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Ear to the Ground

Updated: Bombing Suspect Captured Alive

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Posted on Apr 19, 2013
AP/Boston Regional Intelligence Center

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Update: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was taken into custody Friday night in Watertown, Mass., after he was discovered hiding in a boat parked in the driveway of a home.

After the death of Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a police chase early Friday, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon blasts has been identified as the deceased man’s younger brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a 2011 graduate of a Boston high school.

Police officers killed 26-year-old Tamerlan after they launched a manhunt late Thursday. The elder Tsarnaev died during a gunfight and car chase in which explosives were thrown out of a Mercedes SUV that had been stolen near MIT. In the course of that encounter, an MIT police officer was killed and a transit police officer was injured.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a teacher in Makhachkala, the capital of the Republic of Dagestan, Russia. He appears to have been a competitive boxer who was born in Chechnya and had been living in the U.S. for five years. He appeared to support Chechen independence from Russia.

In a comment reported by The Guardian, the elder Tsarnaev said: “I don’t have a single American friend; I don’t understand them.” He reportedly presented himself as a devout Muslim, and in 2009 was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is said to have been a good student, apparently receiving a $2,500 scholarship for college from the city of Cambridge in 2011. He was named a wrestling all-star at his high school that same year.

On a social networking site regarded as the Russian Facebook, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said he considers “career and money” most important in life and identified his worldview as “Islam.”

Police are now engaged in a manhunt for the younger Tsarnaev. They have sealed off a 20-block radius in the Boston suburb of Watertown.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

Tsarnaev’s father, Anzor, told the Associated Press his son was a smart and accomplished young man. Speaking from Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, he said: “My son is a true angel. Dzhokhar is a second-year medical student in the US. He is such an intelligent boy. We expected him to come on holidays here.”

… Tsarnaev was born on 22 July 1993, just before a fierce battle for independence broke out in the republic of Chechnya, which attempted to secede from Russia in the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse. Over time, the independence movement grew increasingly Islamist in character. Largely quashed by Moscow, a low-level insurgency persists in Chechnya and has leaked into neighbouring Dagestan.

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