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WASHINGTON, April 22 (Itar-Tass) - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Monday, April 22, that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, resulting in the death of three people and injuries to more than 200 people.
Tsarnaev, 19, a U.S. citizen and resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is specifically charged with one count of using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction (namely, an improvised explosive device) against persons and property within the United States resulting in death, and one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death.
The charges authorise a penalty, upon conviction, of death or imprisonment for life or any term of years. Tsarnaev had his initial court appearance on April 22 from his hospital room, the Department of Justice said.
“Although our investigation is ongoing, today’s charges bring a successful end to a tragic week for the city of Boston, and for our country,” Attorney General Eric Holder said. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with each of the bombing victims and brave law enforcement professionals who lost their lives or suffered serious injuries as a result of this week’s senseless violence. Thanks to the valour of state and local police, the dedication of federal law enforcement and intelligence officials, and the vigilance of members of the public, we’ve once again shown that those who target innocent Americans and attempt to terrorise our cities will not escape from justice. We will hold those who are responsible for these heinous acts accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin stressed that “the events of the past week underscore in stark terms the need for continued vigilance against terrorist threats both at home and abroad. Friday’s arrest and today’s charges demonstrate what can be achieved by a collaborative, round-the clock response involving law enforcement officers, intelligence professionals, prosecutors and the general public.”
“Today’s charges are the culmination of extraordinary law enforcement coordination and the tireless efforts of so many, including ordinary citizens who became heroes as they responded to the call for help in the hours and days following the Marathon tragedy,” Carmen Ortiz, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said.
He said the impact of these crimes has been “far- reaching, affecting a worldwide community that is looking for peace and justice.”
“We hope that this prosecution will bring some small measure of comfort both to the public at large and to the victims and their families that justice will be served. While we will not be able to comment on any possible communications between the suspect and law enforcement at this time, as a general rule, the government will always seek to elicit all the actionable intelligence and information we can from terrorist suspects taken into our custody,” Ortiz said.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Weinreb and Aloke Chakravarty from the Anti-Terrorism and National Security Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, with assistance from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
The Department of Justice said that charges contained in an indictment or criminal complaint are merely allegations, and that defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.