A federal grand jury indicted Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev Thursday on 30 charges connected to the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15 and the manhunt that followed. This is not a surprise. But embedded within the indictment are new details about Tsarnaev’s alleged motivations, actions and the planning involved in the attack. They include.
1.Messages written in his own blood were found in the boat where he took refuge. At the end of the manhunt for the bombers, Tsarnaev was found injured in a drydocked boat in the backyard of a Watertown, Mass., home. What wasn’t known was that Tsarnaev allegedly wrote messages in his own blood on the inside walls and beams of the boat while he was hiding. They included:
- “The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians.”
- “Can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished.”
- “We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all.”
- “Now I don’t like killing innocent people it is forbidden in Islam but due to said [unintelligible] it is allowed.”
- “Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop.”
2. Radical Islamic texts were found on his computer. Tsarnaev allegedly downloaded a number of radical Islamic texts on his computer, some of which called for Muslims to fight Western powers. The texts included:
- The Slicing Sword, Against the One Who Forms Allegiances With the Disbelievers and Takes Them as Supporters Instead of Allah, His Messanger and The Believers, a book that began with a forward by Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American cleric who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011. Al-Awlaki is also one of the suspected inspirations for Nidal Malik Hasan, the U.S. Army major charged with killing 13 people in a shooting at Fort Hood in 2009.
- Defense of the Muslim Lands, the First Obligation After Imam, a book by Abdullah Azzam, a mentor to Osama bin Laden known as the “father of global Jihad.”
- Jihad and the Effects of Intention Upon It, a book published by an extremist web forum that glorifies martyrdom in the service of Jihad.
- Volume One of Inspire Magazine, an online radical Islamic journal that contains instructions for building the type of pressure-cooker bombs that Tsarnaev allegedly used.
3. The pressure cooker bombs were built according to online instructions with mail ordered parts. The indictment alleges that Tsarnaev used the Inspire instructions to build his bombs out of commonly available parts. The explosive powder was allegedly acquired by purchasing 48 mortars at Phantom Fireworks in Seabrook, New Hampshire. The electronic components were allegedly bought on the Internet and delivered to his house by the U.S. Postal Service.
4. Weeks before the bombing, he went target shooting in New Hampshire. Tsarnaev allegedly went with his brother to a target range in New Hampshire, rented two 9mm handguns, and fired off 200 rounds of ammunition. On the night before his capture, Tsarnaev and his brother were armed with a 9mm handgun, five other improvised explosive devices, a machete and a hunting knife.
5. After a shootout with police, he smashed both of his cell phones and took refuge in the drydocked boat.
In all, there are 30 counts in the indictment. Seventeen of the charges carry the possibility of life in prison or the death penalty. There are now 60 federal inmates who are awaiting execution in the United States, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. The last federal execution took place in 2003.