Boston Bombing: WNYC's Full Coverage

Friday, April 19, 2013

The 19-year-old college student wanted in the Boston Marathon bombings was taken into custody Friday evening after a manhunt that left the city virtually paralyzed and his older brother and alleged accomplice dead.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had been holed up in a boat in a Watertown neighborhood. The crowd gathered near the scene let out a cheer when spectators saw officers clapping.

Police announced via Twitter that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was in custody. They later wrote, "CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody."

Boston Mayor Tom Menino tweeted "We got him," along with a photo of the police commissioner speaking to him.

President Barack Obama spoke from the White House briefing room shortly after law enforcement officials took Tsarnaev into custody.  He said the capture of the suspect closes what he described as "an important chapter in this tragedy."

He also said there are still many unanswered questions about the Boston bombings, including whether the two men had help from others. He is urging the public to not rush to judgment about their motivations.

Fear, Indifference, Bluster: New Yorkers React to Boston Bombings

The bombings earlier this week and the subsequent manhunt have placed Boston in the international spotlight. But New York is still on its guard, as are some residents.

"I'm frightened," said Joe Hendricks, 71, who was walking his dog in Sunnyside, Queens. "I'm frightened that the next stop is going to be here. Particularly since they could've just been testing it to see if it works. In Boston. At a big event. Just imagine doing it here in New York City."

But nearby a 90-year-old man was unphased. "I'm not afraid. I was in the Second World War, I've seen enough. I'm not afraid of nothin'!" A group of Muslim worshipers, however, suggested that religious profiling was on their minds.


In New Jersey, Sister of Suspects Questioned by Authorities

(Photo: Law enforcement officials walk into the New Jersey home of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects' sister. Sarah Gonzalez/WNYC)

The sister of the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing is speaking with authorities in New Jersey at this hour. As WNYC's Sarah Gonzalez reports, several blocks in West New York, New Jersey, have been cordoned off around the sister's home:

Federal authorities have confirmed that she is the sister of the suspects, police director told me that. Here outside of her home is the sheriff's department and local police. They say she is inside with federal agents and that she is cooperating, her husband is also inside the apartment with her.


In Watertown, A Massive Manhunt Underway

(Photo: Military personnel on a street in Watertown during pursuit of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. Courtesy of Torre St. Savior)

Residents in the towns of Cambridge and Watertown have been asked to stay inside because of an active manhunt of the remaining suspect in the Boston marathon bombing. 

The Takeaway's John Hockenberry is in Boston and reports: "This is an extraordinary moment, a martial law moment in the city of Boston as police anticipate trying to get this suspect and a possible third person of interest into custody in the next few hours."

"This is a very calm, orderly lock down," he said.

Courtney Forrester is from upstate New York, but she lives in Watertown about a half mile from the scene.  Here’s her story:

I’m about a half mile from where the active area is – probably right on the edge of the search area as well. And it’s just a lot of sirens a lot of interesting activity. Our building fire alarm actually just went off about a half an hour ago so that kind of caused al ittle more chaos to the scene … but just another unnerving event. … I usually wake up early, I’m a rower, and I had practice, but I was awoken by a text alert from the Watertown police department indicating there was an active event and to stay indoors.

A Stunned Ex-Classmate: 'He Was a Laid Back Kid'

A former high school classmate of 19 year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said he's shocked to hear his friend is a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing.

“He was a laid back kid who you could always count on just to hang out with and really de-stress with and I am honestly am telling you there was never a sign of anything out of the ordinary," Zolan Young told WBUR.

He said the two stayed in touch after graduating from Rindge & Latin High School, where Tsarnaev was known as a stand-out athlete who competed on the wrestling and volleyball teams.

Brian Lehrer Show: The Role of Chechnya


Former national security correspondent for the Boston Globe and Russia/Chechnya expert at the International Crisis Group Paul Quinn-Judge discusses the emerging information about the Chechnyan roots of the suspects in the Boston marathon bombing. He's joined by Daniel Pinkston, deputy project director of the North East Asia Program at the International Crisis Group, discusses his experience in North Korea.

What We Know:

The surviving Boston bombing suspect has been identified as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Mass.

• One of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing is dead.

• an MIT university officer is dead

• neighborhoods in Boston and  western suburbs are locked down as officials search for the remaining suspect: known as the man in the white hat from marathon surveillance footage.

• Authorities urging residents in Watertown, Newton, Waltham, Belmont, Cambridge, Arlington and the Allston-Brighton neighborhoods of Boston to stay indoors. [At least a quarter of a million people live in those suburbs.]

• All mass transit shut down, including buses, subways, trolleys, commuter rail and boats. [says Joe Pesaturo, spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.]

• People waiting at bus and subway stops being by police to go home.
• Boston Police Commissioner Ed David: "We believe this to be a terrorist. We believe this to be a man who's come here to kill people. We need to get him in custody."

• Middlesex district attorney said the two men are suspected of killing the MIT officer before stealing a car at gunpoint and later releasing its driver unharmed.

• A new photo of the suspect on the loose taken at a 7-Eleven in Cambridge has been released showing him in a grey hoodie sweatshirt.

• Authorities say the suspects threw explosives from the car as police followed it into Watertown. Suspects and police exchanged gunfire, and one of the suspects was critically injured and later died at a hospital while the other escaped.
• Doctors at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston where a suspect in the marathon bombings was taken and later died said they treated a man with a possible blast injury and multiple gunshot wounds. They wouldn't say if the patient, who came in with police, was the suspect in the black hat from marathon surveillance footage.


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Comments [25]

Kate from Washington Heights

On the assumption that an editor reads this: Sorry to fuss... in your April 19 article at the top of this page - the word is "unfazed," not "unphased."

Apr. 27 2013 10:52 PM
Conrad Andriani from Mamaroneck, NY

I hope we can operate with compassion.
All of us. Concerning all involved.

Apr. 20 2013 01:40 AM
Kate from Yonkers, NY

Here's a comment I copied from the NY Times: I've just returned from 4 hourcar trip, during which for the most part I listened to NPR's coverage of Boston. This is not to single NPR out, because I am sure the networks and CNN were the same, but I have never, ever, heard so many people, talk so much, and so authoritatively, about a subject on which they had so little factual infomation.

I agree. I was painfully surprised at the air filling nonsense being spewed on NPR today. Okay to interrupt other coverage if any actual new comes in, but in the meantime--how about some reporting of FACTS on other issues.

Apr. 19 2013 04:20 PM
Perry from Manhattan

There have been no serious developments in this story since before dawn, but we have constant "updates" and continuous coverage anyway. Idiotic 24x7 coverage of nothing happening with reporters interviewing each other is for Fox and CNN. It is not what NPR is supposed to be about. I can't believe you guys are giving in to this idiocy.

The whole reason I donate to NPR and WNYC is to get a place where the coverage isn't like this -- but you've ruined that for me, too. If I wanted CNN I could be tuned to CNN. I'm not giving you another penny -- there's no point if you're going to be nothing but sensationalistic infotainment.

Apr. 19 2013 02:37 PM
Christine from Westchester

I find this non-stop babbling coverage to be mind numbing. We don't know anything and conjecture from twitter and facebook acounts and what teenagers listen to is not useful.

Is there not some other news in the rest of the world today? How about West Texas for example? How about we just go to the regularly scheduled Science Friday? This is dull. Swithing to anything else now.

Apr. 19 2013 02:30 PM
Sarridru from Brooklyn

I turn to WNYC for intelligent coverage, but I'm disappointed in this case. I really think it's premature to call this a Chechen attack or an radical Islamic attack. What I see is two young men who have basically grown up in the USA. Earlier, you had on Nick Casale, some security guy from the MTA who was really belaboring the Chechnya connection. I think that you should have called him out on this. It's just amazing where people will take things when given one or two biographical descriptors and nothing more. I expect this from the networks, but not from NPR. At this point, from all I can see, they look a lot like the two kids who carried out the Columbine atrocity: two people who have come completely unhinged. Maybe it will turn out to be more decisively linked to some religious or political radicalism, but so far, there's nothing to suggest that and I'm disappointed you aren't emphasizing that.

Apr. 19 2013 12:55 PM
New York citizen from New York City

This is the youtube account of Tamerlan Tsnaev: If you watch the videos he liked and shared, you will get some insight into what was on his mind. It seems to me that the video "The Emergence of Prophecy" may be of special interest, but the great thing about seeing his account is that you can interpret it for yourself.

Apr. 19 2013 12:12 PM

I was a little surprised to hear John Hockenberry characterize Tamerlane, or Timur as an exceptionally cruel and bloodthirsty ruler. That is a very Western perspective, and in many parts of the world, he is considered to be one of the most enlightened and culturally astute leaders in history. In the part of India my family comes from, he is seen a hero. Warfare and empire building are never bloodless, but surely most armies of that time were equal causes of human suffering. The portrayal of Tamerlane as a cruel and bloodthirsty ruler has more to do with the fears of Muslim invaders spread throughout Europe since at least the Middle ages, then it does with any objective analysis of history.

Apr. 19 2013 12:08 PM
norman douglas from nyc

on npr they keep saying boston is on lockdown. isn't that a term that designates the treatment of prisoners. attica was on lockdown. is our prison complex so vast? are bostonians under house arrest? is there a shoot to kill order? are there unidentified "support personnel" on the job, like the still unnamed pair who shot two mexican ladies in the back for delivering papers during the chris dorner manhunt? is this martial law being saddled with euphemism? is the radical right right?

Apr. 19 2013 11:34 AM
michael from NYC

Too bad these two dysfunction little morons don't realize USA was Chechnia's ONLY advicate during the Russian massacres. USA was the ONLY country willing to stand up and voice opposition to human rights abuses (war crimes) being committed by Russian troops and paramilitary mercenaries. They are bonbing the wrong country.

Oh, and thanks again dysfunctional Soviet Russia, from Afghanistan to Boston we thank you

Apr. 19 2013 11:30 AM
Orla from NYC

How about some context from the BL Show that's so far absent in other coverage? Rather than simply dismiss Chechnya as the home of Islamic extremists, mention that Chechyans have been subject to mass killings, rape and torture--as recognized by the UN Commission on Human Rights, but largely ignored by the international community.
The bombing in Boston was revolting and completely unjustified but lets acknowledge that jihadis don't emerge from a vacuum.

Apr. 19 2013 10:47 AM
George from brooklyn

Why are your guests talking about Muslims so much, and terrorism? I haven't heard any evidence about jihad in this, yet that's all you're talking about. It seems to me this could just be another Columbine, etc., a couple of assholes wanting to just hurt people. your coverage of this is so irresponsible.

Apr. 19 2013 10:27 AM
Ron Mwangaguhunga from Billyberg

agreed. this conversation is remarkably unproductive. A snoozefest. Let's get some hard news, not this "chatter"

Apr. 19 2013 10:26 AM
Fran from 10538

According to the Huffington Post yesterday,
"Russia's President Vladimir Putin has called the Boston Marathon explosions a "disgusting" crime.
Putin has offered assistance in investigating Monday's twin bombings in Boston that killed three people and wounded more than 170, saying in a condolences note Tuesday that the international community should come together to fight terrorism."

Did Putin already have reason to believe that the perpetrators were Chechen??

Apr. 19 2013 10:16 AM

Maybe we should stop standing with people by territory and stand with people by the potential goodness of humanity.

Apr. 19 2013 09:59 AM
Jenny from Bergen Co, NJ

I made a bet with myself last night that West, Texas would have fallen off the WNYC news cycle by this morning. Obviously, I won. But it would be good if WNYC could maybe avoid reporting the same 10 minutes of news (above) about Boston for the entire hour of my commute.

Apr. 19 2013 09:52 AM

I am disgusted by your attribution of this tragedy to various sectors (e.g. Russians, Muslims, Islam). Please stop. You are painting these groups with a very large brush that is inappropriate. Whether you intend to or not you are contributing to the "rabble rousing" conversations that lead to so much global division and sectarianism.
I now remember why I stopped listening to the TakeAway. Sensationalism and drama that is contrary to the reason I support NPR.

Apr. 19 2013 09:38 AM
clive betters

john from the o- what does gitmo have to do with this? idiocy from you as usual. you'll conflate anything to make a non-connection.

Apr. 19 2013 09:35 AM
Celia from New York

After listening to Morning Edition since 7am, I am appalled at John Hockenberry's inaccurate and contradictory reporting "from Boston." He already identified the brother killed in the shoot-out as the 19 year old, when all morning it was established that it was the older brother (Bunker Hill Community College student, Engineering student, 26) was the one shot and who died at Beth Israel (doctor interviewed). It's the younger brother "in the white hat" who is holed up in the house in Watertown.

Apr. 19 2013 09:33 AM
david from essex ma

red flag warning

Apr. 19 2013 09:31 AM
Jeanette from NY

C'mon NPR. You are misreporting this story. These guys have NOT been here a year. Read this: These are not people who came here to become terrorists. They came here as kids.

Apr. 19 2013 09:13 AM
john from office

Hey, I hope they kill this guy. If not some attorney will defend him and advocate for his rights. Oh and the gitmo guys are still on hunger strike, NO ONE CARES, let them die.

Apr. 19 2013 09:11 AM

Why even mention that Chechnya has Islamic extremist, without any evidence the the individuals are Islamic? Irresponsible, reporting.

Apr. 19 2013 08:48 AM
Philip Ryan

Hey WNYC news staff - look at this website which indicates it has an interview with Tamerlan Tsarnaev who was a boxer at attended Bunker Hill Community College and had a girlfriend who was italian-american (per the links to this news article):

Apr. 19 2013 08:28 AM

where is your usual staff during this unfolding drama to turn this unfolding drama into a snoozefest

Apr. 19 2013 07:57 AM

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