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Boston police: Bombing suspect is in custody

By: NBC Email
By: NBC Email

WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) -- Boston Police say a 19-year-old college student wanted in the Boston Marathon bombings is in custody after a manhunt that left the city virtually paralyzed and his older brother and accomplice dead.

Police announced via Twitter that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was in custody. His brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan, was killed Friday in a furious attempt to escape police.

The brothers are suspects in Monday's marathon bombings, which killed three people and wounded more than 180 others. The men are also suspected of killing a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer in his vehicle late Thursday.

Authorities in Boston had suspended all mass transit and warned close to 1 million people in the entire city and some of its suburbs to stay indoors as the hunt for the remaining suspect went on.

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(WEAU) - NBC affiliate in Boston, WHDH, says they have reports the suspect they have been searching for in their manhunt has been caught alive, and is in custody.

The Boston Police Department has released this statement on their Twitter feed “Suspect in custody. Officers sweeping the area. Stand by for further info.”

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WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) -- A law enforcement official says the suspect being hunted in the Boston Marathon bombing is in a boat stored in a Watertown, Mass., neighborhood.

The official said he was briefed on the situation and spoke on condition of anonymity because he's not authorized to discuss it publicly.

The official does not know if Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (JOH'-kahr tsahr-NY'-ev) is dead or alive.

Authorities are telling residents of the area to stay indoors.

The burst of activity came at the end of a tense day in and around Boston, and less than an hour after police announced that they were scaling back the hunt because they had come up empty-handed following an all-day search that sent thousands of SWAT team officers into the streets and paralyzed the metropolitan area.

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Official: FBI interviewed older suspect in 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal law enforcement official says the FBI interviewed the older Boston Marathon bombing suspect at the request of a foreign government in 2011 and that nothing derogatory was found.

The official says the FBI shared its information with the foreign government. The official did not say what country made the request about Tamerlan Tsarnaev or why.

The 26-year-old was killed overnight in a shootout with police outside Boston; his younger brother remains at large.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak about the case publicly.

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WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) -- The Massachusetts State Police spokesman says there is "renewed activity" in connection with the search for the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Emergency and military vehicles are speeding through town. Police tell The Associated Press that shots have been fired.

State police spokesman David Procopio says there is "renewed activity in Watertown related to today's events."

Authorities are looking for 19-year-old college student Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Authorities are telling residents of the area to stay indoors.

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WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) -- State police say officers are going door-to-door, but the Boston Marathon suspect is still on the loose.

Col. Timothy Alben of the Massachusetts State Police said Friday afternoon that officers would go street to street as the manhunt for the bombing suspect continues. Gov. Deval Patrick urged residents to continue staying indoors.

A pair of brothers is suspected of killing a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer late Thursday, then stealing a car at gunpoint.

The suspects' clashes with police began hours after the FBI released photos and videos of them. Monday's bombings killed three people and wounded more than 180 others.

Twenty-six-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev (tsahr-NY'-ev) was killed overnight. His 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar (JOH'-kahr) is on the loose.

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Boston - (NBC News) One is a scholarship winner described by his father as an angel. The other was a boxer who once said: “I like the USA.”

The suspects in the attack on the Boston Marathon — one killed, one on the loose — are brothers with a background in the separatist Russian republic of Chechnya, at least one a legal permanent resident of the United States, law enforcement officials told NBC News.

While authorities were not sure of a motive, NBC News learned that counterterrorism officials were examining possible links between the suspected Boston bombers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the Islamic Jihad Union of central Asia. Chechnya is predominantly Muslim.

“Somebody radicalized them, but it wasn’t my brother,” the men’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, told reporters Friday from Montgomery Village, Md. He encouraged his nephew to turn himself in and said the two had brought shame on Chechens. He said that he had encouraged his own family to stay away from that part of the family.

“What I think was behind it: Being losers,” he said. “Of course we’re ashamed.”

The suspect at large early Friday was Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, born in Kyrgyzstan, holding a Massachusetts driver’s license and living in the Boston suburb of Cambridge. He was the suspect in the white hat in surveillance photos from the marathon released by the FBI.

His father, speaking from Russia, told The Associated Press that he was “a true angel” with an interest in medicine. He was registered as a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, the school said. He was awarded a $2,500 city scholarship toward college two years ago.

Sierra Schwartz, who identified herself as a high school friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, told NBC News that he had lots of friends and did not seem to brood.

“He was a nice guy. He was shy,” she said. “It was almost physically painful to even call him nice now after this absolute tragedy that happened, but at the time, as we knew him, he was funny.”

Robin Young, who said her nephew was on the wrestling team with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, told NBC News that he was “just a light, airy, curly-haired kid.”

“I can’t tell you enough what a beautiful young man this was,” she said.

The city of Cambridge awarded Dzhokhar Tsarnaev the scholarship in 2011, according to The Boston Globe. The scholarships were for students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, part of the Cambridge public school system.

Cambridge is a melting-pot city of about 100,000, fairly well-off and home to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The other brother, killed in a firefight with law enforcement, was identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, born in Russia. He became a legal permanent resident in 2007, the officials said. He was the suspect in the black hat in the FBI photos.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev studied at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston and wanted to become an engineer, according to a profile that appeared in a Boston University magazine in 2010. He said that he hoped to become an American citizen and one day join the U.S. Olympic boxing team.

He told the magazine that his family fled Chechnya in the 1990s because of the conflict there, and that he lived in Kazakhstan. While he had been in the United States for several years by that point, he said in the profile: “I don’t have a single American friend. I don’t understand them.”

He also said that he was a Muslim who did not smoke or drink.

Travel records obtained by NBC New York showed that Tamerlan Tsarnaev left the country for six months, from Jan. 12 to July 17, 2012, for Sheremetyevo, Russia. The records show that it was not until 6 a.m. Friday that he was labeled by American officials to be “a person or instrument that may pose a threat to the security of the United States.”

Tamerlan Tsarnaev boxed in a 2004 tournament as part of a program called Golden Gloves, according to The Lowell Sun newspaper. He told the newspaper then: “I like the USA.”

He said that his first love was music, and that he played the piano and violin.

“America has a lot of jobs,” he said. “That’s something Russia doesn’t have. You have a chance to make money here if you are willing to work.”

His former wrestling coach, John Curran, described him to NBC News as quiet and courteous and said that he was “flabbergasted” by the news.

The father, Anzor Tsarnaev, said that he had seen on television that his son was killed.

“They were set up!” he exclaimed, according to the AP.

Both men were believed to have entered the country with their family in 2002 or 2003, when the family sought asylum. Law enforcement officials initially told NBC News that they may have had military experience, but the nature was not clear. Later in the morning, U.S. Army officials told NBC knows that no one matching either name had served in the active-duty Army, or the reserves.

Chechnya is a predominantly Muslim part of Russia with a turbulent history. It declared independence in 1991, after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Chechnya fought war with Russia for much of the 1990s, and Chechens have been involved in terrorist attacks in Russia in the years since.

In 2002, Chechen militants seized a Moscow theater and held 800 people hostage for two days. Special forces raided the building and killed 41 hostage-takers; 129 hostages were killed, mostly from gas used by Russian forces.

In 2004, Chechen insurgents took hundreds of hostages in the Russian town of Beslan. The siege came to a bloody end two days later, and 330 people, about half children, were killed.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed after a chaotic chase and firefight with police early Friday. Authorities were conducting a house-to-house search in the Boston suburb of Watertown for his brother, who was considered armed and extremely dangerous. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick ordered people in Boston and some suburbs to stay inside.


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