Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston jihad update; full story of gunfight, capture

From the Times of Israel April 20

Police arrest second suspect in Boston bombings

WATERTOWN, Mass. — Boston Police confirmed Friday night that the second suspect in Monday’s Boston bombings was arrested after a tense standoff and a daylong manhunt that shut the metropolitan area down. The suspect was taken to a nearby hospital in serious condition under armed guard.

Gunfire erupted Friday night amid the manhunt for the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, and police in armored vehicles and tactical gear rushed into a Boston suburb in a possible break in the case.

The suspected bomber, identified by law-enforcement officials as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, MA, was cornered in a boat in a backyard in Watertown and arrested. Police said three others were taken into custody for questioning at a housing complex where the younger Boston Marathon bombing suspect may have lived.

New Bedford Police Lt. Robert Richard said a private complex of off-campus housing at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth was searched by federal authorities Friday evening. Richard said the FBI took two males and one female into custody for questioning.

He said Tsarnaev may have lived at or was affiliated with the housing complex. He is registered at the school.

The burst of activity in Watertown 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 after an all-day search that sent thousands of SWAT team officers into the streets and paralyzed the metropolitan area.

The night before, 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.

US President Barack Obama said shortly after the announcement of Tsarnaev’s arrest that the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing’s capture closes “an important chapter in this tragedy.”

Obama said the nation owes a debt of gratitude to law enforcement officials and the people of Boston for their help in the search for the men. He added that there are still many unanswered questions about the Boston bombings, including whether the two men had help from others. He is urging the public to not rush to judgment about their motivations.

Earlier in the day, National Guard helicopters and bomb squads also landed near the scene of the standoff to help SWAT teams in their search for the suspect, who had been on the lam since the early Friday morning’s shootout. Police were scouring the Watertown neighborhood, going door to door, and said they were constantly responding to new leads in their effort to find the suspect.

Authorities had interrogated the brothers’ uncle in Maryland — who called on his nephew to turn himself in. The suspect’s sister, who reportedly lives in the town of West New York in New Jersey, was also being questioned by investigators. Officials believe the suspect has a second sister in the US.

News crews, perched outside the area that was blocked off by police, said they still weren’t sure if the suspect had been caught or not. Also, a bullet-ridden vehicle that authorities believe the brothers were driving when they shot the MIT officer was being examined for further clues.

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.

Two students who were classmates of the younger Tsarnaev described him as a quiet, normal “good” kid to Fox News.

A man who was held up by the brothers early Friday morning told The Washington Post that the two men had bragged to him that they were the Boston Marathon Bombers. Police believe the brothers held up the man either right before or right after killing the MIT officer, and that their stops at several ATMs with that man provided them with a critical piece of information in their pursuit.

His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shootout with police Friday morning. During the intense fight, Dzhokhar managed to escape. Police said the two brothers threw I.E.D.’s at them, adding that security officials hadn’t called in professional units to dismantle what they believed were home-made explosive devices yet, because they were focusing on finding Tsarnaev first.

Police then said at a press conference that the I.E.D.’s would be exploded shortly. They have since brought in specialized units and performed a “controlled explosion” on the I.E.D.’s to ensure the safety of the officers.

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