As a small army of law enforcement officers fanned out in Watertown searching for Boston Bombing suspect Dhzokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year old allegedly scribbled justifications into the side of the dry-docked boat he was hiding in.
“We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all;” Tsarnaev allegedly wrote. “”Government is killing our innocent civilians…I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished…Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop.”
Those are the reasons Tsarnaev allegedly gave as justification for his role in the April 15 bombing of the Boston Marathon, which killed three people—including eight-year old Martin Richard—and injured more than 250 others, according to the 30-count federal grand jury indictment unsealed Thursday. The charges against Tsarnaev include use of a weapon of mass destruction (a term of art), conspiracy, carjacking and bombing a public place.According to Department of Justice rules, whether or not Tsarnaev ultimately faces the death penalty for his alleged crimes is up to Attorney General Eric Holder. Tsarnaev will be arraigned in federal court in Boston on July 10.
Tsarnaev was also indicted separately on 15 state charges in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. The state is charging Tsarnaev with murdering Sean Collier, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Dzhokhar and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev allegedly killed as they were attempting to escape the city shortly after the FBI released images of them at the marathon.
The indictment sheds some new details on the gunfight that lead to the day-long manhunt that ultimately ended with Tsarnaev’s capture. According to the indictment, several police officers were attempting to subdue Tamerlan Tsarnaev when his younger brother drove a hijacked Mercedes into the group, running over his brother but missing the three officers. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died of his injuries after being taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
The indictment also alleges that in the months prior to the bombing, Tsarnaev became an avid consumer of jihadist media on the Internet, downloading extremist publications to his computer. Among them, the indictment states, was the first issue of Inspire, the English language magazine produced by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. That issue contains detailed instructions on how to build explosives.
US Attorney Carmen Ortiz answered few questions at a press conference held by federal, state and local law enforcement officials announcing the indictment, reminding reporters that Tsarnaev was innocent until proven guilty, adding that “we will do everything that we can to pursue justice not only on [the victims’] behalf, but on behalf of all of us.”
Suffolk County Massachusetts District Attorney Daniel Conley, a presumptive mayoral candidate, said that “Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s justice will be in the next world. But for his brother, accountability will begin here in Boston.”