One Boston bombing suspect dead after shootout; brother on the run

Boston is in lockdown after a shootout between the two Boston bombing suspects and police. One of the two is dead, as is at least one police officer; the other suspect fled on foot and is the subject of a massive manhunt. The two, identified online as 19- and 26-year old immigrants from or via Chechnya, reportedly robbed a convenience store late Thursday evening, killed an MIT campus police officer, hijacked a car, then led police on a chase that culminated in an exchange of gunfire. The Boston Globe and Reuters' liveblog have the latest. [NYT]


  1. Declaration of ignorance – why would these two attack the US?  Are they affiliated to AQ?  Are they just nuts?  Is rhere a separate reason?

    And lockdown – that’s no fun.  Keep your spirits up, Boston.

    1. Two individuals cannot attack a country, despite what “terror experts” might want you to think. And why would you assume by default that Al Quaeda has anything to do in this matter? Why would any reason other than AQ’s be surprising? We don’t know much right now about their motivations or even their identity, it’s useless to speculate wildly until we know more.

      1. Thanks for the hyperbolic response, I’m sure you got 10 on the applausometer.  We have known for hours the suspects’ identities.

        Mentioning AQ in this context is not wild speculation.  Chechen/Caucasus  jihadist affiliations – do your research.  Why would two brothers from that region assault Boston?  Why not Moscow?But above all, note my first three words above.

        1. They may not be attacking “the US”.  It really could be something else, some other thought process at play.  They could be attacking Boston, doing “God’s work,” making a political statement, trying to get at someone in particular, angry at athletes, angry at “people”, doing it on a dare, doing it for some other perceived form of glory.  As you said at the top, we really just don’t know yet.

          1. Right.  To be clear then, my question is then ‘attack within US borders’.

            It’s looking like the motivations are a smorgasbord of your comments.

      1. Not to mention being extremely attractive to those who claim to deplore the bombers’ motives but who will try to exploit the violence to further their own ends.

    1. “A muslim, he says: ‘There are no values anymore,’ and worries that ‘people can’t control themselves.’

      Maybe he should have spent less time worrying about those other people.

      1.  Yep, also there is a report that he was arrested for Domestic A&B on his girlfriend.. trying to find the actual court record…

        1. A fundamentalist with extreme control issues possibly a partner abuser? Why oh why does that not surprise me?

    2. So refugee Chechnya 90’s to Kazakhstan to USA, successful boxer, deeply held religious beliefs, converted his Italian-Portuguese girlfriend to Islam, sense of alienation from Americans.

      Listening to BBC live.  His uncle expresses amazement at the turn of events, although doesn’t seem to be close.  Calls one brother a ‘loser’.

      Like everyone, grasping at straws.  It’s not so incredible that these events could have happened; we’ve learned that over the last 30 years; but sad and confusing.

  2. At least the difficulty in obtaining firearms limited the capabilities of these two to evade the police.

  3. So what we’re saying is that everyone was sort of right in their speculation about the identity of the bombers? They were Muslim as the conservatives said., but they’re also white guys as the liberals said. Not only that, they’re (Chechen) separatists, just as the conspiracy theorists said. Or maybe that was all just a false flag…

    1. I’m wondering if they weren’t part of a “bomb drill” that went live.
      That would explain the presence (and apparent surprise) of elite “security contractors” Craft International at the scene prior to the bombing.

  4. Way to stay quiet while the entire city tries to find you.  Either they’re idiots or they wanted to get caught.

    1. The arrogant think they can’t be caught.  The righteous think the strength of their convictions will protect them.  The disenfranchised think they’re invisible.
      The young think they’re immortal.  Even the ‘guilty’ can be at the same time massively ignorant and innocent.

      They are not idiots and if we really want to know ‘why’ (first question to pop into my mind), our understanding can’t be black-and-white. 

      1. I wouldn’t characterize them as idiots, i.e. “stupid” or cognitively impaired.  They clearly are(were) intelligent, tough, quick-thinkers, able to make decisions on the fly to cause maximum sustained damage.  Which sucks, how they have brought their fight to us.  I hope they catch the younger brother soon, before he can hurt anyone else.

        1. Yeah, sadly it would be much nicer if they had been idiots. They would probably have gotten arrested without managing to kill anyone.

      2. Not trying to be flippant, but this song jumped into mind when I thought about this. 

         “You don’t have to come and confess…we’re lookin’ for you…we’re gonna find you.  We’re gonna find you!”

      1. Actually I haven’t yet seen any direct connection between the bombing and those two guys… (please do correct me if i’m wrong) Call me crazy, but their rampage and the marathon bombing could still turn out to be separate incidents. I suppose that a city the size of Boston could house  more than one group of wackos.
        And even if they are marathon bombers, all the background info on them strongly points to the scenario where the older brother (looser, unable to socialize, turns to aggression when confronted with difficulties ) does the bombing alone and then confronts his younger impressionable brother (sweet kid, everybody likes him, eager to please) with fait accompli and “you’re either with me or against me” emotional blackmail.

        1. What about the photos and footage of the younger brother setting down his backpack next to little Martin Richard and smiling as he walks away through the crowd?  I’d say there are some pretty direct links.

          1. Really? Haven’t seen those… (I thought the two guys from the first photos haven’t been conclusively identified as the brothers, or are we talking about the same thing?)
            If that’s the case I stand corrected, but then the whole thing gets really weird.. (as in Occam-be damned) There isn’t much sense in what happened from a psychological standpoint. I can see the older brother pushing his better adjusted sibling into compliance under extreme stress. I can’t see the kid happily planning and executing that crime. Dunno. Maybe he was duped by his bad egg brother? It’s either that, or the “character witnesses” talk complete nonsense, or welcome to the “manchurian candidate” coockoo-land.
            Either way, I see a great hollywood srcipt in the making.

  5. Listening to NPR coverage. It’s odd. Lots of people who knew the younger brother and describe him as “a total sweetheart”. His old high school wrestling buds are coming on talking about what a great guy he was and how they were friends for years. 

    Same answers over and over though, about the older brother: No, we never met him. No, our friend never really talked about his older brother. No, we never really met any of his family, either. 

    1. Perhaps a case of the younger (?)  and brighter (med student) Dzhokhar being led astray by tight loyalty to older brother who got him through the wreckage and surprise of growing up evading trauma and early life difficulties.

      1. Also possible that the younger bro is an abuse victim himself, would be conditioned to cede power to his older brother. Much the way spouses or children of aggressors often act as accessories. Even hostages do at times. That would be congruent with him having a generally passive “nice” demeanor also.

    2. Evidence seems to prove that the younger brother was involved more than just a patsy, but it also suggests that the older brother was likely calling the shots.

  6. Is anyone else bothered by the fact that it’s somehow OK for an entire city to be on “lockdown?”   Sure, in the immediate area of operations, to minimize risk and interference, I get that.   Also, I’ve never been to Boston, so I don’t know how large or densely packed it is.   But I’d rather not see a regular occurrence or acceptance of a state of “lockdown” whenever anything out of the ordinary happens.     Just my civ-lib spidey-sense tingling, I guess.

    1.  LOL.  ALL of New England is on super high alert.  Cops are everywhere, and I’m 2 hours away from Beantown.

        1. See how easily the authorities can push us around?  The guy may be a threat, but there are literally THOUSANDS of other bad guys out there fucking with people.  I mean, we are a bunch of idiots.  Seriously.

    2.  I was thinking the very same thing.  I can understand they want to take every precaution on such a high-profile case, but how is it OK for an entire city to essentially declare martial law and tell everyone to stay home in order to catch a single criminal?  I’m sure if they did the same for every single murder suspect in every single city, we’d have caught a lot more criminals.  But that’s not really a world I want to live in.

      1. Just for the record, it’s not “martial law” here. Plenty of people are out and about — and this from two blocks from the perp’s house where there are helicopters overhead and bomb squads on the streets.

        No police are forcing everyone to be indoors (outside the immediate area of operations), they just recommended it. They are mostly worried about unexploded ordinance.

        I agree, though, that asking for the entire city to be on “lockdown” when they’ve been pretty certain they’ve had the guy surrounded in a house for the last three hours is a bit ridiculous, and can see how it looks like part of getting the city to cede power to the police.

        1. Thanks for the clarification.   I guess I need to add “lockdown” to list of terms co-opted and misused in order to sensationalize or abbreviate media copy.     When I think of “lockdown,” I think of the context in which I first understood it: prison, where all the doors are locked and movement within the space is  restricted or eliminated.

          1. Same here. The media’s use of the term does seem sensationalistic in this situation, and it’s good to hear that it’s not an actual “lockdown.”

      2. People were not ordered to stay inside, they were told it was safer there.  In case you hadn’t noticed, there are some mad dogs loose on the streets of Boston, who have already killed civilians and police.

        This is an extraordinary situation, and there are not enough police to guarantee the safety of civilians who are out in the normal way.

        This is the police trying to protect the citizens.  And it happens all the time, everywhere.  Moving them back from fire scenes where there is the possibility of an explosion, out of traffic lanes after an accident, etc.

        Also having the citizens out of the way makes it easier to find these suspects.

        But for some people, I guess it is just another opportunity to get in some anti-police rants.  People’s expectation that they should be safe at all times comes up against the reality that it just isn’t true.  The blame belongs on the bad guys who are hurting people, not the police who are trying to protect them.

        1. Ease down, Ripley, you’re just grinding metal.  

          I’m not blaming the cops, especially after the clarification from SamSam.   For once, I actually feel like law enforcement in a Boston-area incident is behaving in a professional manner.

          My objection is to the use of the term “lockdown” to describe a police operation that is actually nothing of the sort and to describe the state of an entire city. 

          Save it for when you bump into the “kill-the-pigs” crowd.  It’s the internet, they’re around here somewhere.

    3.  The cops could be overreaching by quite a bit- they could also be trying to limit collateral damage- think Margie Carranza and  Jean Charles de Menezes.

    4. I’ve been out of the house several times.  Most businesses are closed but a few stores  are open.  Other people are out, some people are driving.  Police are out as well and they’re not hassling anyone or ordering them back into their homes.  So far it’s mostly a day off work.  “Lockdown” is probably a cute media catch-phrase meant to play up the situation for much more than it actually is.  I think that the city is actually under a “shelter in place order”.  Seems pretty proportionate to me.

    5. For me this question is not academic.  I live 3 miles from “ground zero” (and for 20 years lived about a mile from it).  These people have automatic weapons, and more copies of the pressure cooker bombs that they used at the marathon.  They threw several out the window of the car while they were being chased, and when they came to a stop, threw one (which exploded) at the officers confronting them.  They have hidden an unknown number of additional devices around the city.  (they have found two so far). 

      I for one am quite happy to sit here, surf the web and catch up on some the stuff that piled up on the tivo.  The last thing they need is amateurs getting in their way.

  7. Egads, if you value your sanity, stay out of the anonymous comment sections of most websites’ stories about this. Lots of hyperbole and ranting about kicking out all the Muslims and suchlike. Oh, and of course, it’s all Obama’s (and Hilary’s) fault for letting them in in the first place.

    1.  Loads of dum dum Americans (and some people from other places) on twitter are talking about revenge on the “Czech Republic”. Are they really this dumb? Probably. I do wonder if somebody on Fox started this.

          1. “Well, I suppose we could go after the parties responsible, but the public’s never heard of them. And there’s this other stuff I’ve always wanted to blow up, just because. So let’s do that. We can question the loyalty of anybody who objects. By the way, this conversation never took place.”

      1. Loads of dum dum Americans (and some people from other places) on twitter are talking about revenge on the “Czech Republic”.

        I find that difficult to believe simply because I can’t believe that most Americans know that Czechoslovakia broke up in 1993.

    2. Yeah, this morning, NeoCon talk radio was going on about how shameful it was that Obama wouldn’t use the word terrorist during his first news conference, and how Politically Correct the military had become, which apparently makes them so much less effective, about how we need to be racially profiling Muslims who excercise free speech cuz, you know, terror…

    1. The early grainy shots of the two suspects reminded me strongly of young Sean Penn and Bruce Willis.

      1. Apparently Fox News is reporting that one of the bombers went to the same school as Affleck and Damon.

        1.  Fuck Fox News.  This comment will probably get moderated, but I don’t care.  They suck so bad. 

          1. This comment will probably get moderated

            You mean because of the word “fuck?”  Fuck that.

          2. De nada. I figure being ravingly vitriolic and frothy towards a raving pile of vitriol and froth is fair enough.

          3. “No, for me just being so ravingly vitriolic and frothy.”

            I give lessons at very reasonable rates. Believe me, your vitriol needs all the help it can get.

          4. I love how on BoingBoing, the stupid brainless shit gets (mostly) filtered out by the mods, but there is always a mutant further evolved and advanced than you are.  It’s humbling in that who-is-the-biggest-asshole kind of way, where you simultaneously feel happy to not be the biggest asshole but ashamed because you want to be, so you just tuck tail and try to make another witticism later on that sticks, because the blogroll rolls so fast.  Thank you, sensei, I will work on my vitriol.  You are right, it could use some work!

      2. Yeah, my first thought was Fast Times at Ridgemont High when I saw white hat guy.

  8.  All speculations as to their motives are total horseshit.  They may have been recruited by an Al Queda cell.  They may have done it because they’re a couple of meth-addicted pimplehead sick fucks and they thought it would be amusing.  Until we have some actual evidence, any talk about why they did it is nothing but mental masturbation.

  9. It’s such a beautiful day here in Cambridge, I feel like they’re stealing it from us. Wandered outside to chat with neighbors, several bomb disposal trucks careened by. Apparently they’re about to blow up a left-over “device” at the suspect’s house two blocks from us.

    My hope is that this is over quickly, and then all the folks in Greater Boston who couldn’t go to work today will spend the day outside, gardening and taking walks instead.

    1. I’ve never been to Cambridge, but listen to “Car Talk” regularly, and whenever Tom refers to it as “our fair city” I always have this image of it as a lovely, friendly place. Recent events have done nothing to change that.

      I hope, though, that you’re not bothered by the fact that some of us outsiders mainly associate your fair city with a couple of snorting, guffawing car mechanics.

    2. It’s such a beautiful day here in Cambridge, I feel like they’re stealing it from us.

      This is the exactly correct attitude to take and I’m truly guessing the majority opinion.
      “Derailed my western way of life?  My sunny morning was merely inconvenienced, so I’m taking a stroll to the park.”

    3. Yeah, well. They did it because they have no values and they can’t control themselves. Whaddyagonnado? 

      Life must go on.

  10. Funny how we can lock down an entire region for one gunman………..but make somebody wait 5 minutes longer to buy a gun and its the end of America!

  11. Why would an would-have-been, American olympic athlete, do all this? His friends & family,passionately  claim he’s being framed, & that you-tube keeps yanking their videos almost as soon as they upload.( I hate it when it keeps getting weirder  & weirder)

    1. It’s a bit hard to swallow the “framed” theory when they just happened to have bombs to toss at the police when they were being pursued.

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