Sunday, November 19, 2017
News Roundup

Portrait of two brothers slowly emerging in Boston bombing inquiry

RECOMMENDED READING


WASHINGTON — The portrait investigators have begun to piece together of the two brothers suspected of the Boston Marathon bombings suggests that they were motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs but were not acting with known terrorist groups — and that they may have learned to build bombs simply by logging onto the online English-language magazine of the al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.

The investigation into the bombings is still in its earliest stages, and federal authorities are still in the process of corroborating some of the admissions that officials have said were made by the surviving suspect in the attacks, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told reporters after emerging from a two-hour classified briefing with FBI and intelligence officials Tuesday that the suspects were most likely radicalized over the Internet, but that investigators were still searching for possible sources of inspiration or support overseas.

"The increasing signals are that these were individuals who were radicalized, especially the older brother, over a period of time — radicalized by Islamist fundamentalist terrorists, basically using Internet sources to gain not just the types of philosophical beliefs that radicalized them, but also learning components of how to do these sorts of things," Rubio told reporters.

"This is a new element of terrorism that we have to face in our country. We need to be prepared for Boston-type attacks, not just 9/11-type attacks."

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev admitted to playing a role in the marathon bombings, which killed three people and wounded more than 260, and told federal agents that he and his brother were motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs, when he was interviewed Sunday at the hospital, the New York Times reported, citing unnamed law enforcement officials.

Now investigators will try to check Tsarnaev's statements as they conduct a wide-ranging inquiry into the lives of the two brothers, speaking with people who knew them and looking at everything from items they left behind in their homes and, in the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, his dorm room, to the lengthy digital trail they left through their emails and posts on social media sites. Investigators are still interested in a trip that his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, made to Dagestan and Chechnya last year.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed early Friday morning in a gun battle with police.

The brothers may have been planning the attacks for several months. On Feb. 6, Tamerlan Tsarnaev bought fireworks at a Phantom Fireworks store in Seabrook, N.H., said William Weimer, the vice president of Phantom Fireworks, which is based in Youngstown, Ohio, and has 68 stores in 15 states.

"He came in and he asked the question that 90 percent of males ask when they walk into a fireworks store: 'What's the most powerful thing you've got?' " Weimer said in a telephone interview.

Tsarnaev settled on a reloadable mortar kit called a Lock and Load, which comes with a launch tube and shells, Weimer said. But Weimer said that even if the brothers had harvested all the powder from the shells Tsarnaev bought that day, he did not believe it would have yielded enough explosives to make the two pressure cooker bombs that exploded on Boylston Street and the other devices that the suspects had with them when they were chased by the police early Friday morning.

Weimer said that his company, which sold fireworks in 2010 to Faisal Shahzad, who unsuccessfully tried to detonate a car bomb in Times Square, had checked its records for Tsarnaev's name as soon as it was made public, and had given the information to the FBI.

Comments

Updated: 8 minutes ago
Youth choir trains voices of confidence

Youth choir trains voices of confidence

 
Updated: 8 minutes ago

Stolen car crashes in St. Pete, leaving passenger, 15, with life threatening injuries

Two boys in a stolen car struck a dip in the roadway and crashed into a tree, leaving the 15-year-old passenger with life-threatening injuries, St. Petersburg police said.The crash occurred about 11:25 a.m. Sunday as the car sped west on 11th Avenue ...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Lightning’s rare loss produces reality check

Lightning’s rare loss produces reality check

TAMPA — Jon Cooper stood at the podium late Saturday night to address the media after a regulation loss for only the third time this season."Let’s be honest," he said, "we’ve had one hell of a start."The loss, he added, was frustrating, even when you...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
USF, UCF contribute to a first in football poll

USF, UCF contribute to a first in football poll

The new Associated Press football poll produced some Florida history Sunday.For the first time, UCF and USF are both ranked — and Florida State and Florida are both unranked — entering their respective season-ending grudge matches this weekend.The No...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Figures from FSU case enter latest allegation against Jameis Winston

Figures from FSU case enter latest allegation against Jameis Winston

MIAMI GARDENS — The case of Jameis Winston and a female Uber driver in Arizona took more twists Sunday, with Winston getting some level of corroboration, and his unnamed accuser retaining a familiar, high-profile attorney.Eagles cornerback Ronald Dar...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Country artist Mel Tillis, who traced success to Plant City youth, dead at 85

Country artist Mel Tillis, who traced success to Plant City youth, dead at 85

Before Mel Tillis achieved stardom, writing songs recorded by hundreds of Nashville artists and embracing the stutter that became his trademark, he was a young man fresh out of the Air Force struggling to land a spot in a Plant City talent show.Eyes ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Report: Florida rarely punishes doctors sued for malpractice

FORT LAUDERDALE — Florida doctors are rarely punished by state regulators even after they are sued for malpractice, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Sunday. The Florida Department of Health reviewed nearly 24,000 resolved state and federal law...
Updated: 1 hour ago
10 African-Americans named Rhodes scholars, most ever

10 African-Americans named Rhodes scholars, most ever

Associated PressThe latest group of U.S. Rhodes scholars includes 10 African-Americans — the most ever in a single Rhodes class — as well as a transgender man and four students from colleges that had never had received the honor before. The Rhodes Tr...
Updated: 1 hour ago
As clock ticks on tax bill, White House signals a compromise

As clock ticks on tax bill, White House signals a compromise

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, said Sunday that the White House is willing to remove a contentious provision taking aim at the Affordable Care Act from the GOP tax overhaul plan if politically necessary, a move ...
Updated: 1 hour ago