By C.N. Staff Writer
Two brothers met runners participating in the Boston Marathon on Monday April 15, 2013 with two surprise bomb attacks. The attacks killed three people and wounded more than 260 near the finish line of the marathon.
Brothers,Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev both attended the marathon and dropped backpacks near the finish line of the race, detonating the bombs, then leaving the scene. According to officials, the blasts were about 50 to 100 yards apart on a stretch of the marathon course lined with spectators cheering runners through the final yards of a 26-mile, 385-yard endurance feat.
The explosions occurred at about 2:45 p.m., more than two hours after the first of the race’s nearly 27,000 runners had crossed the finish line, triggered widespread screaming and chaos, shattered windows and barricades and sent smoke billowing into the air at Copley Square.
One of the city’s biggest annual events, the race winds up near Copley Square, not far from the landmark Prudential Center and the Boston Public Library. It is held on Patriots Day, which commemorates the first battles of the American Revolution, at Concord and Lexington in 1775.
After the attacks Boston police began a massive search for the men, by searching thousands of videotape files that had recorded the days evens and people who attended. By Thursday April 18th they were able to release the pictures of the two brothers publicly. Around 10:30pm that evening, the brothers ambush a Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer, shooting him many times killing him. Moments later, there are reports of a car jacking, where the brothers kept the victim for a half hour, later releasing him at a Cambridge gas station.
Police hot on their tracks, they followed the brothers into a nearby town, Watertown where a massive gun shootout ensued. The eldest brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 was killed during the shootout, but Dzhokhar, 19 escaped.
As the hunt for Dzhokhar ensued Boston police locked down the entire city, encouraging residents to stay home, closing schools and the public transit systems. It was encouraged that if people saw something to report it immediately.
A little before 9pm Friday night, a resident in Watertown noticed that the boat in his backyard was open and took a ladder to look inside. He saw a body and believed it to be that of Dzhokhar due to lots of blood showing. After reporting it to authorities, police along with FBI agents and helicopters surrounded the house. Police were able to capture Dzhokhar and he has been hospitalized, but under lockdown security.
The FBI believes that Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who authorities say were behind the Boston bombings, wanted to travel to New York City last Friday and detonate more explosives in Times Square, but that plan failed because they ran out of gas in their hijacked car. Although Tameran was killed; Dzhokhar was captured and has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction.
The brothers are originally from Kyrgyzstan, Russia. In 2002 the family traveled to Massachussetts on a tourist visa, where the father applied for political asylum and was granted the permission for his family. Both the brothers enter school in Massachusetts and Tamerlan goes on to apply for college in the state.
He enrolls at the Bunker Hill Community College after being rejected from the University of Massachusetts. Throughout the next few years he begins boxing, winning the New England Golden Gloves heavyweight title, which qualifies him for the national tournament in Salt Lake City.
In 2009, Tamerlan’s then girlfriend Katherine Russell’s friends begin to notice the he stopped smoking and going out with them and most notably voicing anger at the U.S. government. Soon after Russell gets pregnant, drops out of school and converts to Islam. According to Tamerlan’s uncle and brother-in-law, he befriends an Armenian Muslim known as Misha who radicalizes him. His uncle says, “He [Misha] just brainwashed him completely.”
In 2011, the Russian government asked the FBI to investigate Tamerlan for signs of terrorism, but found no indication that he was militant or posed a serious threat. The FBI requested more information from the Russian government, but that request went unanswered. The CIA then adds Tamerlan to the list of potential terrorist, but does not add him to their terrorist watchlist.
During 2012 Tamerlan takes a six-month trip to Dagestan, Russia where an aunt observed him regularly praying and studying the Quran intensely. Authorities believe that over the last two years Tamerlan became increasingly more militant and influenced his younger brother Dzhokhar to participate in the bombings with him. While Dzhokhar is in police custody now, national security officials continue to investigate the crime.