Prosecution in the trial of 21 year old ethnic Chechen Dzhokhar Tsarnaev might be nearing its end, with everything revolving around the image built around him: that of a confused teenager manipulated by his older fundamentalist brother, or of an emerging young jihadi extremist.
Among recent evidence presented in the case were text messages and laptop files pertaining to Tsarnaev, with the FBI trying to dismount the defense’s strategy of having the weight of the blame placed on his deceased brother Tamerlan, killed shortly after the attacks in a gunfight with law enforcement officers.
An FBI computer specialist presented texts extracted from Dhzokhar’s iPhone in which he both admits his guilt and appears to be boasting about the attack to a university friend of Chechen origin. He also presented copies of Al-Qaeda driven jihadist “Inspire” magazine, found within his laptop’s files, with one number including a guide on the manufacturing of home-made bombs similar to those used in the 2013 attack.
The ethnic Chechen’s defense tried to downplay evidence presented by the FBI by questioning causality between the presence of the files and the attack itself, also arguing that they might be transferred from his older brother’s laptop. His attorney, William Fick, also pointed out that the electronic editions of the jihadist magazine formed only a small part of the data held on his laptop, with most of it consisting of university homework.
Despite the fact that Dzhokhar pleaded as innocent at the beginning of the trial, his guilt in the attack will most certainly be established due to overwhelming evidence. The only escape route viable to keep him from either death penalty or life sentence with no possibility of being freed on parole is being able to prove that he had been decisively influenced in the act by his older brother Tamerlan.
The younger of the Tsarnaev brothers is being prosecuted for his role in the 2013 terrorist attack during the annual Boston Marathon, in which he and his older brother set off three pressure cooker bombs that killed three people, including an eight year old boy, and wounded over 200 others, with some of them being handicapped for life.
Image Source: Irish Examiner