Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Boston bomber charged by feds in hospital

Boston bomber charged by feds in hospital, Working feverishly to save the life of the lone-surviving Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, after plucked from his hiding place in a Watertown resident’s powerboat, Boston’s U.S. Atty. charged the 19-year-old U-Mass, Dartmouth undergraduate with two federal counts of using a weapon of mass destruction near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Killing three and injuring 180 April 15 with two pressure-cooker bombs stuffed with nails, bb’s, ball bearings, screws, etc, U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. might seek the death penalty. Waved of his Miranda Rights because of the “public safety” exemption, the FBI has been interrogating Dzhokhar under sedation in his hospital bed. In serious condition with neck and body wounds, federal authorities haven’t decided whether to ask for the death penalty like they did August 10, 1995 for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

When questioned in Dagestan, the bombers’ parents, Subeidat and Anzor Tsarnaeva, accused the U.S. government of framing their two sons. Calling his mother before his fatal shootout with police 26-year-old Tamerlan reportedly told her he loved her before his grandiose last stand. “He wasn’t too religious,” said a neighbor of the father’s in Dagestan.

“There was no fanaticism,” despite Tamerlan’s 2012 trip to Russia’s North Caucasus region where he was pictured on YouTube with one of the region’s most fierce terror groups. After Tamerlan was gunned down April 19, the FBI combed its records and found out it had interview him at the request of the Russian government sometime in 2011. House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCall (R-Texas) questioned why the FBI didn’t follow up with Tamerlan after his trip to the terror-infested North Caucasus region in 2012.

. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) confirmed that Tamerlan was probably radicalized on his 2012 trip Chechnya, returning back to Cambridge and plotting the April 15 terror assault at the Boston marathon. McCall and Rogers want to question FBI Director Robert Mueller to find out why there was no follow-up with Tamerlan in the months leading up to the bombing.

Once Tamerlan was killed Saturday night, federal authorities realized if there was any chance of breaking Boston’s Chechen terror cell, they had to keep Tamerlan’s 19-year-old brother alive. Admitting to a post-sedation interrogation, CNN reported that Dzhokhar responded to interrogators’ written questions. Expected to survive, federal authorities have limited time to question Dshokhar under the “public safety” exemption before forced to read him his Miranda Rights.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) wanted Dzhokhar tried as an “enemy combatants,” outside the U.S. legal system, where authorities would have more liberty at interrogation. If Dzhokhar clams up, the U.S. will lose a valuable intel asset. Not only does Dzhokhar face terrorism charges, he also faces murder charges for gunning down 26-year-old MIT police officer Sean Collier April 18.

Instead of receding into the woodwork following the April 15 twin-blasts, the Tsarnaev brothers went on a crime spree, including the MIT cop-killing, car-jacking and armed robbery, eventually leading Boston cops to the shoot out in Watertown that killed Tamerlan. Proving that the two brothers were real amateurs, they preferred an uncontrolled criminal binge to their mission, proving, if nothing else, that terrorists are nothing more than garden-variety criminals.

Indicting Dzhokhar at his hospital bed, the federal government could be in some hot water for not reading his Miranda rights sooner. Invoking the “public safety” exemption might not fly with a liberal judge, more concerned about civil rights than prosecuting terrorists. “The presumption of innocence is pretty tough in the this case,” said veteran criminal defense attorney Jim Ardoin, after reviewing the 10-page complaint, detailing compelling evidence from Dzhokhar’s U-Mass dorm room.

After leading police on a high-speed chase from Boston to Watertown, the Tsarnaev brothers lobbed a variety of pyrotechnics at chasing police. “On its face, it seem pretty strong,” said Ardoin, referring to the government’s case. “Although once you get into court, you never know what will be admitted into evidence and what won’t,” expressing concerns about not reading his Miranda Rights.

Instead of focusing on whether or not the federal government should pursue the death penalty, Holder should build a case to help the FBI extract as much information as possible about the Chechen terror cell that erupted April 15 at the Boston Marathon. “We will hold those who are responsible for these heinous acts accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” said Holder, not realizing that the death penalty would only prevent the FBI from gaining valuable intel to prevent future terrorist attacks.

Putting Dzhokhar to death satisfies the victims’ families but won’t prevent the next attack. Only by putting Dzhohkar under a microscope for as long as it takes can FBI social scientists shed some light on the dynamics of recruitment, conversion and criminal acts of terror groups. Only by studying terrorists and their networks over the long haul can the FBI prevent future attacks.

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