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Boston Marathon suspect charged

  • The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction, the US Department of Justice announced on Monday.

    If found guilty, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could face the death penalty. He also faces one count of malicious destruction of property resulting in death.

    The twin bombs close to the finishing line of last Monday's marathon killed three people and wounded more than 200.

    Tsarnaev will be tried in a normal criminal court, as opposed to a military tribunal. He will not be treated as an "enemy combatant", which means he will be given the right to remain silent rather than be interrogated to obtain background information to the attack. Republican politicians have criticized the decision, saying that it will hinder the ability to collect intelligence.

    President Barack Obama made it clear soon after he came to office that people would no longer be treated as unlawful enemy combatants. The term was invented by the Bush administration as a category for terrorists and al-Qaeda supporters fighting in Afghanistan who were not given the rights of either prisoners of war or criminals.

    Tsarnaev, 19, was apprehended on Friday evening after a widespread manhunt. He is not yet able to speak because of a throat wound but has responded to questions in writing.

    His elder brother and suspected accomplice, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died. The brothers were captured on security footage on the sidewalk before the blast. The pair were the sons of Chechen refugees who moved to the U.S. in 2001 from the Russian republic of Dagestan.

    No motive for the attack has yet been found.

    According to officials, the FBI interviewed Tamerlan in 2011 after a request from a foreign government, believed to be Russia. However, agents closed the case after finding no cause for concern.

    Know more about the MIT shooting, visit Boston Marathon Explosion Map

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