This Saturday, April 15 will mark the 10th year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing.
This terrorist attack was carried out by a pair of jihadist brothers named Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by means of leaving pressure cooker bombs not far from the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The attack killed three people and wounded 281 others. Of the 281 who were injured, 17 lost their limbs, including a spectator named Rebekah Gregory.
A manhunt ensued for the Tsarnaev brothers once surveillance camera footage revealed them as the perpetrators, although authorities would not learn of their names until later. Three days after the attack, the Tsarnaev brothers fatally shot MIT police officer Sean A. Collier. Then after midnight on April 19, they carried out a carjacking, kidnapping the vehicle’s owner (Dun “Danny” Meng) in the process. Tamerlan and Meng drove off in Meng’s vehicle (during which Tamerlan admitted to carrying out the bombing and fatally shooting Office Collier), while Dzhokhar followed in another vehicle. When the Tsarnaev brothers stopped at a convenience store, Meng managed to escape to another convenience store and told the clerk what had happened. The authorities were notified, and when the Tsarnaev brothers were stopped, a shootout between them and the police resulted. Several officers were wounded, and one of them died a year later of his wounds. Tamerlan then ran out of ammunition and was tackled to the ground by a couple of police officers. Meanwhile, Dzhokhar drove towards the trio, perhaps either attempting to escape or attempting to rescue his brother. The officers managed to get out of the way but Tamerlan was accidentally run over by his brother. He later died of his injuries.
The manhunt continued in the adjacent city of Watertown for Dzhokhar, who had been wounded in the shootout. The residents of Watertown and nearby cities were asked to shelter in place, and a twenty-block section of Watertown was put under lockdown while authorities conducted a house-to-house search. Such a measure was criticized by some individuals on the grounds of civil liberties, including former Congressman Ron Paul.
Two hours after the lockdown was lifted, a Watertown resident went outside his home and noticed that the tarp on his boat was loose. He then looked inside the boat and saw Dzhokhar lying in a pool of blood. The authorities were notified, and Dzhokhar was apprehended. News footage of the announcement that he had been captured was particularly significant since his capture took place on the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Jubilant crowds gathered alongside the road that first responders took when Dzhokhar was rushed to the hospital. I saw the news footage of people cheering, and it was definitely a patriotic moment.
Dzhokhar was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and it was later revealed that Rebekah Gregory was in a room just down the hall from his room. And every time Rebekah had to have surgery for her wounds, she was taken past Dzhokhar’s room, a fact that Rebekah described as a bitter pill that she had to swallow.
Dzhokhar was later tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in a federal district court for his crimes. His lawyers appealed on the grounds that prospective jurors were not properly screened regarding their knowledge of the case, and the death sentence was reversed. Federal prosecutors then appealed to the Supreme Court, which upheld his death sentence.
But the Boston Marathon Bombings were only part of the story in regards to the Tsarnaev brothers. It was later revealed that they also planned to carry out a series of bombings in New York City as part of their jihad against America. And Tamerlan was thought to have a committed a triple murder in Waltham, Massachusetts on September 11, 2011- the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Meanwhile, a friend of Tamerlan named Ibragim Todashev had contacted the authorities about Tamerlan’s involvement in the Boston Marathon Bombing and the murders in Waltham. While being interviewed by FBI Agent Aaron McFarlane in his Orlando apartment, Todashev grabbed a sword hanging on the wall and tried to attack McFarlane. McFarlane then pulled his gun and fatally shot Todashev. Apparently, Todashev also wanted to be a jihadist.
For a more in-depth story on the Boston Marathon Bombing, I would recommend watching the television series How It Really Happened with Hill Harper on HLN.