• Unlike Sandy Hook Elementary, researchers in Boston have wealth of photographic evidence
• Dead alleged Boston bomber said to have had long relationship with U.S. intelligence
By Pat Shannan
When federal charges were filed the week following the Boston Marathon explosions, many Americans were as outraged at the manner in which things were officially handled—especially the aggressive door-to-door searches and the blatant Fourth Amendment violations of the citizenry—as they were at the remaining accused bomber.
After Russian immigrant and alleged Muslim terrorist Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was allegedly killed by police in a shootout on the night of April 18, police and federal agents spent the next day storming people’s homes—with neither warrant nor probable cause—looking for his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar. Unaware that neighbors were recording with video cameras, SWAT teams forced people from their homes at gunpoint, marched them down the sidewalk with their hands locked together over their heads in submission, and then stormed the homes, performing illegal searches.
Shocking video is now online that shows frightened house owners being removed from their homes at gunpoint as heavily armed federal, local and state law enforcement officials pour through their front doors. In the video, police can be heard barking orders at innocent civilians. In one video taken by an obviously terrified man from the second-floor window of his home, police can be seen yelling at a barefoot man to keep his hands up and move away from his home. Officers armed with assault weapons can be seen surrounding the front of the home. Several military-style vehicles can be seen parked in the street. In one Humvee, a man with an assault rifle is seen popping up out of the vehicle’s turret.
Dzhokhar was already convicted in the media when he was finally caught hiding in a winterized pleasure boat in the backyard of a Watertown, Massachusetts resident later that Friday night, but the story has more twists than an Agatha Christie novel.
ABC’s Diane Sawyer reported that there was a shootout during which cops filled the boat with some 200 rounds, but the next day some pictures showed the teenager emerging unscathed and unarmed. Somehow, at the hospital, he ended up in “serious condition” with a bullet wound in his throat that police were saying might have been self-inflicted.
It has gotten to the point that the case has become so convoluted it is difficult to separate fact from fiction.
Could these young men have been framed, as their family members insist? A number of factors suggest it is possible.
Considering the lack of actual evidence supplied via affidavit to the court, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Daniel Genck’s accusation is at best weak. His charges of “unlawfully conspiring and using a weapon of mass destruction” so far are based on vague Internet correspondence by the accused and videos of him wearing a backpack that appears to be too small to carry the alleged weapon.
Did the police even kill and capture the right men? The brothers were initially picked out from their “suspicious” crowd scene movement on surveillance tape at the marathon’s finish line, but no evidence of them placing bombs has surfaced, and we have seen no real pictures of the “shootout.”
The disinformation reports were reaching huge proportions, with contradictions and an occasional slip of the tongue. Police Commissioner Ed Davis said, “These were the two actors, err, these were the two individuals that were carrying out. . . .”
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that video “clearly puts 19-year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at the scene of the attack. . . . It does seem to be pretty clear that this suspect took the backpack off, put it down, did not react when the first explosion went off and then moved away from the backpack in time for the second explosion.” But the governor exposed his hand when he went on to say that he hadn’t viewed the videotape himself but had only been briefed by law enforcement officials about it.
This writer has seen no tape that the governor and the affidavit describe. But a look shows the brothers’ backpacks are far too small and flat to be concealing the 16-inch pressure cooker used to house one of the bombs. An even harsher “rush to judgment” came from New York State Senator Greg Ball, who referred to Dzhokhar as “Scum Bag #2” and recommended using torture on him after his arrest to “save more lives.”
Then there is the problem with the official story of the death of Tamerlan vs. eyewitness reports. Was there really a shootout and if so, was Tamerlan wounded there before being accidentally run over by his brother? Initial police radio reports said the SUV was hijacked by “two Middle Eastern men” but reported Tamerlan was killed when Dzhokar ran over him while hastily escaping in a stolen SUV. They forgot to tell the coroner. Two days later, reports said the body was riddled “from head to toe” and there were too many wounds in Tamerlan to determine which one was the cause of death. Dr. Richard Wolfe said, “I certainly did not see any tire marks or the usual things we see with someone run over by a car.”
Dzhokar’s last text to his father claims his innocence: “This will be the last message before the police will get me. I never done it; they set me up. I am sorry it has come to this.”
Pat Shannan is an AFP contributing editor and the author of several best-selling videos and books.