Prosecutors: Tsarnaevs Picked up Arsenal of Weapons, Explosives After Their Photos Were Published

The home of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Norfolk Street in Cambridge.
The home of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Norfolk Street in Cambridge. –Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Federal prosecutors allege that Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev picked up weapons and explosives from their family’s Cambridge apartment after the FBI published images of them days after the Boston Marathon bombings.

The Boston Globe reports:

Within hours, MIT Police Officer Sean Collier was shot to death in Cambridge and Tamerlan Tsarnaev was fatally injured in a confrontation with police in Watertown in which the brothers used a handgun and hurled homemade bombs at officers, federal prosecutors said.

The Tsarnaevs’ alleged actions are detailed in a court documents filed on Monday. In the filing prosecutors said, on April 18, 2013, Dzhokhar drove from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth to his brother’s apartment in Cambridge where they “collected an arsenal of weapons from the apartment and then set out on a murderous crime spree that included the execution of a police officer, a carjacking, kidnaping, and robbery, and a shoot-out with police officers in Watertown.’’


Tamerlan Tsarnaev was later killed during a confrontation with law enforcement in Watertown.

In the filing, prosecutors said the arsenal of weapons the Tsarnaevs’ collected included “at least six bombs, a handgun and other weapons.’’

Prosecutors filed the court documents to argue against a motion filed by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers to suppress evidence seized from the apartment as well as his dorm room.

According to the Associated Press:

In [the court filing], prosecutors said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told his mother in an email days after the explosions that he expected to die. Prosecutors say Tsarnaev wrote the email before the slaying of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer and the subsequent shootout.

"If I don't see you in this life I will see you in the akhira," prosecutors said he wrote. In Arabic, akhirah refers to the afterlife.

Prosecutors pointed to the email in defending their search of the Norfolk Street apartment and said, “these circumstances leave little doubt that when Tsarnaev left the Norfolk Street apartment on April 18, he did not expect to return alive, and thus abandoned his expectation of privacy in everything left behind.’’

Prosecutors also said that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev “abandoned any expectation of privacy in his dorm room’’ because he sent a text message to a friend telling him, “if y[o]u want y[o]u can go to my room and take what’s there.’’

According to the filing, agents seized a total of 100 items during their first search of the apartment and 27 items during their first search of the dorm room. They later obtained search warrants for both locations to seize items left behind during the first searches, according to the filing. Prosecutors said one of the items taken in the first search of the Cambridge apartment was a Russian dictionary with “a prayer card bearing handwritten references to convicted terrorist Tarek Mehanna and the late al-Q’aeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki.’’


Both brothers are accused of planting two bombs near the Boston Marathon finish line that killed three people and injured more than 260 on April 15, 2013. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to several federal charges.

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