Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the FBI's chief suspect in the April 15th Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and injured scores more, has been formally indicted by a US grand jury on 30 separate counts, including using weapons of mass destruction and killing four people, as the US District Attorney for Massachusetts just announced on Twitter. The DA held a press conference at 3PM EST in Boston to discuss the indictment, details of which appear below. The 19-year-old chief suspect was previously charged by the Justice Department with carrying out the bombings with help from his older brother, Tamerlan, who was killed in a subsequent police chase.
The Boston Globe reports that in addition to three victims of the bombing, authorities have accused Dzhokhar and Tamerlan of killing an MIT police officer, Sean Collier, in a shootout following the bombing. The indictment cites phrases Dzhokhar is alleged to have written on the inside of the landed boat in which he was captured as his confession to committing the bombings. One of the phrases reads: "Now I don't like killing innocent people but it is forbidden in Islam but due to said [unintelligible] it is allowed;" another says "The US Government is killing our innocent civilians." Dzhokhar was apprehended by authorities on April 19th, who found him in the boat located in a driveway of a house outside Boston, following a near week-long investigation and manhunt.
"The US Government is killing our innocent civilians."
Boston NPR station WBUR has posted the full indictment on Scribd, in which Dzhokhar is said to have contributed to his brother Tamerlan's death by running him over with a car while trying to escape police. According to the indictment, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan carjacked a Mercedes, telling the driver that they intended to drive to Manhattan. After being forced to hand over his bank card and PIN, which the brothers used to withdraw $800, the car's owner escaped and dialed 911, after which the police located the pair. Three police officers tackled and tried to subdue Tamerlan, but according to the indictment, Dzhokhar drove the car directly at them, nearly hitting one officer and running over Tamerlan.
If convicted, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faces life in prison or possibly the death penalty. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, who is handling the federal case, has said that US Attorney General Eric Holder will ultimately make the decision to pursue the death penalty, and no further details have been revealed. Tsarnaev is set to be arraigned on July 10th, after which the case will proceed.
Additional reporting by Adi Robertson.