The Boston Bombings Suspects: 12 New Questions About the Tsarnaev Brothers Answered

Dzhokhar TsarnaevAs everyone who has been following the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing case knows, the second suspect, 19-year-old ethnic Chechnyan and University of Massachusetts student Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was taken alive into custody. Authorities are hoping that he can provide answers as to his motivation, whether he and his brother, Tamerlan, who was killed, are working with anyone else, and whether there are other terrorist plots afoot. Here are 12 questions answered about the suspects.


More from The Stir: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Is Finally Answering Questions But His Answers May Be Unsatisfying

1. What is Dzhokhar's condition?

The teen is reportedly awake and sporadically communicating with authorities through writing, but he cannot speak to due a throat wound.

2. How is he being treated?

He is under guard and is handcuffed to his hospital bed. He is in serious condition.

3. Was he read his Miranda rights?

Reportedly, Dzhokhar was not read his Miranda rights prior to questioning due to his status as a public safety threat. Police were obviously eager to question him about further bombs and felt they couldn't wait for a lawyer for that. Public opinion is divided on this decision.

4. Did he try to commit suicide?

Early reports said that Dzhokhar put the gun to his mouth and shot while cornered in the boat where he was apprehended. The bullet reportedly came out of his neck. Other reports have said it's unclear whether the police fired on him and caused his injury.

5. What has he been asked?

Reportedly, interrogators have asked him whether there are any other unexploded bombs and whether or not he was working with other cell members. Questions included: Where did you make the bombs? Are there any more bombs? Are there any more people?

6. Were the alleged bombers working with anyone else?

While some friends of the brothers were briefly arrested, early reports say the pair were working alone. However, authorities would probably say this even if it weren't true as to keep an investigation into a cell under wraps. Additionally, how reliable is Dzhokhar's word?

7. What could be their motive?

Reports point to older brother Tamerlan being "radicalized" by extreme Muslims sometime during a trip he made to Russia in 2012. Friends and family report that he came home much different. Yet his father claims no such thing happened and he spent most of his Russian visit sleeping. But he also admits that Tamerlan would "... go visiting, here and there."

8. Who killed Tamerlan? Did his own brother do it?

An eyewitness says that Dzhokhar ran over his brother while trying to escape police fire during their wild night of robbing and carjacking the night before Dzhokhar's capture. But reports say that Tamlerlan had so many injures, it's impossible to tell if he died from being run over or from gun fire.

9. Did they have gun permits?

Despite engaging in a gun battle with police, having handguns, a rifle, and 250 rounds of ammunition, the pair apparently did not have gun licenses. The younger brother would have been too young to apply and authorities say they have no record of the older brother having a gun permit.

10. Is their father coming to the U.S.?

Anzor Tsarnaev, who lives in Russia, has said he believes his sons were framed. He is reportedly planning to come to the U.S. -- possibly as early as Wednesday. (Considering Russians need a visa to enter the U.S. I would be surprised if he gets here that early.) Tamerlan's parents reportedly would like to fly their son's body home. I imagine the FBI will decide the body's ultimate fate.

11. Who would get the $50,000 reward for capturing the bombers?

There are two people who are integral to the capture of the alleged bombers. One is the carjacking victim, who called 911 after being let go by the alleged bombers, and whose cellphone, still in his car, was used to track their location. The other is Watertown resident Dave Henneberry, who discovered Dzhokhar hiding out in his dry-docked boat. (One of the brothers' aunts also called a tip line with their identities after their pictures were released.) Additionally, Dzhokhar would have to be proven guilty.

12. What about Tamerlan's wife and child?

Tamerlan's wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, is wanted for questioning by authorities. Katherine, who converted to Islam after meeting Tamerlan, and her toddler daughter, Zahara, are currently staying with her parents in Rhode Island.

Do you think the bombers worked alone? Why do you think they did this?

Image via Boston Police Dept.

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