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Maret Tsarnaev, Toronto Aunt Of Boston Bombing Suspects: 'This Was Staged'

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Maret Tsarnaev, an aunt of the Boston bombing suspects who lives in Toronto, defended the two men and shed light on their family and background in a number of media interviews Friday.

"My first reaction is, ‘Why the hell would they do this?’ But when I go through all the material, it’s not giving anything … the whole world is now making a decision now by just seeing these pictures and not having anything else,” she told the Toronto Sun.

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Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died in a gun battle with police overnight. While Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is still on the run from police.

Maret revealed that the two men came to the United States as refugees in the early 2000s. She told the National Post that Tamerlan was married to a "devout Christian woman" and had a small child.

She also said she has not seen the boys for several years but spoke to Tamerlan two years ago when his daughter was born.

The Daily Mail reported that Tamerlan was married to Katherine Russell, a college student from Rhode Island. The couple had a young daughter, Zahara.

When asked at a press conference whether the two men were devout Muslims Maret hesitated. "[Tamerlan] was not devout, practicing. But recently, two years ago maybe, he started praying five times a day," she said.

"I know them as angels. I’m suspicious that this was staged," Maret told the National Post on Friday.

"I do not believe these two boys have done that act of atrocity killing those people on the street and I will not believe that until, until I get evidence," she said in the lobby of her west-end Toronto apartment building.

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Her statements echoed words from the suspect's father, Anzor Tsarnaev. "We expected him to come on holidays here," he told the Associated Press.

"They were set up, they were set up!" he added.

Anzor's brother, Ruslan, was much more negative and called the men "losers" and urged Dzhokhar to turn himself in to police. "Dzhokhar, if you are alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness from the victims, from the injured and from those who left," he said to members of the media on Friday.

With files from The Canadian Press

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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From the AP:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

See the map here.

(h/t Mashable)

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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 0,000 since last Tuesday to help pay for Bauman’s devastating injuries.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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boat

How police saw that someone was in the boat without removing the tarp covering it.

Image credit: Massachusetts State Police

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Handguns, a rifle and at least six bombs -- three of which exploded -- were found at the scene early Friday after officers first confronted the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects in the darkness of a residential street, the Watertown, Massachusetts, police chief told

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.

Read more at CNN

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Around the Web

AP: Hunted bombing suspect is Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev | Boston Herald

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