Story Summary

Boston Marathon Bombings

Boston Marathon Explosions

  • On Monday, two bombs went off near near finish line of Boston Marathon.
  • Three people were killed and more than 180 were injured.
  • Thursday, the FBI released video images of two suspects.
  • That night, the suspects began a violent crime spree, ending in a shootout.
  • One of the suspects was killed.
  • A manhunt was underway Friday for the other suspect.
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As thousands gathered to mark the anniversary of a horror that shook the city, survivors and government leaders shared a unified message Tuesday: Boston is strong.

“We would never wish the devastation and pain we have experienced on any of you,” said Patrick Downes, who was among the many injured in the twin bombings at last year’s Boston Marathon. “However, we do wish that all of you, at some point in your lives, feel as loved as we have felt this last year. It has been the most humbling experience of our lives. We hope you feel all the emotion we feel when we say ‘thank you.'”

‘We are America, we own the finish line,’ Biden says at Boston bombing memorialDownes was a newlywed at the time of the attack. He and his wife, Jessica Kensky, each lost a leg.

Before the crowd gathered Tuesday at the Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, he spoke of the three people killed in the blasts, and a university police officer killed days later amid efforts to catch the suspects. He called them “guardian angels.”

“Let’s show them they live on in our bonds of family, friendship and community and in the infectious spirit we will feel on the third Monday in April for years to come.” That’s the date of the marathon.

After a string of speakers, Vice President Joe Biden began his remarks by saying, “I’ve never witnessed a tribute like I heard today.” To the survivors, he said, “my God, you have survived and you have soared. You are truly inspiring. I’ve never heard anything so beautiful as what all of you just said.”

“So much has been taken from you but you never, never have given up,” he said.

“You have become the face of America’s resolve for the whole world to see,” Biden said, adding that people all around the world know the pride, courage, and resolve of Bostonians. “That’s why the twisted, cowardly terrorists who acted here and in other places do what they do. They try to instill fear so that we will jettison what we value the most and what the world most values about us: an open society, our system of justice, our freedom of religion; our access to opportunity, the free flow of information and ideas.”

The terrorists “wanted to make America afraid so that maybe, maybe, we’d begin to change our ways. That’s the objective — the very soul of who we are. They figured if they instill enough fear, we will change. And it infuriates them that we refuse to bend, refuse to change, refuse to yield to fear.

“You are Boston strong. But America is strong… That’s what makes us so proud of this city and this state. What makes me so proud to be an American is that we have never, ever yielded to fear. Never.”

At the marathon, “the whole world witnessed ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things” to help each other, the vice president said.

“America will never, ever, ever stand down,” he said. “We are Boston. We are America. We respond, we endure, we overcome and we own the finish line.”

Read more at CNN

SAN DIEGO — Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the tragic bomb explosions at Boston Maratho, and many San Diegans are remembering that day.

Cindy Lynch, who along with her sister Christy Baker, were just a block away from the finish line when the first bomb went off.

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Cindy Lynch and her sister Christy Baker at the Boston Marathon last year.

“It sounded like a dumpster falling,” said Lynch.

“Standing there looking at this plum of smoke I saw the second bomb go off,” said Lee Ann Yarbor, who had just crossed the finish line.

“It’s emotional, it’s bringing back a lot of memories,” said Yarbor as she wiped her tears. “I was actually going to take my daughters with me and they were going to wait for me at the finish line.”

BLOG: Fox5 Heather Ford’s Road to Boston

Mike Daly ran the marathon for many years and it just so happens he decided not to run it last year.

“Had I been there last year and one of my loved ones been on the sidelines, I don’t know what would’ve happened” said Daly.

These San Diegans and dozens more are now on their way back to Boston.

“I think there might have been a half a second of hesitation, but it’s going to be a race for people not a race of fear,” said Lynch.

More people signed up to run the Boston Marathon this year than last.

“Everybody just wanted to run this race more than ever,” said Daily.

“We really want to get back there and we really want to support the city of Boston. Those victims and not only are we going back but we’re bringing our families,” said Yarbor.

(CNN) — The backlash over Rolling Stone’s cover photo of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev led to the release of new photos of his capture Thursday, images a police photographer said show “the real Boston bomber.”

In contrast to the tousle-haired, placid-looking 19-year-old on the front of the magazine, the pictures, published Thursday by Boston Magazine, show Tsarnaev emerging from the boat where he was cornered — his face smeared with blood, his skin ashen in the laser glow from snipers’ gun sights.

In one, he pulls up his shirt, apparently showing he has no weapon underneath; in another, he slumps across the deck of the trailered boat, his bloodied arm hanging down.

The pictures were taken by Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Sean Murphy and published online by Boston Magazine on Thursday afternoon.

In a statement accompanying the photos, Murphy called the Rolling Stone cover “an insult” and “hurtful” to survivors of the April 15 bombings.

“This guy is evil,” Murphy said. “This is the real Boston bomber. Not someone fluffed and buffed for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.”

John Wolfson, Boston Magazine’s editor in chief, said the magazine has hundreds of similar photos and will publish more in its September issue. He said Murphy was “conflicted on some level” about releasing the photos, but “genuinely worried” about how the Rolling Stone cover will affect the victims’ families.

“I think he was also worried that certain impressionable people might be lured to replicate that by the kind of glamorous-looking photo that is on the Rolling Stone cover,” Wolfson told CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

A Massachusetts State Police spokesman said that the agency had not authorized the photos’ release.

“Today’s dissemination to Boston Magazine of photographs of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev and police activity related to his capture was not authorized by the Massachusetts State Police,” spokesman David Procopio said in a statement issued Thursday night. “The department will not release the photographs to media outlets. The State Police will have no further comment on this matter tonight.”

Procopio told CNN late Thursday night that Murphy had been relieved of duty for one day and will have a status hearing to determine whether he will be on full duty, restricted duty or suspended during an internal police investigation.

The hearing will likely be next week, Procopio said.

Murphy could not be immediately reached for comment.

Read more at CNN.

For Erika Brannock, Monday was a long time coming — 50 days in fact.

That’s how long she was hospitalized after bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon ripped apart her legs.

She was the last of the more than 250 victims from that attack to be released.

“I leave here today — after 11 surgeries, some pretty dark moments, and 50 days in this hospital — with nothing but admiration for this great city,” said Brannock, who was treated at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

On the day of the marathon, she, her sister and her brother-in-law had gone to watch Brannock’s mother run.

They were standing near the finish line when the bombs went off.

“I fell backwards, and I could see oranges and yellows,” Brannock told CNN on Monday. “I could hear the sirens and people crying and screaming. But I never heard the actual boom.”

“I had a conversation with God in my head, and I told him I wasn’t ready to go.”

Just at that moment, a woman crawled over to Brannock and grabbed her hand. She used her belt as a tourniquet on Brannock’s leg.

“She had heard me screaming for help and she said, ‘My name is Joan from California, and I’m not going to let you go.’ And she stayed with me the whole time.”

Brannock, 29, credits this mystery woman with saving her life. She desperately wants to find and thank her.

She also praises her medical team.

Brannock, a preschool teacher from Maryland, suffered severe bone and tissue damage, requiring the amputation of her lower left leg.

“I would not be here today without the talent and devotion of my care team, as well as the first responders and the marathon spectator — who I only know as ‘Joan from California’ — wherever you are — you saved my life,” she said.

The double bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15 killed three people and injured at least 264.

Brannock’s sister, Nicole Gross, had a broken leg and remained hospitalized for 33 days.

Her sister’s husband suffered cuts, bruises and burns.

“Although we had three family members injured, our family remains intact. We not only survived, but we will thrive again, even though our lives have been changed forever,” said Brannock.

The road to recovery is long and sometimes difficult.

She kept a picture above her hospital bed of a dragonfly, which she said was a symbol of strength, courage and getting through hard times. She described the creature as her mascot.

Brannock started having nightmares after she learned that surviving bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was at the same hospital as her.

She dreamed he was going to blow up Beth Israel.

Back in Maryland, Brannock will start physical therapy and will have to learn how to walk with a prosthetic leg. But she says she is up to the task.

“I can get through anything,” Brannock said.

Nurses and doctors lined the hallway Monday as she left the hospital, cheering and clapping. She gave a high five to one.

Next on deck? Brannock plans to finish a master’s degree in early childhood education and return to teaching in the fall.

“I will use what I’ve learned to pay it forward,” she said.

“Thank you Boston. Thank you everyone. I’m ready to go home.”

Read more at CNN

Ibragim Todashev mugshot(CNN) — Ibragim Todashev, shot dead early Wednesday by the FBI in Florida, had been acquainted with Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev at a mixed martial arts center near Boston, according to a source briefed on the bombing investigation.

Todashev had Tsarnaev’s phone number in his cell phone, the source said.

Both were members of the mixed martial arts forum, along with Russian-Canadian boxer-turned-jihadist William Plotnikov, the source said.

Last month, CNN reported that Plotnikov and six others died in a July 2012 firefight with Russian forces in the southwestern republic of Dagestan, while Tsarnaev was visiting the region, according to a source briefed on the investigation.

An FBI agent fatally shot Todashev in Orlando as authorities investigated whether Todashev was connected to the Boston Marathon bombings, a U.S. law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the Boston case told CNN.

Todashev, 27, also knew Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is also a suspect in the April 15 bombings, the official said. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, injured and captured after a manhunt, is being held by authorities. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, his older brother, was killed in a shootout with police shortly after the bombings.

The agent shot in self-defense in the incident, which occurred at Todashev’s house, the law enforcement source said.

Todashev was from the Chechnya region, as were the Tsarnaev brothers, the source said.

Todashev was granted political asylum in 2008 but that he came to the US some time before that, a federal law enforcement official told CNN. Todashev has living in the US as a legal resident because of that aslyum claim, the official said.

While the man was being questioned by an FBI agent, two Massachusetts State Police troopers and other law enforcement personnel, “a violent confrontation was initiated by the individual,” FBI spokesman Jason Pack said.

Todashev was killed and “the agent sustained non-life-threatening injuries,” Pack said.

Agents were led to Todashev, who had once lived in Boston, “through investigative leads,” the official said.

Todashev had been living in the United States as a legal resident since approximately 2008, the source said.

The source added that the FBI had been investigating Todashev for about a month.

The FBI had followed Todashev for days, his friend told CNN affiliate Florida News 13.

Khasuen Taramov told the TV station that Todashev was living in Boston a couple of years ago when he became acquainted with Tamerlan Tsarnaev; after the deadly Boston Marathon bombings, the FBI began questioning and following Todashev and Taramov.

Todashev “wasn’t like real close friends (with Tsarnaev), but he just happened to know him,” Taramov said. “But he had no idea that they were up to something like that, like bombings and everything, you know what I mean?”

He told CNN affiliate WESH that Todashev and Tsarnaev had spoken by telephone about a month before the bombings.

“It was a complete shock to him,” Taramov said.

The two met in Boston, where Todashev had lived and where there is a small, closely knit community of Chechens, said Taramov.

Their telephone conversation before the bombings contained nothing but routine pleasantries, he said. “It was ‘How are you doing, how’s your family?’ That’s all.”

Taramov said he himself was questioned by the FBI for three hours Tuesday night. Asked what he was asked, Taramov said, “Different kind of questions like ‘what do you think about bombings,’ ‘do you know these guys,’ blah blah blah, what is my views on certain stuff.”

He said Todashev was not a radical. “He was just a Muslim. That was his mistake, I guess.”

Taramov said his friend had told him he had a bad feeling about the direction the investigation was heading. “He felt like there’s going to be a setup … bad setup against him. Because he told me, ‘They are making up such crazy stuff, I don’t know … why they doing it. OK, I’m answering the questions, but they are still making up some, like, connections, some crazy stuff. I don’t know why they are doing it.’ “

Before meeting with the FBI for a 7:30 p.m. interview Tuesday, Taramov said, his friend asked him to take his parents’ telephone numbers. “He just told me, ‘Take the numbers, in case something happens, if I get locked up, or whatever, call them.’ You know what I mean?

“We were expecting to get him locked up, but not getting him killed. I can’t believe it.”

Todashev was unemployed and had been living on insurance money after surgery for an accident. “He used to be a fighter, MMA fighter,” Taramov said, in a reference to mixed martial arts.

Todashev was arrested this month on a charge of aggravated battery after getting into a fight over a parking spot with a man and his son outside an Orlando mall.

The son was taken to a hospital with head injuries, a split upper lip and several teeth knocked out of place, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said in a report.

“Todashev said he was only fighting to protect his knee because he had surgery in March,” the report said. He told the police that he was a former mixed martial arts fighter, it said.

Todashev, described as 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, was released on $3,500 bond.

Asked about the incident, Taramov downplayed it. “He had a fight in the parking lot, the two guys jumped on him … pretty much he just defended himself against two,” he told WESH. “The only mistake: he did kick their ass and left.”

Todashev had recently gotten his green card and had been planning to visit his parents in Chechnya, and then return to the United States, but canceled the plans, Taramov said.

Now, he added, he was planning to call his friend’s parents.

An FBI shooting-incident review team was expected to arrive within 24 hours in Orlando, said Special Agent Dave Couvertier, an FBI spokesman. Such reviews are standard when an agent is involved in a shooting.

There may be no place in the earth for Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

One of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects has been dead more than two weeks after a dramatic showdown with police in Watertown, Mass., on April 19.

But officials and his family still don’t know where Tsarnaev, an ethnic Chechen who turned to conservative Islam, will be buried.

On Sunday, city officials in Cambridge, Tsarnaev’s home in the United States, announced that the city’s cemetery would reject his body for burial after other local cemeteries also said they did not want the remains.

“The difficult and stressful efforts of the citizens of the city of Cambridge to return to a peaceful life would be adversely impacted by the turmoil, protests, and widespread media presence at such an interment,” Cambridge city manager Bob Healy said in a statement provided to the Los Angeles Times. “The families of loved ones interred in the Cambridge Cemetery also deserve to have their deceased family members rest in peace.”

Three people were killed and more than 260 injured in the April 15 Boston bombings.

Tamerlan-TsarnaevAmerica has not taken easily to burying its least-popular criminals. In the years after Sept. 11, 2001, the plane hijackers’ remains — at least the ones that could be identified — languished in undisclosed locations after nobody claimed them.

In 1997, Congress passed a law tailored to prevent Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, a veteran, from being buried in Arlington National Cemetery. McVeigh was executed for the 1995 bombing that left 168 dead, including 19 children younger than 6.

Tsarnaev, allegedly the author of one of the most significant terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, is similarly unwanted. His widow, Katherine Russell, declined to claim his body. His parents, in Russia and skeptical of their sons’ involvement in the attacks, have expressed apprehension at returning to the U.S. to deal with his death and the prosecution of his brother Dzhokhar, 19.

That left an uncle, Ruslan Tsarni of Maryland, to handle the Muslim burial rites for Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26. After the brothers were identified as bombing suspects, Tsarni called the two “losers” and said their conduct brought shame to all Chechens.

On Sunday, Tsarni told reporters gathered outside the Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlors in Worcester that Tamerlan Tsarnaev should be buried in Cambridge.

“Tamerlan Tsarnaev has no other place to be buried,” Tsarni said. “A dead person needs to be buried. That’s what tradition requires, that’s what religion requires, and I guess that’s what morals require. … He was a person; now he is a deceased. … I’m left alone to deal with this matter.”


Boston Bombing Suspects - brothers(CNN) — It could have been July Fourth. Live on television.

The brothers believed responsible for the bloody Boston Marathon bombings originally planned a suicide attack on the city’s massive Independence Day celebration, surviving bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told investigators, a U.S. law enforcement official regularly briefed on the investigation told CNN.

The Fourth of July party draws about 500,000 people and is televised nationally on CBS.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told investigators that he and his brother, Tamerlan, chose the Boston Marathon only a day or two before the event, according to the official. They changed their plans because their bombs were ready sooner than they expected, the official said.

Those bombs were built in the small apartment that suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev shared with his wife and child, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told investigators, according to that law enforcement official.

Fashioned out of pressure cookers that detonated near the finish line on April 15, the bombs killed three people and wounded more than 260 others. Authorities say they believe the brothers later killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died four days after the explosions after a firefight with police. Dzhokhar eluded capture until later April 19 when was found hiding in under a boat tarp in the backyard of a Watertown, Massachusetts, home.

He has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and faces the death penalty if convicted.

Authorities expect to file a death certificate Friday, a day after Tamerlan’s extended family claimed his body.

A black hearse believed carrying the body drove away with it, according to CNN affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston.

The vehicle was met by protesters at a funeral home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, The Sun Chronicle newspaper reported. The body was transported to another location hours later, the paper reported, citing a funeral home spokesman.

Tsarnaev’s uncle Ruslan Tsarni — who has said his nephews had brought shame on the family and all Chechens — claimed his body, according to a family spokeswoman.

The family plans an independent autopsy before burying the body in a Massachusetts cemetery, spokeswoman Heda Saratova said.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who suffered gunshot wounds to the head, neck, legs and hands, is being held at a federal Bureau of Prisons medical facility in Devens, Massachusetts.

Three of his friends have also been charged in connection to the bombing.

Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev were charged Wednesday with conspiring to discard potentially incriminating items from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dorm room. Robel Phillipos was charged with making false statements to investigators.

The FBI is examining Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s laptop, two federal law enforcement officials told CNN.

Authorities have said they believe the brothers acted alone but are investigating whether they could have learned from or been aided by terror groups, including groups overseas.

Of particular interest has been Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s 2012 trip to the semiautonomous Russian republic of Dagestan, home to numerous Islamic militant groups that have warred against Moscow’s rule.

Russian authorities asked U.S. officials to investigate Tamerlan Tsarnaev some months before the trip, saying they believed he was becoming increasingly involved with radical Islam. The FBI investigated but found no evidence of extremist activity and closed the case.

U.S. officials learned after the bombings that Russian officials had intercepted a 2011 phone call between the suspect’s mother, living in Dagestan, and one of her sons in which they reportedly had a vague conversation about jihad.

BOSTON (CNN) — Two classmates and a friend of Boston Marathon bomb suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have been jailed on charges they tried to throw investigators off their friend’s trail, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Boston Bombing VictimBoston police announced the arrests Wednesday morning, adding that there was “no threat to the public.” The classmates, Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, are both from Kazakhstan. They were already in federal custody on immigration charges, their lawyers told CNN.

The third suspect, Robel Phillipos, is a U.S. citizen. Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev are charged with obstruction of justice, while Phillipos is charged with lying to federal agents probing the bombing, according to court papers.

All three are scheduled to make their first appearance before a judge Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston said.

All three are accused of removing items from Tsarnaev’s dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth after the bombings, which killed three people and wounded more than 260, federal officials said.

Law enforcement officials believe they helped destroy evidence that might further implicate Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the bombing by disposing of fireworks and his laptop, a U.S. government official said.

One official said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev contacted the three after FBI agents released photographs of Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan — but before they were identified by name — and asked them to dispose of the items. The suspects said they did not know the significance of what they were doing, the official told CNN.

Another federal law enforcement official said two of three lied to the FBI when asked about whether they had seen the suspects or knew of their whereabouts after the bombings.

That official said the suspects threw out backpacks of fireworks from the dorm room, leading to a two-day search of a New Bedford landfill last week.

Alan Dershowitz, a prominent defense attorney and Harvard law professor, said called the obstruction charge “weak,” suggesting it was meant to pressure the suspects into providing more information on Tsarnaev.

“If that’s the best the feds have now, then they’re just squeezing,” Dershowitz told CNN. “It doesn’t sound like they have very much new here.”

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a gun battle with police early in the morning on April 19. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested that night in a Boston suburb and is being treated for gunshot wounds at a federal Bureau of Prisons medical center in Devens, Massachusetts.

Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev appear in a photograph with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev taken in New York’s Times Square during an earlier visit. They were taken into custody last month on charges that they had violated the terms of their student visas, Kadyrbayev attorney Robert Stahl told CNN.

Stahl said Kadyrbayev “did not attend class regularly.” Federal law enforcement sources said at the time that the Kazakh students were being detained “in an abundance of caution” because authorities wanted detailed information on the Tsarnaevs’ movements in the weeks and days before the attack.

One of the reasons Kadyrbayev drew investigators’ attention was because of changes to his Facebook page, a source briefed on the Boston probe said. Kadyrbayev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev changed their profile photos within 15 minutes of each other in the pre-dawn hours of April 19, while the Tsarnaevs were on the run, the source said.

Tsarnaev, who appears to have had access to a wireless device at that time, changed his to a black-and-white photo, while Kadyrbayev changed his photo to one of him wearing an Iron Man mask, the source said.

Dzhokhar TsarnaevWASHINGTON (CNN) — Preliminary talks have been under way “for the past few days” to allow Boston bomb suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to resume providing investigators with information about the attacks in exchange for having the death penalty taken off the table, two government sources say.

Negotiations are in the very early stages, and not a sign lawyers for the 19-year-old suspect are ready to make a deal, said one source, who did not want to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the private discussions.

The discussions between prosecution and defense are at a “preliminary, delicate stage” and both refused to offer details of what either side would be willing to leverage, according to the sources.