Criminal Justice

Federal grand jury indicts Boston Marathon bomb suspect on 30 counts

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The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260 has been federally indicted by a grand jury, officials said at a Thursday press conference.

Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev could face the death penalty if convicted on 17 of the charges if convicted, the Boston Globe reports. The others carry the possibility of as much as a life term in prison.

The indictment (PDF) alleges that the 19-year-old Tsarnaev, who had been downloading extremist Islamic propaganda, to plant explosives with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, his older brother. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after an April 19 shootout with police, four days after the April 15 bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The al-Qaida magazine Inspire provided instructions for making the improvised explosive explosives, the indictment says.

Authorities say Tsarnaev left messages scrawled on the walls and beams of the backyard boat in a Boston suburb in which he was found to have taken shelter, including the following: “The U.S. government is killing our innocent civilians. … I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished. … We Muslims are one body, you hurt one, you hurt us all … Stop killing our innocent people, we will stop,” according to USA Today.

He and his brother are also accused of killing a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer, Sean Collier, and attempting to steal his service weapon not long before Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed. The older brother’s death was reportedly caused by a combination of injuries from the police shootout and being run over by Dzohkhar Tsarnaev as he drove from the scene.

CNN, Bloomberg, the New York Times (reg. req.), Slate’s Crime blog and the Washington Post (reg. req.) have stories as well.

See the indictment:

USA v. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Additional and related coverage: “Bombing suspect charged at bedside, to be tried in civilian courts”

Reuters: “Al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine confused with Esquire at Guantanamo hearing”

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