Officials: Bomb suspects appear driven by faith

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Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) - More is emerging about the criminal case against the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.
   
U.S. officials say Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-KHAR'tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) and his brother appear to have been motivated by their religious faith, not any connection to any Muslim terrorist groups. The officials made the assessment after Tsarnaev was interrogated in his hospital room, where he's being treated for severe wounds allegedly suffered during violent encounters with law enforcement following the Boston Marathon bombings.
   
He was charged today with federal crimes that could bring the death penalty, including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill. He was accused of joining with his older brother, Tamerlan - now dead - in setting off the pressure-cooker bombs that killed three people and wounded more than 200 a week ago.
   
The brothers, ethnic Chechens from Russia who had been living in the U.S. for about a decade, practiced Islam.
   
The surviving brother is said to have communicated with his interrogators in writing because of throat wounds. Officials say what he said will have to be verified. Investigators will look at such things as his telephone and online communications and his associations with others.
 

Earlier story:

BOSTON (AP) - Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged in his hospital room Monday with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill, and he could face the death penalty if convicted.
   
Tsarnaev, 19, was accused by federal prosecutors of joining with his older brother to set off the two pressure-cooker bombs that sprayed shrapnel into the crowd at the finish line last Monday, killing three people and wounding more than 180.
   
The criminal complaint containing the charges shed no light on the motive for the attack.
   
Tsarnaev was listed in serious but stable condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, unable to speak because of a gunshot wound to the throat. His brother, Tamerlan, 26, died last week in a fierce gunbattle with police.
   
"Although our investigation is ongoing, today's charges bring a successful end to a tragic week for the city of Boston and for our country," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.
   
The charges carry the death penalty or a prison sentence of up to life.
   
"He has what's coming to him," a wounded Kaitlynn Cates said from her hospital room. She was at the finish line when the first blast knocked her off her feet, and she suffered an injury to her lower leg.
   
In outlining the evidence against him in court papers, the FBI said Tsarnaev was seen on surveillance cameras putting a knapsack down on the ground near the site of the second blast and then manipulating a cellphone and lifting it to his ear.
   
After the first explosion went off about a block down the street and spread fear through the crowd, Tsarnaev - unlike nearly everyone around him - looked calm and quickly walked away, the FBI said. Just 10 seconds or so later, the second blast occurred where he left the knapsack, the FBI said.
   
The FBI did not make it clear whether authorities believe he used his cellphone to detonate one or both of the bombs or whether he was talking to someone.
   
The court papers also said that during the long night of crime Thursday and Friday that led to the older brother's death and the younger one's capture, one of the Tsarnaev brothers told a carjacking victim: "Did you hear about the Boston explosion? I did that."
   
The brothers are ethnic Chechens from Russia who have lived in the U.S. for about a decade. Investigators are focusing on a trip the older brother made last year to Chechnya and Dagestan, in a region of Russia that has become a hotbed of separatist politics and Islamic extremism.
   
Tsarnaev was charged with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property, resulting in death. He is also likely to face state charges in connection with the shooting death of an MIT police officer.
   
The Obama administration said it had no choice but to prosecute Tsarnaev in the federal court system. Some politicians had suggested he be tried as an enemy combatant in front of a military tribunal, where defendants are denied some of the usual U.S. constitutional protections.
   
But 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 9/11, the federal court system has been used to convict and imprison hundreds of terrorists.
   
In its criminal complaint, the FBI said it searched Tsarnaev's dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth on Sunday and found BBs as well as a white hat and dark jacket that look like those worn by one of one of the suspected bombers in the surveillance photos the FBI released a few days after the attack.
   
Seven days after the bombings, meanwhile, Boston 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.
   
Residents paused in the afternoon to observe a moment of silence at 2:50 p.m., the time of the first blast. Church bells tolled across the city and state in 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.
   
Fifty-one victims remained hospitalized Monday, three of them in critical condition.
   
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."
   
Tsarnaev was captured Friday night after an intense all-day manhunt that brought the Boston area to a near-standstill. He was cornered and seized, wounded and bloody, after he was discovered hiding in a tarp-covered boat in a Watertown backyard.
   
He had apparent gunshot wounds to the head, neck, legs and hand, the FBI said in court papers.
   
Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that Tsarnaev's throat wound raised questions about when he will be able to talk again, if ever. It was not clear whether the wound was inflicted by police or was self-inflicted.
   
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."
   
Meanwhile, investigators in the Boston suburb of Waltham are looking into whether there are links between Tamerlan Tsarnaev and an unsolved 2011 slaying. Tsarnaev was a friend of one of three men found dead in an apartment with their necks slit and their bodies reportedly covered with marijuana.

Earlier story:

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.

Earlier story:

BOSTON (AP) - A court official says the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings is facing federal charges and has made an initial court appearance in his hospital room.
   
The charges against 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev remain sealed. He is listed in serious but stable condition.
   
Gary Wente is circuit executive of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He says the suspect made his first appearance before a magistrate judge Monday afternoon in Beth Israel hospital.
   
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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