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Terrorism

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev 'serious but stable'

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has remained in serious condition in hospital and is currently unable to communicate, officials say. When able, a top US interrogation group will question Tsarnaev.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said Saturday that the 19-year-old is "serious but stable. I think not able to communicate yet."

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was detained on Friday after a massive manhunt following Monday's bomb attacks at the Boston marathon that left three dead and about 180 injured. His elder brother, Tamerlan, 26, was killed in a shootout with police earlier Friday. The ethnic-Chechen brothers are believed to be responsible for the twin bombings.

Patrick said he hopes the suspect survives. "We have a million questions and those questions need to be answered," he added. Tsarnaev is receiving care under guard at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Cambridge, just outside Boston.

Boston bombing suspect captured

Several media sources have quoted investigators as saying that Tsarnaev suffered a throat wound and had lost a lot of blood. According to reports, investigators have speculated that one wound could have been a suicide attempt.

The arrest of Tsarnaev sparked celebrations throughout Boston, bringing his and his brother's week of terror to a close.

When they are able to do so, a group of top US investigators plans to interrogate Tsarnaev without reading him the warning usually given to suspects before they are questioned. The Miranda rights warning is usually issued so that subsequent statements are admissible in court.

According to a Justice Department official, the government will instead invoke a public safety exception to the warning in order to question Tsarnaev extensively about other potential explosive devices or possible accomplices.

A week of anxiety

The capture came four days after the bombings and just a day after the FBI released images of two young men suspected of using pressure-cooker explosives at the marathon.

On Thursday, the brothers carjacked a man in a Mercedes Benz in Cambridge and later released him unharmed. Later, they allegedly shot a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) police officer. A hunt for the stolen Mercedes led authorities to Watertown, where the suspects exchanged gunfire with police.

In the shootout, a transit police officer was critically wounded, and Tamerlan sustained fatal injuries. Investigators said Dzhokhar ran over his wounded brother in a bid to escape. The hunt for the younger brother continued into Friday, when police issued a city-wide lockdown.

Public transport was suspended, air space was restricted, and the nearby universities were closed as officers combed the neighborhoods. An hour after lifting the lockdown, admitting the search had been fruitless, police got a tip from a resident who found the bloodied suspect in a boat in his backyard. Police were called to the scene, and Dzhokhar was taken into custody after an exchange of gunfire.

Searching for a motive

The Tsarnaev brothers come from a small community of Chechens in Kyrgyzstan, a largely Muslim nation. The family moved in 2001 to Dagestan, a federal republic of Russia in the North Caucasus region, which is home to a violent Islamist insurgency. The suspects' parents still live there.

Federal officials did not have the brothers under surveillance, but the FBI said on Friday that it had interviewed Tamerlan in 2011 at the request of a foreign government. The matter was dropped when the FBI "did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign."

Both of the brothers' parents have denied their sons could be capable of such crimes.

On Saturday, the Kremlin announced that the US and Russian presidents had agreed to increase cooperation on counterterrorism following the bombings.

"Both sides underscored their interest in bolstering the close cooperation of Russian and US special services in the fight against international terrorism," read a statement from the Kremlin.

hc/av (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)

DW.DE

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