TIME National Security

Friend of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Guilty of Obstructing Justice

Azamat Tazhayakov
In this courtroom sketch, defendant Azamat Tazhayakov, a college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, sits during a hearing in federal court in Boston on May 13, 2014. Jane Flavell Collins—AP

Azamat Tazhayakov is the first of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's friends to be put on trial for obstructing the investigation

A federal court found a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty of obstruction of justice and of conspiring to obstruct justice for interfering with the investigation.

Azamat Tazhayakov, a former University of Massachusetts Dartmouth student, faces a possible 20-year sentence for the obstruction charge and five years for the conspiracy charge, the Boston Globe reports.

The 12-member U.S. District Court jury deliberated for 15 hours over the course of three days. The sentencing has been set for Oct. 16, according to U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz.

Prosecutors argued that Tazhayakov knew of another friend, Dias Kadyrbayev, who allegedly removed evidence from Tsarnaev’s room a few days after the bombing and worked with him to help protect Tsarnaev.

Tazhayakov is the first of three friends of Tsarnaev to be put on trial on charges related to hindering the investigation. Tsarnaev’s trial is scheduled to begin in November.

[Boston Globe]

TIME movies

Hollywood Eyes Film Based on Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor’s Story

Jeff Bauman Throws First Pitch At Fenway Park
Boston Marathon bombing victim Jeff Bauman threw out a ceremonial first pitch on May 28, 2013, at Boston's Fenway Park, where the Philadelphia Phillies played the Red Sox in a regular-season baseball game. Jim Davis—The Boston Globe/Getty Images

Three of the names behind the Oscar-nominated film The Fighter have reportedly signed on to produce a movie about Jeff Bauman

A gutsy survivor of the Boston Marathon bombings is to receive the silver-screen treatment with a film in the works about his remarkable story.

Jeff Bauman lost both his legs to the twin explosions while he was waiting for his girlfriend to complete the race. He penned a book, Stronger, about what occurred that fateful day and his long road to recovery.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Lionsgate won the deal to develop the picture and brought in Mandeville Films to produce. The project will be an adaptation of Bauman’s book, which he wrote alongside best-selling co-author Bret Whitter.

Three big names who worked on the Oscar-nominated feature The Fighter — Todd Lieberman, David Hoberman and Scott Silver — are producing the film, and actor John Pollono will take on writing the adaptation in his first feature-length project.

Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured when two pressure-cooker bombs exploded just seconds apart from each other as scores of runners were crossing the finishing line in Boston on April 15, 2013.

A manhunt ensued for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and he was apprehended four days later. His brother and fellow suspect Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

TIME Crime

Prosecutors: Suspected Boston Bombers Used Christmas Lights, Model Car Parts in Explosives

Prosecutors say the sophistry of the explosives gave investigators reason to believe that the suspects may have had accomplices, prompting them to question Dzhokhar Tsarnaev while he was being treated in the hospital.

The suspected Boston Marathon bombers used parts from Christmas lights and model cars to construct the sophisticated explosives used in the attack, federal prosecutors said in a Wednesday court filing.

Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the two suspects in the April 16, 2013 bombings that killed three people and injured 264 others. His brother and alleged accomplice, Tamerlan, died during a police shootout following the search for suspects.

Prosecutors said in the filing the sophisticated nature of the explosives gave reason to believe that the brothers received assistance, the Boston Globe reports.

“In short, the facts and circumstances known to law enforcement at the time they interviewed Tsarnaev provided ample reason to believe that the Tsarnaevs did not act alone,” the prosecutors said in the filing, according to the Globe.

Prosecutors also said the brothers appeared to have crushed and emptied fireworks containing black powder for the bombs, but investigators did not find significant traces of the powder at the brothers’ residences or cars.

The filing also argues the court should not suppress statements Dzhokhar Tsarnaev made to FBI agents while being treated in a hospital after his arrest because investigators had to determine if the suspect had accomplices who could have posed a threat. Tsarnaev’s defense has argued that the interrogations are inadmissible because he was interrogated without access to a lawyer.

[Boston Globe]

TIME Boston Marathon bombing

Tsarnaev’s Attorneys Want Hospital Statements Thrown Out

The Boston bombing suspect's attorneys claim the 27 hour interrogation was intended to incriminate Dzokhar

+ READ ARTICLE

In the aftermath of one of the worst terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s attorneys say the FBI went too far in questioning him.

Paperwork from Tsarnaev’s attorneys say that the FBI interrogated him for 27 hours, including turning away lawyers, while Tsarnaev was handcuffed to a hospital bed. In seeking to have the statements given at the time thrown out, the lawyers argue that the questioning was “an effort to extract as much incriminating information as possible, without regard to the protections of the Fifth Amendment.”

The argument could prove to be moot, however, with prosecutors not planning to use the statements in their case.

TIME Television

Boston Marathon Bombing Inspires Fox Series

Penguin

The event series, based on the bestselling book Long Mile Home by two Boston Globe reporters, will follow the lives of five people whose lives are forever changed by the Boston Marathon attacks

Fox is developing an event series based on the bestselling book Long Mile Home, in which Boston Globe reporters Scott Helman and Jenna Russell chronicle the stories of five people who were in some way affected by the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, Deadline reports.

Helman and Russell were among the members of the Globe‘s team that won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the bombing and its aftermath. They will act as consultants for the four-hour series.

Fox has signed Rod Lurie, a producer and former investigative crime journalist, to write and direct the series. According to Deadline, he visited Boston before the 2014 marathon and went to the apartment where the bombers lived. There he found a note thumbtacked to the door that read: “Nobody in the building has anything to say to journalists/reporters. Please go away.”

[Deadline]

TIME Crime

Officials Charge Suspect for Dropping Suspicious Bags Near Boston Marathon Finish Line

A policeman stands guard during a ceremony commemorating the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings in Boston, on April 15, 2014.
A policeman stands guard during a ceremony commemorating the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings in Boston, on April 15, 2014. Xinhua/SIPA USA

Boston authorities charged a man with disturbing the peace, possessing a hoax device and disorderly conduct after he left two unattended backpacks near the Marathon finish line on Tuesday, a year after twin blasts killed 3 people and injured 260 others

Updated 2:40 a.m. E.T. on Wednesday

Authorities have charged a male suspect with disturbing the peace, possessing a hoax device and disorderly conduct after he left two unattended backpacks near the Boston Marathon finish line Tuesday, the Boston Police Department announced:

Police evacuated the area Tuesday evening, and a bomb squad was called to investigate the scene. According to local news reports, one of the backpacks was allegedly left by a barefoot man shouting “Boston strong” before police removed him from the area.

Police spokesman David Estrada said there did not appear to be any evidence that the bags were explosive or dangerous but that police take reports of unattended bags very seriously, the Boston Globe reports. A nearby train station was also shut down.

The discovery of the bags occurred exactly one year after a bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon killed three people and injured 264 others.

TIME

What Russia Knew About the Boston Marathon Bomber

An unreleased report shows that the Russian government concealed key information on Tamerlan Tsarnaev two years before the bombing

+ READ ARTICLE

Could Russia’s information on Tamerlan Tsarnaev have prevented the Boston Marathon bombings?

Russian authorities intercepted a phone conversation in which the older Tsarnaev brother discussed Islamic jihad with his mother, but they withheld the information from the FBI, according to an unreleased government review that comes as the one-year anniversary of the Boston bombing approaches.

Congress will be briefed on additional details from the report Thursday, and some findings are expected to be released to the public next week.

Watch the video above for details.

TIME National Security

Report: Russia Withheld Intelligence on Boston Bombing Suspect

Tamerlan Tsamaev at a boxing event in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2009.
Tamerlan Tsamaev at a boxing event in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2009. Glenn DePriest—Getty Images

An unreleased government report shows Russian authorities didn't tell U.S. officials about an intercepted call between Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his mother about Islamic jihad until after the attack on the Boston Marathon, which might have put him under greater scrutiny

Russia did not share some intelligence that could have subjected one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects to greater scrutiny before the attacks, according to an unreleased government review.

The New York Times, citing unnamed sources, reports that the review claims Russia told the FBI of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s radicalization during a trip to the country but declined to share additional data, including information from an intercepted phone conversation he had with his mother about Islamic Jihad, prior to the attack.

Law enforcement in the U.S. considered Tsarnaev more of a threat to Russia at the time, though it’s unclear the extent to which the additional information could have helped them prevent the attack.

The government report, which also finds some faults in the FBI investigation before the attack, was compiled by the inspector general of the Office of the Intelligence Community, which has oversight over the disparate federal agencies. Congress will be briefed on the report Thursday, and some findings are expected to be released to the public on Tuesday, the attack’s one year anniversary.

Authorities believe the suspected brothers attacked alone in the bombings that killed three people and wounded 264. Tsarnaev was killed evading police days after the attack. His younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges, some of which carry the death penalty, and his trial is slated to begin in November.

[NYT]

TIME

Boston Bombing Report Praises First Responders But Details Police Errors

Police officers searched house to house for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, in a neighborhood in Watertown, Mass., on April 19, 2013.
Police officers searched house to house for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, in a neighborhood in Watertown, Mass., on April 19, 2013. Brian Snyder—Reuters

New report found that preparations by marathon organizers and local authorities may have saved lives, but says law enforcement co-ordination during manhunt was chaotic and at times dangerous

Correction appended April 4

A report on the law enforcement response to the Boston Marathon bombings almost one year ago has detailed dangerous confusion and lack of coordination among police during the dramatic post-bombing manhunt.

The Harvard Kennedy School report details near-fatal mistakes in the chase of brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, days after pressure-cooker bombs killed three people and injured 264 at the finish line on April 15.

In a chaotic shootout after the suspects gunned down a university police officer, police surrounding the brothers were in each other’s line of fire, the report found, in one of several instances where officers put themselves at risk of friendly fire.

During that shootout, in which Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed while his younger brother evaded the police, officers bringing a wounded colleague to the hospital had to drive several blocks out of the way to avoid a tangle of parked police cars from various law enforcement agencies.

In another incident, when officers converged on the area where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was reported to be hiding in a small dry-docked boat where he was later captured, members of different local SWAT teams deployed to the same nearby rooftop debated who was responsible, with both officers ending up staying put.

The report also found that officers involved in the search were awake for 36 hours or more at times during the search between the Monday of the bombing and Friday, when police located the surviving bombing suspect.

But the study, titled “Why Was Boston Strong” and based on roughly 100 interviews with law enforcement and public officials, also praised the level preparedness among emergency responders and police, particularly on the day of the explosions, when many lives were saved because of swift and orderly medical response.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now 20, has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges, some of which carry the death penalty. His trial is slated to begin in November.

This article originally misstated Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s plea to multiple federal charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

TIME Boston Marathon bombing

FBI Agent Cleared In Slaying of Boston Bombing Suspect’s Friend

Ibragim Todashev in an undated booking photo courtesy of the Orange County Corrections Department.
Ibragim Todashev in an undated booking photo courtesy of the Orange County Corrections Department. Orange County Corrections Department/Reuters

A Florida prosecutor has cleared an unnamed FBI agent in the shooting death of Ibragim Todashev, calling it self-defense. The agent and two state troopers were interrogating Todashev at his home when he charged them with a long pole

An unnamed FBI agent who shot and killed a friend of a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing during an interrogation was justified in doing so, a Florida prosecutor said in a report made public Tuesday.

According to the report, an FBI agent and two Massachusetts state troopers were interrogating Ibragim Todashev, 27, at his Orlando home last May when he charged the FBI agent with a long pole. The officers had been in touch with Todashev as part of a broader investigation into the suspected Boston Marathon bombers, one of whom, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was a friend of Todashev. The agent shot Todashev a total of seven times, the Boston Globe reports.

“My conclusion, based upon the facts presented to me in this investigation, is that the actions of the Special Agent of the FBI were justified in self-defense and defense of another,” State Attorney Jeffrey L. Ashton said in an letter to the FBI detailing the results of his investigation.

The report says Todashev, a mixed-martial arts fighter, admitted during the 4.5 hour-long interrogation to “some involvement” in a triple homicide also under investigation, in which Tsarnaev—who was killed during the post-bombing manhunt—is also a suspect.

[The Boston Globe]

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