Boston Marathon bombing: Mystery remains over motive

A hush fell over Boston as the victims were remembered on Monday

The motive for the Boston Marathon bombing remains unclear, despite charges being filed against surviving suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Federal prosecutors charged him in hospital with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death.

He could be sentenced to death if convicted on either count.

At the hearing, he managed to speak once despite a gunshot wound to his throat sustained during his capture.

Mr Tsarnaev, 19, said the word "no" when asked if he could afford a lawyer. Otherwise he nodded in response to Judge Marianne B Bowler's questions from his bed at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The next hearing in his case has been scheduled for the end of May.

The charges mean Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could face the death penalty if convicted.

It has been decided he will be tried in a normal criminal court, not by a military tribunal. He will not be treated as an "enemy combatant", which would mean he wouldn't be allowed the right to remain silent but would be interrogated to gain intelligence about the background to the attack.

The first decision is not particularly controversial, the second is. Several Republican politicians have already attacked the decision saying that it will limit the authorities' ability to gather vital intelligence.

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

Meanwhile security officials are expected to face questioning in the Senate Intelligence Committee about whether the FBI mishandled information on Mr Tsarnaev's 26-year-old brother Tamerlan.

He was interviewed in 2011 at the request of the Russian government based on concerns that he had become a follower of radical Islam. However, it appears no further action was taken.

Tamerlan, who is suspected of carrying out the attack along with his brother, was killed during a manhunt last Friday.

Boston observed a moment of silence for the victims at 14:50 local time (18:50 GMT) on Monday, exactly a week after the attack.

The twin bombs which exploded near the finishing line killed three people and injured more than 200.

Of those injured, 13 lost limbs. More than 50 people remained in hospital on Monday, three of them in critical condition.

Motive sought

The 10-page criminal complaint filed against Mr Tsarnaev sets out the attack in detail.

It seeks to locate both suspects at the scene of the bombing and then pieces together the operation to intercept them three days later, as they drove a hijacked car near the city, hours after images of their faces were broadcast by the media.

No mention is made of their possible reasons for attacking the marathon.

However, speaking on condition of anonymity, two US officials told the Associated Press news agency on Monday that the brothers had been motivated by religion.

The Tsarnaev brothers

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (L), 26, and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19
  • Sons of Chechen refugees from the troubled Caucasus region of southern Russia
  • Family is thought to have moved to the US in 2002, from Russian republic of Dagestan
  • They lived in the Massachusetts town of Cambridge, home to Harvard University
  • Dzhokhar, 19, (right) was awarded a scholarship to pursue further education; he wanted to become a brain surgeon, according to his father
  • Tamerlan, 26, was an amateur boxer who had reportedly taken time off college to train for a competition; he described himself as a "very religious" non-drinker and non-smoker

Both men are known to be Muslims, with origins in the troubled republic of Chechnya in southern Russia. They had been living in the US for about a decade at the time of the attack.

AP's sources said they did not appear to have been linked to any Islamist militant groups.

Little has emerged to suggest the younger brother was a religious militant but the older man appears to have been drawn to radical Islam.

Last year, Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent six months in Dagestan, another mainly Muslim Russian republic bordering Chechnya. During the visit, he also reportedly spent two days in Chechnya itself.

An investigation by Radio Liberty has found evidence suggesting he lived on his own in Dagestan for two months, contrary to earlier reports that he was with his father the whole time.

'A little jolly girl'

The funeral was held on Monday of 29-year-old restaurant worker Krystle Campbell, one of the three people killed in the bombing.

She had been at the marathon finish line after going to watch the race with a friend.

Lu Jun attends his daughter Lingzi's memorial service in Boston, 22 April Lu Jun attended his daughter Lingzi's memorial service in Boston

A memorial service was also held for Chinese graduate student Lu Lingzi, 23, at Boston University.

Her father, Lu Jun, thanked everyone for helping the family over the recent dark days.

"She was the family's Shirley Temple, if you will, the little elf and a little jolly girl, bringing everyone in the family ceaseless laughter,'' he said, speaking through an interpreter.

Ms Lu's roommate, Jing Li, addressed her words to her dead friend: "You need us to be strong and brave.

"We will keep running to finish the race for you and we will try to realise your unfinished dream."

A silence was observed across the state of Massachusetts, to be broken by the tolling of church bells.

In New York, stock exchange traders paused out of respect and commemorative events were held as far away as the Canadian capital Ottawa and French capital Paris.

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