Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged yesterday with using a weapon of mass destruction, as dramatic new details painted a chilling picture of how he and his older brother methodically planted two explosives-laden backpacks near the finish line.
Tsarnaev, 19, was charged from his hospital bed with one count of using and conspiring with his older brother, Tamerlan to use a WMD resulting in death.
He was also charged with malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death.
The charges could result in the death penalty or life in prison if Tsarnaev is convicted of the bombings, which killed three and wounded at least 176 others.
LITTLE DEVIL: Tamerlan Tsarnaev as a baby with dad Anzor (left), mom Zubeidat and uncle Muhamad
Prosecutors unsealed a criminal complaint yesterday that detailed Dzhokhar’s role in the April 15 terror bombing and his brother’s getaway attempt, which ended with Tamerlan shot dead.
The complaint recounted surveillance video showing Dzhokhar leaving behind the second of two homemade bombs near a marathon barricade just yards from the finish line and moments before the devastation.
In other developments:
* Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who has criticized the FBI’s handling of the case, said yesterday that agents missed Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s trip to Russia – during which he may have been “radicalized” – because his name was misspelled on an airplane manifest. Graham, who was briefed by an FBI assistant director, called for a Senate hearing on the matter.
* After a second day of interrogating Dzhokhar, investigators believe the brothers were motivated by their religious faith, but do not seem connected to any Muslim terrorist groups. Also, CNN reported that Dzhokhar told investigators that Tamerlan, 26, was the driving force behind the attack.
* FBI and Homeland Security agents were combing through a New Bedford, Mass. home, where friends of the Tsarnaevs were arrested last week on immigration charges. Agents in hazmat suits were poking through boxes on the front lawn.
* The Middlesex DA’s office said it will investigate whether Tamerlan was involved in the September 2011 murders of his best friend, Brendan Mess, and two other men in Mess’ Waltham, Mass., apartment.
According to the terror complaint, a video camera above the Forum restaurant on Boylston Street picks up the brothers 11 minutes before the first explosion, each carrying large knapsacks. Minutes later, they are seen walking toward the finish line.
After Tamerlan disappears from view, Dzhokhar lingers for about four minutes with a cellphone in his left hand.
“He then can be seen apparently slipping his knapsack onto the ground,” according to the complaint. “A photograph taken from the opposite side of the street shows the knapsack on the ground at [his] feet.”
About 30 seconds before the first explosion, at 2:50 p.m., he lifts his cellphone to his ear for approximately 18 seconds.
“A few seconds after he finishes the call, the large crowd of people around him can be seen reacting to the first explosion,” the complaint says. “Virtually every head turns to the east towards the finish line and stares in that direction in apparent bewilderment and alarm.
“[Dzhokhar], virtually alone among the individuals in front of the restaurant, appears calm.
“He glances to the east and then calmly but rapidly begins moving to the west, away from the direction of the finish line.”
Prosecutors said he is clearly seen walking away without his backpack.
“Approximately 10 seconds later, an explosion occurs in the location where [Dzhokhar] had placed his knapsack.” That was the second bomb, authorities said.
From his bed, Dzhokhar, unable to speak due to a bullet to the throat before his capture, nodded to several questions before indicating he could not afford counsel.
“I find that the defendant is alert, mentally competent, and lucid,” said US Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler. “He is aware of the nature of the proceedings.”
The complaint also revealed details of the carjacking in Cambridge Thursday that preceded the bloody shootout with authorities.
“Did you hear about the Boston explosion? . . . I did that,” one of the brothers told the carjacking victim, according to prosecutors. The criminal complaint did not specify which brother made that boast.
The brothers also stole money using the man’s ATM card before he escaped.
According to a police report obtained by NBC, the victim said the brothers “would not kill him because he wasn’t American.” It was not clear what nationality he was.
“A short time later, the stolen vehicle was located by law enforcement in Watertown,” FBI Special Agent Daniel Genck wrote. “As the men drove down Dexter Street in Watertown, they threw at least two improvised explosive devices out of the car.”
Back in Dzhokhar’s dorm room, feds found a “large pyrotechnic device” along with the black jacket and white hat he may have worn on the day of the bombing.
Dzhokhar is also likely to face state charges for the fatal shooting in Cambridge of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier during the getaway, said the Middlesex DA.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tsarnaev will face trial in a civilian federal court, ending speculation he could be prosecuted in front of a military tribunal.
“He will not be treated as an enemy combatant,” Carney said.
Read more at NY POST