The Justice Department has formerly filed charges against 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been formerly charged by the U.S. Department of Justice for his role in the Boston Marathon bombings. He is being charged with “Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction” and “Malicious Destruction of Property Resulting in Death.”
These charges make Tsarnaev eligible for the death penalty under Federal law, but it remains unclear whether or not Attorney General Eric Holder will pursue capital punishment. Being an American citizen he won’t be treated as an enemy combatant. Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey writing at The Wall Street Journal points out that their may some “legal swordplay” over the FBI’s High-Value Interrogation Group interrogating him prior to receiving Miranda warning. He said we should also be concerned about what the Tsarnaev brothers represent and the Administration’s ability to find that out.
For starters, you can worry about how the High-Value Interrogation Group, or HIG, will do its work. That unit was finally put in place by the FBI after so-called underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up the airplane in which he was traveling as it flew over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009 and was advised of his Miranda rights. The CIA interrogation program that might have handled the interview had by then been dismantled by President Obama.
At the behest of such Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups as the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America, and other self-proclaimed spokesmen for American Muslims, the FBI has bowdlerized its training materials to exclude references to militant Islamism. Does this delicacy infect the FBI’s interrogation group as well?
Will we see another performance like the Army’s after-action report following Maj. Nidal Hasan’s rampage at Fort Hood in November 2009, preceded by his shout “allahu akhbar”—a report that spoke nothing of militant Islam but referred to the incident as “workplace violence”? If tone is set at the top, recall that the Army chief of staff at the time said the most tragic result of Fort Hood would be if it interfered with the Army’s diversity program.
Presumably the investigation into the Boston terror attack will include inquiry into not only the immediate circumstances of the crimes but also who funded Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s months-long sojourn abroad in 2012 and his comfortable life style. Did he have a support network? What training did he, and perhaps his younger brother, receive in the use of weapons? Where did the elder of the two learn to make the suicide vest he reportedly wore? The investigation should include as well a deep dive into Tamerlan’s radicalization, the Islamist references in the brothers’ social media communications, and the jihadist websites they visited.
Will the investigation probe as well the FBI’s own questioning of Tamerlan two years ago at the behest of an unspecified foreign government, presumably Russia, over his involvement with jihadist websites and other activities? Tamerlan Tsarnaev is the fifth person since 9/11 who has participated in terror attacks after questioning by the FBI. He was preceded by Nidal Hasan; drone casualty Anwar al Awlaki; Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad (born Carlos Leon Bledsoe), who murdered an Army recruit in Little Rock in June 2009; and David Coleman Headley, who provided intelligence to the perpetrators of the Mumbai massacre in 2008. That doesn’t count Abdulmutallab, who was the subject of warnings to the CIA that he was a potential terrorist.
If the intelligence yielded by the FBI’s investigation is of value, will that value be compromised when this trial is held, as it almost certainly will be, in a civilian court?
Good questions… UK news site, The Mirror News, reported that the FBI was looking into a 12-person sleeper cell. I find it strange no American news outlet reported that so I’m not going to vouch on its accuracy, but even so it is probable that the brothers received some sort of support. Will they be able to go up the “food chain.”?
You can see the formal complaint below:
Justice Department Criminal Complaint Against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev