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Entries in Boston Marathon (22)

Saturday
Jul202013

Woman Accused of Pretending to Be Boston Bombing Victim to get Money

John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A New York woman has been accused of collecting nearly half-a-million dollars in fraudulent claims from a fund created to support the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

On Friday, authorities arrested and charged 26-year-old Audrea Gause with larceny, having allegedly altering old medical documents to make it look like she received treatment for injuries suffered during the attacks. She received $480,000 from The One Fund, established to help victims of the bombings.

Gause was not even in Boston during the April 15 attacks, authorities said in a news conference Friday.

She is said to have submitted notarized claims and several pages of medical records that she claimed documented treatment for injuries suffered during the bombings, photocopying and altering them to make them appear authentic.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley condemned Gause’s alleged crimes during the news conference.

“It is outrageous,” Coakley said, “… [that] some individuals have attempted to defraud The One Fund and to take dollars from those victims who need and deserve them.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul192013

Cop Who Released Unauthorized Photos of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Trouble

Robin Young, Here & Now(BOSTON) -- A Massachusetts State Police officer who released photos of Boston Marathon bomb suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s capture in Watertown on April 19 has been relieved of duty and will be called up before a hearing next week.

The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that a Massachusetts State Police spokesman said Sgt. Sean Murphy was not authorized to release the photos, including one of Tsarnaev emerging from a boat with a police laser trained on his forehead while raising a bloodied right hand.

Tsarnaev had been hiding out in the boat for hours after police said he fled a shootout that left his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, dead.

A tactical photographer, Murphy’s rationale for going public with the photos was his anger over the newest edition of the Rolling Stone magazine that features Tsarnaev on the cover, which critics say makes the 19-year-old looking like a glamorous rock star.

John Wolfson, the editor-in-chief of Boston Magazine where the photos first appeared, wrote, “Murphy wants the world to know that the Tsarnaev in the photos he took that night — defeated and barely alive, with the red dots of sniper rifles lighting up his forehead — is the real face of terrorism, not the handsome, confident young man shown on the magazine cover.”

Besides the outcry over the Rolling Stone cover, numerous retail chains say they will not put the magazine on their stands when the issue becomes available Friday.

Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty last week to 30 counts associated with the bombing. Tsarnaev is accused of working with his brother to set off a pair of bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, killing three and injuring more than 260 people.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun032013

Russian Intelligence Officials Called Boston Marathon Bombing Preventable

Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A U.S. congressman says that Russian intelligence officials are convinced that the April bombings at the Boston Marathon were preventable, had American authorities acted on Moscow's warning about one of the suspects.

Massachusetts Democrat William Keating, who has just returned from Russia with other lawmakers, says that U.S. intelligence agents apparently knew in 2010 that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was ready to enlist in a terrorist cell in Dagestan, a southern region of Russia.

Keating told reporters that the head of Russian counterterrorism said "that if we had the level of information sharing and cooperation that is taking place right now, if we had had that back at that period of time, then the bombing might have been averted."

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a shootout with police four days after the Marathon bomb attacks that killed three people and left more 260 wounded. His brother, Dzhokhar, was taken into custody and charged with using a weapon of mass destruction.

Despite the terrorist attack last April 15, Keating, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that if the U.S. and Russia improve cooperation and information sharing  "there will be people in the future whose lives will be saved."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
May052013

FBI Searching Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect's Home

Glenn DePriest/Getty Images(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) -- FBI agents returned Sunday to the Cambridge, Mass., apartment where deceased Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev lived, searching the Norfolk Street home to learn as much as they can about the planning and preparation for the attack, officials said.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, allegedly told investigators that his brother was the architect of the bombing plot, and that the siblings made the bombs in the apartment Tsarnaev shared with his wife, Katherine Russell.

Russell's attorney said she was shocked by the bombings, but had no prior knowledge of the attacks being planned.

While ABC News has learned that the female DNA found on one of the bombs did not match Russell's the FBI is looking into what her husband may have said to her in a phone call just days after the bombings.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died in a gun battle with police on April 19, three days after the bombing that killed three people and injured more than 260 at the Boston Marathon, sparking an intense manhunt until police apprehended his younger brother.

Ruslan Tsami, the Tsarnaev brothers' uncle, arrived in Massachusetts today to arrange burial rites for Tamerlan, who was a devout Muslim.

Peter Stefan, a funeral home director in Worcester, Mass., told ABC’s Good Morning America that he has already looked for plots in New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts to bury Tsarnaev, but has had no luck.

"Is he a terrorist? Sure he is a terrorist, but I can't control what he did. But the person is dead, and burying a dead body, that's all it is," Stefan said.

Meanwhile, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is recovering in a prison hospital. He faces the death penalty if convicted in the bombing plot.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
May042013

Security Measures Heightened at Kentucky Derby After Boston Bombing

MARK ABRAHAM/AFP/GettyImages(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- Reworked security plans have been implemented at a number of upcoming sporting events, including Saturday's Kentucky Derby, in hopes of minimizing the risks of an attack similar to that of the Boston Marathon bombing.

"After Boston, these big events cannot even begin to roll the dice and say, 'Maybe we can skip here or there,'" Good Morning America sports contributor Christine Brennan said. "They've got to go all in and be as strong with their security as they have ever been."

As spectators arrive at Churchill Downs for the famed Kentucky Derby on Saturday, they will have to leave their coolers, cans, and glass bottles behind. While Derby fans' trademark hats are still permissible, snapping photos at the race will only be allowed if the camera doesn't have a detachable lens.

Despite the heightened security measures, it is still possible for individuals to evade stricter rules.

According to an arrest report, a 44-year-old man was able to sneak into Millionaires' Row at Churchill Downs without a ticket on Thursday. He then allegedly sat at a table and threatened to shoot people.

He was later taken into custody. Authorities did not find a weapon on the man.

The Kentucky Derby is not the only event where authorities plan to be vigilant. In preparation for the NBA Playoffs, the league told ABC News in a prepared statement that safety was always a priority.

"We regularly practice a wide range of state of the art security measures in all of our arenas," the NBA said.

Meanwhile, at the Long Island Marathon, authorities will have radiation detectors and police explosives-sniffing dog unit along the course of the race to identify any potential threats.

Only runners will be permitted at the starting line area, only clear bags distributed by the race's organizers will be permitted in bag check, and spectators won't be allowed to bring any bags into the finish line area, according to the marathon's website.

Following the Boston Marathon attacks on April 15, Lou Marcini, director of the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., told ABC News that security at large sporting events "is very difficult to ensure."

"If I go to a marathon tomorrow, are we going to be completely secure? The answer is probably not," Marciani said. "We'll do the best we can."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
May042013

Cemeteries Refuse to Bury Body of Boston Bombing Suspect

Photo by Glenn DePriest/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Cemeteries across the Northeast are refusing to bury the body of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev as his official cause of the death was released.

Authorities determined Tsarnaev died of gunshot wounds and blunt trauma to the head and torso after he was run over by his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarvaev, following a firefight with police.

Peter Stefan, a funeral home director in Worcester, Mass., told Good Morning America that he has already looked for plots in New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts to bury Tsarnaev, but has had no luck.

"Is he a terrorist? Sure he is a terrorist, but I can't control what he did. But the person is dead, and burying a dead body, that's all it is," Stefan said.

Residents of Worcester, Mass., where Stefan's funeral home is located, are furious that the body of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev remains in the city.

"What do you mean just leave it? They don't do that in this country and we bury the worst of the worst here," Worcester resident William Breault told GMA.

Meanwhile, investigators search for more clues into where the Tsarnaev brothers built the bombs used in Boston Marathon attack.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev allegedly told investigators that his brother was the leader and author of the bombing plot, and that the siblings made the bombs in the apartment Tsarnaev shared with his wife, Katherine Russell.

Russell's attorney said she was shocked by the bombings, but had no prior knowledge of the attacks being planned.

While ABC News has learned that the female DNA found on one of the bombs did not match Russell's, the FBI is looking into what her husband may have said to her in a phone call just days after the bombings.

In addition, the father of Azamat Ismagulov, one of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's friends who was arrested and charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice for taking his laptop and allegedly trying to dump a backpack full of fireworks, told ABC News he could not believe his son was implicated in the crimes.

"From the beginning, I did not believe and I do not believe right now that my son is guilty," Azamat's father Amir Ismagulov said. "I don't believe it."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May012013

Three Suspects Charged in Connection with Boston Marathon Bombing

Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Three more people have been taken into custody in connection with the deadly bombing at the Boston Marathon, two charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice and one with lying to investigators.

A criminal complaint filed Wednesday alleges two college-aged friends of bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19-year-olds Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, allegedly destroyed or concealed a laptop computer and a backpack containing fireworks belonging to Dzhokhar after the bombing. The third suspect, 19-year-old American Robel Phillipos, has been charged with lying to federal law enforcement officers.

All three suspects appeared in a Boston court Wednesday for an initial hearing where they were voluntarily detained pending future bail hearings.

Dzhokhar is in custody after being seriously injured in his flee from police. His brother and alleged co-conspirator Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police hours before Dzhokhar's capture. The pair is accused of setting off two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, killing three people and injuring 170 more.

According to court documents, all three new suspects went to Dzhokhar's dormitory room on April 18 after they saw images released by the FBI of two suspects, one of which resembled their friend. Kadyrbayev texted Dzhokhar, saying that Dzhokhar looked like the guy being shown on television.

"LOL," replied Dzhokhar, court documents said. Kadyrbayev took that and other texts like "you better not text me" to be jokes.

It wasn't until the teens noticed fireworks with missing powder in Dzhokhar's room that Kadyrbayev allegedly "knew" his friend was involved with the deadly attack.

Kadyrbayev decided to take the backpack "to help his friend [Dzhokhar] avoid trouble" and took the laptop because he didn't want Dzhokhar's roommate to think he was behaving suspiciously. The documents assert that later Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov decided together to throw the backpack and fireworks in the trash.

Robert Stahl, an attorney for Kadyrbayev, said Wednesday his client was not aware Dzhokhar was a suspect in the bombing when he took the backpack and laptop and did not know the items might have been involved in a bombing or were of evidentiary value. Harlan Protass, an attorney for Tazhayakov, said that his client has cooperated fully with authorities and "looks forward" to the truth coming out in his case.

Prosecutors said Phillipos initially told federal investigators he did not remember going to Dzhokhar's room and then said the three friends went there but did not go in. In his fourth interview with investigators, however, Phillipos "eventually confessed that he had lied to the agents," the court documents say.

Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov face up to five years in prison and Phillipos faces a maximum sentence of up to eight years if convicted, the DOJ said.

Late Tuesday, the Tsarnaev family was deciding what to do with Tamerlan's body.

Bella Tsarnaev, one of the young man's sisters, told ABC News in her first public statement that she and her sister Ailina have planned a proper Muslim burial for Tamerlan.

When the Massachusetts Medical Examiner's Office was ready to release her husband's body, Tamerlan's widow Katherine Russell declined to take it herself, according to her attorney.

"It is Katherine Russell's wish that his remains be released to the Tsarnaev family, and we will communicate her wishes to the proper authorities," attorney Amato DeLuca said Tuesday. DeLuca also said Russell has been meeting with law enforcement and is providing "as much assistance to the investigation as she can."

The statement came as investigators said they may have pinpointed a turning point in Tamerlan's growth into alleged radical: a 2012 trip to Russia in which he may have had contact with Russian Islamists.

American officials said they are investigating whether Tamerlan had been in contact over the Internet with a man named William Plotnikov, a Russian-Canadian and a fellow boxer, who had converted to Islam and joined the militant insurgency in the North Caucasus. Plotnikov was killed by Russian authorities while Tamerlan was in Russia, and Tamerlan left the country just days later.

Investigators also want to know what Tamerlan was doing with a known militant recruiter in the region named Mansur Mukhamed Nidal, with whom Tamerlan was repeatedly seen leaving a controversial mosque in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan. Nidal was also killed by Russian authorities while Tamerlan was in Russia.

But despite what authorities said was photographic evidence the Tsarnaev brothers were behind the Boston bombing and comments reportedly from the surviving brother about how they executed the plot, family friend Britney Smith told ABC News she's not convinced.

"I was always taught to believe what you see and...what I see is two people walking with book bags. I don't see them planting down explosives. I don't see book bags being dropped," Smith said, apparently referring to images widely circulated by the FBI that show the brothers with bags either near or heading in the direction of each of the bomb sites. "If he [Dzhokhar] gets convicted and I see proof of him doing it, then I will be in total shock. I would be in disbelief and disgust that he would do that."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr282013

Russian Wiretaps May Be Key in Piecing Together Bomb Suspect's Life

FBI(BOSTON) -- Federal investigators are hoping several clues, including a Russian wiretap and a laptop, will be key to helping them piece together the life of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the deceased Boston Marathon bombing suspect.

The conversations between Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his mother were recorded in 2011 and gave Russian officials concern, however the specifics weren't revealed to U.S. officials until this week, sources told ABC News.

"These tapes are potentially important if there's more to them then has been publicly released," said Brad Garrett, a former FBI special agent and ABC News analyst.

Authorities spent several days searching for Tamerlan Tsarnaev's laptop in a New Bedford landfill near the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth campus, where younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev attended college, sources told ABC News.

It was unclear if investigators found the laptop, however sources told ABC News authorities found a cell phone believed to belong to Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a nearby apartment.

Another focus of the investigation has been on a mysterious man named Misha, the person who reportedly influenced Tamerlan or possibly even radicalized him.

The suspects' mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, told ABC News Misha knew a lot about Islam and that it was interesting to learn from him, but denied his views were extreme.

"Nonsense. He was just a friend," Tsarnaeva said earlier this week before she sat down with FBI investigators for a second day of interviews in Dagestan, in southern Russia.

She said their relationship with Misha, an Armenian with a red beard whose identity and full name remain a mystery, was short because he moved to another part of the United States. She did not say where.

Tsarnaeva has denied her sons had a role in the bombing. Her eldest son, Tamerlan, was killed after a shootout with police on April 19, sparking an unprecedented manhunt for 19-year-old Dzhokhar, who managed to escape and was later found hiding in a boat parked in the backyard of a Watertown, Mass. home.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was moved from a hospital to the Federal Medical Center Devens in Ayer, Mass., on Friday.

Meanwhile, along Boylston Street, the site of the bombing, it was a return to normal this weekend with stores open for business.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr272013

Boston Marathon Bombing Victim Honored on Little League Opening Day

The Richard Family(DORCHESTER, Mass.) – Saturday was the opening day for Boston-area little league, where Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings, would have played. He was honored by the community and his teammates at a ceremony before the first pitch.

The event began with a parade complete with drums and bagpipes, before a minister lead the crowd in prayer.

“We prayerfully remember all those who have gone before us,” the minster said. “Obviously and especially Martin whose life was short and lived here partially on this field.”

“Martin Richard… is on this field with us today, he is on this field watching us play baseball today,” said State Representative Martin Walsh.

Though the event focused on Martin’s life and what he loved, some could help but feel the reality of his absence.

“It's really sad, you know, he couldn't even throw the first pitch or nothing,” remarked seven-year-old Anthony Manion, who was upset that Richard wasn’t with his team.

“Just an awful tragedy, a tragic thing that he can't be here today,” said Denise Mitchell, who says her son and the boy were close friends.

A board member of the Dorchester League announced that they had reached their financial goals for the year and any additional money they receive will be donated to the Martin Richard Fund.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr242013

Suspected Marathon Bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Family Used Welfare

FBI(BOSTON) -- Alleged Boston Bombing mastermind Tamerlan Tsarnaev was receiving government welfare in the years before he and his brother turned on the state of Massachusetts and allegedly killed three people and injured more than 200, the state confirmed Wednesday.

Tsarnaev and his wife, Katherine Russell, both received welfare benefits for their family, which included their young daughter, until they stopped meeting income eligibility requirements in 2012, according to the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services.

They would not describe what kind of benefits or how much money the couple received.

The timeline coincides with the years Tamerlan Tsarnaev reportedly became more radicalized in his Muslim beliefs. He was interviewed by the FBI in 2011 after Russia flagged Tsarnaev for his potentially dangerous views.

Tsarnaev was killed in a gun battle with police last week while on the run after the bombings. His brother, Dzhokhar, was injured but captured alive on Friday, and remains in a Boston hospital. He is charged with using weapons of mass destruction.

Both Tsarnaev brothers had previously received government benefits when they came with their parents to the U.S. and received transitional assistance money, the HHS said.

Russell’s attorney told the Boston Herald that Katherine Russell was working up to 80 hours a week as a home health aide while Tsarnaev stayed at home.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







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