Saturday, April 20, 2013

Police Account Of Marathon Bombing Suspects' Actions And Movements Is Not Believable

The Washington Post provides a blow by blow account provided to them by "multiple law enforcement officials involved in the manhunt or the bombing investigation." In a word, it's total bunk. According to the official story, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the course of less than 15 minutes only hours after their images were broadcast worldwide at a press conference called by federal, state and local officials, walked up to an MIT police officer sitting in his police car in Cambridge and "looking to start something" one of them opened fire on him while he sat in his police cruiser before carjacking a motorist and transferring all their bombs, improvised explosive devices and arsenal of guns into his car. After riding around with the carjack victim for about thirty minutes visiting various ATM machines to withdraw $800 in cash before winding up in Watertown a few miles from Cambridge, the two then inexplicably release the carjack victim at a gas station but not before boasting to him that they were the bombers to ensure that every federal, state and local law enforcement official would learn within minutes where they were last seen and the specific vehicle they were driving. For nearly 40 minutes, the two continue to drive around Watertown before they're spotted by police and a chase ensues. Police had no difficulty tracking them since the car's owner had left his cell phone behind in the car.

Bear in mind that the two suspects had gone about their lives as if nothing had happened in the three days following the bombings. Dzhokhar had returned to classes at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth where he was a student, slept every night in his dorm room, worked out at his gym, gone to a party with friends on Wednesday night and posted frequent comments on his Twitter account. Here's how the Post describes their blaze of glory moments after the law enforcement fingered them for the bombings:
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.
Collier was found in his car by other police and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. By then, the Tsarnaevs had moved on.
At 10:39 p.m., just blocks from the cruiser in which Collier lay bleeding, the pair held up the driver of a black Mercedes SUV. Hijacking the car, they drove through Cambridge to nearby Watertown, a middle-class suburb of 30,000 where they searched for bank machines.
“They tell [the driver] they’re the bombers,” said a law enforcement official familiar with the account given by the SUV’s owner, who was released unharmed after a 30-minute ordeal.
The Tsarnaevs stopped at three ATMs and got $800 cash from one of them, using the SUV owner’s bank card. A surveillance camera at one bank recorded images of a young man resembling Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, dressed in a gray hooded jacket.
Denied cash at other ATMs, the suspects dropped off the vehicle owner at a gas station.
“The guy was very lucky that they let him go,” Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio said of the hostage, whose name was not immediately released.
Just after midnight, police responding to the crime spree spotted the Mercedes and gave chase. The SUV tore through the nearly empty streets of Watertown with as many as a dozen police cars in pursuit. The officers had to dodge homemade bombs hurled from the speeding Mercedes.
At 12:50 a.m., the SUV stopped in a residential neighborhood in Watertown. The brothers opened fire, igniting a gun battle witnessed by neighbors peering from houses. One of them, Andrew Kitzenberg, 29, said he saw two men engaged in “constant gunfire” with police. Richard J. Donohue, 33, a three-year veteran of the transit police force, was shot and seriously wounded during the confrontation.
After more than 200 rounds were traded over several minutes, some officers were out of ammunition and charged the brothers’ position with their police car. The vehicle was disabled by gunfire from the Mercedes. Kitzenberg said he saw one of the shooters toss a metallic object — possibly a pressure-cooker bomb similar to the ones used in the marathon attack — in the direction of the police line. It rolled a few yards before detonating harmlessly.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, now out of his car, attempted to lob a makeshift bomb at police, but the device exploded in his hand. While Tamerlan Tsarnaev was firing a pistol with the other hand, police tackled and tried to subdue the 200-pound amateur boxer.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, apparently intending to help his brother, tried to ram the officers with the Mercedes. Instead, the officers lunged out of the vehicle’s path and he ran over his brother and dragged him along the street before speeding off with police in pursuit.
Officers found the Mercedes abandoned and quickly sealed off neighborhoods in Watertown as they began a street-by-street search for the suspect. But police acknowledged later that there were not enough officers to establish a solid perimeter and that the suspect, who may have been wounded, had escaped.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Hospital officials said he had been shot multiple times and suffered other wounds, apparently from an explosion.
So they intentionally lure police into a high-speed chase with them and begin hurling bombs out the window at them. Since we know police cruisers have dash cams, let's see the video evidence. I particularly like the effort to add humor to the ordeal, particularly the description of Tamerlan getting out of the Mercedes he and his brother carjacked and attempting to lob a bomb at the police while holding a gun in his other when the bomb went off in his hand. Didn't that happen to the Fielding Mellish character Woody Allen portrayed when he was receiving his guerrilla warfare training in "Bananas"? Dzhokhar's friends all described him as a bad driver, and the police say he ran over his brother and dragged his body down the street while trying to ram police with his stolen Mercedes. Yet this reckless driver somehow manages to successfully elude police in a car he had never driven before that night, ditch it, flee on foot with an arsenal of weapons and explosives despite sustaining gunshot wounds during the shootout with police during which over 200 rounds of bullets were supposedly fired and avoid capture for nearly 24 hours despite the largest manhunt in American history and within a large American city that became the first city to be placed under martial law since the Civil War. It took a private citizen to discover his whereabouts after the martial order declaration was lifted. If the American people believe this hogwash they're being fed about this past week's deadly terror attacks during the Boston Marathon and the subsequent manhunt that supposedly led the FBI to these two suspects, then they'll believe just about anything they're told.

One of the statements in this story that really bothers me about the reporter's lack of skepticism is this statement: "It is unclear whether investigators knew the suspects’ names when they released photographs and videos of them along the marathon course around 5 p.m." Where has the Post been? We know that the FBI actually had prior contact with the two primary suspects at least two years ago after being alerted by the Russian government of Tameran's possible ties to Islamic extremists. The FBI initially denied having any prior information on either of the two suspects until their mother went public with a claim that the agency had been monitoring her son for years and had personally interviewed her on several occasions about their concerns.

It's impossible that the FBI did not know the identity of at least Tamerlan when they showed their images to the world. These two young men were immigrants who had been run through the FBI's extensive database built in the post-9/11 era on multiple occasions during the various stages of their immigration processes, beginning with their applications for asylum in 2002 after entering the country on visitor visas, their subsequent petitions for adjustment of status as lawful permanent residents and their applications for naturalization. Dzhokhar's application for naturalization was approved on September 11, 2011 (no kidding), while Tamerlan's was not approved, likely due to his domestic violence conviction. Their naturalization applications would have included in-person interviews with USCIS officers following background searches utilizing the FBI's database.

The FBI only admitted to various news outlets after their mother's bombshell disclosure of their surveillance of her son over a several year period that it had been given intelligence about him by a foreign government and gave him a clean scrubbing before closing the case. The FBI had to have known about Tameran's travel to Russia for a period of up to six months last year as well. The date of his exit from the country, his destination and the date of his return would have been entered into the database. Whenever a permanent resident spends a period of six or more months outside the country, their return arrival draws heightened scrutiny of CBP agents at his point of re-entry. The FBI's database would have also included multiple photos of these two individuals taken over the years which the FBI could have easily ran through its face recognition software to match their identities with the images they showed to the public at Thursday evening's press conference. That would have been one of the first steps the agency would have taken once they obtained their images from surveillance cameras. More importantly, their database would have instantly revealed every address at which these two individuals had lived since entering the U.S. in 2002 as visitors and applying for asylum to allow agents to quickly fan out and start visiting every place of residence entered in the databse.

It's appalling to hear that the Obama administration plans to begin interrogating Dzhokhar without affording him his Miranda rights under the Fourth Amendment. The administration plans to invoke a "public safety exception" as an excuse for allowing federal investigators to interrogate him without first advising him of his right to remain silent and to be afforded legal counsel. The administration claims this is necessary to determine if he planted any other exposives before his capture or whether he might have plotted with others besides his brother to carry out terrorist acts. Those questions need to be answered, but I suspect the FBI is in a better position to answer them than Dzhokhar given its history since 9/11 of aiding and abetting unsuspecting would-be terrorists of plotting terrorist attacks, laying aside the agency's less than passive known contacts with the suspects over the past several years. The New York Times reported last year that most of the terror plots prosecuted in the U.S. are actually hatched by the FBI. People forget that the original World Trade Center bombing was conceived by counter-intelligence agents within the FBI, whose original plan was to replace explosive materials used to build the bomb with non-explosive powders. The FBI pulled out of the plot at some point, but the terrorists went forward with it and carried out the attack. That's not a conspiracy theory. That's a fact according to the government's own informant it relied upon to prosecute the guilty. Here's a CBS report at the time, which the media seems to conveniently forget every time someone questions the government narrative and, instead, label the skeptics as conspiracists.

UPDATE: The Boston Globe turns up the heat on the FBI. The headline on the Globe's website reads: "FBI Knew Of Bomber". It turns out that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had traveled to Russia multiple times in recent years, not just the one extended trip last year, and that the FBI had been warned that his views had become radicalized. The FBI tracked his Internet activity and admits it interviewed him two years ago but claims it turned about no evidence to support the warnings.
Russian authorities warned the FBI in early 2011 that suspected bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have been a follower of “radical Islam,” a revelation that raised new questions in Congress on Saturday about whether the Boston Marathon attacks that killed three and wounded more than 170 could have been prevented.
A senior congressional aide privy to the Boston Marathon terror investigation confirmed Saturday that the FBI received the warning after Tsarnaev’s apparently suspicious activities caught the attention of Russian authorities keeping close surveillance on militant Islamist groups in the Caucasus region of the former Soviet Union.
The FBI acknowledged Friday that it had investigated Tsarnaev in 2011, even interviewing him and his family, but “did not find any terrorism activity,” either domestic or foreign.
“The FBI had this guy on the radar and somehow he fell off,” said the congressional aide, who said oversight committees on Capitol Hill are seeking answers from counterterrorism officials. “We heard for several days leading up to this there was no intelligence. Now we know there could have been intelligence.”
Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed in a firefight with police in Watertown early Friday morning, had traveled from Boston to Russia several times in recent years, including an extended stay in 2012, according to multiple US officials who have reviewed his passport file.
Tsarnaev and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, are ethnic Chechens who came to the United States from Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet Republic in central Asia.
The bureau declined to answer questions Saturday about whether it revisited its 2011 investigation of Tamerlan Tsarnaev after the Marathon attack, or why the bureau was unable to identify the suspects in race day security footage two years after interviewing him and his family.
Boston's Police Commissioner Ed Davis conceded to The Globe that by releasing the suspects' images Thursday evening, it may have triggered the shooting death of the MIT police officer and the early morning shootout with police, but he defended the move, stating without proof that the two were in the process of manufacturing more explosive devices.
Davis conceded in a Globe interview Saturday that “releasing the photos may have led to the further attack” against Collier, which Davis has called an assassination. But he added: “We don’t know that.”
Releasing the photos after hours of behind-the-scenes deliberation “was a turning point in the investigation, no doubt about it,” said Davis. “It forced them out of their hideout and they decided to commit further violent acts. But it’s my belief that they were already manufacturing explosive devices; further violent acts were inevitable.”
Again, why didn't the FBI run the suspects' images through its face recognition software before releasing the images to the public without identifying them? I find it difficult to believe that given the information in its database, those images wouldn't have matched those images to these two suspects.

This is interesting. Someone from the Syrian Electronic Army hacked CBS' Twitter feed to claim a government cover-up of its alleged role in last Monday's bombings. The comments posted by the focus also sought to put focus on the fact that the Obama administration is using Al Qaeda terrorists to do its bidding in efforts to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria:



Marycatherine Barton said...

The owner of that hijacked Mercedes -- arrested and put into a police car naked, resembling the brothers and, I earlier read, had been reported missing for a month. I forget his name, and we deserve to know more about his identity.

CircleCityScribe said...

-Personally, I think of the Washington Post about as respected as a tabloid. -and Dan Rather has NO credibility in my household.

Jeff Cox said...


1. Boston was not put under martial law, period. Public transit was shut down and residents told to stay in their homes. I don't like it, but it was not martial law. Boston residents said it was akin to being told to stay home for a snowstorm.

2. There are 2 rationales as to not reading Tsarnaev his Miranda rights. 1. Public safety exception, meaning he is needed to reveal other bombs and other members of the plot. 2. He is an unlawful enemy combatant under the Geneva Convention and is entitled to neither jury trial not civilian counsel.

3. If you want us to believe a conspiracy theory about the 1993 WTC bombing, you need to come up with a better source than Dan Rather, whose use of fake evidence has earned some notoriety, to put it mildly.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Jeff, Who cares what you think of Dan Rather? He's not the issue. Should we dismiss everything you say because of the reason for your firing by the state's Attorney General for making comments deemed to be terroristic in nature? Yes, he was given some bad docs--the handiwork of Karl Rove. Bush was booted out of the national guard becuase of a cocaine problem. He was arrested and put in a diversion program. I heard that straight from a prominent judge in Texas who knows the records were expunged to protect Bush. The national guard records were cauterized by Bush's people when he became governor. Karl Rove manufactured the fraudulent docs and had them leaked to Rather's source, who had seen the original docs before they were destroyed by Bush's people.

If you don't know about the FBI's role in the first WTC bombing, you are clueless. It is a documented fact. It's not a conspiracy theory.

Yeah, I know you're a big proponent of spending trillions of dollars on the manufactured War on Terror and the decimination of civil liberties that has gone along with it. The alleged bomber is a U.S. citizen who is accused of committing criminal acts on American soil. Drop you enemy combatant bullshit. Some people might have considered you an enemy combatant when you suggested firing on right to work protesters at the capitol in Madison, Wisconsin. Careful what you wish for, Jeff.

Indy Rob said...

I am not exactly how the police lockdown in Watertown differed from martial law. Heavily armed police or security forces were on the streets in groups of 2o or so, ordering residents at gunpoint to either stay inside their houses or to march outside (again at gunpoint) to be frisked. This is not the case of a hot pursuit where a suspect ran into a single building or shopping mall, this is a case of where residents of 10,000 houses or so were ordered around by swat teams whose principle goal seemed to be intimidation.

Jeff Cox said...

Indy Rob,

Martial law is rule by the military using the military. What they did in Watertown and Boston was neither. I do not believe the lockdown was justified, but I understand it. Boston-area law enforcement saw LAPD, LACSD and CHP excoriated for civilian casualties during the Dohrner manhunt and they did not want a repeat. I disagree with that strategy - the people in Boston wanted to help and in fact it was one of those civilians who pointed police toward Tsarnaev after the lockdown was lifted. A pack, not a herd. But then again Massachusetts has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country, which prevents people from defending themselves and obviously did nothing to keep guns away from Tsarnaev. The interviews I've seen out of Boston have had few complaints about the lockdown, likening it to ordering the city shut down during a major snowstorm, but I must admit those interviews may not be representative of the population as a whole so much as the journalists' bias.

Gary R. Welsh said...

The people were in a state of shock at what they were witnessing, Jeff. The media had everyone all worked up in a frenzy thinking bombs were going to start exploding everywhere around them at any moment. There were no undetonated bombs, and the evil people within out government behind this false flag knew it. This was nothing more than a dry run to test the imposition of martial law coming to every city in America. It went off without a hitch. There's nothing stopping them now. Why the hell do you think DHS has been buying thousands of armored vehicles, high-powered assault weapons and more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. To sit on the shelf and collect dust?

Jeff Cox said...

Gary, I'm supposed to be the right-wing nut case around here. Not you. You're tramping on my territory.

Gary R. Welsh said...

If that's what it takes to state the obvious, Jeff, it's a badge I will gladly wear.