6 Interesting Things We Learned From the Boston Bomber Affidavit

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boston-bombing8Federal prosecutors today charged Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill three during the Boston Marathon. If guilty, the accused terrorist could face the death penalty.

Law enforcement officials also released the full criminal complaintagainst Tsarnaev. Here are six of the most interesting things we learned from our first read of the legal complaint:

6. What About the MIT Officer?

Police Release Criminal Complaint Against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: Here are Three Interesting Things We Found

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Patrol Officer Sean Collier, 26, of Somerville, Mass., was shot to death, April 18, 2013, on the school campus in Cambridge, Mass. (Middlesex District Attorney’s Office/AP).

Missing from the affidavit is any mention of the MIT shootout. On the night of the hijacking, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Patrol Officer Sean Collier was shot and killed in his car allegedly by one of the Tsarnaev brothers, according to initial reports.

It’s curious that this part of the Boston terror ordeal has been left out of the affidavit. Why do you suppose that is?

5. Injury Count Higher Than Expected?

Police Release Criminal Complaint Against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: Here are Three Interesting Things We Found

Authorities estimate that the injury count from the bombings to have passed 200, higher than all earlier estimates, according to the criminal complaint against DzhokharTsarnaev.

4) Building a Case

Police Release Criminal Complaint Against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: Here are Three Interesting Things We Found

Following the capture of Dzhokhar on Friday, police say they found a jacket and hat during a search of his room that match the ones he wore at the Boston Marathon.

3. A Confession

Police Release Criminal Complaint Against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: Here are Three Interesting Things We Found

Dzhokhar and his now-deceased brother Tamerlane, 26, allegedly hijacked a car on April, 18, according to the affidavit. This is what the victim of the hijacking told law enforcement officials after they asked about the ordeal [emphasis added]:

The victim states that while he was sitting in his car on a road in Cambridge, a man approached and tapped on his passenger-side window. When the victim rolled down the window, the man reached in, opened the door, and entered the victim’s vehicle. The man pointed a firearm at the victim and stated, “Did you hear about the Boston explosion?” and “I did that.” The man removed the magazine from his gun and showed the victim that it had a bullet in, and then re-inserted the magazine. The man then stated, “I am serious.”

2. What the Hijacking Victim Went Through

Police Release Criminal Complaint Against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: Here are Three Interesting Things We Found

The hijacking victim, according to the complaint, had quite an episode with the brothers that Thursday night:

One of the men compelled the victim to hand over his ATM card and password. They then drove to an ATM machine and attempted to withdraw money from the victim’s account. The two men and the victim then drove to a gas station/convenience store … the two men got out of the car, at which point the victim managed to escape.

1) Did the Suspected Bombers Trigger the Explosions Using Cell Phones?

Police Release Criminal Complaint Against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: Here are Three Interesting Things We Found

Moments before the first explosion, “Bomber Two” (Dzhokhar Tsarnaev) was captured on security cameras fidgeting with his phone, according to the affidavit:

… video shows that Bomber Two remained in the same spot for approximately four minutes, occasionally looking at his cell phone and once appearing to take a picture with it. At some point he appears to look at his phone, which is held at approximately waist level, and may be manipulating the phone. Approximately 30 seconds before the first explosion, he lifts his phone to his ear as if he is speaking on his cell phone, and keeps it there 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. Virtually every head turns to the east (towards the finish line) and stares in that direction in apparent bewilderment.

Were the bombs triggered by cell phones or was Bomber Two simply talking to a friend or an associate? If the surviving brother is found guilty, and it turns out cell phones were used to trigger the explosions, will this set a precedent for authorities to kill cell service during the fog of future attacks?

Here’s the full complaint:

Boston Bombings Complaint


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  1. Since when is a relatively small pressure-cooker bomb (which used, I assume, conventional explosives) – notwithstanding the horrific injuries and deaths the two of them caused – capable of being defined as a ‘weapon of mass destruction’..? Can you imagine the international reaction against Israel if they tried to make such a claim against its terrorist attackers..?? Are they going to start taking countries to the Security Council for the manufacture of pressure-cookers…?

  2. the best things that we can learn-from this horrific tragedy-as yidden is:

    1)The entire world-from A-Z & from Obama to the niftar-is all run by Hashem & no one can run away or fool Hashem.

    You/we can however change the decree of Hashem by taking Hashems wake-up calls & doing teshuva, thus putting a stop to tzaros & not being a need for it to wake us up.

    2)you are no longer safe in this country. nobody is. the only way to stay safe is to put your trust %100 percent in Hashem & turn to him for help & to save you from any issues.
    start working on yourself now. start a daily learning seder of chovos halevevos or listen to shiurim on chovos halevevos from Rabbi Simcha bunim Cohen or many others on http://www.torahanytime.com

    Stop depending on others for help. i.e. the USA Government, the rebbe’s bracha etc…
    & go straight to Hashem for help. daven from your Heart with feeling (kavana) & you will be answered as it says in ashrei, Hashem is close to all who call upon him with truth (feeling)


  3. #6 on the list: they didn’t forget about the MIT officer. Quite possibly, it was the older (dead) brother who did it, so they wouldn’t include it on the younger brother’s complaint.

  4. #2: A weapon of mass destruction is defined by its use at the time of use, not by its usual use.

    A pressure cooker used to make a chulent is a pressure cooker. A pressure cooker used to make a bomb is a WMD and its user can get the death penalty.

    And, yes, Israel should take the US’s lead and act accordingly, by executing all terrorists, regardless of what they use to make their bombs. The typical explosive of choice can be made from lens cleaning solution, nail polish remover, and battery acid. None of these is a WMD, but their product is.

  5. If the older brother killed the MIT policeman, wouldn’t that explain no mention of it in the affidavit about the younger brother?


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