Latest update: April 20th, 2013
UPDATE, 8:25 PM Sat. night Israel Time: Federal terrorism charges against Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev could be filed soon, even as he remains hospitalized, a Justice Department official told CNN on Saturday. The 19-year-old could also face murder charges at the state level.
UPDATE 7:12 pm ET Reports that suspect was hiding in boat, under tarp, behind a house in Watertown.
7:06 pm ET shots heard, police cars moving back into the area in Watertown. There is an ambulance being backed up into a driveway. Police in SWAT vehicles roaring out of Boston towards Watertown. Some reports, “suspect down.”
6:11 pm ET final scheduled press conference of the day Massachusetts State Police Colonel Timothy Alben explained that many leads were followed up on and were “not fruitful.” The police and military presence will be reduced, although still a substantial presence will remain in place until probably Monday. ”We are committed to seeing a conclusion in this case.”
Gov. Deval Patrick said the MBTA (mass transit) system is being re-opened. The “stay indoors” requirement has been lifted, but everyone is being encouraged to “remain vigilant.”
Mayor Menino: Thanks everyone, there are many leads still being pursued.
Watertown Mayor: We will continue to have a “saturated presence.” The designated crime scene over a large 20 square block area in Watertown will be taken down in the next few hours.
Everyone is being asked to continue to call in any possible sightings of Dzokhar Tsarnaev.
The officials are being asked, “how can it be that the lockdown is being lifted, yet an armed and very dangerous individual is still on the loose?” Excellent question, although because the officials are reluctant to discuss the details of the investigation, it could indicate that - this is pure speculation – the suspect is either in custody or is known to be severely injured. Col. Alber said he is “confident” that the suspect remains in Massachusetts, and the reason he gave is because “all of his ties are here.” However, we already know the suspect has an aunt in Canada, a sister in West New York, New Jersey and an uncle in Maryland.
2:45 pm ET It was just announced that the missing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, became a naturalized U.S. citizen on September 11, 2012.
2:15 pm ET press conference with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry coming up.
1:25 pm Emily Long, next door neighbor to the Tsarnaev family for a year and a half, said they were “very polite, helpful” and “sweet.” Tamarlin was the oldest, then two sisters, and the youngest is Dzhokhar. The parents had been lawyers in Russia. Their father had, according to Long, been beaten badly by the KGB, and that was why they were given political asylum in the United States. Note, this is information given by a neighbor, it is unconfirmed thus far.
1:18 pm ET According to Fox News, the older Tsarnaev brother had social media accounts praising allah and Chechen separatism, and also a YouTube account containing violent videos, and he spent approximately 6 months abroad last year. He was arrested in 2011 for assaulting his girlfriend.
A noon press conference given by Massachusetts, Boston and Watertown political leaders had nothing new to reveal, but implored people to stay inside and not to open their doors to anyone other than uniformed police officers. Watertown mayor thanked everyone for their cooperation, but insisted they “need more time.”
Airspace over Boston area is closed indefinitely.
A controlled detonation took place in Cambridge this afternoon. The Tsarnaev brothers lived in an apartment in Cambridge.
11:00 am ET: Ruslan Tsarnaev, uncle of the two suspects gave a press conference Friday morning outside his home in Montgomery Village, Maryland. The uncle, who said he had not seen the boys in many years, was visibly agitated.
According to the uncle of the suspects, the brothers are not what he calls “Chechens,” whom he said are “peaceful people.” The uncle said neither boy was born in Chechnya, although the younger boy was born in Dhagastan, which borders on Chechnya.
When asked what he wants to tell his nephew, Ruslan Tsarnaev said:
If you are alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness from the victims, from the injured. We are ashamed, you have put shame on the entire [Chechen] ethnicity. Turn yourself in!
The suspect still living, 19 year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is known to be registered as a student at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. That school is closed today and is in the process of being evacuated.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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