Boston, Massachusetts: A federal grand jury has issued a 30-count indictment against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect, charging him with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill three people and injure more than 200 others, according to the Justice Department.
The grand jury also charged him over the killing of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer, from whom he and his brother tried to steal a firearm, the authorities said, as they tried to elude the police after the FBI released photos of them.
Alleged Boston bomber indicted on 30 charges
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Alleged Boston bomber indicted on 30 charges
The surviving Boston bombing suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is charged with 30 counts in relation to the April 15 attacks.
Tsarnaev faces life in prison or the death penalty on 17 of the charges, according to the Justice Department. He is scheduled to be arraigned on July 10.
An array of 18 officials from federal, state and local government and law enforcement agencies announced the indictment. It provided the most detailed account from the authorities of the events leading up to and following the April 15 bombings, but officials remained vague about the bombers' motive.
''They took these acts to affect what the United States foreign policy may be,'' lawyer Carmen Ortiz said.
She said the bombings were also ''perhaps a protest against what they viewed as actions by the United States in foreign countries.''
In addition to the federal indictment, Tsarnaev was indicted by a Middlesex County grand jury on more than a dozen criminal charges, including murder for the shooting death of the MIT police officer.
The Middlesex County district attorney, Marian Ryan, said that no date had been set for a court appearance on those charges, and that any trial would not run concurrently with a federal trial.
The federal indictment said that Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, who was killed during a shootout with the police in Watertown, Massachussets, built the two explosive devices that they detonated at the finish line of the marathon using pressure cookers, explosive powder, shrapnel, adhesives and other items ''designed to shred skin, shatter bone and cause extreme pain and suffering, as well as death.''
The authorities described how Tsarnaev killed his brother. They said that, after the brothers tried to ''shoot, bomb and kill'' the officers who were trying to apprehend them, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was tackled to the ground by three police officers.
At that point, the indictment says, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev drove the car that the brothers had been using ''at the three police officers,'' who were trying to drag his brother to safety. The car barely missed one of the officers but ran over Tamerlan, ''seriously injuring him and contributing to his death.''
After Tsarnaev killed his brother, he struck a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officer as he tried to speed away, seriously injuring him.
Shortly after, Tsarnaev abandoned the vehicle, smashed both of his mobile phones and hid in a boat that was parked in the backyard of a house.
While hiding in the boat, Tsarnaev wrote several messages about his motivations.
According to the authorities, he wrote the following: ''The US 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"; and ''Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop".
Tsarnaev also wrote that he did not ''like killing innocent people'' because ''it is forbidden in Islam''. The rest of that message included a word that the authorities could not make out, but the message appeared to have said that, because of what had been done to Muslims, such violence was allowed.
The indictment listed books and readings that Tsarnaev downloaded that may have influenced his beliefs and taught him how to assemble the bombs.The authorities said he downloaded a digital copy of a book that had a foreword written by Anwar al-Awlaki, the US-born al-Qaeda leader whom the United States killed in a 2011 drone strike.
The book ''directs Muslims not to give their allegiance to governments that invade Muslim lands,'' the authorities said.
Tsarnaev also downloaded a publication that calls for Muslims to use violence ''to terrorise the perceived enemies of Islam, among other things.''
Another publication he downloaded ''glorifies martyrdom in the service of violent jihad.''
As the federal authorities had previously said, Tsarnaev also downloaded a copy of the al-Qaeda magazine Inspire, which has given instructions on how to build explosive devices using pressure cookers.
The New York Times