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FBI Agent Kills FL Man During Questioning About Boston Bombing

The FBI and Boston police were in Florida questioning Ibragim Todashev, an acquaintance of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, when the FBI says he got violent and an FBI agent shot and killed him in self-defense.

Here is an interview with a friend of Todashev's.

An unnamed source says Todashev is "directly involved" in the triple murder in Massachusetts, in which one of the victims was a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The source says Todashev and Tsarnaev knew each other from martial arts.

Undoubtedly, there is much more to this story. [More...]

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Docket: Missing Entries

Yesterday, the Judge in the Boston bombing case of defendant Dzokhar Tsarnaev issued an order denying a motion filed under seal in which the defense asked to take periodic photographs of Dzhokhar (Jahar) at Devens Medical Facility to be able to document his evolving physical and emotional state. The court declined to interfere with BOP policy which disallows visitors to have cameras on security grounds. It ruled that the staff at the prison can take the photos which will be shared with both parties (not just the defense.) Here is the Court's order, referencing the motion which was filed under seal as Docket Number 29. The order also refers to a response the Government filed under seal.

Looking at the docket, it appears that there have been many motions filed under seal, because so many numbers are missing. Instead of listing the docket number with a descriptive notation like "Motion to Suppress, Sealed, by Defendant", there's a big nothing. See below: [More..]

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Details on Dzokhar Tsarnaev's Solitary Confinement

RiaNovosti in Russia recently interviewed Devens Medical Center spokesman John Colautti about Dzokhar Tsarnaev's conditions of confinement.

Jahar is locked down 23 hours a day 5 days a week and 24 hours a day on weekends. He has no TV. He could listen to a walkman radio if he had $45 to buy it. His meals are brought to his cell. A book cart is brought by his cell a few days a week. He eats every meal alone in his cell. He gets three showers a week -- in his cell. He's not allowed contact with other prisons. Even if his injuries improve and he is moved to another facility, it's unlikely his living conditions will be any different -- he'll be deemed to be a "celebrity" inmate who needs to be segregated from general population. This could easily go on for a year.

The only people he sees besides medical staff are his lawyers, and they are 30 miles away. He still can't have visitors because it takes a while. He has to submit the names of visitors -- they have to be people he knew before being arrested -- and then a thorough background check is done on them.

His cell is about 10 feet by 10 feet and contains only a bed bolted to the floor, a sink and a toilet. When he is taken out for exercise, he is shackled at the hands and feet by two guards, and brought to a cage type place outdoors where he can exercise. If weather is inclement, there's an indoor room where he could exercise alone. If the prison gets put on lockdown, or staff is short (e.g. from furloughs), he doesn't get to go.

More details here.

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Tamerlan Tsarnaev is Buried, Time to Move On

Tamerlan Tsarnaev is buried in Richmond, Virginia. Get over it. The protests are nothing more than rank bigotry.

“He’s a Muslim. We don’t need that here,” Margaret Stevens, a 68-year-old-retiree, said.

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Tamerlan Tsarnaev Has Been Buried

Update 5/10/13: Here is where he is buried.

Here is the statement from the City of Worcester, MA. informing the public that Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been laid to rest.

Worcester, MA (May 9, 2013) - As a result of our public appeal for help, a courageous and compassionate individual came forward to provide the assistance needed to properly bury the deceased. His body is no longer in the City of Worcester and is now entombed.

The Police Chief would like to thank all of the officers who worked the security detail at the funeral home and acknowledge their professionalism and dedication.

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Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Widow Beefs Up Legal Team

Katherine Russell, widow of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, has added New York criminal lawyer Josh Dratel to her legal team.

Excellent choice. He's experienced in terrorism cases and is co-author of the Torture Papers: the Road to Abu Ghraib and The Enemy Combatant Papers: American Justice, the Courts, and the War on Terror.

Others he has represented:

  • Australian Guantanamo detainee David Hicks
  • Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, who was acquitted in federal court in Idaho in 2004;
  • Wadih El-Hage, a defendant in U.S. v. Usama bin Laden, which involved the August 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania;
  • Mohamed Suleiman al-Nalfi, also charged in the Embassy Bombings case.
  • Mohamed El-Mezain, a defendant in the federal Holy Land Foundation case
  • Attorney Lynne Stewart (in the appeal of her terrorism conviction)

And more leaks from anonymous law enforcement sources about what Dzokhar Tsarnaev told the FBI: Today's leak is that he said Ms. Russell wasn't involved in the bombing.

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TIME report on Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Time in Russia

Time has a new report on Tamerlan Tsarnaev's recent trip to Russia. Shorter version: Tamerlan was more radical than his Islamist cousin who is in a protest group. He didn't get radicalized in Russia, he tried to radicalize them. No one listened to him and they tried to dissuade him of his views.

Time reports the distant cousin "has been in jail since April 27 after a brawl with police in northern Dagestan." That's not quite the whole story. According to eyewitnesses, the cousin was part of a wedding party that got stopped by police for having an Islamic flag on the car. Ten members of the party, including the cousin, were beaten by police and arrested. In all, 17 members of the wedding party were charged. They have all been sentenced to "administrative penalties" of between 5 and 10 days in jail. Tamerlan's cousin's detention was extended a few days. [More...]

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Report: Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Parents Now Considering Cremation

ABC reports the parents of Tamerlan Tsarnaev are now considering cremation since Russia is unlikely to accept his body:

[T]he family of Tamarlen Tsarnaev is now considering cremating the body and trying to transport the ashes back to Russia, then burying them. Although cremation is against Islamic law, the parents see it as the only way of burying their son's remains, according to Heda Saratova, a local human rights activist and spokeswoman for the family.

But Russia might not accept the ashes. There are companies in Boston that will do burials at sea -- both of bodies and cremated remains. I wonder if they have called New England Burials at Sea.

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Worchester Spending $10k a Day for Tsarnaev Funeral Home Security

Worcester Police Chief Gary J. Gemme held a press conference this morning outside the funeral home that is holding Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body.

Police Chief Gary J. Gemme pleaded today for anyone with authority to provide a burial site for suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Gemme said Russia is not an option and there are no viable other prospects. Federal and state officials have not been responsive.

The city is spending $10,000. a day for security around the funeral home.

Whose fault is it that Worchester has to spend $10k a day guarding the funeral home? It's not the funeral director's fault. It's not Tamerlan Tsarnaev's fault. The need for security is due to the protesters. No sympathy here.

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Boston Defendant Gets New Lawyer, Father Comes to U.S.

Azamat Tazhayakov, one of the two students from Kazakhstan charged with obstruction of justice for removing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's backpack and laptop from his dorm room, has a new lawyer. He is Arkady Bukh from New York. Bukh is reaching out to the media on Twitter offering his commentary (here to Dr. Phil) and exclusive tips on the case. His offer to CNN is here.

Azamat's father, Amir Ismagulov, a wealthy businessman from Kazakhstan is also now in Boston, embarking on a media tour to clear his son. Yesterday, he was filmed paying his respects at the memorial to the victims. He said his son wanted him to go. [More...]

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Will Tamerlan Tsarnaev Be Sent to Russia?

Update: A Denver mosque has offered to bury Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Update: He's not coming to Colorado. According to the Colorado Muslim Society, the man who made the offer doesn't speak for them. They issued this statement:

"It has recently been reported that the Colorado Muslim Society has offered to provide burial services for Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the individuals who perpetrated the grave and destructive bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon. This report is absolutely untrue. The individual who has reportedly made this offer does not speak on behalf of the Colorado Muslim Society.
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Govt Agrees to Bond for Robel Phillipos

The Government and Defense have filed a joint motion to continue today's hearing in Robel Phillipos case. It includes a stipulation for release on bond. From the Motion:

Since the initial appearance, the parties have conferred extensively and now agree that the Court can fashion strict conditions of release that will reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance at future proceedings.

Specifically, the parties recommend that the Court impose the following conditions: (a) home confinement at the residence of a third-party custodian; (b) defendant shall be monitored for 24 hours a day on an electronic bracelet; and [c] his release will be secured by a secured bond in the amount of $100,000.

Robel filed a motion for bond on Saturday. Links to bond pleadings are here.

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Terrorists, Boston and Online Materials

The New York Times has an article on how al-Qaeda is using its Inspire Magazine to encourage and teach lone terrorists, like the ones in Boston, how to build bombs at home. In other words, no international travel or training camps necessary.

The Spring, 2013 edition of Inspire, which I detailed at length last month, was 32 pages and did not focus on bombs left at crowded events. But there was another 32 page section called The Lone Mujahdid Pocketbook, which did exactly that. You can read it in English here. [More...]

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Sunday Tsarnaev-Related News

The FBI is again searching the residence where Tamerlan Tsarnaev lived with his wife at 410 Norfolk St.

Ruslan Tsarnev (the uncle from Maryland) is at the funeral home where the director is still pleading for the Government to step in and find a place to bury Tamerlan, whose body is now being prepared for a proper Muslim burial.

Defendant Robel Phillipos is seeking bail. I have uploaded the bond motion, his mother's affidavit and Robel's resume. [More...]

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Finding a Burial Site for Tamerlan Tsarnaev

The funeral director who has Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body says he can't find a cemetary willing to accept his body for burial.

Reportedly, a second autopsy is or has been performed on Tamerlan at the request of the parents or lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

His father said early on they would like his body returned to Dagestan.

The father said he had no hope that Tamerlan's body would be released by the U.S. authorities to be buried in his homeland.

"They won't give us his body," he said, his voice breaking with emotion. "We wont be able to bury him in our land."

Perhaps he will be cremated and his ashes scattered at sea or returned to Russia. Adam Lanza, Timothy McVeigh, Ted Bundy and Klebold and Harris (Columbine) were all cremated. There's a company in Connecticut that arranges burials at sea, three miles offshore in the Long Island Sound.

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