Update: The second suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured on Friday night. Read the story here.
A dragnet seemingly lifted from the script of a Hollywood action movie had Americans on the edge of their seats on Friday as heavily armed police swarmed Boston searching for one of two Russian-born Chechen brothers suspected in the bloody Boston Marathon bombings.
By nightfall, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was reportedly surrounded as he hid in a boat in Watertown, a Boston bedroom community that was at the epicentre of a massive manhunt all day.
Authorities had barely wrapped up a briefing to lift a "stay indoors'' order and announce their search for the 19-year-old had been fruitless when news broke that they had him cornered. Police scurried to evacuate people, including children, from near the scene, while officials told various news outlets that they had their man.
The developments have transfixed a nation in the midst of a dreadful week as they watched the unprecedented spectacle of a beloved, bustling American city at a standstill amid the high-profile manhunt.
Watertown was the scene of a wild firefight hours earlier between police and the two brothers _ Dzhokhar and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan.
In a stunning chain of events, the brothers allegedly executed a security guard at a downtown university late Thursday night, hurled explosives at police during a car chase into the Boston suburbs and then engaged in the gun battle that left Tamerlan dead and Dzhokhar at large.
Among the explosives tossed at police during the firefight in suburban Watertown was another pressure-cooker bomb of the type used in the marathon blast, CBS News reported. The pressure cooker's lid apparently came loose as it was thrown, preventing its full detonation.
There was a major explosion during the gun battle, however, evident on audio and video tape of the firefight. The New York Times also reported that Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have had a homemade bomb strapped to his body when he went down in a hail of police gunfire.
Boston and its suburbs were completely locked down by Friday morning as police continued to pursue 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, searching door-to-door for him on 20 streets in Watertown.
Law enforcement officials told several media outlets that Tsarnaev was wounded during the firefight and sped away in the SUV, right over his wounded brother. Authorities reportedly attempted to track him by a trail of blood after he abandoned the vehicle.
Investigators said they found several pipe bombs, detonated and undetonated, plus another pressure-cooker bomb, but didn't say precisely where they'd discovered those explosives.
By late afternoon, concerns were mounting that Tsarnaev would continue to elude capture.
Col. Timothy Alben of Massachusetts state police conceded that efforts to find him had so far been "fruitless." But he vowed that police would redouble their efforts.
"My message to the suspect is to give himself up,'' he told the briefing.
Details about the two brothers, who immigrated to the U.S. about a decade ago, emerged at a fast and furious pace as family members and associates spoke openly to news media while social media disclosed a treasure trove of personal details.
An array of relatives, including their Toronto aunt, came forward to either fiercely defend the brothers or bitterly condemn them.
"I need evidence,'' Maret Tsarnaev told an impromptu news conference in west-end Toronto. "Show me evidence. I don't trust FBI, I don't trust any agency.''
An uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, was asked outside his Maryland home what would have provoked his nephews.
"Being losers,'' he replied angrily, adding that his brother had simply ``fixed cars'' to put food on the table for his family while living in America and bore no responsibility.
"Dzhokhar, if you are alive, turn yourself in, ask forgiveness from these people,'' Tsarni said to news cameras congregated on his driveway. ``You brought shame on our family, the entire Chechnya people. You put this shame on our entire ethnicity.''
The brothers' father _ Anzor Tsarnaev, now in Russia _ also urged his surviving son to give himself up, but warned the U.S. that "all hell will break loose'' if he's killed.
He told ABC News he spoke to his sons earlier this week, after the blasts at the famed Boston Marathon killed three people and injured more than 160.
"We talked about the bombing. I was worried about them,'' Anzor Tsarnaev said from Russia. He said his sons reassured him, saying: ``Everything is good, Daddy. Everything is very good.''
He added: ``If they kill my second child, I will know that it is an inside job, a hit job. The police are to blame. Someone, some organization is out to get them.''
Their New Jersey sister, meantime, said she was shocked.
"They were great people. I never would have expected it,'' Alina Tsarnaev told the New Jersey Star-Ledger outside her home. "They are smart _ I don't know what's gotten into them.''
The brothers were from Dagestan, which borders Chechnya in southern Russia, and initial reports suggest they were adrift after their parents returned to Russia.
Tamerlan, a boxer, was the subject of a photo essay entitled ``Will Box For Passport'' taken before he competed at the National Golden Gloves competition in Salt Lake City in 2010.
"I don't have a single American friend, I don't understand them,'' he said, according to the caption on one of the photos.
Chechens are Russians by citizenship but not by nationality. Famously tough fighters, they complain that Russians frequently discriminate against them.
Chechnya has been the scene of two wars between Russian forces and separatists since 1994. The conflicts kicked off an Islamic insurgency in the region.
On his page on Vkontatke _ the Russian-language equivalent of Facebook _ Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who became a U.S. citizen last Sept. 11, tells a joke.
"A car is driving down a street. In it are a Chechen, an Ingush and a Dagestani. Question: Who's behind the wheel? Answer: a cop.''
In the U.S. capital on Friday, federal counterterrorism officials were trying to determine if the brothers were part of a larger operation with accomplices still at large. They're also investigating whether they had any connections to foreign or domestic terrorist organizations.
By most accounts, Dzhokar Tsarnaev, an avid wrestler, was more popular than his older brother and had a network of friends. Some of them expressed shock at his involvement in the bombings, describing him as kind and intelligent.
Tsarnaev was a student on the University of Massachusetts' Dartmouth campus, and had a dorm room there. Two students told CBS News that they'd seen Tsarnaev on campus this week, after the bombings.
The school was evacuated on Friday as police descended upon the campus to scour his dorm room.
By noon on Friday, a sea of law enforcement officers had also surrounded the Cambridge, Mass., home where the brothers grew up and where Tamerlan was thought to have still resided. Police said they feared it could be booby-trapped with explosives and conducted a controlled explosion.
Subways and buses were shut down while Amtrak service to Boston was halted. Harvard University, Boston University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Emerson University were all closed and students were told to stay inside.
Major-league baseball and hockey games were cancelled.
Tips about the identity of the brothers began pouring into the FBI soon after the agency released their images publicly, officials said.
The FBI got a huge helping hand from Jeff Bauman, the subject of the horrifying photo taken immediately after the bombing that showed him with both legs blown off below the knee.
Bauman provided a highly detailed description of one of the suspects _ even sketching him for police _ that allowed investigators to zero in on a culprit as they pored over a department store surveillance tape.
"He woke up under so much drugs, asked for a paper and pen and wrote, 'bag, saw the guy, looked right at me,''' Bauman's brother, Chris, told Bloomberg earlier this week.
Within hours of releasing their images, authorities say the Tsarnaev brothers had gunned down MIT police officer Sean Collier, 26, as he sat in his cruiser at 10:20 p.m. Collier had not drawn his weapon.
The brothers then hijacked a Mercedes SUV, holding the driver captive for a half-hour while they reportedly tried to use his cash card to get money from three bank machines. They managed to withdraw $800 at one ATM.
The man, who told police the brothers had confessed their crimes to him, was released unharmed at a gas station in Cambridge. As the suspects sped in his car toward Watertown, police gave chase as explosive devices were tossed at them out the window.
Police Search For Suspect
A police officer with gun drawn searches for a suspect on April 19, 2013 in Watertown, Massachusetts. Earlier, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer was shot and killed late Thursday night at the school's campus in Cambridge. A short time later, police reported exchanging gunfire with alleged carjackers in Watertown, a city near Cambridge. It's not clear whether the shootings are related or whether either are related to the Boston Marathon bombing.
Man Taken Into Custody
Man being taken into custody on Nichols Ave and Quimby. Police overheard saying "he has shit all in his pockets."
Cops In Bullet Proof Vests
Cops suiting up with bullet proof vests in Watertown.
Reports Of Shooting, Explosions In Watertown
A vehicle carrying officers in tactical gear arrives at the Watertown neighborhood of Boston, Friday, April 19, 2013. Dozens of officers and National Guard members are in Watertown, where television outlets report that gunfire and explosions have been heard.
Officers Arrive In Watertown
Officers wearing tactical gear arrive at the Watertown neighborhood of Boston, Friday, April 19, 2013.
FBI On Scene In Watertown
An FBI official arrives at the Watertown neighborhood of Boston, Friday, April 19, 2013.
Raw Shooting at MIT Watertown
A NewsCenter 5 viewer sent in uncut video of a shootout between police and at least one suspect in the streets of Watertown, Mass.
Police Establishing Perimeter
Boston Police are setting up perimeter tape across Nichols Avenue right now.
Confrontation In Watertown
Boston Police chief on the scene in Boston's Watertown neighborhood.
Christina Wilkie Reports From Watertown
FBI Agents Arrive In Watertown
A half-dozen FBI agents just arrived at the Nichols Ave perimeter. At least one in a bulletproof vest.
Michael McLaughlin Reports From Watertown
Christina Wilkie Reports From Watertown
Police Surround Apartment In Watertown
A heavily armored bearcat turns onto Quimby Street, headed towards the apartment.
Police Search For Suspect
Police with guns drawn search for a suspect on April 19, 2013 in Watertown, Massachusetts.
The Washington Post has published a long account of investigators' exhaustive efforts to find the Boston Marathon suspects using mountains of video footage and photographs, as well as other leads. An excerpt:
Quickly, the authorities secured a warehouse in Boston’s Seaport district and filled the sprawling space: On half of the vast floor, hundreds of pieces of bloody clothes were laid out to dry so they could be examined for forensic clues or flown to FBI labs at Quantico in Prince William County for testing. In the other half of the room, more than a dozen investigators sifted through hundreds of hours of video, looking for people “doing things that are different from what everybody else is doing,” Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said in an interview Saturday. The work was painstaking and mind-numbing: One agent watched the same segment of video 400 times.
Read the whole thing here.
CBS News reports that Boston bombing suspect captured on Friday night suffered at least two bullet wounds, and that one of them may be evidence that he tried to end his own life.
The bullet wound to the neck, which has an exit wound in the back of the 19-year-old’s neck, “is very possibly a suicide attempt,” said Miller, a former assistant director at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Read the whole report here.
The Daily News reports:
The two men, known to neighbors by their first names Azmat and Diaz — who share a black BMW SUV adorned with a novelty license plate that reads “Terrorista #1” — were cuffed and hauled out of their Carriage Dr. apartment shortly before 4 p.m.
The apparent arrests occurred about 30-45 minutes after authorities with the FBI, ICE and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security descended on the Hidden Brook Apartment complex.
Read more here.
The Guardian has an account of the dead bombing suspect's 2012 voyage to Dagestan, a small, troubled region of Russia where he had once lived:
According to US travel records, Tsarnaev arrived at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on 12 January, returning on 17 July. He spent time in Makhachkala that summer. "It was 40C and he was wearing these American boots," said Larissa Abakarova, who maintains a shop across the street from the home of the parents of Tsarnaev and his brother, Dzhokhar, who was arrested late on Friday. "He was stylish, kind, good-looking. I'm in shock."
Read the whole thing here.
The Washington Post has a new story that fills in many details of the Tsarnaev brothers' bloody path to Watertown, including their murder of an MIT Cop:
Just after 10:30 p.m. Thursday, the pair walked up to a parked police car at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Sean Collier, a 26-year-old campus officer, was nearing the end of his 3-to-11 p.m. shift.
A security camera would later show two men approaching the car and speaking to the officer. Abruptly, one of the men was seen pulling a gun and shooting Collier multiple times, including once in the head. Some officers concluded that the shooting was an effort to provoke a larger confrontation with police.
“They were looking to start something,” one official said.
Read the whole thing here.
Ruslan Tsarni says he grew concerned about Tamerlan Tsarnaev (tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) when he told him in a 2009 phone conversation that he had chosen "God's business" over work or school. Tsarni said he then contacted a family friend who told him Tsarnaev had been influenced by a recent convert to Islam.
A doctor involved in treating the Boston Marathon bombing suspect who died in a gunbattle with police says he had injuries head to toe and all limbs intact when he arrived at the hospital.
Dr. David Schoenfeld said 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev was unconscious and had so many penetrating wounds when he arrived at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center early Friday that it isn't clear which ones killed him, and a medical examiner will have to determine the cause of death.
The New York Times reports that the decision to release the photos of the marathon bombing suspects to the public was a major turning point in the investigation.
The authorities knew that broadly distributing the images — some captured by ubiquitous surveillance cameras and cellphone snapshots and winnowed down using sophisticated facial-recognition software — would accelerate the digital dragnet, but they did not realize the level of chaos it would create.
Intelligence and law enforcement officials said the authorities in Boston weighed the risks of some mayhem against their growing fear that time was slipping away and that heavily armed and increasingly dangerous men, and possibly accomplices, could wage new attacks in the Boston area or beyond.
Syracuse University Professor Anthony Rotolo and student Andrew Bauer mapped 200 of the tweets sent out from Boston in the hours right after the marathon bombing, creating an interactive portrait of the city's reaction to Monday's horrifying events.
His actions may have been vital in helping police catch the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, even after the attacks both his legs were amputated from the knee down. Now some of that heroism is being returned.
Nearly 10,000 people have now donated to Bucks for Bauman, an effort to help pay the medical expenses of Jeff Bauman, the Boston Marathon bombing survivor known not only for a now iconic -- and extremely graphic -- photo, but also for helping the FBI identify at least one of the bombing suspects. Set up by his friends on the crowdfunding site GoFundMe, the fund has already raised more than $360,000 since last Tuesday to help pay for Bauman’s devastating injuries.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings is in serious but stable condition and likely can't communicate yet.
Patrick spoke outside Fenway Park after appearing in a pregame ceremony at Saturday afternoon's Red Sox game.
The American Civil Liberties Union says it's concerned the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect will be questioned by investigators without being read his Miranda rights.
Details of the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects were murky at the height of the investigation, leading many news outlets to misreport the facts. But now that both suspects have been apprehended, the specific circumstances of the search that locked down one Boston suburb for nearly 18 hours are becoming more clear.
Federal public defenders have agreed to represent the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Miriam Conrad, the federal defender for Massachusetts, says her office expects to represent Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after he is charged.
How police saw that someone was in the boat without removing the tarp covering it.
Image credit: Massachusetts State Police
Republican lawmakers issued a statement Saturday urging President Barack Obama to treat Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, as an "enemy combatant."
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Tsarnaev "clearly is a good candidate for enemy combatant status" in a statement posted to Graham's website.
"We do not want this suspect to remain silent," the lawmakers said in their statement.
Wearing special home jerseys with "Boston" sewn across the chest, the Red Sox returned to Fenway Park on Saturday afternoon. More importantly, the people of Boston gathered together to resume their normals lives and root, root, root for the home team just one day after authorities aprehended the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.
The Red Sox game against the Kansas City Royals was preceded by an emotional pre-game ceremony that honored the victims of the horrific attacks on the Boston Marathon and paid tribute to law enforcement officials, first responders, race participants and volunteers. The emotional scene also included a stirring montage of images from the tumultuous week in Boston set to the song "Hallelujah" as performed by Jeff Buckley, ceremonial first pitches and yet another rousing sing-along rendition of the national anthem.
One of the two ethnic Chechens suspected by U.S. officials of being behind the Boston Marathon bombings had been under FBI surveillance for at least three years, his mother said.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva told the English-language Russia Today state television station in a phone interview, a recording of which was obtained by Reuters, that she believed her sons were innocent and had been framed.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a shootout with police and his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar was captured after a day-long manhunt.
College students in Boston were dancing in the streets Friday night after a week of turmoil.
The fatal bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday locked down many higher education institutions in the Boston metro area, forcing them to cancel classes.
Just as colleges began to recover from the attack, a Thursday night shooting on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus left one officer dead. One of the bombing suspects was killed in a shoot-out with police a short time later, and a subsequent manhunt for remaining bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev put schools back on lockdown Friday.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Saturday.A single officer was the first to encounter the two cars that Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev were driving, just before 1 a.m. Friday, Chief
Edward Deveau said.
David Henneberry may not have tried to be a hero, but that's what he's being called.
The Watertown boat owner was the first to spot the bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after the 19-year-old eluded police following a shootout early Friday.
Henneberry tipped off police, leading to the eventual capture of Tsarnaev Friday night.
President Barack Obama spoke about the "resolve and resilience" of Boston during his weekly address on April 20.
"On Monday, an act of terror wounded dozens and killed three innocent people at the Boston Marathon," Obama says in a video posted to the White House's YouTube page on Saturday. "But in the days since, the world has witnessed one sure and steadfast truth: Americans refuse to be terrorized."
If you found in your copy of Friday morning's New York Post a letter from the paper's editor-in-chief, Col Allan, expressing "regret" over the Post's "intentionally misleading and harmful" coverage of the Boston bombing, you might have thought, well, that's appropriate, but I didn't see that coming given the fact that Allan wasn't apologetic yesterday, for his paper's astounding failures during this trying week.
Also, you may have gone on to think, this letter is unusually eloquent for a man who essentially has nothing but cheap gin and trash pulled from the East River sloshing around inside his skull.
Well, allow me to penetrate the mystery.
New York state Sen. Greg Ball (R) suggested using torture on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, in a tweet Friday night.
Tsarnaev was captured by authorities late Friday evening in Watertown, Mass., four days after the Boston Marathon bombing. Authorities say the suspect and his brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, killed an MIT police officer, severely wounded another lawman and hurled explosives at police in a car chase and gun battle.
President Barack Obama Friday night praised law enforcers and Bostonians after the massive manhunt that led to the capture of the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. The first suspect was killed Thursday in a shootout with police.
As he began his address, Obama thanked the public, saying, "Tonight, our nation is in debt to the people of Boston." He went on to thank Bostonians as "citizens and partners" in the investigation.
The president said he had ordered the "full resources of the federal government" to help in the investigation that he said wouldn't have been possible without close coordination among federal, state and local authorities.
"They all worked as they should," Obama said, "as a team."
Read more here.
HuffPost's Michael McLaughlin and Christina Wilkie report:
WATERTOWN, Mass. -- Friday morning in the Boston area began in a tense silence, as the sprawling manhunt for an alleged teenaged terrorist forced city residents indoors for their own safety. Friday night, however, ended with spontaneous parades celebrating his capture.
As 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was pulled wounded from his backyard boat hideout and raced to Beth Israel Hospital in police custody, many Bostonians finally exhaled, after a devastating week that began with the double bombings at Monday’s Boston marathon. The suspect's brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed Friday morning in a shootout with police.
"CAPTURED!!!" trumpeted the Boston Police Department on Twitter Friday night. "The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody."
Read more here.
Message from FBI Director Robert S. Mueller:
During this long week, we have seen an extraordinary effort by law enforcement, intelligence, and public safety agencies. These collaborative efforts, with the help and cooperation of the public, resulted in the successful outcome we have seen tonight. The investigation will continue as part of our efforts to seek answers and justice, and there will be no pause in that effort. But tonight, I wish to thank all those who worked so tirelessly throughout the week in the pursuit of safety and justice.