Boston bombing suspect still hospitalized, guarded - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Boston bombing suspect still hospitalized, guarded

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BOSTON -

As the lone surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombinglay hospitalized under heavy guard Saturday, the American Civil Liberties Unionand a federal public defender raised concerns about investigators' plan toquestion Dzhokhar Tsarnaev without reading him his Miranda rights.

What Tsarnaev will say and when are unclear -- he remainedin serious condition and apparently in no shape for interrogation after beingpulled bloody and wounded from a tarp-covered boat in a Watertown backyard. Thecapture came at the end of a tense Friday day that began with his 26-year-oldbrother, Tamerlan, dying in a gunbattle with police.

U.S. officials said an elite interrogation team would questionthe Massachusetts college student without reading him his Miranda rights,something that is allowed on a limited basis when the public may be inimmediate danger, such as instances in which bombs are planted and ready to gooff.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said the legalexception applies only when there is a continued threat to public safety and is"not an open-ended exception" to the Miranda rule, which guaranteesthe right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.

The federal public defender's office in Massachusetts saidit has agreed to represent Tsarnaev once he is charged. Miriam Conrad, publicdefender for Massachusetts, said he should have a lawyer appointed as soon aspossible because there are "serious issues regarding possibleinterrogation."

There was no immediate word on when Tsarnaev might becharged and what those charges would be. The twin bombings killed three peopleand wounded more than 180.

The most serious charge available to federal prosecutorswould be the use of a weapon of mass destruction to kill people, which carriesa possible death sentence. Massachusetts does not have the death penalty.

President Barack Obama said there are many unanswered questions about thebombing, including whether the Tsarnaev brothers - ethnic Chechens fromsouthern Russia who had been in the U.S. for about a decade and lived in theBoston area - had help from others. The president urged people not to rushjudgment about their motivations.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Saturday afternoonthat Tsarnaev was in serious but stable condition and was probably unable tocommunicate. Tsarnaev was at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,where 11 victims of the bombing were still being treated.

"I, and I think all of the law enforcement officials,are hoping for a host of reasons the suspect survives," the governor saidafter a ceremony at Fenway Park to honor the victims and survivors of theattack. "We have a million questions, and those questions need to beanswered."

The all-day manhunt Friday brought the Boston area to a nearstandstill and put people on edge across the metropolitan area.

The break came around nightfall when a homeowner inWatertown saw blood on his boat, pulled back the tarp and saw a bloody DzhokharTsarnaev hiding inside, police said. After an exchange of gunfire, he wasseized and taken away in an ambulance.

Raucous celebrations erupted in and around Boston, withchants of "USA! USA!" Residents flooded the streets in relief fourdays after the two pressure-cooker bombs packed with nails and other shrapnelwent off.

Michael Spellman said he bought tickets to Saturday's RedSox game at Fenway Park to help send a message to the bombers.

"They're not going to stop us from doing things we loveto do," he said, sitting a few rows behind home plate. "We're notgoing to live in fear."

During the long night of violence leading up to the capture,the Tsarnaev brothers killed an MIT police officer, severely wounded anotherlawman and took part in a furious shootout and car chase in which they hurledexplosives at police from a large homemade arsenal, authorities said.

"We're in a gunfight, a serious gunfight. Rounds aregoing and then all of the sudden they see something being thrown at them andthere's a huge explosion," Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau saidSaturday of the melee.

The chief said one of the explosives was the same type usedduring the Boston Marathon attack, and authorities later recovered a pressurecooker lid that had embedded in a car down the street. He said the suspectsalso tossed two grenades before Tamerlan ran out of ammunition and policetackled him.

But while handcuffing him, officers had to dive out of theway as Dzhokhar drove the carjacked Mercedes at them, Deveau said. The sportutility vehicle dragged Tamerlan's body down the block, he said. Policeinitially tracked the escaped suspect by a blood trail he left behind a houseafter abandoning the Mercedes, negotiating his surrender hours later after anarea resident saw blood and found the suspect huddled in his boat.

Chechnya, where the Tsarnaev family has roots, has been thescene of two wars between Russian forces and separatists since 1994. Thatspawned an Islamic insurgency that has carried out deadly bombings in Russiaand the region, although not in the West.

Investigators have not offered a motive for the Boston attack. But ininterviews with officials and those who knew the Tsarnaevs, a picture hasemerged of the older one as someone embittered toward the U.S., increasinglyvehement in his Muslim faith and influential over his younger brother.

The Russian FSB intelligence service told the FBI in 2011about information that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a follower of radical Islam, twolaw enforcement officials said Saturday.

According to an FBI news release, a foreign government saidthat Tamerlan Tsarnaev appeared to be strong believer and that he had changeddrastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the U.S. for travel to theRussian region to join unspecified underground groups.

The FBI did not name the foreign government, but the two officials said it wasRussia. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were notauthorized to talk about the matter publicly.

The FBI said that in response, it interviewed TamerlanTsarnaev and relatives, and did not find any domestic or foreign terrorismactivity. The bureau said it looked into such things as his telephone andonline activity, his travels and his associations with others.

An uncle of the Tsarnaev brothers said he had a falling-outwith Tamerlan over the man's increased commitment to Islam.

Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., said Tamerlan toldhim in a 2009 phone conversation that he had chosen "God's business"over work or school. Tsarni said he then contacted a family friend who told himTsarnaev had been influenced by a recent convert to Islam.

Tsarni said his relationship with his nephew basically endedafter that call.

As for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, "he's been absolutely wastedby his older brother. I mean, he used him. He used him for whatever he'sdone," Tsarni said.

Albrecht Ammon, a downstairs-apartment neighbor of TamerlanTsarnaev in Cambridge, said in an interview that the older brother had strongpolitical views about the United States. Ammon quoted Tsarnaev as saying thatthe U.S. uses the Bible as "an excuse for invading other countries."

Tamerlan Tsarnaev studied accounting as a part-time studentat Bunker Hill Community College in Boston for three semesters from 2006 to2008, the school said. He was married with a young daughter. Dzhokhar Tsarnaevwas a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

 As of Saturday, morethan 50 victims of the bombing remained hospitalized, three in criticalcondition.

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By BRIDGET MURPHY and KATIE ZEZIMA/ AP

Associated Press writers Denise Lavoie and Steve Peoples inBoston; Mike Hill in Watertown, Mass.; Colleen Long in New York; Pete Yost inWashington; Eric Tucker in Montgomery Village, Md.; and AP Sports Writer JimmyGolen in Boston contributed to this report.

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