Outrage over body of Boston bombing suspect

Posted at 5:58 AM, May 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-03 07:58:28-04

(CNN) — A black hearse ferried out of Boston the body of a man publicly shunned by his extended family and condemned by a nation.

Even in death, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects, ignited the passions of Massachusetts residents, who protested as his body arrived at a funeral home more than 30 miles south of Boston on Thursday.

The Boston medical examiner’s office said the body had been picked up. A hearse believed to be carrying the body drove away with it, according to CNN affiliate WCVB.

Tsarnaev’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, who lives in Maryland, claimed his body, according to a family spokeswoman.

Tsarni has publicly expressed deep shame over the attacks allegedly carried out by his nephews.

The suspects’ parents in Dagestan said Friday they will not be bringing their 26-year-old son’s body to Russia, spokeswoman Heda Saratova said . Instead, he will lie in a cemetery in Massachusetts.

Though he died while violently resisting arrest in the early hours of April 19, as authorities have said, the official cause of his death will not be released until his death certificate is filed with Boston’s city clerk, according to Terrel Harris, spokesman for the Massachusetts office of the chief medical examiner.

After the long delay, the paperwork is expected to be completed Friday.

His relatives will not bury him until an “independent” autopsy is conducted, Saratova said.

When the hearse carrying his remains arrived at the Dyer Lake Funeral Home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, residents came out to boo him, The Sun Chronicle, a local newspaper reported.

Others took to social media to protest his presence.

The body was transported to another location hours later, the paper reported, sourcing a funeral home spokesman.

Building the bombs

The bombs used in the attack on the marathon were built in the small apartment that suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev shared with his wife and child, a U.S. law enforcement official with first-hand knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Thursday. The official was not authorized to release the information.

Katherine Russell, Tsarnaev’s widow, has remained largely out of view since her husband’s death, inside her parents’ home in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.

According to her attorney, Amato DeLuca, the 24-year-old knew nothing about plans to bomb the race, and reports of her husband’s involvement came as an “absolute shock” to Russell and her family.

Tsarnaev and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, initially planned to carry out a suicide-bomb attack on July 4, said a U.S. law enforcement official regularly briefed on the Boston bombing investigation. The source said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told investigators their bombs were ready earlier than they expected and they decided to move up the date.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told investigators that they chose the Boston Marathon only a day or two before the event, the source said.

The city’s July 4 celebration is a similarly large event. The annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular hosts 500,000 spectators, according to the event’s website. It is televised live nationally on CBS.

The course of events

The bombs fashioned out of pressure cookers that detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15 killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.

Four people have been charged in connection with the bombing, including Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, who is accused of carrying out the attack along with his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev,, who died at age 26.

Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev were charged Wednesday with conspiring to discard potentially incriminating items from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dorm room, including empty fireworks containers and a laptop. Robel Phillipos was charged with making false statements to investigators.

The FBI is examining a laptop belonging to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, two federal law enforcement officials told CNN.

Kadyrbayev turned it over to investigators, according to his lawyer and a law enforcement official.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who suffered gunshot wounds to the head, neck, legs and hands, is being held at a federal Bureau of Prisons medical facility in Devens, Massachusetts. He has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Authorities have said they believe the brothers acted alone, but are investigating whether they could have learned from or been aided by terror groups, including groups overseas.

Of particular interest has been Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s 2012 trip to the semi-autonomous Russian republic of Dagestan, home to numerous Islamic militant groups that have warred against Moscow’s rule.

Russian authorities asked U.S. officials to investigate Tamerlan Tsarnaev some months before the trip, saying they believed he was becoming increasingly involved with radical Islam. The FBI investigated, but found no evidence of extremist activity and closed the case.

U.S. officials learned after the bombings that Russian officials had intercepted a 2011 phone call between the suspect’s mother, living in Dagestan, and one of her sons in which they reportedly had a vague conversation about jihad.

CNN’s Susan Candiotti and Marina Carver contributed to this report.

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