Boston bomb suspect indicted on 30 counts

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is one of two ethnic Chechen brothers accused of carrying out the twin blasts near the Boston Marathon finish line on April 15.

Updated: Jun 28, 2013, 08:19 AM IST

Boston: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect of Boston marathon bombing, was on Thursday indicted in the US on 30 counts, including the use of a weapon of mass destruction, over the April attacks that killed three people and injured more than 260 others.

A federal grand jury returned a 30-count indictment against Dzhokhar and many of the charges carry the possibility of life in prison or the death penalty.

The charges include: use of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death; bombing of a place of public use resulting in death, malicious destruction of property resulting in death, conspiracy, and use of a firearm during and in relation to a violent crime, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

Dzhokhar, 19, is one of two ethnic Chechen brothers accused of carrying out the twin blasts near the Boston Marathon finish line on April 15.

A fourth victim, a university police officer, died in a gunfight with the pair four days later as authorities raced to capture them.

Seventeen of the charges carry the possibility of the death penalty. The others carry the possibility of as much as life in prison.

Dzhokhar aka "Jahar Tsarni" is a US citizen from Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The indictment alleged that Dzhokhar and his 26-year-old brother Tsarnaev Tamerlan conspired to use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against people, property and places of public use.

Specifically, the indictment alleges that on April 15, 2013, during the 117th running of the Boston Marathon, Dzhokhar and his brother placed IEDs among the crowds of spectators who were cheering the runners on Boylston Street towards the marathon finish line.

After placing the IEDs among the crowd, the indictment alleges, Dzhokhar and his brother detonated the bombs seconds apart, killing three people, maiming and injuring many more, and forcing a premature end to the marathon.

The indictment alleges that the IEDs were constructed from pressure cookers, explosive powder, shrapnel, adhesives and other items, and were designed to shred skin, shatter bone and cause extreme pain and suffering, as well as death.

Tamerlan was killed after a shootout with police on April 19 in Watertown. Dzhokhar was arrested after he was found hiding in the boat later that day.

According to the indictment, after the FBI released photographs of Dzhokhar and his brother on April 18, identifying them as suspects in the marathon bombings; the two armed with five IEDs, a Ruger P95 semiautomatic handgun, ammunition, a machete and a hunting knife, drove in their Honda Civic to the MIT campus, where they shot MIT Police Officer Sean Collier and attempted to steal his service weapon.

The indictment further alleges that shortly after Dzhokhar and his brother killed Officer Collier, they carjacked a Mercedes, kidnapped the driver, and forced him to drive to a gas station, robbing him of USD 800 along the way.

After the driver managed to escape, the brothers are alleged to have driven the carjacked vehicle to the vicinity of Laurel Street and Dexter Avenue in Watertown, where Watertown police officers located them and tried to apprehend them.

The indictment alleges that the brothers fired at the police officers and used four additional IEDs against them; then Dzhokhar re-entered the carjacked vehicle, drove it directly at the officers, running over his brother as he managed to escape.

Dzhokhar is alleged to have hidden in a dry-docked boat in a Watertown backyard until his arrest the following night.

"This indictment is the result of exemplary cooperation between federal prosecutors and a wide range of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to investigate the horrific attacks on the Boston Marathon two months ago," US Attorney General Eric Holder said.

"Today`s indictment is the result of the dedicated and collective efforts of law enforcement and intelligence partners, working with a sense of urgency and purpose to find those responsible for these deadly attacks," said FBI director Robert S Mueller.