The aunt of the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing alleged that the case against her nephews may have been "staged."
Maret Tsarnaev, of Toronto, spoke with Canada's CTV about Tamerlan, 26, and his brother, Dzhokhar, 19. She said that the FBI has not given her enough evidence to convince her that Dzhokhar and the now-deceased Tamerlan committed the crimes of which they are accused.
"Why FBI does not give me more?" she asked reporters who surrounded her in Canada on Friday afternoon. She said she wants to see more evidence than just the bureau's photo of Tamerlan and Dzhokar.
"I am suspicious that this was staged," she said, referring to the still images released by authorities from a security camera on the day of the bombing. "The picture was staged [by] whoever needs this, whoever is looking for those who need to be blamed for these attacks."
She reiterated the sentiment to the Toronto Sun, as well.
“This is a huge tragedy for the family,” the 45-year-old said. “My brother’s two boys, they are growing up so fast. My first reaction is, ‘Why the hell would they do this?’ But when I go through all the material, it’s not giving anything … the whole world is now making a decision [on them] now by just seeing these pictures and not having anything else.”
The aunt does not seem to believe that her nephews, whom she described as "smart boys, good boys," could be to blame for killing three and injuring more than 170.
Other family members of the Chechen brothers have also spoken out.
Anzor Tsarnaev, the suspects' father, claims he is shocked that his two sons could ever be involved in a bombing because they hated firearms.
"They never could have done this. Never, ever, ever!" Tsarnev told People magazine via a phone conversation from Russia. "I feel terrible! Why they kill my son? Something wrong! My sons never do bombing. They hated guns – how they do bombs?"
When asked what could have motivated them, 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."
Tamerlan was killed during a police shootout in the Boston suburb of Watertown on Friday morning. Dzhokhar, who is presumed to be armed and dangerous, is still at large. The city of Boston and surrounding areas remain in lockdown as police continue their manhunt.
04/20/2013 11:12 PM EDT
How Investigators Found The Suspects
The Washington Post has published a long account of investigators' exhaustive efforts to find the Boston Marathon suspects using mountains of video footage and photographs, as well as other leads. An excerpt:
Quickly, the authorities secured a warehouse in Boston’s Seaport district and filled the sprawling space: On half of the vast floor, hundreds of pieces of bloody clothes were laid out to dry so they could be examined for forensic clues or flown to FBI labs at Quantico in Prince William County for testing. In the other half of the room, more than a dozen investigators sifted through hundreds of hours of video, looking for people “doing things that are different from what everybody else is doing,” Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said in an interview Saturday. The work was painstaking and mind-numbing: One agent watched the same segment of video 400 times.
Read the whole thing here.
04/20/2013 10:46 PM EDT
CBS News: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev May Have Tried To Commit Suicide
CBS News reports that Boston bombing suspect captured on Friday night suffered at least two bullet wounds, and that one of them may be evidence that he tried to end his own life.
The bullet wound to the neck, which has an exit wound in the back of the 19-year-old’s neck, “is very possibly a suicide attempt,” said Miller, a former assistant director at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Read the whole report here.
04/20/2013 10:39 PM EDT
Two Friends Of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Taken Back Into Custody
The Daily News reports:
The two men, known to neighbors by their first names Azmat and Diaz — who share a black BMW SUV adorned with a novelty license plate that reads “Terrorista #1” — were cuffed and hauled out of their Carriage Dr. apartment shortly before 4 p.m.
The apparent arrests occurred about 30-45 minutes after authorities with the FBI, ICE and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security descended on the Hidden Brook Apartment complex.
Read more here.
04/20/2013 10:31 PM EDT
Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Trip To Dagestan
The Guardian has an account of the dead bombing suspect's 2012 voyage to Dagestan, a small, troubled region of Russia where he had once lived:
According to US travel records, Tsarnaev arrived at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on 12 January, returning on 17 July. He spent time in Makhachkala that summer. "It was 40C and he was wearing these American boots," said Larissa Abakarova, who maintains a shop across the street from the home of the parents of Tsarnaev and his brother, Dzhokhar, who was arrested late on Friday. "He was stylish, kind, good-looking. I'm in shock."
Read the whole thing here.
04/20/2013 9:07 PM EDT
New Details Of Thursday Night Chaos
The Washington Post has a new story that fills in many details of the Tsarnaev brothers' bloody path to Watertown, including their murder of an MIT Cop:
Just after 10:30 p.m. Thursday, the pair walked up to a parked police car at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Sean Collier, a 26-year-old campus officer, was nearing the end of his 3-to-11 p.m. shift.
A security camera would later show two men approaching the car and speaking to the officer. Abruptly, one of the men was seen pulling a gun and shooting Collier multiple times, including once in the head. Some officers concluded that the shooting was an effort to provoke a larger confrontation with police.
“They were looking to start something,” one official said.
Read the whole thing here.
04/20/2013 8:07 PM EDT
Older Brother, Uncle Had Falling Out Over Islam
Ruslan Tsarni says he grew concerned about Tamerlan Tsarnaev (tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) when he told him in a 2009 phone conversation that he had chosen "God's business" over work or school. Tsarni said he then contacted a family friend who told him Tsarnaev had been influenced by a recent convert to Islam.
04/20/2013 7:33 PM EDT
Dead Bombing Suspect Wounded 'From Head To Toe'
A doctor involved in treating the Boston Marathon bombing suspect who died in a gunbattle with police says he had injuries head to toe and all limbs intact when he arrived at the hospital.
Dr. David Schoenfeld said 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev was unconscious and had so many penetrating wounds when he arrived at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center early Friday that it isn't clear which ones killed him, and a medical examiner will have to determine the cause of death.
04/20/2013 6:46 PM EDT
Neil Diamond Sings 'Sweet Caroline' At Emotional Red Sox Game
04/20/2013 6:27 PM EDT
A Key Turning Point In The Investigation
The New York Times reports that the decision to release the photos of the marathon bombing suspects to the public was a major turning point in the investigation.
The authorities knew that broadly distributing the images — some captured by ubiquitous surveillance cameras and cellphone snapshots and winnowed down using sophisticated facial-recognition software — would accelerate the digital dragnet, but they did not realize the level of chaos it would create.
Intelligence and law enforcement officials said the authorities in Boston weighed the risks of some mayhem against their growing fear that time was slipping away and that heavily armed and increasingly dangerous men, and possibly accomplices, could wage new attacks in the Boston area or beyond.
04/20/2013 6:24 PM EDT
Map Of Boston's Reaction To The Bombing On Twitter
Syracuse University Professor Anthony Rotolo and student Andrew Bauer mapped 200 of the tweets sent out from Boston in the hours right after the marathon bombing, creating an interactive portrait of the city's reaction to Monday's horrifying events.