Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev allegedly left a written confession in a boat where he was captured by law enforcement officials in April, writing, “I don’t like killing innocent people,” but suggesting it was “allowed” because of U.S. actions abroad.
“The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians. I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished. We Muslims are one body, you hurt one, you hurt us all,” Tsarnaev allegedly wrote. “Stop killing our innocent people, we will stop.”
The details were revealed in a 30-count indictment by a federal grand jury on Thursday that charges Tsarnaev, 19, with using weapons of mass destruction in the April 15 bombings and killing four people.
Authorities say Tsnarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, planted two pressure-cooker bombs near the marathon’s finish line. The bombs, which were detonated within seconds of each other, killed three people and injured more than 260. The indictment says the bombs were constructed in a manner "designed to shred flesh, shatter bone and cause extreme pain and suffering, as well as death."
Tsarnaev was also indicted in the April 18 death of MIT police Officer Sean Collier, who was shot while Tsarnaev and his brother were on the run from police. According to the indictment, the brothers were heavily armed while attempting to escape, having in their possession five IEDs, a handgun, ammunition, a machete and a hunting knife.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed after a shootout with police on April 19 in Watertown, Mass., outside Boston. The indictment offered new details on his death, saying it came after the brothers were trying to "shoot, bomb, kill or disable" police officers trying to apprehend them. Tamerlan was tackled by three police officers when his younger brother ran back to a Mercedes-Benz they had stolen earlier and "drove it directly at the three officers." One of the officers tried to "drag" the older brother out of the way, but Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ran over him "seriously injuring him and contributing to his death."
Tsarnaev was captured later that day, hiding in a boat parked in a nearby backyard. He's currently being held in a federal prison outside Boston.
According to the indictment, Tsarnaev downloaded several pieces of extremist Islamic propaganda from the Internet before the bombings, including a book that warned Muslims not to give allegiance to governments who invade foreign lands. The book featured a forward from Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Muslim cleric who became a senior operative in al-Qaida and was killed in a 2011 U.S. drone strike in Yemen.
According to the U.S. attorney's office in Boston, 17 of the charges against Tsarnaev could bring the death penalty or life in prison. He's scheduled to be arraigned on July 10 at the U.S. District Court in Boston.
Liz Goodwin contributed to this report.