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Police capture Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Watertown

- The Washington Times - Friday, April 19, 2013

Police have finally bagged the second Boston Marathon bombing suspect Friday night.

In a dramatic end to the daylong manhunt, 19-year-old suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured alive after police zeroed in on his hideout inside a boat stored for the winter in a Watertown, Mass., backyard.

The younger Tsarnaev's capture concluded a high-drama hunt that shuttered much of eastern Massachusetts as cops methodically conducted door-to-door sweeps.

After nearly 24 hours, tactical units closed in.

Gov. Deval Patrick earlier in the day had warned residents of Boston and its neighboring communities to "stay indoors, with their doors locked," trapping more than a million people in their homes. The governor also ordered all public transit shut down, including the subway. Taxis were ordered off the streets and all Amtrak service to Boston was halted.

At a later news briefing, the governor said citizens should "get back out" into the community, but that they should be "vigil."

The second suspected bomber was identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26. Both brothers had been living in Cambridge, Mass. They were born in Kyrgyzstan and came to the United States "seven or eight years" ago, according to an uncle interviewed on CNN Friday.

The elder brother was killed early Friday morning after a wild police chase following the fatal shooting of Sean Collier, 26, the MIT campus police officer. Authorities said police discovered a homemade bomb strapped to Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body after the shootout.

Authorities said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev escaped from the gunfight in a car, running over the body of his brother as he sped away. The authorities said they believe he may have been wounded in the gunfight.

Initially, the lockdown affected 300,000 people in Cambridge, Watertown, Newton, Brighton, Allston and Belmont, but by early Friday morning it had been expanded to include the entire city of Boston. Hundreds of federal, state and local law enforcement authorities conducted extensive searches in a number of areas. Another explosive device was found in Boston Friday morning and disabled.

A 20-square block of Watertown was cordoned off by an army of law enforcement authorities, who went door-to-door searching for the fugitive bomber.

Much of the search has been directed by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is considered the nation's front line on terrorism. There are 103 task forces nationwide, consisting of highly trained, locally based, committed investigators, analysts, linguists, SWAT experts, and other specialists from dozens of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

The two suspected bombers began their desperate effort to flee the city after photos and a videotape were shown of them walking along the marathon route shortly before two bombs exploded, killing three people and injuring more than 180. The video showed them carrying heavy black backpacks and captured one of them dropping a bag at the site of the second explosion.

In their attempt to leave the area, police said they carjacked a Mercedes SUV and admitted to the driver they were the marathon bombers, adding that they also had killed a police officer in their bid for freedom. The driver was released unhurt.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev visited Sheremetyevo, Russia, last year and was out of the country for six months. Investigators are trying to determine if he received any terror training on that trip.

The suspects' uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, called them "losers" and urged Dzhokhar to turn himself in. "We're ashamed," he thundered outside his Maryland home. He said they may have resorted to violence because they had trouble assimilating into the United States.

He told reporters he hadn't seen the two men in years and wanted nothing to do with the family. He said the pair has brought shame on his family and all people from Chechnya, a region of Russia where he and his relatives are from.

"Of course, we're ashamed. ... They are children of my brother, who had little influence over them," he said.

The flurry of violence erupted after photos and a videotape was released and FBI officials began getting hundreds of tips as to their identity. The two brother robbed a 7-11 store and then fatally shot Officer Collier in his vehicle at 10:20 p.m., law enforcement officials said. They then carjacked the SUV, attempting the use the driver's ATM card to get cash — getting $800 after at least two failed attempts.

As they fled toward Watertown, a police cruiser spotted the vehicle and gave chase with the two suspects throwing explosives at the pursuing officer.The chase erupted into a lengthy gunfight, which was captured in photos by Andrew Kitzenberg of Watertown, who spread them on social media.

"They were also utilizing bombs, which sounded and looked like grenades, while engaging in the gunfight," he told NBC News in an interview. "They also had what looked like a pressure-cooker bomb. I saw them light this bomb. They threw it towards the officers. There was smoke that covered our entire street."

Transit officer Richard H. Donahue, 33, was seriously injured during the pursuit. Authorities said he was in surgery at Mount Auburn Hospital.

With Tamerlan Tsarnaev mortally wounded during the gunfight — and later being pronounced dead at a hospital — Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fled on foot into Watertown, which rapidly was surrounded by police and the town was locked down.

Richard DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston field office who released a videotape and pictures of the Boston Marathon bombers, used a similar public plea in 2011 in the capture of Boston crime boss James J. "Whitey" Bulger, who has been on the run from law enforcement authorities for more than 16 years.

Bulger was arrested in June 2011 in a Santa Monica, Calif., home he shared with his girlfriend, ending a manhunt that had landed the infamous mob leader on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted List."

The FBI said Bulger and his longtime companion, Catherine Elizabeth Greig, were taken into custody without incident by agents acting on what the FBI said was a tip resulting from the release of videos and photographs on daytime TV and billboards.

The 81-year-old crime boss was wanted in connection with 19 homicides.

"Recent publicity produced a tip which led agents to Santa Monica where they located both Bulger and Greig," Mr. DesLauriers, said at the time.

Earlier in the day, Anzor Tsarnaev, the father of the two suspects in the Boston bombings, called on Dzhokhar to give up peacefully, telling that "all hell will break loose" in the United States if police kill him, ABC said in a report.

The father made the statements from his home in the Russian city of Makhachkala. He told The Associated Press in an earlier telephone call that ended angrily: My sons "were set up. I saw it on television. They killed my son."

Mr. Tsarnaev told ABC that he had spoken with his sons on the telephone earlier this week.

"We talked about the bombing. I was worried about them," he said, adding that his sons reassured him. "[They told me], everything is good, Daddy. Everything is very good."

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