Boston Bombing News: Fact or Fiction?
These words are used by Paul Glickman, Khairullozhon Matanov’s defense attorney, in Document 88, (Motion For Hearing Concerning Leaks to Press and Dissemination of Documents by Law Enforcement), which was filed in response to an article published recently in “Boston Magazine.” Reading these words gave me cause to ponder once more as to how much that is now “public knowledge” in the case of U.S. v Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is fact and how much is actually pure fiction?
Earlier this year the government were obliged to back off from at least some of the alleged content of the now notorious, (and also alleged), “boat note.” More recently the government has been forced to admit, despite much publicized prior claims to the contrary, that they have no evidence linking Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the Waltham murders. This admission is discussed in a recent article writen by James Henry at WhoWhatWhy.
How much more of the so-called “information” which has been shared with the public in the case of the Tsarnaev brothers is untrue? I have a few suggestions and suspect that others may be able to add to this list.
1) When video footage of the Tsarnaev brothers, purportedly filmed on the day of the Marathon, was made available to the public, the FBI claimed to need the public’s assistance in identifying their two suspects. As the FBI admit to having interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev two years earlier, how likely is it that they genuinely needed help from the public?
2) On the third page of the indictment against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, it is stated that “The IEDs were placed near the metal barriers…” and that “They were concealed inside black backpacks.” As regards the placement of the second bomb, some witness accounts have given us reason to believe otherwise:
It can be clearly seen from the actual video footage released by the FBI that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s backpack is a light color, (either gray or white), rather than black, as, it is claimed, were the backpacks which contained the bombs.
3) On 17th April, 2013, it was reported by the media that a suspect had been arrested in connection to the bombing and that a courtroom was being prepared at Moakley Courthouse in Boston. Media assembled outside the courthouse but the area was then cleared as the result of a bomb scare. This bomb scare was not, to my knowledge, reported upon any further. The arrest was then denied and those who had reported that there had been an arrest declined to make any additional comment, despite the fact that there is video footage of what appears to be a van from the Sheriff’s Dept., (of the kind used to transport prisoners/detainees), being driven into the area behind Moakley Courthouse. Was a suspect arrested or not? If so, who was that suspect and what became of that individual?
4) The government claim that on the evening of 18th April, 2013, the Tsarnaev brothers, having been identified as suspects in the bombing, instead of fleeing the Greater Boston area, went on a “crime spree” guaranteed to draw the attention of law enforcement. First, it is claimed, they were responsible for the killing of Officer Shaun Collier, as he sat in his cruiser at MIT despite the fact that the initial descriptions of a suspect in this crime does not fit either of the Tsarnaev brothers. The government claim to have surveillance video of someone wearing a hooded sweatshirt approaching Collier’s vehicle. Perhaps at trial, as in the case of an alleged video supposedly showing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev “placing the bomb”, we will see if such surveillance footage actually exists and if it is at all conclusive?
5) Following the murder of Officer Collier the government claim that the Tsarnaev brothers went on to car-jack a Mercedes SUV, taking the driver hostage. The driver was, at first identified as “Caucasian” but this was later changed to “Chinese.” It is to be noted that Tamerlan Tsarnaev is said to have made very sure to confess his part in the bombings and the killing of Collier to this hostage before allowing said hostage to escape unharmed.
6) If the “official narrative” is to be believed, the Tsarnaev brothers then drove around the Watertown area, (again instead of fleeing Greater Boston), engaged police in a “fire fight”, (despite being reported to having been in possession of only eight rounds of ammunition), and threw both pipe and pressure cooker bombs at police. Tamerlan, having been “subdued” by police, was according to the “official narrative”, then run over by his brother, Dzhokhar, fleeing in the car-jacked Mercedes SUV. At least a couple of accounts suggest otherwise. Here’s one:
This article outlines to confusing narrative as to events in Watertown that night.
7) Several hours later a severely wounded Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is found hiding in a boat in a Watertown backyard. Early reports stated that he fired on police from the boat and yet it was later confirmed that Dzhokhar was, at this point, unarmed. Later, whilst hospitalized and heavily medicated, he is said to have “confessed” his involvement in the bombing to the FBI.
8) In May of 2013 Ibragim Todashev was killed at the hands of the FBI whilst being questioned. This potentially important witness, who had been an acquaintance of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, although unarmed, allegedly posed such a danger to the personal safety of a trained FBI agent that the agent’s only option was to kill Todashev. How credible is this?
9) Following the arrest of Stephen Silva, a former friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, on drug and illegal gun possession charges, the media reported that the Ruger pistol which was allegedly in Silva’s possession was the same gun as that used in the murder of Collier. This has yet to be substantiated in legal filings. Silva’s case is discussed in this article:
Again I would ask, how much of what we have been told in relation to these case is fact, and how much is fiction?
Creative Commons photo courtesy smi23le on Flickr