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24 April 2013


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The beaver


I read today ( can't locate where) that the younger brother has told the authorities interviewing him that he was told about the Marathon bombing only 2 weeks before that event.

Me thinks that without the presence of the parents in town, that youngest was influenced by his brother.


"The city had to still" Hogwash. It didn't still in 1775 and it didn't need to 'still' in 2013. But you're the real courageous patriots and the other 300,000,000 Americans are 'yahoos'.

Patrick D

Mike Ross/rossesq,

My comment was not intended as a specific criticism of Boston but of the continued overreaction to terrorism by the U.S. in general. That overreaction empowers terrorists and weakens barriers to government abuse.

But since you and Rosenbaum raised the issue I'll respond to the BS with some reality.


"Shelter in Place" removed from the list of assets to be employed against the bomber around a million sets of eyes that knew what he looked like.

The suspect wasn't found by professionals. He escaped from an armed confrontation with them.

He was found by a private citizen who went outside to check on his boat after the professionals ended "Shelter in Place".

Desperate and dangerous people are at large in this country regularly. How much of it should we shut down until the professionals find them?

Alba Etie


Clifford Kiracofe


Yes, good point, self-radicalization does not depend on foreign contacts with jihadis on a physical personal basis. In the Internet age, "virtual" contacts such as reading propaganda or viewing jihadi videos can certainly suffice. Or in a pre-Internet age, one could read Qutb's writings, for example, and get radicalized.

What is interesting on the alienation side is that the younger brother seemed to have very well assimilated into the US and his school friends seemed to think so as he was well liked and so on. What is curious to me are the newspaper reports that a professor at U Mass-Dartmouth worked on him in high school and then college to instill a "Chechen" identity in the young boy where it had apparently not been before. Did this pave the way for his older brother's Islamic jihadi influence?

I never saw anything close to perfection in my federal service. A modicum of efficiency and competence would be nice, though.


Seems more ominous. Israelis do that to those whom they consider undermenschen. Do the feds consider the American people undermenschen, too?

Alba Etie



Bet if this "overreaction" were called "melodrama" (more accurate), people would be less susceptible to media diddles.

William R. Cumming

IMO looks like another miss by the IC on Boston. Time will tell!

robt willmann

While paying little attention to the radio when driving on 24 April, I thought I heard a newscast say that the Tsarnaev brothers had only one handgun with them. I stopped daydreaming.

It looks as if the police chief of Watertown has a mathematics problem in his cinemagraphic version of the confrontation with Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev I mentioned below the 21 April post of Col. Lang entitled " ' Lawmakers push for federal trial of Boston suspect' NY Times". Police Chief Edward Deveau's interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer is split between two videos, and starts at 6 minutes into the first of the two, and continues into the second one.




Chief Deveau says that the brothers were in two cars, including the one that was hijacked, and they jump out of the car, "both came out shooting", shooting "handguns", and "there was a long arm in the car". "The two brothers are shooting at my first police officers who responded". "We estimate there was over 200 shots fired over a 5 to 10 minute period". Tamerlan "all of a sudden comes out from under cover and just starts walking down the street shooting at our police officers, trying to get closer ... my closest police officer is 5 to 10 feet away, and they're exchanging gunfire between them, and he [Tamerlan] runs out of ammunition ...." Then a police officer tackles Tamerlan, two or three officers are handcuffing him in the street, Dzhokhar drives the hijacked vehicle at them, they dive out of the way, and Dzhokhar runs over his brother and kills him.

But ABC News reports on 24 April that only a single, semi-automatic Ruger 9mm handgun was recovered at the shootout scene in Watertown.


A Washington Post article of 24 April says that Dzhokhar "had no firearms when he came under a barrage of police gunfire that struck the boat where he was hiding...."



The Wash. Post story describes the confrontation with the two brothers as: "Early Friday in Watertown, the brothers engaged in a firefight with police. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot and fell to the ground, according to police and photos, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev climbed back in a Mercedes sport-utility vehicle hijacked earlier. He drove at police and struck his wounded brother on the street. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was dragged a distance by the car, was declared dead on arrival at a Boston hospital."

The FBI agent's affidavit supporting the criminal complaint filed in federal court on 21 April is more circumspect about shooting. Paragraph 19 says that at the time of the carjacking, a firearm was displayed to the victim, the magazine was removed to show that a bullet was in it, and then the magazine was re-inserted into the gun. Paragraph 22 has the brothers in only one vehicle in Watertown, the hijacked Mercedes, and that, "A gun fight ensued between the car's occupants and law enforcement officers in which numerous shots were fired. One of the men was severely injured and remained at the scene; the other managed to escape in the car".

In paragraph 26, the affidavit says that "... there was an individual in a covered boat located at 67 Franklin Street in Watertown. After a stand-off between the boat's occupant and the police involving gunfire, the individual was removed from the boat and searched.... He had visible injuries, including apparent gunshot wounds to the head, neck, legs, and hand."

The eyewitness to the confrontation between the police and Tamerlan and Dzhokhar at Dexter and Laurel Avenue who was on a morning radio show in Boston on 19 April said that a police vehicle hit Tamerlan and then he was shot multiple times, which raises the issue that the police executed him in the street.


The Washington Post version of the confrontation with the two brothers does not refute the eyewitness' story, but does stick with the allegation that Dzhokhar in the hijacked Mercedes drove over his brother Tamerlan.

How many bullets could fit in the magazine of a 9mm Ruger handgun? There is no mention of any other magazines found for the Ruger.

And the strange notion that Dzhokhar was charged with Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction? Since law is mostly vocabulary and definitions, anything is possible. Check out Title 18 United States Code sections 2332a and 921, and prepare to become nauseated.



A "weapon of mass destruction" includes a "destructive device" which, under section 921(a)(4)(B), is your shotgun, but Congress was sweet enough to say, in parentheses: (other than a shotgun or shotgun shell which the Attorney General finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes)".


I would say the police chief has lots of explaining to do.

"How many bullets could fit..." I think that's the wrong question. I know it is a small town (30K or so people) but I would like to know how many officers were there and why a trained police officer can't hit an armed assailant from ten feet away.

robt willmann

Here is an interesting video clip from CNN and Anderson Cooper presented on the Economic Policy Journal website of Robert Wenzel, who focuses his post on the injury to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's neck. Cooper interviews the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority SWAT team that seized Dzhokhar at the boat.



The SWAT member Campbell's description of Dzhokhar's neck injury starts at 4 minutes and 50 seconds into the video, as Anderson Cooper says that there was a report that he was shot in the throat but unclear whether it was self-inflicted. The SWAT member replies: "I did see a throat injury. To me it looked more like a knife wound. It wasn't a puncture hole, it was a slice where it was spread open, possibly a piece of shrapnel from one of the explosives that they were using the night before. It didn't look like a bullet wound to me; it looked more like a cut of some kind," as he pointed to the side of his neck.

Does this square with the report that Dzhokhar was unable to speak and vocalize? And with the FBI affidavit that says he "had visible injuries, including apparent gunshot wounds to the head, neck, ...?

The Twisted Genius

Remember the old woman and her daughter who were shot at by the LAPD during the hunt for Chris Dorner? There were over 100 rounds pumped into their pick up. Sounds like the multiple SWAT teams and countless other police running around Watertown were just as nervous and twitchy. I don't trust police in these situations. Whether the Mayor told me to stay in my house or not, I would not have wanted to be walking the streets that day just to prove I had a right not to be locked down. Common sense says steer clear of these situations.

Many years ago I ended up facing a couple dozen of very nervous DEA agents in the Everglades in the middle of the night. There were two of us and the DEA heroes with the shotguns were the ones visibly shaking. It was an unpleasant experience. Took a while to sort that out. We were there on an exercise, but no one told the DEA that.

Clifford Kiracofe

This is an interesting report by ABC news about the inclusion of the older brother's name and the mother as well on US watch lists. The report shows that while names can be on some watch lists this does not necessarily carry over onto no-fly lists.

This article also indicates what appears to be some issues with various transliterations or spellings of names for the older brother. I noticed that the younger brother used several different spellings of his first name on different web sites, different alias we can say.

What passport did the older brother travel on? Kyrghiz? Kazakh? Did he have other identity papers with different spellings of his name? Did he use alternate spellings as a deception and cover?


Did the older brother receive training on bomb making? The sophistication of the electronics has led to some comment that he would have had to have instruction for the remote control. He could have received training in the US or Canada and not necessarily in Dagestan or Chechnya I would think.

When in Dagestan the older brother reportedly met six times with Gadzhimurad Dolgatov - a Dagestani jihadist who died in 2012. Was he seeking guidance or approval for a jihadi mission of some kind?

One of the older brother's videos was of the preaching of Abd al-Hamid al-Juhani, who was an assistant to an al Qaeda scholar in Chechnya. Any data on this person?

"In addition, the Tsarnaev account also linked to Russian-language videos from Abdel al-Hamid al-Juhani. Mary Habeck, who specializes in radical Islam at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and also is fluent in Russian, said, “(al-Juhani) is an important ideologue for al Qaeda in Chechnya and the Caucasus. The form of Salafism that Tsarnaev was [allegedly] interested in is a very radical form of Salafism, one that is usually associated with al Qaeda and associated groups.”

As to the younger brother, what role did the Prof. at U Mass-Dartmouth play in radicalizing him? The professor has said he helped the younger brother recover his "Chechen identity"...the younger brother having been presumably pretty Americanized according to his friends and classmates.

William R. Cumming

Are local police taught fire control discipline or do they just assume unlimited ammo supply for their weapons?



As a combat veteran I can say that the police who gathered in Boston could not be described as having "fire control discipline." SWMBO, who is a New Englander by birth and upbringing thinks the same. pl

Babak Makkinejad


BBC -- Lost on the road to Islamist perdition...

This is a story that is both amusing (in its own way) and scary (in more ways than one): it is about a group of British Asians who went off to Pakistan to get 'trained' in jihad only to find it wasn't much fun at all and do their utmost to get out alive...

There is an element of farce about the whole thing, but it is revealing of the disconnect between their lives in the West (which they profess to hate) and the Islamist propaganda (which they don't understand anyway).

Fundamentally, they belong neither here, nor there. In their frustrarion, they talk about blowing up the place.

The only reassuring thing is that the intelligence services had their eyes on them from the start. It must be said their choice of outfit does not help them to blend in



If one thing is clear from the massive Operation Pitsford trial, it's that the life of a would-be jihadist is far removed from the fantasy of al-Qaeda propaganda.

Nowhere is the romance more lacking than in the militant training camps of Pakistan - the destination of choice for many aspiring western jihadists.

Four of the men who pleaded guilty to preparing for acts of terrorism - Ishaaq Hussain, Shahid Khan, Khobaib Hussain and Naweed Ali - did so on the basis that they had left their family homes in Birmingham and headed off to join a camp run by men they saw as leading the fight for Islam.

In truth, the trip was an unmitigated disaster. [...]


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