am happy to be back home with my family and friends. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston who continue to live this nightmare. Those affected by this heinous act will never forget the heartbreak it has caused. It is my hope that the manhunt ends quickly so that the healing can begin.

On a side note- I cannot say enough about the kindness of the Acadiana community. The outpouring of concern for me and fellow runners in Boston was nothing short of amazing."

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1 year ago

Uncle urges bombing suspect to turn self in

MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, Md. (AP) - The uncle of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects urged one of his nephews to turn himself in Friday, saying he had brought shame to the family and the entire Chechen ethnicity. "Yes, we're ashamed. They're the children of my brother," Ruslan Tsarni told a throng of reporters outside his home in Montgomery Village, Md. The suspects were identified by law enforcement officials and family members as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, brothers from a Russian region near Chechnya. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a 26-year-old who had been known to the FBI as Suspect No. 1 and was seen in surveillance footage in a black baseball cap, was killed overnight, officials said. His brother, a 19-year-old college student who was dubbed Suspect No. 2, escaped. He was seen wearing a white, backward baseball cap in the images from Monday's deadly bombing at the marathon finish line. "Dzhokhar, if you are alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness," Tsarni said. They lived near Boston and had been in the U.S. for about a decade, Tsarni said. He said he had not seen them since December 2005. . He said his nephews had struggled to settle themselves in the U.S. and ended up "thereby just hating everyone." Asked what he thought provoked the bombings, Tsarni said: "Being losers, hatred to those who were able to settle themselves. These are the only reasons I can imagine of. Anything else, anything else to do with religion, with Islam, it's a fraud, it's a fake." Tsarni, who described himself as Muslim, said his brother left the U.S. and he had not talked to him since 2009. He said they had a personal falling out but did not elaborate. Chechnya has been plagued by an Islamic insurgency that has carried out deadly bombings. Tsarni said vehemently that Chechnya had nothing to do with the attack. "I've been following from Day One, but would never imagine that somehow the children of my brother would be associated with that. So it is atrocity."

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1 year ago

A glance at the search for Boston bomb suspects

BOSTON (AP) - Key moments related to the search for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, based on reports from the Middlesex County district attorney, Massachusetts State Police and Boston police.

- At 5:10 p.m. Thursday, investigators of the bombings release photographs and video of two suspects. They ask for the public's help in identifying the men.

- Around 10:20 p.m., shots are fired on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, just outside Boston.

- At 10:30 p.m., an MIT campus police officer who was responding to a disturbance is found shot multiple times in his vehicle, apparently in a confrontation with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. He is later pronounced dead.

- Shortly afterward, two armed men reportedly carjack a Mercedes SUV in Cambridge. A man who was in the vehicle is held for about a half hour and then released unharmed at a gas station on Memorial Drive in Cambridge.

- Police soon pursue the carjacked vehicle in Watertown, just west of Cambridge.

- Some kind of explosive devices are thrown from the vehicle in an apparent attempt to stop police. The carjackers and police exchange gunfire. A transit police officer is seriously injured. One suspect, later identified as Suspect No. 1 in the marathon bombings, is critically injured and later pronounced dead.

- Authorities launch a manhunt for the other suspect.

- Around 1 a.m. Friday, gunshots and explosions are heard in Watertown. Dozens of police officers and FBI agents converge on a Watertown neighborhood. A helicopter circles overhead.

- Around 4:30 a.m., Massachusetts state and Boston police hold a short outdoor news briefing. They tell people living in that section of eastern Watertown to stay in their homes. They identify the carjackers as the same men suspected in the marathon bombings. Overnight, police also release a photograph of a man believed to be Suspect No. 2, apparently taken from store video earlier in the evening at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Cambridge. He is wearing a gray hoodie-style sweatshirt.

- Around 5:50 a.m. authorities urge residents in Watertown, Newton, Waltham, Belmont, Cambridge, Arlington and the Allston-Brighton neighborhoods of Boston to stay indoors. All mass transit is shut down.

- Around 6:35 a.m., The Associated Press reports that the bomb suspects are from a Russian region near Chechnya and lived in the United States for at least a year.

- Around 6:45 a.m., The Associated Press identifies the surviving Boston bomb suspect as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, who has been living in Cambridge.

- Around 8 a.m., Boston's police commissioner says all of Boston must stay in their homes as the search for the surviving suspect in the bombings continues.

- Around 8:40 a.m., a U.S. law enforcement official and the uncle of the suspects confirm that the name of the slain suspect is Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's older brother.

- Around 10:20 a.m., Connecticut State Police say a gray Honda CRV believed to be linked to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been recovered in Boston.

- Around 10:35 a.m., the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth says it closed its campus and ordered an evacuation after confirming that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is registered there. The school says it closed the campus "out of an abundance of caution" as the search continued.

- Around 11:30 a.m., Massachusetts State Police explain that the brothers suspected in the bombings were in the Honda CRV when they carjacked the Mercedes SUV. For a while, each drove one of the two vehicles, but then ditched the Honda and reunited in the Mercedes.

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1 year ago

Uncle urges bombing suspect to turn self in

MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, Md. (AP) - The uncle of a Boston Marathon bombing suspect is urging his nephew to turn himself in.

Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., said Friday that 19-year-old Dzhozkar Tsarnaev should turn himself in to police and ask for forgiveness. Officials say Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a 26-year-old who had been known to the FBI as Suspect No. 1, was killed overnight.

The brothers came from a Russian region near Chechnya and lived together in Cambridge, Mass. Tsarni says he hasn't seen them for several years.

He says the family is ashamed. He says he loves the U.S. and respects this country.

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1 year ago

Suspect's Father: "All hell will break loose" if son is killed

From ABC News: The father of suspected Boston Marathon bomber called on his son today to give up peacefully, but warned the U.S. that if his son is killed "all hell will break loose."

Anzor Tsarnaev spoke to ABC News from his home in the Russian city of Makhachkala as Boston police carried out an intense dragnet for his son Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, survived a running gun battle with police during the night that left an MIT security officer dead and a Boston cop badly wounded. His older brother died in the shootout.

The father said he spoke to his sons by phone earlier this week. "We talked about the bombing. I was worried about then," Anzor Tsarnaev said.

He said his sons reassured him, saying, "Everything is good, Daddy. Everything is very good."

The elder Tsarnaev insisted that his sons were innocent, but said he would appeal to his son to "surrender peacefully."

"Give up. Give up. You have a bright future ahead of you. Come home to Russia," the dad said.

The father warned, however, "If they killed him, then all hell would break loose."

Read the full article HERE.

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1 year ago

MIT releases identity of officer killed

MIT has released the identity of the police officer killed Thursday evening as Patrol Officer Sean A. Collier, 26, of Somerville, Mass.

Collier served as a member of the MIT Police since Jan. 9, 2012. He had previously served as a civilian employee with the Somerville Police Department. Collier was a native of Wilmington, Mass.

"Sean was one of these guys who really looked at police work as a calling," said MIT Police Chief John DiFava. "He was born to be a police officer."

Collier was shot Thursday evening following an altercation in Cambridge on the MIT campus. He was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

DiFava said Collier was highly involved with MIT's student population.

"In a very short period of time, it was remarkable how engaged he was with students, particularly graduate students," DiFava said. He added that Collier had become active with the MIT Outing Club, joining students in skiing and hiking.

"The loss of Officer Collier is deeply painful to the entire MIT community," said MIT President L. Rafael Reif. "Our thoughts today are with his family, his friends, his colleagues on our police force and, by all accounts, the many other members of our community who knew him. This is a senseless and tragic loss."

"The MIT Police serve all of us at the Institute with great dignity, honor and dedication," said Israel Ruiz, MIT's executive vice president and treasure. "Everyone here - those who knew Officer Collier, and those who did not - are devastated by the events that transpired on our campus last night. We will never forget the seriousness with which he took his role protecting MIT and those of us who consider it home."

Story Photo

1 year ago

UPDATE: 1 of 2 Mass. bomb suspects dead

WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) - The two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing killed an MIT police officer and hurled explosives at police in a car chase and gun battle overnight that left one of them dead and his brother on the loose, authorities said Friday as thousands of officers swarmed the streets in a manhunt that all but paralyzed the Boston area.

The suspects were identified by law enforcement officials and a family member as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, brothers from a Russian region near Chechnya, which has been plagued by an Islamic insurgency that has carried out deadly bombings. They lived near Boston and had been in the U.S. for about a decade, an uncle said.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a 26-year-old who had been known to the FBI as Suspect No. 1 and was seen in surveillance footage in a black baseball cap, was killed overnight, officials said. His 19-year-old brother - dubbed Suspect No. 2 and seen wearing a white, backward baseball cap in the images from Monday's deadly bombing at the marathon finish line - escaped.

The law enforcement officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the unfolding case.

Authorities in Boston suspended all mass transit and warned close to 1 million people in the entire city and some of its suburbs to stay indoors as the hunt went on. Businesses were asked not to open. People waiting at bus and subway stops were told to go home.

From Watertown to Cambridge, police surrounded various buildings as they searched for Suspect No. 2. Around 8:30 a.m., officers sprinted toward a house in Watertown, and reporters were pushed back more than a block as helicopters buzzed overhead. SWAT teams, FBI agents and armored vehicles assembled at the scene as sharpshooters across the street trained their guns at the house.

"We believe this man to be a terrorist," said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. "We believe this to be a man who's come here to kill people."

The bombings on Monday killed three people and wounded more than 180 others, tearing off limbs in a spray of shrapnel and instantly raising the specter of another terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

Authorities have shed no light on the motive for the attack and have said it is unclear whether it was the work of domestic or international terrorists or someone else entirely with an unknown agenda.

The endgame - at least for Suspect No. 1 - came just hours after the FBI released photos and video of the two young men at the finish line and appealed to the public for help in identifying and capturing them. Tips came pouring in to the FBI immediately, but exactly how authorities managed to close in on the two was not immediately disclosed.

The men's uncle, Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., told The Associated Press that the men traveled here together from the Russian region near Chechnya.

Their father, Anzor Tsarnaev, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press from the Russian city of Makhachkala that his younger son, Dzhokhar, is "a true angel."

"Dzhokhar is a second-year medical student in the U.S. He is such an intelligent boy. We expected him to come on holidays here," the father said.

The White House said President Barack Obama was being briefed on developments overnight by Lisa Monaco, his assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism.

The images released by the FBI depict the two young men walking one behind the other near the finish line. Richard DesLauriers, FBI agent in charge in Boston, said Suspect No. 2 in the white hat was seen setting down a bag at the site of the second of two deadly explosions.

Authorities said surveillance tape recorded late Thursday showed Suspect No. 2 during a robbery of a convenience store in Cambridge, near the campus of MIT, where a university police officer was shot to death while responding to a report of a disturbance, said State Police Col Timothy Alben.

From there, authorities said, the two men carjacked a man in a Mercedes-Benz, keeping him with them in the car for half an hour before releasing him at a gas station in Cambridge. The man was not injured.

The search for the vehicle led to a chase that ended in Watertown, where authorities said the suspects threw explosive devices from the car and exchanged gunfire with police. A transit police officer was seriously injured during the chase, authorities said.

In Watertown, witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots and explosions at about 1 a.m. Friday. Dozens of police officers and FBI agents were in the neighborhood and a helicopter circled overhead.

Watertown resident Christine Yajko said she was awakened at about 1:30 a.m. by a loud noise, began to walk to her kitchen and heard gunfire.

"I heard the explosion, so I stepped back from that area, then I went back out and heard a second one," she said. "It was very loud. It shook the house a little."

She said a police officer later knocked on her door and told her there was an undetonated improvised explosive device in the street and warned her to stay away from the windows.

"It was on the street, right near our kitchen window," she said.

State police spokesman David Procopio said: "The incident in Watertown did involve what we believe to be explosive devices possibly, potentially, being used against the police officers."

Boston cab driver Imran Saif said he was standing on a street corner at a police barricade across from a diner when he heard an explosion.

"I heard a loud boom and then a rapid succession of pop, pop, pop," he said. "It sounded like automatic weapons. And then I heard the second explosion."

He said he could smell something burning and advanced to check it out but area residents at their windows yelled at him, "Hey, it's gunfire! Don't go that way!"

Doctors at a Boston hospital where Suspect No. 1 died said they treated a man with a possible blast injury and multiple gunshot wounds.

In the past, insurgents from Chechnya and neighboring restive provinces in the Caucasus have been involved in terror attacks in Moscow and other places in Russia.

Those raids included a raid in Moscow in October 2002 in which a group of Chechen militants took 800 people hostage and held them for two days before special forces stormed the building, killing all 41 Chechen hostage-takers. Also killed were 129 hostages, mostly from effects of narcotic gas Russian forces used to subdue the attackers.

Chechen insurgents also launched a 2004 hostage-taking raid in the southern Russian town of Beslan, where they took hundreds of hostages. The siege ended in a bloodbath two days later, with more than 330 people, about half of them children, killed.

Insurgents from Chechnya and other regions also have launched a long series of bombings in Moscow and other cities in Russia. An explosion at the international arrivals hall at Moscow's Domodedovo airport in January 2011 killed at least 31 people and wounded more than 140.

Story Photo

1 year ago

Boston Suspect's Father: Son a "True Angel"

MAKHACHKALA, Russia (AP) - The father of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing claims that his son who is still on the loose is a smart and accomplished young man.

Anzor Tsarnaev spoke with The Associated Press by telephone from the Russian city of Makhachkala on Friday after police said one of his sons, 26-year-old Tamerlan, had been killed in a shootout and the other, Dzhokhar, was being intensely pursued.

"My son is a true angel," the elder Tsarnaev said. "Dzhokhar is a second-year medical student in the U.S. He is such an intelligent boy. We expected him to come on holidays here."

Story Photo

1 year ago

Details about Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects Emerge

BOSTON (AP) | In May of 2011, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, then a senior at a prestigious high school, was awarded a $2,500 scholarship from the city of Cambridge, Mass., to pursue higher education. Now, Tsarnaev is on the run, described as "armed and dangerous" and suspected of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Two brothers, one now dead, one alive and at large. After hours of only grainy images of two men in baseball caps to go on, a portrait gradually started emerging Friday of the men suspected in the attack.

Tsarnaev, 19, and his older brother, Tamerlan, who was killed during a violent night in Cambridge, had been living together on Norfolk Street in Cambridge. An uncle, Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., told The Associated Press that the men lived together near Boston and have been in the United States for about a decade. They came from the Russian region near Chechnya, which has been plagued by an Islamic insurgency stemming from separatist wars.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's page on the Russian social networking site Vkontakte says he attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, graduating in 2011, the year he won the scholarship, which was celebrated with a reception at City Hall, according to a news release issued at the time. Before moving to the United States, he attended School No. 1 in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim republic in Russia's North Caucasus that has become an epicenter of the Islamic insurgency that spilled over from Chechnya. On the site, he describes himself as speaking Chechen as well as English and Russian. His world view is described as "Islam" and he says his personal goal is "career and money."

Tsarnaev appeared in the video released by authorities on Thursday, identified as Suspect Number 2, striding down a sidewalk, unnoticed by spectators who were absorbed in the race. He followed Tamerlan by about 10 feet. He wore what appeared to be a gray hoodie under a dark jacket and pants, and a white baseball cap facing backward and pulled down haphazardly.

Tamerlan was stockier, in khaki pants, a light T-shirt, and a dark jacket. The brim of his baseball cap faced forward, and he may have been wearing sunglasses.

According to the website spotcrime.com, Tamerlan was arrested for domestic violence in July 2009, after assaulting his girlfriend.

He was an amateur boxer, listed as a competitor in a National Golden Gloves competition in 2009.

Story Photo

1 year ago

UPDATE: 1 of 2 Mass. bomb suspects dead; suburbs shut down

WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) - The two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing killed an MIT police officer and hurled explosives at police in a car chase and gun battle overnight that left one of them dead and his brother on the loose, authorities said Friday as thousands of officers swarmed the streets in a manhunt that all but paralyzed the Boston area.

The suspects were identified by law enforcement officials and a family member as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, brothers from a Russian region near Chechnya, which has been plagued by an Islamic insurgency stemming from separatist wars.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, known to the FBI as Suspect No. 1 and seen in surveillance footage in a black baseball cap, was killed in a gun battle with police in Massachusetts overnight, officials said. His 19-year-old brother - dubbed as Suspect No. 2 and seen wearing a white, backwards baseball cap in the images from Monday's deadly bombing at the marathon finish line - escaped.

The law enforcement officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation.

In Boston, authorities suspended all mass transit and urged close to a million people in all of Boston and some of its suburbs to stay indoors as they searched for the remaining suspect, a man Businesses were asked not to open Friday. People waiting at bus and subway stops were told to go home.

"We believe this man to be a terrorist," said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. "We believe this to be a man who's come here to kill people."

The endgame - at least for Suspect No. 1 - came just hours after the FBI released photos and video of the two young men at the marathon finish line and appealed to the public for help in identifying and capturing them. Tips came pouring in to the FBI immediately but exactly how authorities managed to close in on the two young men was not immediately disclosed.

The mens' uncle, Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., told The Associated Press that the men lived together near Boston and have been in the United States for about a decade. They traveled here together from the Russian region near Chechnya.

The White House said President Barack Obama was being briefed on developments overnight by Lisa Monaco, his assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism.

The suspects' clashes with police began only a few hours after the FBI released photos and videos of the two young men, who were seen carrying backpacks as they mingled among marathon revelers. The bombings on Monday killed three people and wounded more than 180 others, and authorities revealed the images to enlist the public's help finding the suspects.

The images released by the FBI depict two young men, each wearing a baseball cap, walking one behind the other near the finish line. Richard DesLauriers, FBI agent in charge in Boston, said the suspect in the white hat was seen setting down a bag at the site of the second of two deadly explosions.

Authorities said surveillance tape recorded late Thursday showed the suspect known for the white hat during a robbery of a convenience store in Cambridge, near the campus of MIT, where a university police officer was killed while responding to a report of a disturbance, said State Police Col Timothy Alben. The officer died of multiple gunshot wounds.

From there, authorities say, the two men carjacked a man in a Mercedes-Benz, keeping him with them in the car for half an hour before releasing him at a gas station in Cambridge. The man was not injured.

The search for the vehicle led to a chase that ended in Watertown, where authorities said the suspects threw explosive devices from the car and exchanged gunfire with police. A transit police officer was seriously injured during the chase, authorities said.

In Watertown, witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots and explosions at about 1 a.m. Friday. Dozens of police officers and FBI agents were in the neighborhood and a helicopter circled overhead.

Watertown resident Christine Yajko said she was awakened at about 1:30 a.m. by a loud noise, began to walk to her kitchen and heard gunfire.

"I heard the explosion, so I stepped back from that area, then I went back out and heard a second one," she said. "It was very loud. It shook the house a little."

She said a police officer later knocked on her door and told her there was an undetonated improvised explosive device in the street and warned her to stay away from the windows.

"It was on the street, right near our kitchen window," she said.

Yajko said she never saw the suspect who was on the loose and didn't realize the violence was related to the marathon bombings until she turned on the TV and began watching what was happening outside her side door.

State police spokesman David Procopio said, "The incident in Watertown did involve what we believe to be explosive devices possibly, potentially, being used against the police officers."

Boston cab driver Imran Saif said he was standing on a street corner at a police barricade across from a diner when he heard an explosion.

"I heard a loud boom and then a rapid succession of pop, pop, pop," he said. "It sounded like automatic weapons. And then I heard the second explosion."

He said he could smell something burning and advanced to check it out but area residents at their windows yelled at him, "Hey, it's gunfire! Don't go that way!"

Doctors at a Boston hospital where a suspect in the marathon bombings was taken and later died are saying they treated a man with a possible blast injury and multiple gunshot wounds.

MIT said right after the 10:30 p.m. shooting that police were sweeping the campus in Cambridge and urged people to remain indoors. They urged people urged to stay away from the Stata Center, a mixed-use building with faculty offices, classrooms and a common area.

The suspects' images were released hours after President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attended an interfaith service in Boston to remember the dead and the wounded.

At the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Obama saluted the resolve of the people of Boston and mocked the bombers as "these small, stunted individuals who would destroy instead of build and think somehow that makes them important."

"We will find you," he warned.

In the past, insurgents from Chechnya and neighboring restive provinces in the Caucasus have been involved in terror attacks in Moscow and other places in Russia.

Those raids included a raid in Moscow in October 2002 in which a group of Chechen militants took 800 people hostage and held them for two days before special forces stormed the building, killing all 41 Chechen hostage-takers. Also killed were 129 hostages, mostly from effects of narcotic gas Russian forces used to subdue the attackers.

Chechen insurgents also launched a 2004 hostage-taking raid in the southern Russian town of Beslan, where they took hundreds of hostages. The siege ended in a bloodbath two days later, with more than 330 people, about half of them children, killed.

Insurgents from Chechnya and other regions also have launched a long series of bombings in Moscow and other cities in Russia. An explosion at the international arrivals hall at Moscow's Domodedovo airport in January 2011 killed at least 31 people and wounded more than 140.

Story Photo

1 year ago

Uncle of bomb suspects confirms 2nd suspect's name

WASHINGTON (AP) - A U.S. law enforcement official and the uncle of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings are confirming that the name of the second suspect is Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother of Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a gun battle with police in Massachusetts overnight.

Three law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation, confirmed the bomb suspects were brothers. One of the officials and the men's uncle confirmed the identity of Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

The uncle, Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., told The Associated Press that the men lived together near Boston and have been in the United States for about a decade. They traveled here together from the Russian region near Chechnya.

Story Photo

1 year ago

UPDATE: Cops: Boston must stay in place amid terror hunt

WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) - All residents of Boston were ordered to stay in their homes Friday morning as the search for the surviving suspect in the marathon bombings continued after a long night of violence that left another suspect dead.

Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis made the announcement that the entire city should stay indoors at a news conference where Gov. Deval Patrick said the remaining suspect, described as a dangerous terrorist, was still on the loose.

The developments came after the suspects killed an MIT police officer overnight, injured a transit officer in a firefight and threw explosive devices at police during their getaway attempt, authorities said as the manhunt intensified.

The suspects were identified to The Associated Press as coming from the Russian region near Chechnya, which has been plagued by an Islamic insurgency stemming from separatist wars. A law enforcement intelligence bulletin obtained by the AP identified the surviving bomb suspect as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, a 19-year-old who had been living in Cambridge, just outside Boston, and said he "may be armed and dangerous."

Two law enforcement officials told the AP that Tsarnaev and the other suspect, who was not immediately identified, had been living legally in the U.S. for at least one year.

In Boston, authorities suspended all mass transit and urged people to stay indoors as they searched for the remaining suspect, a man seen wearing a white baseball cap on surveillance footage from Monday's deadly bombing at the marathon finish line.

"We believe this man to be a terrorist," said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. "We believe this to be a man who's come here to kill people."

Authorities urged residents in Watertown, Newton, Arlington, Waltham, Belmont, Cambridge and the Allston-Brighton neighborhoods of Boston to stay indoors. At least a quarter of a million people live in those suburbs. All mass transit was shut down, and businesses were asked not to open Friday. People waiting at bus and subway stops were told to go home.

The shutdown came hours after the killing of one suspect, known as the man in the black hat from marathon surveillance footage.

All modes of public transportation were shut down, including buses, subways, trolleys, commuter rail and boats, said Joe Pesaturo, spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

The White House said President Barack Obama was being briefed on developments overnight by Lisa Monaco, his assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism.

The suspects' clashes with police began only a few hours after the FBI released photos and videos of the two young men, who were seen carrying backpacks as they mingled among marathon revelers. The bombings on Monday killed three people and wounded more than 180 others, and authorities revealed the images to enlist the public's help finding the suspects.

The images released by the FBI depict two young men, each wearing a baseball cap, walking one behind the other near the finish line. Richard DesLauriers, FBI agent in charge in Boston, said the suspect in the white hat was seen setting down a bag at the site of the second of two deadly explosions.

Authorities said surveillance tape recorded late Thursday showed the suspect known for the white hat during a robbery of a convenience store in Cambridge, near the campus of MIT, where a university police officer was killed while responding to a report of a disturbance, said State Police Col Timothy Alben. The officer died of multiple gunshot wounds.

From there, authorities say, the two men carjacked a man in a Mercedes-Benz, keeping him with them in the car for half an hour before releasing him at a gas station in Cambridge. The man was not injured.

The search for the vehicle led to a chase that ended in Watertown, where authorities said the suspects threw explosive devices from the car and exchanged gunfire with police. A transit police officer was seriously injured during the chase, authorities said.

In Watertown, witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots and explosions at about 1 a.m. Friday. Dozens of police officers and FBI agents were in the neighborhood and a helicopter circled overhead.

Watertown resident Christine Yajko said she was awakened at about 1:30 a.m. by a loud noise, began to walk to her kitchen and heard gunfire.

"I heard the explosion, so I stepped back from that area, then I went back out and heard a second one," she said. "It was very loud. It shook the house a little."

She said a police officer later knocked on her door and told her there was an undetonated improvised explosive device in the street and warned her to stay away from the windows.

"It was on the street, right near our kitchen window," she said.

Yajko said she never saw the suspect who was on the loose and didn't realize the violence was related to the marathon bombings until she turned on the TV and began watching what was happening outside her side door.

State police spokesman David Procopio said, "The incident in Watertown did involve what we believe to be explosive devices possibly, potentially, being used against the police officers."

Boston cab driver Imran Saif said he was standing on a street corner at a police barricade across from a diner when he heard an explosion.

"I heard a loud boom and then a rapid succession of pop, pop, pop," he said. "It sounded like automatic weapons. And then I heard the second explosion."

He said he could smell something burning and advanced to check it out but area residents at their windows yelled at him, "Hey, it's gunfire! Don't go that way!"

Doctors at a Boston hospital where a suspect in the marathon bombings was taken and later died are saying they treated a man with a possible blast injury and multiple gunshot wounds.

MIT said right after the 10:30 p.m. shooting that police were sweeping the campus in Cambridge and urged people to remain indoors. They urged people urged to stay away from the Stata Center, a mixed-use building with faculty offices, classrooms and a common area.

The suspects' images were released hours after President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attended an interfaith service in Boston to remember the dead and the wounded.

At the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Obama saluted the resolve of the people of Boston and mocked the bombers as "these small, stunted individuals who would destroy instead of build and think somehow that makes them important."

"We will find you," he warned.

In the past, insurgents from Chechnya and neighboring restive provinces in the Caucasus have been involved in terror attacks in Moscow and other places in Russia.

Those raids included a raid in Moscow in October 2002 in which a group of Chechen militants took 800 people hostage and held them for two days before special forces stormed the building, killing all 41 Chechen hostage-takers. Also killed were 129 hostages, mostly from effects of narcotic gas Russian forces used to subdue the attackers.

Chechen insurgents also launched a 2004 hostage-taking raid in the southern Russian town of Beslan, where they took hundreds of hostages. The siege ended in a bloodbath two days later, with more than 330 people, about half of them children, killed.

Insurgents from Chechnya and other regions also have launched a long series of bombings in Moscow and other cities in Russia. An explosion at the international arrivals hall at Moscow's Domodedovo airport in January 2011 killed at least 31 people and wounded more than 140.

Story Photo

1 year ago

UPDATE: 1 of 2 Mass. bomb suspects dead; suburbs shut down

WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) - Two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing killed an MIT police officer, injured a transit officer in a firefight and threw explosive devices at police during their getaway attempt in a long night of violence that left one of them dead and another still at large Friday, authorities said as the manhunt intensified for a young man described as a dangerous terrorist.

The suspects were identified to The Associated Press as coming from the Russian region near Chechnya, which has been plagued by an Islamic insurgency stemming from separatist wars. A law enforcement intelligence bulletin obtained by the AP identified the surviving bomb suspect as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, a 19-year-old who had been living in Cambridge, just outside Boston, and said he "may be armed and dangerous."

Two law enforcement officials told the AP that Tsarnaev and the other suspect, who was not immediately identified, had been living legally in the U.S. for at least one year.

In Boston, still on edge over the attack on the marathon, and its western suburbs, authorities suspended mass transit and urged people to stay indoors as they searched for the remaining suspect, a man seen wearing a white baseball cap on surveillance footage from Monday's deadly bombing at the marathon finish line.

"We believe this man to be a terrorist," said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. "We believe this to be a man who's come here to kill people."

Authorities urged residents in Watertown, Newton, Arlington, Waltham, Belmont, Cambridge and the Allston-Brighton neighborhoods of Boston to stay indoors. At least a quarter of a million people live in those suburbs. All mass transit was shut down, and businesses were asked not to open Friday. People waiting at bus and subway stops were told to go home.

All modes of public transportation were shut down, including buses, subways, trolleys, commuter rail and boats, said Joe Pesaturo, spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

The suspects' clashes with police began only a few hours after the FBI released photos and videos of the two young men, who were seen carrying backpacks as they mingled among marathon revelers. The bombings on Monday killed three people and wounded more than 180 others, and authorities revealed the images to enlist the public's help finding the suspects.

The images released by the FBI depict two young men, each wearing a baseball cap, walking one behind the other near the finish line. Richard DesLauriers, FBI agent in charge in Boston, said the suspect in the white hat was seen setting down a bag at the site of the second of two deadly explosions.

Authorities said surveillance tape recorded late Thursday showed the suspect known for the white hat during a robbery of a convenience store in Cambridge, near the campus of MIT, where a university police officer was killed while responding to a report of a disturbance, said State Police Col Timothy Alben. The officer died of multiple gunshot wounds.

From there, authorities say, the two men carjacked a man in a Mercedes-Benz, keeping him with them in the car for half an hour before releasing him at a gas station in Cambridge. The man was not injured.

The search for the vehicle led to a chase that ended in Watertown, where authorities said the suspects threw explosive devices from the car and exchanged gunfire with police. A transit police officer was seriously injured during the chase, authorities said.

In Watertown, witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots and explosions at about 1 a.m. Friday. Dozens of police officers and FBI agents were in the neighborhood and a helicopter circled overhead.

Watertown resident Christine Yajko said she was awakened at about 1:30 a.m. by a loud noise, began to walk to her kitchen and heard gunfire.

"I heard the explosion, so I stepped back from that area, then I went back out and heard a second one," she said. "It was very loud. It shook the house a little."

She said a police officer later knocked on her door and told her there was an undetonated improvised explosive device in the street and warned her to stay away from the windows.

"It was on the street, right near our kitchen window," she said.

Yajko said she never saw the suspect who was on the loose and didn't realize the violence was related to the marathon bombings until she turned on the TV and began watching what was happening outside her side door.

State police spokesman David Procopio said, "The incident in Watertown did involve what we believe to be explosive devices possibly, potentially, being used against the police officers."

Boston cab driver Imran Saif said he was standing on a street corner at a police barricade across from a diner when he heard an explosion.

"I heard a loud boom and then a rapid succession of pop, pop, pop," he said. "It sounded like automatic weapons. And then I heard the second explosion."

He said he could smell something burning and advanced to check it out but area residents at their windows yelled at him, "Hey, it's gunfire! Don't go that way!"

Doctors at a Boston hospital where a suspect in the marathon bombings was taken and later died are saying they treated a man with a possible blast injury and multiple gunshot wounds.

MIT said right after the 10:30 p.m. shooting that police were sweeping the campus in Cambridge and urged people to remain indoors. They urged people urged to stay away from the Stata Center, a mixed-use building with faculty offices, classrooms and a common area.

The suspects' images were released hours after President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attended an interfaith service in Boston to remember the dead and the wounded.

At the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Obama saluted the resolve of the people of Boston and mocked the bombers as "these small, stunted individuals who would destroy instead of build and think somehow that makes them important."

"We will find you," he warned.

In the past, insurgents from Chechnya and neighboring restive provinces in the Caucasus have been involved in terror attacks in Moscow and other places in Russia.

Those raids included a raid in Moscow in October 2002 in which a group of Chechen militants took 800 people hostage and held them for two days before special forces stormed the building, killing all 41 Chechen hostage-takers. Also killed were 129 hostages, mostly from effects of narcotic gas Russian forces used to subdue the attackers.

Chechen insurgents also launched a 2004 hostage-taking raid in the southern Russian town of Beslan, where they took hundreds of hostages. The siege ended in a bloodbath two days later, with more than 330 people, about half of them children, killed.

Insurgents from Chechnya and other regions also have launched a long series of bombings in Moscow and other cities in Russia. An explosion at the international arrivals hall at Moscow's Domodedovo airport in January 2011 killed at least 31 people and wounded more than 140.

Story Photo

1 year ago

Obama honors bombing victims in Boston

BOSTON (AP) - President Barack Obama sought to inspire a stricken city and comfort an unnerved nation Thursday, declaring that Boston "will run again" and vowing to hunt down the perpetrator of the twin blasts that brought mayhem and death to the Boston Marathon.

"If they sought to intimidate us, to terrorize us ... It should be pretty clear right now that they picked the wrong city to do it," Obama said.

The president spoke at an interfaith service in Boston honoring the three people killed and more than 170 injured when a pair of bombs ripped through the crowd gathered Monday afternoon near the finish line of the famous race.

"We may be momentarily knocked off our feet," Obama said. "But we'll pick ourselves up. We'll keep going. We will finish the race."

"This time next year, on the third Monday in April, the world will return to this great American city to run harder than ever and cheer even louder for the 118th Boston Marathon," he declared.

Obama spoke as his second-term as president is increasingly burdened by terror, politics, and disaster. In the aftermath of Boston's deadly blasts Monday, Obama lost a fight for gun control measures in the Senate, was the target, along with a U.S. senator, of letters that showed traces of poisonous ricin, and awoke Thursday to news of a powerful fertilizer plant explosion that devastated a small Texas town.

The letters alone -- one addressed to Obama and another to Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss. -- evoked eerie parallels to the anthrax attacks that followed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Authorities arrested a Mississippi man Wednesday in connection with the letters.

It was against that backdrop that Obama and his wife, Michelle, came to Boston Thursday morning, joining a crowd at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross for a "Healing Our City" service. The Obamas sat at the front of the church next to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick as the service began.

Obama listened from his pew as Boston Mayor Thomas Menino praised the response of his city.

"Nothing will take us down because we take care of one another," Menino said. "Even with the smell of smoke in the air and blood in the streets and tears in our eyes, we triumphed over that hateful act."

Moments later, Patrick said: "We will grieve our losses and heal. We will rise, and we will endure. We will have accountability without vengeance, vigilance without fear."

Sustaining that uplifting theme, Obama recalled his days as a law student at Harvard and declared, "There is a piece of Boston in me."

"Every one of us has been touched by this attack on your beloved city, every one of us stands with you," he said.

He said the city gathered at the interfaith service "to reaffirm that the spirit of this city is undaunted."

Obama also planned to meet with some of those injured, as well as the first responders who rushed toward the blast to help the scores of runners and spectators.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama received a briefing from national security adviser Lisa Monaco on the status of the investigation into the Boston blast before departing the White House. Accompanying Obama aboard Air Force One were members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Mo Cowan.

"We send our support and encouragement to people who never expected that they'd need it - the wounded civilians who are just beginning what will be, I'm sure for some of them, a long road to recovery," Obama said Wednesday in a likely preview of his remarks at the service.

The president has stepped into this role as the nation's consoler in chief many times before in his presidency, most recently in December after the massacre of 20 first-graders and six educators at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Before that, there were the deadly shootings in Aurora, Colo., Tucson, Ariz., and Fort Hood, Texas, as well as the natural disasters that tore apart towns and neighborhoods in Missouri and the New York-New Jersey area.

This time, Obama must confront the unique challenges of a terror attack that inevitably revived memories of 9/11. As he did in a statement from the White House on Tuesday, the president was expected to urge the public to remain vigilant, while declaring that "the American people refuse to be terrorized."

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1 year ago

Image leads to hunt for Boston bombing suspect

BOSTON (AP) - The work to identify a bombing suspect from reams of Boston Marathon footage has yielded a possible breakthrough as investigators focus on a man seen dropping off a bag near the site of the second of two deadly explosions.

City Council President Stephen Murphy says investigators saw the image of the man dropping off a bag and matched the findings with witness descriptions of someone leaving the scene. He says he was briefed by Boston police.

President Barack Obama is planning to attend a service honoring the victims Thursday in Boston, where the bombings three days earlier killed three people and wounded more than 170.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said he understands frustration that no suspects have been captured, but he said it takes time to complete a thorough investigation.

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1 year ago

Arizona moves to force sale of turned-in guns

PHOENIX (AP) - The months since the deadly Connecticut school shooting have seen dozens of gun buyback events across the country, with officials getting thousands of unwanted firearms off the street and sending them off to their destruction.

In Arizona, however, the Republican-controlled Legislature is now moving to save such guns.

Prompted by a gun buyback event in January in Tucson, where a 2011 shooting rampage left six dead and wounded then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others, GOP lawmakers crafted a bill that would require local agencies to sell the firearms to gun dealers. The bill, which has passed both chambers of the Legislature, tightens a 2010 law that requires police to sell seized weapons.

Dozens of buybacks have been held this year in states from New Jersey to California, with the efforts kick-started by recent shootings that include the massacre of 20 students and six educators at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

They're popular among some police and elected officials who either pay cash or hand out gift cards in exchange for unwanted weapons. They're then destroyed, and officials say the guns are kept out of the hands of children or thieves.

The Tucson event was championed by City Councilman Steve Kozachik. The council there has voted to adopt ordinances that make it illegal to fire a gun while drunk, required background checks at gun shows on city property and mandated that lost or stolen guns be reported to police.

Kozachik is angry at the Legislature for pushing the bill that essentially guts cities' efforts to get guns off the streets.

"To me it's just more hypocrisy from the right," Kozachik said. "They're big civil libertarians when it comes to anybody's personal property until it becomes a gun that we're talking about. And then it becomes a community asset."

Democrats failed to keep the bill from passing the Senate Tuesday after an impassioned debate where Giffords' name was raised, and it's now headed to Republican Gov. Jan Brewer's desk for action. Brewer has not said whether she would sign it, but she's a strong gun-rights supporter and had signed the 2010 law.

During the Senate debate, Republicans argued that guns should not be singled out for destruction when other property that comes into the hands of governments isn't.

"This bill doesn't really deal with guns per se, it deals with valuable property owned by the taxpayers that is being destroyed instead of being utilized for the benefit of those taxpayers," said GOP Sen. Rick Murphy, a co-sponsor of House Bill 2455. "What this comes down to it's not appropriate to tell taxpayers that they must subside with their dollars the destruction of useful property with no good reason, to accomplish nothing other than to make people feel good."

Democrats pushed back, arguing that the bill was all about guns and not property.

"It's deeply disturbing to me that (after) all that has happened to Arizona and to this country in the last couple years that this is the kind of bill that gets a fast track," said Sen. Steve Farley, who represents Tucson. "The gun doesn't have the power to go commit new crimes like that, the person has that. But guns do have powerful symbolic power when they are used in heinous crimes. So why are we making this statement here?"

Gun buybacks are highly visible events, embraced by many. But they have also drawn criticism. The event Kozachik sponsored was criticized by gun rights proponents as ineffective. They set up tables to pay cash for guns.

There is research showing that such events don't have much impact, said Michael Scott, a University of Wisconsin Law School professor who is director of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing.

"The main reason that's the case is that most gun buybacks tend to yield guns that are highly unlikely to be used in crimes," including old, broken or worn-out firearms, he said.

There may be a small decrease in accidents, but criminals don't usually use such guns, he said.

Also, because people are paid for the weapons, they could turn around and buy more weapons. Plus, with an estimated 300 million guns in the U.S., there's just too many for small efforts like buybacks to make a dent, Scott said.

"There's just so many guns in private hands in the country that collecting a relative few of them at any one time is not going to have a big impact on their availability," he said.

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1 year ago

Chinese grad student confirmed as Boston victim

BEIJING (AP) - She was a food fan, eager for culinary discoveries. In her last microblog update the morning before the Boston Marathon blasts, the Chinese graduate student identified as the attack's third victim posted a photo of ciabatta-like bread chunks and fruit.

"My wonderful breakfast," Boston University statistics student Lu Lingzi wrote.

In her early 20s, she often shared photos of her home-prepared meals on her Twitter-like Chinese Sina Weibo account - a blueberry-covered waffle one day, spinach sachettini with zucchini on another.

They were almost always served in a shallow, blue-patterned bowl. In September, she showed off her first two-dish meal - stir-fried broccoli and scrambled eggs with tomatoes, often cooked by Chinese students learning how to live on their own abroad.

Boston University confirmed Wednesday that Lu was studying mathematics and statistics at the school and was due to receive her graduate degree in 2015.

It said she and two friends had been watching the Boston Marathon near the finish line. One of the friends, also a BU student, was injured while the other was unharmed, it said.

Chinese state media said Lu was from the northeastern city of Shenyang.

Reports of her death drew an outpouring of comments and condolences from friends and strangers, both on Lu's Sina Weibo account - with nearly 20,000 comments as of Wednesday - and on their own. Her former neighbor in Shenyang, Zhang Xinbo, lamented how the news brought home the tragedy of what he had considered a faraway event.

"I saw her grow up, and a few scenes from the past are flashing through my mind. Now, she's becoming a girl, a bit Westernized, but a loud bang has changed everything," he wrote in a blog. "I think of her loved ones, and I don't know how they are coping with this painful news, while still searching for any thread of hope."

Many comments reflect a growing awareness that the burgeoning number of Chinese students studying in the U.S. and elsewhere in recent years has opened them up to dangers ranging from mundane street crime to terrorist attacks.

"Nearly 12 years after Sept. 11, more and more people have realized terrorists are the global enemy. They not only attack Americans but also Chinese, regardless of nationality and race," the well-known blogger and author Li Chengpeng wrote on his microblog site.

Chinese are the largest contingent of foreign students at U.S. colleges and universities. Last year, nearly 200,000 Chinese were enrolled in U.S. institutions of higher education, and Massachusetts had almost 10,000 Chinese students on its college campuses, according to the Institute of International Education.

The detonations near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three people and wounded more than 170. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing said a Chinese student from Chengdu was among the gravely wounded.

Lu's former high school teacher, Yang Yongkun, told the Shenyang Evening News that Lu had left a deep impression on him.

"This child is particularly smart and simple," the newspaper quoted Yang as saying.

According to Lu's profile on the professional networking site LinkedIn, she was awarded "excellent student" at the Beijing Institute of Technology, where she graduated last year. It said she held jobs or internships at the Beijing offices of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu consultancy and at Dongxing Securities Co. during her undergraduate years and spent a semester at the University of California Riverside.

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1 year ago

Reports: Boston Courthouse Evacuated after Bomb Threat

The Boston Federal Courthouse is being evacuated. Boston ABC affiliate WCVB is reporting that a bomb threat made on the courthouse is the reason for the evacuation. No other details about the evacuation or the bomb threat are available.

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1 year ago

Federal officials deny that Boston Marathon bombing suspect is in custody

BOSTON (AP) - Federal officials denied a suspect was under arrest Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombings. A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press earlier in the day that a suspect was in custody. The FBI and the U.S. attorney's office in Boston said that no arrests had been made. The official who spoke to the AP did so on condition of anonymity and stood by the information even after it was disputed. The official, who was not authorized to divulge details of the investigation, had said the suspect was expected in federal court in Boston. Reporters and police converged at the courthouse. Several media outlets reported that a suspect had been identified from surveillance video taken at a Lord & Taylor store between the sites of the two bomb blasts, which killed three people and wounded more than 170. A news briefing was scheduled later Wednesday. "Contrary to widespread reporting, there have been no arrests made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack," the FBI said in a statement. "Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate. Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting." Law enforcement agencies had earlier pleaded for the public to come forward with photos, videos or any information that might help them solve the twin bombings. Police also gathered surveillance video from businesses around the finish line. The bombs were made from ordinary kitchen pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails and ball bearings to inflict maximum carnage, investigators and others close to the case said. But the FBI said nobody had claimed responsibility. Investigators in white jumpsuits had fanned out across the streets, rooftops and awnings around the blast site in search of clues on Wednesday. They combed through debris amid the toppled orange sports drink dispensers, trash cans and sleeves of plastic cups strewn across the street at the marathon's finish line. President Barack Obama branded the attack an act of terrorism. Obama plans to attend an interfaith service Thursday in the victims' honor in Boston. Scores of victims of the Boston bombing remained in hospitals, many with grievous injuries. Doctors who treated the wounded corroborated reports that the bombs were packed with shrapnel intended to cause mayhem. In addition to the 5-year-old child, a 9-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy were among 17 victims listed in critical condition. The trauma surgery chief at Boston Medical Center says most of the injuries his hospital treated after the marathon bombings were to the legs. "We have a lot of lower extremity injuries, so I think the damage was low to the ground and wasn't up," Dr. Peter Burke said. "The patients who do have head injuries were blown into things or were hit by fragments that went up." Dozens of patients have been released from hospitals around the Boston area. At Massachusetts General Hospital, all four amputations performed there were above the knee, with no hope of saving more of the legs, said Dr. George Velmahos, chief of trauma surgery. "It wasn't a hard decision to make," he said Tuesday. "We just completed the ugly job that the bomb did." The bombs exploded 10 or more seconds apart, tearing off victims' limbs and spattering streets with blood. The blasts near the finish line instantly turned the festive race into a hellish scene of confusion, horror and heroics. The blasts killed 8-year-old Martin Richard, of Boston, and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, of Medford. The Shenyang Evening News, a state-run Chinese newspaper, identified the third victim as Lu Lingzi. She was a graduate student at Boston University.

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1 year ago

Official: Arrest imminent in marathon bombing

BOSTON (AP) - A suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings is about to be arrested, a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation said Wednesday. The official was not authorized to divulge details of the investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The suspect was to be taken into custody by federal marshals and taken to a Boston courthouse, the official said. The official spoke shortly after several media outlets reported that a suspect had been identified from surveillance video taken at a Lord & Taylor store between the two bomb blasts. An official news briefing was scheduled later Wednesday. Law enforcement agencies had earlier pleaded for the public to come forward with photos, videos or any information that might help them solve the twin bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 170 on Monday. Investigators circulated information about the bombs, which involved kitchen pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails and other lethal shrapnel. But the FBI said nobody had claimed responsibility. A person close to the investigation had previously told AP the bombs consisted of explosives put in 1.6-gallon pressure cookers, one with shards of metal and ball bearings, the other with nails. Investigators in white jumpsuits had fanned out across the streets, rooftops and awnings around the blast site in search of clues on Wednesday. They combed through debris amid the toppled orange sports drink dispensers, trash cans and sleeves of plastic cups strewn across the street at the marathon's finish line. President Barack Obama branded the attack an act of terrorism. Obama plans to attend an interfaith service Thursday in the victims' honor in Boston. Scores of victims of the Boston bombing remained in hospitals, many with grievous injuries. Doctors who treated the wounded corroborated reports that the bombs were packed with shrapnel intended to cause mayhem. In addition to the 5-year-old child, a 9-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy were among 17 victims listed in critical condition. The trauma surgery chief at Boston Medical Center says most of the injuries his hospital treated after the marathon bombings were to the legs. "We have a lot of lower extremity injuries, so I think the damage was low to the ground and wasn't up," Dr. Peter Burke said. "The patients who do have head injuries were blown into things or were hit by fragments that went up." Dozens of patients have been released from hospitals around the Boston area. At Massachusetts General Hospital, all four amputations performed there were above the knee, with no hope of saving more of the legs, said Dr. George Velmahos, chief of trauma surgery. "It wasn't a hard decision to make," he said Tuesday. "We just completed the ugly job that the bomb did." An intelligence bulletin issued to law enforcement includes a picture of a mangled pressure cooker and a torn black bag that the FBI said were part of a bomb that exploded during the marathon. The bombs exploded 10 or more seconds apart, tearing off victims' limbs and spattering streets with blood. The blasts near the finish line instantly turned the festive race into a hellish scene of confusion, horror and heroics. The blasts killed 8-year-old Martin Richard, of Boston, and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, of Medford. The Shenyang Evening News, a state-run Chinese newspaper, identified the third victim as Lu Lingzi. She was a graduate student at Boston University.

1 year ago

CNN: Suspect identified in Boston bombings

CNN: Investigators believe they have identified a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. The breakthrough came from analysis of video from a department store near the site of the second explosion. Video from a Boston television station also contributed to the progress, said the source, who declined to be more specific but called it a significant development.

Read more here: http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/17/us/boston-blasts/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

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1 year ago

Obama to visit Boston on Thursday

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama will visit Boston on Thursday, three days after a pair of deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says Obama will be attending an interfaith service.

Three people were killed at the marathon's finish line, including an 8-year-old boy. More than 170 were wounded.

Hours after the explosions, Obama vowed that those responsible would be brought to justice. In remarks Tuesday, he called the bombings an act of terrorism but said investigators still don't know who carried them out.

He also said the American people refuse to be terrorized.

Obama has traveled four times to cities reeling from mass violence, but all of the previous trips followed shooting incidents. The most recent was in December after the schoolhouse shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Obama had been scheduled to make an unrelated trip on Friday to Lawrence, Kan., to speak at the University of Kansas. But the White House said Tuesday that trip has been canceled.

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1 year ago

Pressure cooker bombs used in past by militants

CAIRO (AP) - Homemade bombs built from pressure cookers, a version of which was used in the Boston Marathon bombings, have been a frequent weapon of militants in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. Al-Qaida's branch in Yemen once published an online manual on how to make one, urging "lone jihadis" to act on their own to carry out attacks.

President Barack Obama underlined Tuesday that investigators do not know if the twin bombing the day before that killed three people and wounded more than 170 was carried out by an international organization, a domestic group or a "malevolent individual." There has been no claim of responsibility.

A person briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press that the explosives were fashioned out of pressure cookers and packed with shards of metal, nails and ball bearings to inflict maximum carnage.

The relative ease of constructing such bombs and the powerful punch they deliver has made them attractive to insurgents and Islamic extremists, particularly in South Asia. They have turned up in past bombing plots by Islamic extremists in the West, including a plan by a U.S. soldier to blow up a restaurant frequented by fellow soldiers outside Fort Hood, in Texas. One of the three devices used in the May 2010 Times Square attempted bombing was a pressure cooker, according to a joint FBI and Homeland Security intelligence report issued in July 2010.

Al-Qaida's branch in Yemen gave a detailed description on how to make a pressure cooker bomb in the 2010 first issue of "Inspire," its magazine that only appears online, in a chapter titled "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom."

"The pressurized cooker is the most effective method" for making a simple bomb, the article said, describing how to fill the cooker with shrapnel and gunpowder and to create a detonator using the filament of a light bulb and a clock timer.

"Inspire" magazine has a running series of such training articles called "Open Source Jihad," which the group calls a resource manual for individual extremists to carry out attacks against the enemies of jihad, including the U.S. and its allies. The magazine is targeted heavily at encouraging "lone wolf" jihadis.

An issue last year reprinted an older article by a veteran Syrian jihadi Abu Musab al-Souri addressing would-be jihadis proposing a long list of possible targets for attacks, among them "crowded sports arenas" and "annual social events."

Notably, Army Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison last year for the Fort Hood restaurant bombing plot, was discovered to have a copy of the "How to build a bomb in the kitchen of your mom" article, according to the FBI. Investigators found bombmaking materials in his hotel that included a pressure cooker and gunpowder, according to testimony at his trial.

The SITE Monitoring Service, a U.S. independent group tracking militant messaging online, noted that Islamic extremists are not the only ones paying attention to the al-Qaida magazine: White supremacists have also circulated copies on their web forums. They found "Inspire" and "other al-Qaida manuals beneficial for their strategies," it said.

Over the course of 10 issues the past three years, "Inspire" has given detailed instructions with diagrams and photos on how to use automatic weapons, produce remote control detonators, set fire to a building or create forest fires. In the most recent issue, put out in March, it described how to set fire to a parked vehicle and how to cause road accidents with oil slicks on a road or tire-bursting spikes.

The chapters, including the one on pressure cooker bombs, were compiled into a booklet titled "The Lone Mujahed Pocketbook," released on Islamic militant web sites in March, according to SITE.

Al-Qaida's Yemeni branch, known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, has repeatedly tried to carry out direct attacks on U.S. soil, once by dispatching the would-be 2009 Christmas bomber of a U.S. jet - whose attack failed when the explosives hidden in his underwear failed to go off - and then the following year by trying to mail explosives to the U.S. in packages that were intercepted.

The pressure cooker bomb's most frequent use seems to be in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal and India in attacks against police or the public. This year, local press reports in Pakistan have reported several such bombs found planted on streets, including in the city of Karachi, where multiple militant groups operate.

In 2010, suspected militants attacked the U.S.-based Christian aid group World Vision in northwestern Pakistan, killing six Pakistani employees with a remotely detonated pressure cooker bomb.

That same year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security put out a warning about such explosives, noting their frequent use in South Asia.

"The presence of a pressure cooker in an unusual location such as a building lobby or busy street corner should be treated as suspicious," it said.

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FBI agents gather near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston Tuesday, April 16, 2013. The bombs that ripped through the crowd at the Boston Marathon, killing at least three people and wounding more than 170, were fashioned out of pressure cookers and packed with shards of metal, nails and ball bearings to inflict maximum carnage, a person briefed on the investigation said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

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1 year ago

Flags at La. buildings lowered to half-staff

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Gov. Bobby Jindal has ordered that state flags at government buildings in Louisiana be flown at half-staff until sunset Saturday.

The executive order issued Tuesday is an expression of respect for victims of Monday's explosions at the Boston Marathon.

Similar gestures are being made by local governments. A news release from Bossier City, for example, said flags at municipal buildings there would be lowered for the same period.

The gestures coincide with President Barack Obama's order that flags at the White House and all government buildings be flown at half-staff in honor of the explosion victims.

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1 year ago

2nd victim identified in Boston Marathon Explosions

WCVB has confirmed Krystle Campbell, 29, of Medford, Mass., as the second-known death from the Boston Marathon bombings. "She was a beautiful young being," her mother said. "She loved pets. She loved people."

1 year ago

Public vigilance to help prevent terrorist acts

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Federal, state and local law enforcement officials are calling for public vigilance to help prevent terrorist acts - and to help solve cases.

A news conference Tuesday at FBI headquarters in New Orleans was called to note a guilty plea in Baton Rouge by a man who was behind a bomb threat last fall at LSU. But Monday's explosions in Boston were a major topic as well.

New Orleans police chief Ronal Serpas said part of the effort to combat such acts includes people being aware of any unusual activity on their streets or in their neighborhoods.

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1 year ago

Boston bombs said to be made from pressure cookers

BOSTON (AP) - The bombs that ripped through the crowd at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding more than 170, were fashioned out of pressure cookers and packed with shards of metal, nails and ball bearings to inflict maximum carnage, a person briefed on the investigation said Tuesday.

The details on the apparently crude but deadly explosives emerged as investigators appealed to the public for amateur video and photos that might yield clues. The chief FBI agent in Boston vowed "we will go to the ends of the Earth" to find those responsible.

A person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still going on said the explosives were put in 6-liter kitchen pressure cookers, hidden in black duffel bags and left on the ground. They were packed with shrapnel, the person said.

The person said law enforcement officials have some of the bomb components but do not yet know what was used to set off the explosives.

A doctor treating the wounded appeared to corroborate the person's account, saying one of the victims was maimed by what looked like ball bearings or BBs. Doctors also said they removed a host of sharp objects from the victims, including nails that were sticking out of one little girl's body.

At the White House, meanwhile, President Barack Obama said that the bombings were an act of terrorism but that investigators do not know if they were carried out by an international organization, a domestic group or a "malevolent individual."

He added: "The American people refuse to be terrorized."

Across the U.S., from Washington to Los Angeles, police stepped up security, monitoring landmarks, government buildings, transit hubs and sporting events. Security was especially tight in Boston, with bomb-sniffing dogs checking Amtrak passengers' luggage at South Station and transit police patrolling with rifles.

"They can give me a cavity search right now and I'd be perfectly happy," said Daniel Wood, a video producer from New York City who was waiting for a train.

Similar pressure-cooker explosives have been used in Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, according to a July 2010 intelligence report by the FBI and Homeland Security. Also, one of the three devices used in the May 2010 Times Square attempted bombing was a pressure cooker, the report said.

"Placed carefully, such devices provide little or no indication of an impending attack," the report said.

The Pakistani Taliban, which claimed responsibility for the 2010 attempt in Times Square, has denied any role in the Boston Marathon attack.

The two bombs blew up about 10 seconds and around 100 yards apart Monday near the finish line of the 26.2-mile race, tearing off limbs, knocking people off their feet and leaving the streets stained with blood and strewn with broken glass. The dead included an 8-year-old boy.

"We started grabbing tourniquets and started tying legs. A lot of people amputated," said Roupen Bastajian, a state trooper from Smithfield, R.I., who had just finished the race when he heard the explosions.

Federal investigators said no one had claimed responsibility for the bombings, which took place at the world's best-known distance race, held every year on one of Boston's biggest holidays, Patriots' Day.

"We will go to the ends of the Earth to identify the subject or subjects who are responsible for this despicable crime, and we will do everything we can to bring them to justice," said Richard DesLauriers, FBI agent in charge in Boston.

He said investigators had received "voluminous tips" and were interviewing witnesses and analyzing the crime scene.

Gov. Deval Patrick said that contrary to earlier reports, no unexploded bombs were found.

FBI agents searched an apartment in the Boston suburb of Revere overnight, and investigators were seen leaving with brown paper bags, plastic trash bags and a duffel bag. But it was unclear whether the tenant had anything to do with the attack.

A law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release details of the investigation said the man had been tackled by a bystander, then police, as he ran from the scene of the explosions.

But the official said it is possible the man was simply running away to protect himself from the blast, as many others did.

At a news conference, police and federal agents repeatedly appealed for any video, audio and photos taken by marathon spectators, even images that people might not think are significant.

"There has to be hundreds, if not thousands, of photos and videos" that might help investigators, state police Col. Timothy Alben said.

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said investigators also gathered a large number of surveillance tapes from businesses in the area and intend to go through the videos frame by frame.

"This is probably one of the most photographed areas in the country yesterday," he said.

At least 17 people were critically injured, police said. At least eight children were being treated at hospitals. In addition to losing limbs, victims suffered broken bones, shrapnel wounds and ruptured eardrums.

Dr. Stephen Epstein of the emergency medicine department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said he saw an X-ray of one victim's leg that had "what appears to be small, uniform, round objects throughout it - similar in the appearance to BBs."

Eight-year-old Martin Richard was among the dead, said U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, a family friend. The boy's mother, Denise, and 6-year-old sister, Jane, were badly injured. His brother and father were also watching the race but were not hurt.

A candle burned on the stoop of the family's single-family home in the city's Dorchester section Tuesday, and the word "Peace" was written in chalk on the front walk.

Neighbor Betty Delorey said Martin loved to climb neighborhood trees and hop the fence outside his home.

About 23,000 runners participated in this year's Boston Marathon. Nearly two-thirds of them had crossed the finish line by the time the bombs exploded, but thousands more were still completing the course.

The attack may have been timed for maximum bloodshed: The four-hour mark is typically a crowded time near the finish line because of the slow-but-steady recreational runners completing the race and because of all the friends and relatives clustered around to cheer them on.

Davis, the police commissioner, said authorities had received "no specific intelligence that anything was going to happen" at the race. On Tuesday, he said that two security sweeps of the route had been conducted beforehand.

Patriots' Day commemorates the opening shots of the American Revolution, at Concord and Lexington in 1775.

Richard Barrett, the former U.N. coordinator for an al-Qaida and Taliban monitoring team who has also worked for British intelligence, said the relatively small size of the devices in Boston and the timing of the blasts suggest a domestic attack rather than an al-Qaida-inspired one.

"This happened on Patriots' Day - it is also the day Americans are supposed to have their taxes in - and Boston is quite a symbolic city," said Barrett, now senior director at the Qatar International Academy for Security Studies.

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1 year ago

Obama says Boston bombings an act of terrorism

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday the deadly Boston Marathon bombings were an act of terrorism but investigators do not know if they were carried out by an international or domestic organization, or perhaps by a "malevolent individual."

In his second public statement in less than 24 hours since the explosions, the president said, "Clearly we are at the beginning of our investigation." He urged anyone with information relating to the events to contact authorities.

Obama said investigators "don't have a sense of motivation yet" as they begin to evaluate the attack in which three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 were wounded.

Despite the loss of life and limb, Obama declared, "The American people refuse to be terrorized."

As he had on Monday, he said those responsible for the attacks would be brought to justice.

The president had avoided labeling the incident a terrorist attack when he stood at the same White House lectern shortly after the explosions, but lawmakers quickly said that's what it was. White House officials had said the FBI was investigating the attack as a terror incident.

Appearing before reporters on Tuesday, Obama said the events in Boston were a "heinous cowardly act, and given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism. Any time bombs are used to attack innocent civilians it is" a terrorist act, he said. Still, he cautioned that it was not known who or what organizations might have carried it out.

The president praised those who had come to the aid of the injured.

"If you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil, that's it: selflessly, compassionately, unafraid," he said.

Obama stepped to the microphone after receiving a briefing at the White House from Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and other top aides.

The bombs exploded on Monday afternoon near the finish line of the famed Boston Marathon, an annual 26 mile race through the neighborhoods of the city

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1 year ago

Doctor: Marathon victims had metal in wounds

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts General Hospital's chief of trauma surgery says doctors removed "a variety of sharp objects," including pellets and nails, from the wounds of victims of the Boston Marathon explosions.

Dr. George Velmahos said Tuesday that he believes the metal fragments came from the bomb and not from the environment. Investigators have refused to give any specifics about the makeup of the bombs.

Dr. Stephen Epstein of the emergency medicine department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center says he saw an X-ray of one victim's leg that had "what appears to be small, uniform, round objects throughout it - similar in the appearance to BBs."

Massachusetts General treated 31 victims of the bombs. The hospital performed four amputations and at least two more patients have legs that are still at risk of amputation, Velmahos said.

At least eight hospitals treated more than 170 patients from the blast.

Boston Children's Hospital treated 10, including a pregnant woman who was transferred to Brigham and Women's Hospital. All but three of Boston Children's patients had been released by Tuesday morning. Two were in critical condition: A 9-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy with leg injuries. A 2-year-old boy with a head injury was in good condition.

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1 year ago

Acadiana Locals Miss Boston Explosion By Eight Minutes

It was supposed to be a day for Kathryn Jarrell to honor and remember her daughter Sarah. Last year, Opelousas teenagers Sarah Jarrell and her friend Morgan Adams, were killed in car accident. This year Kathryn, her friend Jennifer Castille, and a group of supporters traveled to Boston to take on the historic marathon. Jarrell and Castille were the only ones to run the race. They completed the course in just over four hours. Only minutes after crossing the finish line explosions went off two blocks behind them

"We had just crossed the finish line. They were handing us our medals and we were walking with my son, who jumped over the barricade to run the last 500 feet with us. He's the one who actually heard it first. We turned and saw a big smoke bomb and a few seconds later their was a second smoke bomb," Kathryn Jarrell said.

Two bombs, 50 to 100 yards apart, went off. 12 people traveled with Jarrell and Castille to cheer them on through the finish line. They were standing near the bombs went off only minutes before.

"It was right directly in our path behind us a couple blocks. It's crazy. It's so somber right now, but it's very calm. It's not chaotic where we were.They were just directing people telling people to move,"Jennifer Castille said.

The group was separated at first but everyone reunited at a nearby hotel. Everyone is OK and they are expected to fly back to home on Tuesday.

1 year ago

Violent Backdrop in Sports to Jackie Robinson Day

MIAMI (AP) - Lined up in front of their dugouts, all wearing No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day, the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins stood for a moment of silence to honor bombing victims at the Boston Marathon.

What began as an annual celebration to salute the man who broke baseball's color barrier 66 years ago turned somber after a pair of explosions near the finish line in Boston - about a mile from Fenway Park - killed three people and injured more than 130 on Monday.

Hours later, Major League Baseball went on with ceremonies for the fifth Jackie Robinson Day at stadiums all over the country and north of the border in Toronto.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this horrible occurrence and we are monitoring the situation," MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said in a statement. "The safety of everyone that comes to our ballparks is always our top priority and we will continue to do everything to ensure a safe environment for our fans."

There were moments of silence before each of the seven night games. At Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, President Barack Obama's remarks to the nation were shown on the video board while the Phillies were taking batting practice.

"I think everyone was thinking about it," said Philadelphia outfielder Ben Revere, who taped the message "PRAY for Boston" on his glove. "It hurts to see something like that happen."

The game between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays started at 11:05 a.m. on Patriots Day in Massachusetts and ended about an hour before the bombings. Fans near Fenway Park, some who had recently exited the game, could hear the explosions.

All the teams in action were asked to wear Robinson's number, retired throughout baseball in 1997. Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is the only active player who still wears the number, and he has said he is retiring after this season.

Teams that didn't play on Monday planned to pay tribute to Robinson on Tuesday.

Robinson's debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, is drawing special attention this year with the release of the film "42," which went into wide release last weekend.

Robinson's widow, Rachel, along with the couple's daughter, Sharon, and son, David, were introduced before the Dodgers played the Padres in Los Angeles.

Harrison Ford bounced the ceremonial first pitch to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. Ford plays ex-Brooklyn general manager Branch Rickey in "42."

In Minnesota, Twins first baseman Justin Morneau saw a screening of the movie in spring training and was pleasantly surprised to see brief footage of himself running onto the field during some of the stock shots of players paying homage to Robinson by wearing his No. 42.

"I wasn't expecting it, so it was pretty cool," Morneau said. "Just quick running across the screen, but to see yourself in a movie of that importance is pretty cool."

The Rays had a special screening, too.

More than 100 players and other club employees watched the film at a theater in Port Charlotte, Fla., the Rays' spring training site, "and I think a lot of guys walked away with a greater appreciation" of Robinson's contribution, manager Joe Maddon said before the Rays lost 3-2 to the Red Sox.

Maddon said Robinson's debut helped lead to the broader civil rights movement.

"I still don't think people understand how much it plays into the Martin Luther King situation," he said. "The revolution that occurred at that particular moment, it mattered. That had to happen first to set that whole thing up.

"So when you're talking about Jackie Robinson, I don't think people realize the significance and really courage that went behind that, and in the movie it points that out - the courage to not fight back, to be able to win over that particular mindset to be able to make all of this work," he added.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said baseball "reflects society in so many ways, whether it's the color barriers being broken down. In our clubhouse you've got six or seven countries coming together. As a group of 25, you look to not only co-exist, but (recognize) the individuality of everyone in there.

"Certainly, the Robinson family and certainly Jackie himself may be one of the most significant situations in our country's history," Farrell said, "breaking down segregation to the point of inclusion and I think that happens in the game today."

The movie "42" earned an estimated $27.3 million over the weekend, according to Warner Brothers, its distributor.

The subject's popularity extends to the sale of licensed sports merchandise. Fanatics.com, a large online retailer of those items, said sales of Jackie Robinson gear on its site since the season began increased by more than 1,000 percent over the same time period last year.

In Miami, the ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by Norman Berman, the ballboy for the Brooklyn Dodgers the year Robinson was a rookie.

The 84-year-old Berman lives in nearby West Palm Beach. He was the Dodgers' 19-year-old ballboy in 1947 when the team reached the World Series.

Berman said Robinson befriended him, played catch with him and gave tips on how to make a double-play pivot.

"He was a wonderful person," Berman said. "I learned something from him - when you go through tough times, you've got to stay positive. I don't think most of the ballplayers who came after him would have been able to be the first black ballplayer, because they couldn't do what he did."

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1 year ago

Local racers check in following explosion

Recap of local racers that we have confirmed are safe following the explosions in Boston:
Chris Odinet from Lafayette
Anne Sagrera from Abbeville
Kathryn Jarrell of Opelousas
Jennifer Castille of Opelousas
Geoff Landry of Lake Charles
Boyd Girouard of Kaplan was listed as a runner, but we're told he cancelled the trip after he got injured during training for the race.

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1 year ago

Obama: 'We will find out who did this'

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama, responding to the explosions at the Boston Marathon, says the United States does not know "who did this or why" but vowed that whoever is responsible "will feel the full weight of justice."

He said: "We will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable."

Obama made his remarks Monday evening from the White House about three hours after two explosions detonated near the marathon's finish line. At least two people were killed and 50 injured in the blasts.

Obama has been in touch with federal law enforcement and Massachusetts officials in the aftermath of the explosions.

The Secret Service reacted cautiously to the blasts, expanding the security perimeter around the White House.

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1 year ago

Boston police: No one in custody in race blasts

BOSTON (AP) - Boston police say no suspect has been taken into custody in connection with the explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Police Commissioner Edward Davis also says that the fire at a library a few miles away and more than an hour later doesn't appear to be related to the explosions at the race on Monday. He says the fire may have been caused by an incendiary device.

Authorities say the blasts killed two people and injured at least 73.

Police say it's too early to get into specifics about the nature of devices or whether shrapnel was involved.

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1 year ago

Cellphone use heavy, but still operating in Boston

WASHINGTON (AP) - Cellphone companies say service is operating in the Boston area, but with heavy traffic following of the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

A law enforcement official, citing an intelligence briefing, said cellphone service had been shut down Monday in the Boston area to prevent any potential remote detonations of explosives.

But officials with Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel said there had been no such requests.

Sprint spokeswoman Crystal Davis said: "Minus some mild call blocking on our Boston network due to increased traffic, our service is operating normally."

Two people were killed and scores injured when two explosives detonated near the finish line of the marathon.

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1 year ago

LSP monitors security situation in Boston

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The commander of Louisiana State Police says his agency and law enforcement agencies all over the country are monitoring the situation in Boston following the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

Col. Mike Edmonson said Monday afternoon that the Louisiana monitoring takes place in the "fusion" center at state police headquarters. That's an around-the-clock operation that works to identify threats of violence or terrorism by communicating with local and federal authorities.

Edmonson said there so far is no indication of any Louisiana connection to the Boston explosions.

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1 year ago

Google site tracks information on Boston runners

CHICAGO (AP) - Google is stepping in to help family and friends of Boston Marathon runners find their loved ones after explosions near the finish line.

The site, called Google Person Finder, allows users to enter the name of a person they're looking for or enter information about someone who is there.

Cellphone use has been difficult in the Boston area. A law enforcement official says cell service was shut down to prevent any possible remote detonations of explosives. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

Far-flung family members and friends are frantically using social media to check on the safety of runners and spectators after two bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon, killing two and injuring dozens.

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1 year ago

Secret Service expands security at White House

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Secret Service expanded its security perimeter at the White House on Monday following the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said the measure was taken "out of an abundance of caution" and noted that it was not unusual to expand or contract the security perimeters.

President Barack Obama was briefed on the explosions by FBI Director Robert Mueller and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The White House said the president also spoke with Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino and pledged to provide whatever federal support was needed in responding to the incident.

Vice President Joe Biden was on a conference call with gun control activists when staffers turned on televisions in his office Monday to view coverage of the explosions. He said during the call that his prayers were with those in Boston.

The Secret Service, as part of its expanded security near the White House, shut down Pennsylvania Avenue, cordoning off the area with yellow police tape. Several Secret Service patrol cars also blocked off the entry points to the road.

The White House was not on lockdown and tourists and other onlookers were still able to be in the park across the street from the executive mansion.

1 year ago

Abbeville resident at Boston Marathon is OK

Another update: Abbeville's Anne Sagrera checks in from the Boston Marathon. She tell us it's hard to get a call out but sent this message out via facebook: "Guys please say some prayers. There has been some kind of explosion near the finish line. No details but I am ok."

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1 year ago

Boston police: 3rd explosion at library

BOSTON (AP) - Boston police say there's been a third explosion in the city, following two blasts near the finish line of the Boston Marathon that killed two people and injured many others.

Police Commissioner Edward Davis says authorities aren't certain that the explosion at the JFK Library was related to the other blasts, but they're treating them as if they are.

David says there are no injuries stemming from the third explosion.

He urged people to stay indoors and not congregate in large groups.

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1 year ago

DHS providing 'whatever assistance' needed

WASHINGTON (AP) - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is directing her agency to provide "whatever assistance" necessary in the wake of two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

About two hours after the winners finished the race there were two explosions near the finish line Monday, killing at least two people and injuring as many as 23 others.

Boston Police and federal authorities are trying to determine what happened.

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1 year ago

2 killed as 2 bombs explode at Boston Marathon

BOSTON (AP) - Two bombs exploded near the finish of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing two people, injuring 22 others and sending authorities rushing to aid wounded spectators, race organizers and police said.

One runner, a Rhode Island state trooper, said he saw at least two dozen people with very serious injuries, including missing limbs.

About two hours after the winners crossed the line, there was a loud explosion on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the photo bridge that marks the finish line. Another explosion could be heard a few seconds later.

The Boston Marathon said that bombs caused the two explosions and that organizers were working with authorities to determine what happened. The Boston Police Department said two people were killed and 23 others injured.

Competitors and race volunteers were crying as they fled the chaos. Bloody spectators were being carried to the medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners. Authorities went onto the course to carry away the injured while stragglers in the 26.2-mile race were rerouted away from the smoking site.

Roupen Bastajian, a 35-year-old state trooper from Greenville, R.I., had just finished the race when they put the heat blanket wrap on him and he heard the first blast.

"I started running toward the blast. And there were people all over the floor," he said. "We started grabbing tourniquets and started tying legs. A lot of people amputated. ... At least 25 to 30 people have at least one leg missing, or an ankle missing, or two legs missing."

A Boston police officer was wheeled from the course with a leg injury that was bleeding.

"There are a lot of people down," said one man, whose bib No. 17528 identified him as Frank Deruyter of North Carolina. He was not injured, but marathon workers were carrying one woman, who did not appear to be a runner, to the medical area as blood gushed from her leg.

Smoke rose from the blasts, fluttering through the national flags lining the route of the world's oldest and most prestigious marathon. TV helicopter footage showed blood staining the pavement in the popular shopping and tourist area known as the Back Bay.

"There are people who are really, really bloody," said Laura McLean, a runner from Toronto, who was in the medical tent being treated for dehydration when she was pulled out to make room for victims of the explosions. "They were pulling them into the medical tent."

Cherie Falgoust was waiting for her husband, who was running the race.

"I was expecting my husband any minute," she said. "I don't know what this building is ... it just blew. Just a big bomb, a loud boom, and then glass everywhere. Something hit my head. I don't know what it was. I just ducked."

Runners who had not finished the race were diverted straight down Commonwealth Avenue and into a family meeting area, according to an emergency plan that had been in place.

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1 year ago

Opeolousas Residents Trying to Reconnect After Boston Marathon Explosion

From Steven Albritton - KATC: I just spoke with Kathryn Jarrell and Jennifer Castille, both of Opelousas, who had just finished the marathon when the explosion went off behind them.They are both safe but are traveling with a group of 14. They tell me the group was near where the explosions went off and haven't been able to get back together as an entire group. If you know of anyone who ran the Boston Marathon or may be traveling with this group please comment below.

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1 year ago

Two Explosions at Boston Marathon Finish Line

BOSTON (AP) - Two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon have resulted in injuries. Bloody spectators were being carried Monday to the medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners. Police wove through competitors as they ran back toward the course. "There are a lot of people down," said one man, whose bib No. 17528 identified him as Frank Deruyter of North Carolina. He was not injured, but marathon workers were carrying one woman, who did not appear to be a runner, to the medical area as blood gushed from her leg. A Boston police officer was wheeled from the course with a leg injury that was bleeding. About three hours after the winners crossed the line, there was a loud explosion on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the photo bridge that marks the finish line. Another explosion could be heard a few seconds later.

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