FBI’s Boston-Bombing Suspects: One Caught, One Dead

Federal Bureau of Investigation via Bloomberg

The suspects from the Boston Bombing are seen in this handout photo released to the media on April, 18, 2013.

Written with Emma Fidel. Updated at 8:45 p.m., April 21, 2013

It ended as it began, with surveillance.

The helicopter-taken heat-sensitive footage of the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect hiding in a boat stowed in a Watertown back yard revealed the target, the robotic arm of an FBI vehicle pulled away the tarp and flash grenades stunned the subject.


Pictures of their white and black baseball caps proliferated social media at warp-speed  after the FBI first released their photographs at 5 p.m. Thursday. Now, one of the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects is dead, and the other is in police custody.

President Barack Obama Friday night called the arrest in Watertown the closing of a tragic chapter.

Obama met with Secretary of State John Kerry and other top national security officials at the White House to discuss the developments as questions swirled about the suspects, their possible motives and how the law enforcement effort would end, Bloomberg’s Julie Hirschfeld Davis reports. He took a call from FBI Director Robert Mueller tonight about the apprehension of the second suspect.

There was no shortage of messaging on social media at work in the aftermath of the bombing of the Boston Marathon on Monday that killed three and injured more than 170.

This one from the Boston Police Department capped the week:


The climax of the police chase this week was made for TV.

Dzhokar Tsarnaev, a 19-year-old immigrant born in Kygyrzstan, escaped during a confrontation with police in the Boston suburb of Watertown in which at least one person hurled explosive devices at police last night, Bloomberg News reports. Dzhokar, who was wearing a backwards white baseball cap at the marathon, was pictured placing a bag in the location of the second bomb blast moments before the explosion, according to the FBI. He was the one apprehended hiding in a boat in a Watertown back yard tonight.

His older brother,  Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, born in Russia, was killed early Friday in a shoot-out with police after a chase in a carjacked SUV. He was wearing a black baseball hat at the marathon and was first identified as 20 years old before officials later corrected that to 26.

The evidence the brothers left in the Boston area and on the Internet showed them straddling two cultures, Bloomberg’s Esmé E. Deprez reports:

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was born in Russia and his younger brother in the central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan, said two U.S. law-enforcement officials familiar with the investigation. The brothers and two sisters came as refugees to the Dagestan city of Makhachkala in October 2001 from Kyrgyzstan, said Emirmagomed Davudov, the director of Gimnasium Number 1, where Tamerlan went to seventh grade and Dzhokar to first grade. Ruslan Tsarni, their uncle in Gaithersburg, Maryland, said his brother’s children immigrated to the U.S. in 2003, arriving in Cambridge. Asked for a possible motive for the attacks, Tsarni called them “losers not being able to settle themselves and thereby just hating everybody who did.”

Mentions of  “suspect” on Twitter have spiked to over 1.6 million at 2:30 p.m. Friday from 134,000 at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, according to Topsy, a social media analysis company. Mentions of “FBI” rose to almost 820,000 at 2:30 p.m. Friday from about 101,000 at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Sen. Lindsay Graham of  South Carolina and Sen. John McCain of Arizona said in a statement Friday afternoon that while some have suggested the situation in Boston was a reason to delay the legislation, “the opposite is true,” Bloomberg News reports. The two Republican senators are co-sponsors of the immigration bill introduced in the Senate this week. About an hour later, Graham tweeted that the White House should hold Dzhokar Tsarnaev, a U.S. citizen, as an “enemy combatant.”


After the suspects’ uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, spoke to reporters outside his home in Gaithersburg, Maryland, he became the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter:

The FBI enlisted public support in seeking further identification. A new photograph of the younger brother was released Friday morning, and his high school yearbook photo has been shared widely on Twitter.

Photos and accounts from locked-down Boston are also flooded Twitter:

The original surveillance footage from the marathon that helped the FBI identify the suspects:

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