Contradicting law enforcement sources who said that Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had confessed in the hospital, Tsarnaev himself has now said, through his mother, that both he and his brother are innocent of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Last Friday the AP reported:
"The remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has recovered enough to walk and assured his parents in a phone conversation that he and his slain brother were innocent, their mother told the Associated Press."
The AP met with the family in their sparsely furnished apartment in Dagestan. In April the Washington Post reported that the surviving brother, while in the hospital, said that "the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan motivated him and his brother to carry out the attack," according to “U.S. officials familiar with the interviews." The sources said that Tsarnaev had "acknowledged his role in planting the explosives near the marathon finish line on April 15."
The report comes less than a week after it was revealed that a man who had been shot by the FBI in Florida, who had been linked to the older brother, was in fact unarmed when he was shot during an interview with agents. The man's father has supplied the press with photographs, taken by the funeral home, which show a wound to the back of the head. The FBI said initially that the man, Ibragim Todashev, lunged at an agent with a knife. But the Washington Post reported last Wednesday that an official said "Todashev did not have a gun or a knife." The Post went on to say that a second official confirmed that Todashev was unarmed.
The FBI now says that "There was some sort of aggressive movement that led the FBI agent to believe he was under threat and he opened fire" on Todashev. Despite being considered "dangerous," numerous agents involved in the interview left the room and left the agent who shot Todashev alone with him. The FBI says that, just before the attack, Todashev had admitted to a role in a 2011 triple murder and was about to sign a written confession.
Like Tamerlan Tsarnaev's mother, Ibragim Todashev had expressed his feelings that the older Tsarnaev brother had been "set up" by the FBI to take the blame for the Boston bombings. On May 30th, CBS News reported:"FBI agents interrogated the younger Todashev twice before the night he was shot, his father said. Todashev told him that he thought Tsarnaev had been set up to take blame for the bombings."
According to other reports, Todashev had also expressed fears that he himself was being "set up." The Atlantic Wire wrote last week:
"Khusn Taramiv, a friend of Todashev, told WESH-TV that they were both interviewed by the FBI for three hours on Tuesday. The men were asked what they knew about Tsarnaev and were also asked about their political views and their feelings about the attacks on Boston. Taramiv also claims that Todashev thought that he was being "set up" and expressed concerns that something bad was going to happen to them."
Many questions still surround the case of the Boston Marathon bombing, which have drawn the attention of highly-regarded investigative journalists such as Russ Baker, author and former adjunct faculty at the Columbia School of Journalism. In addition, the interest of Congress has been aroused over the FBI's apparent failure to stop the attacks, given that the suspects were already well-known to the FBI at the time that it put out a request for the public's assistance in identifying the suspects seen in surveillance photos.
On April 18th, three days after the bombing, the FBI released photos and surveillance video of the Tsarnaev brothers. In a press conference on that day Special Agent Richard Deslauriers of the Boston field office said:
"As you can see, the quality of the photos is quite good, but we will continue to work on developing additional images to improve their identification.
Further, on FBI.gov, we have videos of the suspects. The photos and videos are posted for the public and media to use, review and publicize...
For more than 100 years, the FBI has relied on the public to be its eyes and ears. With the media’s help, in an instant, these images will be delivered directly into the hands of millions around the world. We know the public will play a critical role in identifying and locating them.
Somebody out there knows these individuals as friends, neighbors, co-workers, or family members of the suspects. "
But in the spring of 2011 Tamerlan Tsarnaev was brought to the attention of the Boston FBI as well as national headquarters, resulting in at least one interview in person with Tamerlan in April of that year. US Senate intelligence Committee member Senator Richard Burr told reporters that Russia continued giving the warnings throughout the next two years, "multiple times." Tsarnaev was also familiar to law enforcement as a result of a 2009 domestic violence incident. Tamerlan was on two different terrorist watch lists, and maintained his residence at 410 Norfolk Street in Cambridge, MA.
The FBI has made no statement as to how it failed to immediately know who the distinctive brothers were, once it uncovered photographic evidence suitable for identification, nor arrested them before going on a rampage which allegedly took the life of MIT police officer Sean Collier.
Fox News television journalist Ben Swann has pointed out the FBI's long history of entrapment schemes, at least one of which has resulted in an actual attack, the World Trade Center bombing of 1993. Swann opines that journalists should be asking if the Boston Marathon could have combined elements of such tactics, which employs a working relationship between the FBI and their targets, and a level of complicity on all sides in complex plots. In the case of the World Trade Center in 1993, it has been confirmed that undercover FBI informants were attempting to lure the plotters into bombing the World Trade Center, and providing money and materials. Swann has said that the Boston attacks have some of the hallmarks of an entrapment.