Thursday, April 24, 2014

News
Boston Marathon bomb scene reopens to residents
by Chris Patterson


(CNN) -- Eight days after twin bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon killed three, injured more than 260 and disrupted the normal routines of countless others, authorities slowly began allowing residents and business owners back into the area Tuesday.

There was no word on when the street where the bombings occurred will be once again fully open to the public. That, the city says, will depend on how quickly building owners can make repairs and other issues.

The staged opening is the latest sign that Boston is working to return to normal after an extraordinary week that began with the bombings and ended with a dramatic manhunt that all but locked down the nation's fifth largest metro area for the better part of a day.

Business owner Ed Borash was among those who returned Tuesday. He said he and his son narrowly missed injury in the bombing.

"I've had a tough time," he said. "It's just one of those things. It's very emotional."

Helena Collins, a business person in the area, said it was important to get up and running again, but not just for economic reasons.

"For us and our business, it's really about how do we get back to Boston, how do we band together, how do we help those that were seriously injured that are going to have lifelong struggles," she said.

Also Tuesday, candidates to fill the state's vacant U.S. Senate seat resumed their campaigns, which had been suspended in the wake of the bombing.

Meanwhile, two victims of the bombing were being laid to rest.

Family members of 8-year-old Martin Richard held a private funeral Mass Tuesday, his parents said in a statement. A public memorial service is planned, they said.

"The outpouring of love and support over the last week has been tremendous," Denise and Bill Richard said in the statement. "We laid our son Martin to rest, and he is now at peace."

Slain Massachusetts Institute of Technology police Officer Sean Collier was to be buried later Tuesday after a private memorial service in Stoneham, Massachusetts, CNN affiliate WHDH reported.

A memorial service open to law enforcement officers and the MIT community is scheduled for Wednesday on MIT's campus, the university said.

New details on officer's slaying

Collier was killed Thursday night, near the beginning of the wild 24 hours that culminated in 19-year-old bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's capture in the backyard of a Watertown, Massachusetts, home where he had been hiding in a boat.

Authorities suspect Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, of killing the officer. The older brother later died after a shootout with police. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has not been charged in the officer's death.

According to a source with direct knowledge of the investigation, Collier didn't even have time to activate his emergency alert before being shot four or five times in the chest and head as he sat in his patrol car on the MIT campus.

It's not clear why the brothers allegedly ambushed the officer, the source said.

The source said investigators believe the Tsarnaevs then carjacked a black SUV, took the driver hostage and drove past the scene of the shooting before going to a gas station.

Carjacking victim speaks

In an exclusive interview with CNN affiliate WMUR, a man identifying himself as the carjacking victim said he was worried for his life.

"They asked me where I'm from. I told them I'm Chinese," WMUR quoted the man as saying. "I was very scared. I asked them if they were going to hurt me. They said they won't hurt me. I was thinking, 'I think they will kill me later.'"

The man escaped when the brothers stopped to fill up the gas tank, running for his life as one of the brothers swore at him, WMUR reported.

Soon after, the brothers encountered police, setting off a furious gun battle in which authorities say they fired handguns and hurled explosives at pursuing officers before Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot. As the younger brother fled in the vehicle, he apparently ran over Tamerlan, authorities said.

Self-radicalized?

While Tamerlan Tsarnaev apparently became increasingly radical in the past three or four years, there was no evidence Monday that he had any active association with international jihadist groups.

Communicating by investigators by writing and nodding, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has indicated that his older brother, not any international terrorist group, masterminded the deadly attack, a U.S. government source said.

The preliminary interviews with Tsarnaev suggest the two brothers fit the classification of self-radicalized jihadists, the government source said.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev conveyed to authorities that his brother believed Islam is under attack and its adherents must fight back, the source said.

Investigators must still check out Tsarnaev's account, the source cautioned.

A senior administration officials told CNN's Barbara Starr Tuesday that investigators are trying to determine whether Inspire, the online magazine published by al Qaeda in Yemen, provided the blueprint for the bombs.

"Numerous sources" could have provided such information, the source stressed.

A bedside court appearance

The younger Tsarnaev has been charged with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, as well as one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death.

Although he had been heavily sedated and on a ventilator at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Tsarnaev was "alert, mentally competent and lucid" during the brief initial court appearance at his bedside Monday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler found.

Tsarnaev was shot in the head, neck, legs and one hand, according to an FBI affidavit supporting the charges. It's not clear whether he was wounded during his capture Friday night or in the earlier shootout with police.

He was listed in fair condition Tuesday afternoon, the FBI said.

During the hearing, Tsarnaev communicated mostly by nodding his head, although he once answered "no" when Bowler asked him if he could afford a lawyer, according to a transcript of the proceeding. A public defender was appointed to represent him.

Federal agents at first questioned Tsarnaev without reading him his Miranda rights, under an exception to the rule invoked when authorities believe there is an imminent public safety threat, a Justice Department official said over the weekend.

By the time of the hospital room proceeding, government sources said he had been read his rights, and Bowler reviewed those with him again Monday.

Bowler scheduled a probable cause hearing May 30.

Tracing Tamerlan Tsarnaev's background

The Tsarnaev family is from the Russian republic of Chechnya and fled the brutal wars there in the 1990s. The two brothers were born in Kyrgyzstan; Dzhokhar became a U.S. citizen in 2012. His brother was a legal U.S. resident.

An FBI official said agents interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 at the request of the Russian government. The FBI said Russia claimed that he was a follower of radical Islam and that he had changed drastically since 2010.

But the Russian government's request was vague, a U.S. official and a law enforcement source said Sunday. The lack of specifics limited how much the FBI was able to investigate Tamerlan, the law enforcement official said.

On Tuesday, Tamerlan Tsarnaev's wife issued a statement through her attorney's office saying she is "doing everything she can to assist with the investigation" and said she and her family are shocked and distraught.

"The reports of involvement by her husband and brother-in-law came as an absolute shock to them all," the statement said.

Suspects' mother reacts

The suspects' mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaev, said Tuesday that she believed her sons had been framed.

Speaking from her home in Dagestan -- a Russian republic on the Caspian Sea -- Tsarnaev said she thinks her older son died because he was a Muslim and charged that authorities silenced her younger son to prevent him from defending himself.

She said family members have arranged for Tamerlan Tsarnaev to be buried at a mosque in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Tuesday or Wednesday.

An official with the Islamic Society of Boston said it has not received any funeral requests from the family. A spokesman for the chief medical examiner's office also said officials there have heard nothing about plans by the slain suspect's family to claim his body.