PoliticsNation, Monday, April 22nd, 2013
Read the transcript from the Monday show
April 22, 2013
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Guests: Catherine Crier; Kelly Currie; Bryan Bender; Clint Van Zandt; Anna Sale; Rosie Gray
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris. Thanks to you for
Tonight`s lead, charged with terror. One week after the attacks at
the Boston marathon, the suspected bomber was charged today with using
weapons of mass destruction, a charge that could carry the death penalty.
The complaint reveals new details about the attack, including how the
suspect behaved at the moment of the bombing.
Quote "the large crowd of people around him can be seen reacting to
the first explosion. In apparent bewilderment and alarm. Bomber two
virtually alone among the individuals in the front of the restaurant
The suspect is reportedly awake and communicating with officials by
writing things down. Unable to speak because of apparent gunshot wounds to
the head, neck, legs, and hand.
Today, the Boston globe reports the younger brother may have actually
killed his brother when he drove over him in that shootout with the police
early Friday morning. And late Friday night, this police thermal video
shows the suspect hiding on the boat later that night. Members of the SWAT
team who pulled him from that boat spoke just a few moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGEANT SARO THOMPSON, BOSTON SWAT TEAM: When we first started
moving up to the boat, he was laying on the side of the boat. He was in
and out of consciousness when we got to about 10, 15 yards from him. He
sat back up. We moved from behind the shield cover and we pulled him down
and put the cuffs on him.
Before we saw him, there was an exchange of gunfire. The boat does
have fuel on it. We didn`t know what he had on the boat with him as far as
IEDs, any kind of explosive devices, and we just moved in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Today, officials are also saying they think the brothers
may have been planning more attacks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDWARD DAVIS, COMMISSIONER, BOSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: We have reason
to believe, based upon the evidence that was found at that scene, the
explosions, the explosive ordinance that was unexploded and the fire power
that they had, they were going to I a tack other individuals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Today, the people of Boston observed a moment of silence
for the victims starting at 2:50 p.m. when the first bomb exploded. And a
funeral was held today for 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, one of the three
victims that died in the bombings.
Joining me now are NBC Michael Isikoff, live in Boston and Jim
Cavanaugh, former ATF special agent who led the investigations in to the
Atlanta Olympic bombing and Don Clark, former agent in charge of the FBI
field office in Houston.
Michael, let me go to you first. What jumps out at you from the FBI
complaint filed today?
MICHAEL ISIKOFF, NBC NEWS NATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Well,
actually, the passage describing the carjacking, a rather chilling account
from the victim in which he was -- in which he describes being in his car
on a road in Cambridge, one of the Tsarnaev brothers, the affidavit is not
clear which one, knocks on the window, he rolls down the window, that
Tsarnaev opens the door, gets in, brand dishes his gun, says did you hear
about the Boston explosion and then adds, I did that. A boast that he was
the bomber and then shows him his gun, takes out the magazine, shows the
bullet in it, puts the magazine back in and says, I`m serious. He then
orders the carjacker to drive him to an ATM machine, also to pick up his
brother, then take over the car and eventually the car -- the victim is
able to escape. But that boast, I did that, was one of the more powerful
elements in the complaint.
SHARPTON: So, it was done as a boast, not a confession, no remorse,
no desperation as to why they need money, it`s done as if he did it as a
ISIKOFF: That`s certainly the way it reads in the complaint. And
they seem to be -- this teams to come directly from the victim of the
carjacking. Now, there`s lots of other evidence in there. The primary
evidence they seem to be using to tie the younger Tsarnaev to the bombing
is the video surveillance evidence.
ISIKOFF: But they also make it clear the IEDs that were found, that
were hurled from that car that night during the shootout matched the IEDs
used in the explosions, same pressure cooker type device and also something
that struck me was the wounds that Tsarnaev suffered.
ISIKOFF: Hand, neck, hands, throat, all bullet wounds. Making it
clear he`s not in very good shape. Now, he did have his initial court
appearance in the hospital today. And --
SHARPTON: Yes, the judge came to him in the hospital.
ISIKOFF: The judge came to him in the hospital, read him his rights
which, by the way, makes the whole controversy over Miranda rights now
pretty much moot. He has been read his rights. He has a lawyer. So that
part of the controversy seems to be -- that part of the issue seems to be
put aside at this moment.
SHARPTON: Let me go to Don, Michael.
Don, when you read the complaint and it says about their homemade
bombs, let`s go back to what Michael was just talking about in the IEDs.
The complaint says they threw at least two small improvised explosive
devices, IEDs, out of the car and intact low-grade device was discovered
inside the car in addition from the scene of the shootout. The FBI has
recovered two unexploded IEDs as well as the remnants of numerous exploded
Now, does this say to you, when we read numerous exploded IEDs, does
that support the idea that they planned more attacks to you, Don?
DON CLARK, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, you know, Al, I think
right off the bat, when you look at this circumstance here, I mean, clearly
this was a planned attack. It not only was a planned attack by the
activities that they went about, but if you go back and look, years and
months gone back at how these people operated and so on and so forth and we
don`t know all of the information that the law enforcement who, by the way,
have done such a great job of putting this whole thing together, all of
them, and I`d like to applaud them.
But, nonetheless, that all is taking place and, yes, it was a planned
attack. This wasn`t anything by happenstance. I mean, you look at what we
know now about some of the weapons and some of the activities that these
people have and we still don`t know yet it hasn`t come out to us yet what
training that they had and where they may have gotten that training and to
whom may have trained them. So, I think they have truly done a good job of
bringing that to this court so soon.
SHARPTON: Well, not only the training, James Cavanaugh, the weapons
they had. "The New York Times" say the police found an m-4 assault rifle
on the boat where the young suspect was hiding. I mean, where does a
teenager get a weapon like that?
JAMES CAVANAUGH, FORMER ATF SPECIAL AGENT: Well, Reverend Al, he may
have gotten it at a robbery. I think it remains to be seen whether the
handguns they have is M-4 were taken into robbery or, you know, purchased
in a back alley or --. You know, it would be interesting to see how they
Your question also about the explosives is very interesting but the
thing that sticks out to me about the bombs that they threw at the
Watertown police and transit police is that they had a third pressure
cooker bomb and then they had these series of eight numerous IEDs. They
did not, between the time their photograph was put out to the Boston media
and the time they carjacked that citizen make those bombs.
CAVANAUGH: They did not make those bomb I`ve made a lot of bombs and
shot a lot of bombs over 36 years and I`m telling you, they did not do that
there. They scooped them up in their arms but they were already made in
their apartment and ready to go.
SHARPTON: So that suggests to you that they were planning other
CAVANAUGH: It does because the pressure cooker bomb is not something
you`re going to throw at people. It`s a bomb you are going to plant
somewhere. It is a size of it. So, it is pretty big container. Yes, I
think they had other attacks. It was the beginning of a bombing campaign.
SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you, Michael, the behavior of the suspects.
When you look at the fact that the complaint says in describing the
suspect`s behavior just seconds before the explosion, he says he walks away
without knapsack, having left it on the ground where he had been standing,
approximately ten seconds later an explosion occurs in the location where
the bomber two, which is the younger bomber had placed his knapsack.
Now, does that mean that he was an amateur a put himself within ten
seconds of being blown up or does it mean he was going to do a suicide
bombing and he chickened out and left? I mean, isn`t that cutting it very
close, ten seconds?
ISIKOFF: It`s cutting it very close but also suggests that there was
a considerable amount of planning to this. That, in fact, the description
of the way that the younger Tsarnaev sort of calmly walks away after laying
down a knapsack and when the bomb explodes and when everybody is running
and looking, he doesn`t blink at all.
That suggests a pretty cool customer and that`s not the sort of
behavior from somebody who has sort of put this together in a haphazard
way. It sounds like people that have thought it through, calculated it
through at exactly the right time. My guess is that they had been there
several times, staking it out, doing surveillance, getting an idea of
exactly what the timing was, what the route was that they were going to use
to escape, where they were going to go. All of that fits -- all of the
indicate here are of a very well planned attack. That does suggest --
SHARPTON: Go ahead, Michael.
ISIKOFF: I was just going to I say, that y, that`s certainly
consistent with somebody might have been training or helping them plan it.
It is not just positive of it. But, that kind of well-calculated attack is
consistent with somebody who -- with two people who had at least been
consulting with somebody else about how to do this. We have no evidence.
We have no proof of that. I`m just saying the circumstantial evidence here
is something that the FBI would want to look at if there was somebody along
SHARPTON: Well, there`s a lot of questions. A lot of questions that
we are just beginning to get to.
Michael Isikoff, Don Clark, and Jim Cavanaugh, thank you all for your
Coming up, we`re learning more tonight about mounting evidence against
suspect number two. Will he get the death penalty? And how did the older
brother become radicalized? New clues inside the family are sending off
And a very curious and early story coming out. Two years ago, suspect
one`s close friend was found murdered in his apartment and it`s raising all
kinds of questions.
Stay with us.
SHARPTON: Well, the suspect in the Boston bombing face the death
penalty? And how are prosecutors building the case against him? That`s
SHARPTON: Federal prosecutors have charged a suspected Boston bomber
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. A federal magistrate came to the suspect`s home for his
initial court appearance this afternoon. He was advised of his rights and
charged with one count of using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in
death and one count of malicious destruction of property resulting in
The charges carry the possibility of the death penalty or life in
prison. The public defender`s office is representing the criminal and the
evidence is laid out, including video of the suspect walking away from his
backpack moments before the second explosion. And evidence found in his
dorm room. So how will a case against this alleged bomber be prosecuted?
Joining me now are former judge and prosecutor Catherine Crier. She
is the author of the book, "patriot acts" and former federal prosecutor
Kelly Currie, who supervised a number of terrorism cases. He is now part
of the law firm of Crowell and more.
Catherine, the evidence here seems overwhelming. Do you think
prosecutors will seek the death penalty?
CATHERINE CRIER, FORMER JUDGE: I think it`s too early to tell and it
ought to be too early to tell. Certainly, Massachusetts is not one of the
states that has the death penalty and the federal government has been
somewhat respectful in whether or not they seek that particular penalty
went in the state in this circumstance. But you got 19-year-old, we don`t
know what the circumstances are, the relationship with his brother, who was
leading who, what, you know, what other involvement. So it`s too early to
answer that question.
SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you, Kelly, "The New York Times" reported
at the briefing today in the suspect`s hospital room. And it says, I`m
quoting "the Time," it says brief bedside proceeding began when Judge
Bowler asked a doctor whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was alert. According to a
transcript of the proceeding, he told the doctor, this is the judge, you
can rouse him, the judge told the doctor.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev nods affirmatively, according to the transcript, the
first of four times during the proceeding which in addition to the judge
and the doctor was attended by two federal prosecutor the two public
defenders, the judge`s court and a court reporter.
I mean, you have been a prosecutor of these cases, how unusual is it
to have a judge go to the suspect`s hospital?
KELLY CURRIE, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: You know, Reverend, I was a
prosecutor for nearly a dozen years. But, I don`t think I saw it once.
KELLY: So, I think, it`s extraordinary and it sort of demonstrates
the importance of starting the judicial process off on the right foot and
they want to do things the right way.
SHARPTON: Now, in the criminal complaint released today we learn the
FBI seized a white hat and white jacket of the same general appearance worn
by bomber two, Catherine. He also seized a lot of other evidence. I mean,
seems like they have a lot to go with.
CRIER: Well, I think it is one of the reasons why, even though we are
talking a lot about the Miranda issue and there are large repercussions
when we are discussing that. This case is not going to turn on a
confession by this particular suspect, I don`t believe. He is certainly
presumed innocent at this point in time but it looks like the government
has quite substantive evidence setting aside any remarks that the
individual has made, the comments that he may or may not make about other
involvement, his brother`s involvement are much more important to them than
an admission that might be admissible at the trial.
SHARPTON: No. There`s been a controversy around the Miranda rights
not being read to him and whether that will come back to haunt the
prosecution at trial if in fact there`s a trial and no pleading of guilty,
Then we understand his rights were read to him today at the hearing
with the judge and Michael Isikoff just said that makes the issue moot. Do
you feel as a prosecutor for almost a dozen years that the issue is moot
and does the fact that they just read him his rights now affect anything?
KELLY: Well, to the extent he was able to communicate at all to the
investigator before the court appearance and before his rights were read to
him, that means that particular issue is still relevant and still alive.
It`s not clear and I don`t think we understand what information was
obtained in that. I would assume that the defense will try to exclude that
evidence if the government seeks to introduce it. But as you suggest,
given the apparent strength of this case, it may be that the government
won`t try to seek to introduce that evidence at any trial against him. So,
that would render --
SHARPTON: And he couldn`t talk. Everything was in writing. So it`s
probably very limited anyway.
CRIER: Reverend, it`s important though, we are narrowly focused on
this horrific event but the Miranda issue and many others are so much
greater right now. Today, Congressman Peter King made a comment and he
senator McCain and Lindsey Graham have been calling for treating this man
as an enemy combatant. And he said America is part of the battleground.
And when anyone is found on the battle ground inside the United States
engaging in terrorist acts, that they should not be given the privilege of
a civilian trial. He said anyone, including citizens of this country.
We need to understand that the debate is not so much about this
individual, Miranda in this case, enemy combatant in this case. It is
that, once again, like post- 9/11, the Patriots act, the expansion of
government intervention and surveillance, now it`s the time that we have to
take that deep breath and say, backing off of this sort of talk is not
protecting this individual. It`s protecting our constitutional rights and
the tenants of this system.
SHARPTON: And that is going to be the bigger issue here.
CRIER: And we need to keep that in mind. We hear nonsense like
America`s a battlefield so even for U.S. citizens we can throw it all out
the window from here going forward because of sudden nebulous war on
SHARPTON: That`s the big debate here, Kelly. You`ve done terrorism
cases. When you have senators like Lindsey Graham saying that the suspect
should be tried as an enemy combatant and then you hear the "The New York
Times" comes back with an editorial and I`m going to quote from the
editorial, "Mr. Graham`s reckless statement makes a mockery of the superb
civilian police work that led to the suspect`s capture, starting with the
skillful analysis of the video recordings of the marathon. There is no
reason civilian prosecutors, defense lawyers and courts cannot continue to
do their work." What do thou say it, Kelly?
KELLY: Well, I think the civilian article three courts have a long
successful track record of prosecuting terrorism cases. Both before and
after 9/11. We seen it in recent years. And I think it`s appropriate and
virtually every circumstances especially when we are talking about a United
States citizen who where the conduct is principally here in the United
States. I think the administration got it just right here.
SHARPTON: And I see you nodding, amen for that, Catherine.
CRIER: I would second bet in the conversation that`s going on right
now, exacerbating fears in this country. Terrorists aren`t going after
territory. They are going after the creation of fear, panic, and
disruption of the system. We allow them to rip apart our constitution and
SHARPTON: Catherine Crier and Kelly Currie, thank you for your time
Coming up, he was a young man with a bright boxing future. A friend
is now describing the drastic turn his life took. And authorities want to
hear from his wife. How did she turn so quickly to a new religion?
And a bizarre and curious story developing. Suspect one`s friend was
found murdered two years ago. The case was never solved. News on that
SHARPTON: Tonight we`re learning about the older brother accused in
the Boston bombings and his marriage to an American woman named Katherine
Russell. How did they meet? What did she know about her husband`s
radicalism and what was she doing this week? It`s just part of the mystery
surrounding this case and we will talk about it next.
SHARPTON: People who knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev say his life took a
radical turn. A friend described it, quote, "as dramatic.` He and his
younger brother were once known for throwing loud parties. He was a
promising Boxer with Olympic aspirations. But that all changed when
Tamerlan became deeply religious. He gave up the sport, citing his Muslim
faith. And his father was furious he dropped it.
Over the past two years, he grew confrontational ad a local place of
worship. He angrily disrupted a January talk at a Cambridge mosque when
the speaker compared the prophet Mohammed and the peace activist Martin
Luther King Junior. He also interrupted a talk last November when a
speaker said it was fine for people to celebrate holidays such as
Thanksgiving and July 4th in the same way you celebrate the birthday of the
The Wall Street Journal" reports that this growing interest of
religion by both Tamerlan and his mother caused an upheaval in the
household with Tamerlan even persuading his mother to cover herself up.
And so why the drastic change? And did the suspect`s six-month trip to
Russia play a role in radicalizing this young man?
Joining me now are Bryan Bender, national security reporter for "the
Boston Globe" and former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt. Clint, what would
you have caused -- what would you think would have caused such a dramatic
CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER PROFILER: I think there`s a number of things
we`re probably going to find out in the 26-year-old brother`s life, Al. I
think that he had a confrontation with a former girlfriend. She accused
him of assault. He was arrested for that. That may have been the basis
why he, unlike his brother, was denied citizenship. He was denied the
opportunity to box for the United States in the Olympics. I think there
were a number of things in his life that really didn`t go his way and like
a cult in some cases or sometimes a religion or the way it`s presented for
others. There are individuals that will embrace you, bring you in, tell
you you`re a good person, tell you good things about yourself, give you an
aborted philosophy on religion and then maybe turn you into a bomber.
SHARPTON: But when you look at this, Bryan, the fact is he was always
-- his family was always Muslim and like any religion you can have people
that become extremist because obviously everyone in Islam did not hold the
same views if he heckled people in the mosque, they were certainly saying
things more moderate than he had turned to and clearly his father who was a
Muslim was furious at him. So, what would me him go all the way to an
extreme that religion alone does not represent that?
BRYAN BENDER, NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER, THE BOSTON GLOBE: No. I
mean, I think -- I talked to somebody today, a counterterrorism official.
They said their working serious, like other cases like this, here was a
case of an individual who wanted to do lots of things in life here in
America as an immigrant that weren`t going his way. And they see this in
the past where these people certain identify with their brothers, if you
will. Their Islamic brothers overseas who they feel are being mistreated
by the United States and mistreated by the west and all of that anger, that
personal anger that builds up inside them then, has to manifest itself
And in this case, I think, there are signs anyway at this point, we
don`t know for sure, that that`s what happened here. He lashed out at the
United States and the country that he had come to as an early teenager and
just didn`t feel like he was assimilated, didn`t feel like that he was
accepted it, that he was making it.
SHARPTON: You talked to people in the mosque that he attended in the
Boston area. What did they tell you, Bryan?
BENDER: Well, as "the Boston Globe" reported, you know, he even stuck
out in the mosque. In another words, he, as you pointed out, he was
espousing things that were quite radical. At one point he was shouted down
and basically forced to leave the mouse because he was making --.
SHARPTON: Shouted down by members of the mosque?
BENDER: Exactly. By fellow members of the congregation. He had
basically shouted down an imam, basically calling him an unbeliever, some
of the things that he said about Dr. King and about the prophet Mohammed,
saying that he was a nonbeliever and he was shouldn`t be leaving the
congregation and the rest of the congregants, obviously, didn`t like that
and he was basically forced to leave that congregation.
SHARPTON: Now, Clint, his uncle, Tamerlan`s uncle says that it wasn`t
the religion, it was he radicalization. Listen to the uncle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSLAN TSARNI, UNCLE OF SUSPECTED BOMBERS: It wasn`t devotion. It
was something as it`s called being radicalized. I called one of the
acquaintances of mine who is private to the family. And I said, are you
aware who might be possibly influencing him? Is it his mother or what is
it? And they said there is someone who brainwashed him, some newly convert
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Brainwashed, newly convert who in the uncle`s mind
distorted the religion -- Clint?
VAN ZANDT: Well, that happens in all religion, too, Al. Not just in
radical Islam fundamentalism. But look at David Koresh, for example, who
taught to themselves to be a Christian, a minister who stood with the
Christian bible n his hand and preached and yet did the tea terrible things
that he did.
So, I think anyone can take the basic good concepts of a religion and turn
that into something that gives them the right to commit murder and mayhem.
SHARPTON: No doubt about it. Bryan, thank you for your time. Clint,
stay with me.
There is also new questions surrounding Tamerlan`s wife. Federal
authorities are asking to speak with her by all accounts before she met the
suspect, Katherine Russell was an all-American girl. She attended Suffolk
University in Boston. She dreamed of joining the Peace Corps, but that
changed in 2008 or 2009 after being introduced to Tamerlan at a nightclub.
The two dated off and on. They later married, they had a daughter together
who is now three.
Russell was raised Christian but converted to Islam, by many accounts,
after marrying Tamerlan. Katherine Russell cut ties with all of her
friends after that. CBS News says none of their old friends attended the
wedding. The federal authorities are still waiting to talk to her and the
questions are mounting. What did she know? And did she see any signs?
Let`s bring in Anna Sale, WNYC reporter who spoke with Katherine
Russell`s roommate at Suffolk University.
Anna, thank you, first of all, for coming on the show.
ANNA SALE, WNYC REPORTER: Of course. Thank you for having me.
SHARPTON: How did the roommate describe Tamerlan?
SALE: She described him as kind of -- she didn`t have a good feeling
around him. She met him along with her freshman roommate. And they called
them the group of Russians. They were with these guys who has nice cars.
They go out and they buy things for them. And they kind of all hang out
together. And then Katherine Russell started dating Tamerlan.
And at some point the woman I talked to actually stock with who is
another depression roommates, just started to feel like maybe this isn`t a
guy I want to hang around. She described him as very charismatic but also
somewhat controlling. She said he has seemed to have multiple faces. She
didn`t really trust him so she had a bad feeling.
SHARPTON: Now, it seems like Tamerlan had quite a power over Russell.
And I`m reading where it says they got back together although her friends
warned against it. (INAUDIBLE), which is the friend you spoke with says
her roommate eventually started wearing a head scarf and began practicing
SALE: That`s right. What Ashley told me is basically, they broke up,
they get back together and her friends at Suffolk University warned against
it, didn`t think it was a good idea. And so it sounds more like a
controlling relationship, that this woman Katherine Russell began sort
seeing this guy and she became alienated from her friends. And then Ashley
described she started wearing a head scarf. And by the time, Ashley
graduated, they were no longer in touch but talked last in 2011 at which
point Katherine Russell told her that they have got married in a city hall
wedding, that she converted to Islam, and was considering changing her
SHARPTON: Clint, does any of this tell you about this suspect number
VAN ZANDT: Well, it tells us a number of things, Al. Number one,
people ask, how could he have gotten his younger brother to come on board
and to do this when none of these traits attributed to the 26-year-old do
we hear attributed to the 19-year-old. But as you well know, there were
three sets of brothers accounted among the 9/11 hijackers. So there`s
something within the brother relationship.
Also, in this husband-wife, I mean, we can look at U.S. examples like
Dennis Radar, the BTK serial killer in Wichita, Robert Hanson, the FBI
agent turned soviet spy. We talked to both of their wives, and they said,
you know, they saw nothing, they had no idea. But, many time Al, and you
are counseling relationships, you know, many time here`s one spouse who
just doesn`t want to hear, doesn`t want to see, they want the marriage to
work and they ignored it.
SHARPTON: But, do you think he was the kind of person that would
confide anything to his wife?
VAN ZANDT: I don`t think so. I don`t think so at all. I think this
guy -- I think he wore a mask and very few people saw under that mask. And
especially these trips back and forth and radical radicalization. I think
his wife was overwhelmed with what she saw and didn`t know how to deal with
SHARPTON: And, the reason -- one of the reasons I oppose that is
Associated Press reports a new details about Russell`s relation with his
wife, it says while Russell was at work, her husband cared for the toddler,
for the daughter, and the last day he was alive last week, he was home with
the daughter while his wife left for work. So, he actually was home with
the little 3-year-old the day he died.
SALE: Well, that`s what the Associated Press is reporting. My
reporting basically showed that Katherine Russell was very much alienated
from not only her friends at Suffolk University but Ashley talked about
calling her mother and trying to find out where she was and it seems like
she wasn`t in close touch with her family all the time. So, it sounds like
Katherine Russell was at least quite isolated from her former support
SHARPTON: Now, how surprised were her friends when they did talk to
and find out she married him and had converted of faith?
SALE: Actually Ashley told me, I mean, she is got her as a women.
When Katherine Russell arrived as a freshman, she was an atheist planning
to study psychology.
SHARPTON: She was an atheist?
SALE: Didn`t want to get married. And so described this a quick
transformation as this relationship progressed.
SHARPTON: Clint Van Zandt and Anna Sale, thank you both for your time
SALE: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Coming up, suspect one`s good friend murdered two years
ago, stabbed to death. It has prosecutors going back over the case. We
hear what friends are saying today, next.
SHARPTON: A triple murder two years ago just outside of Boston. One
of the victims? Suspect one`s boxing friends. News on that today, next.
SHARPTON: New questions tonight about whether the bombing suspect who
died in that shootout with the police is linked to another horrific crime
two years earlier. Prosecutors are now looking into whether the older
brother was involved in a gruesome triple murder back in 2011 where the
victims included a man that the bombing suspect reportedly once called his
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: t this early hour, three people found
dead inside of an apartment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: This crime was not random. At this hour,
they are looking for two assailants. The victims, men all in their late
20`s or early 30`s were stabbed to death with a knife or possibly an ice
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a girl running out of the house saying
there`s blood everywhere and there`s like marijuana all over the bodies
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The murder of the three men had never been solved. The
district attorney at the time called it a targeted killing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GERRY LEONE, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: It does look leak the assailants and
the decedents` did know each other. We have no evidence of a break in the
apartment. We know there were at least two people who were not in that
apartment now who were there earlier.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: After the older brother`s role in the bombing surfaced, his
former friends began wondering if he had any role in this other earlier
crime. Those murders happened just hours after the ten-year anniversary of
Joining me now is Rosie Gray of Buzz Feed who ignited these new
questions with her reporting and interviewing of some of the suspects,
Thanks for being here, Rosie.
Thank you for having me.
SHARPTON: Now, Rosie, the D.A.`s office in this case is now saying
quote "we are eager to pursue any new leads of information. It has been
reported he knew one of the deceased victims. It remains an open and
active investigation. Now, when did the older brother`s friends start
thinking about him in connection with these earlier murders?
ROSIE GRAY, REPORTER, BUZZ FEED: I don`t think they were suspicious
of him when the murders happened. I think that the suspicion really
started rising among this group of friends in the last week or so now that
they have learned that he is a suspect or that he was a suspect in the
SHARPTON: Now, the owner of the gym where the suspect used to train
said that he introduced one of the three that was killed Brendan as his
best friend. We also know that the murder was gruesome. The victims were
stabbed in the neck with an ice pick or a knife and that it was not a
robbery because $5,000 was left at the crime scene and the bodies were
covered with marijuana.
But here`s where something, and of course, none of this do we know is
any hard evidence or charges that this suspect number one was involved in
the murder but what starts raising eyebrows is that we were told that the
suspect did not attend the funeral of his best friend, a mutual friend told
reporters quote "he was somebody who was in contact with Brendan on a daily
basis. Anybody like that, you would think they would have been around.
Tam wasn`t there at the memorial service. He wasn`t at the funeral, he
wasn`t around at all and he was really close to Brendan. That`s why it`s
so weird." That`s from your article, Rosie.
GRAY: Yes. And I think it`s certainly, you know, obviously is
strange if Tam was indeed best friends with Brendan, which is what I`ve
heard from more than one person, for him to not actually not come to the
funeral. I mean, I think that raises some eyebrows. And I think -- what
I`ve heard is that they were all sort of too emotional at the time to
really zone in on that fact and now that they have heard about these new
developments with Tamerlan, they have looked back at that time and sort of
put the pieces together and sort of come to their own conclusions.
SHARPTON: Now, did you get any idea from talking to them that they
feel he was capable of something that gruesome?
GRAY: I don`t think any of them thought that at the time of the
murder. I mean, he was described to me as a normal guy and he had friends
at the boxing gym, he was good friends with this guy Brendan.
But, you know, I do think that if you look at Tamerlan`s past, there
were a few instances, obviously of anger and you know, flaring up, anger
flaring up at the mosque. And I do think that those are some other pieces
of evidence that the friends sort of put together now that these bombing
allegations have been made. But I don`t think any of them thought of him
as a particularly violent person, no.
SHARPTON: Let me raise this interesting point to you that we know
that Tamerlan was quoted and told someone in 2010, "I don`t have a single
American friend. I don`t understand them." Isn`t that a strange statement
when he seemed very close to Brendan, one of the three that was killed, and
had introduced Brendan as his best friend to the owner of the gym he did
his boxing workouts at?
GRAY: It is strange. And that`s one of the former friends of
Tamerlan told me that he thought that was a very strange quote considering
the fact that he was said to be in constant contact with Brendan. He knew
Brendan`s little brother. He hung out at the gym. I mean, by all
accounts, up until a couple years ago, Tamerlan seemed like a pretty
normal, regular guy.
SHARPTON: Very interesting. We will continue to follow this and we
will see where the D.A. goes, if anywhere, on the triple murder back in
Rosie Gray, thanks for your time tonight.
GRAY: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Ahead, a city, a nation, and the world comes together for
SHARPTON: Finally tonight, a city healing. Just one week after the
tragedy, today the people of Boston observed a moment of silence for the
victims starting at 2:50 p.m. when the first bomb exploded.
And tributes continue to pour in for Boston. At yesterday`s London
marathon, this banner for races, run if you can, walk if you must, but
finish for Boston. And at the Boston Bruins hockey game, players gave the
jerseys off their backs to the first responders. And Neil Diamond made a
surprise appearance to sing a Fenway park tradition.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
SHARPTON: After the game, the Red Sox signed special uniforms with
Boston on it to be signed off and auctioned off for the relief fund. And
from Sweet Caroline to sweet stories of inspiration, like dance instructor
Adrian Hasler Davis, she was at the marathon with her husband, an air force
captain on leave from Afghanistan and she lost her foot in the second blast
but she is resilient. She is resilient telling the "Boston Herald" quote
"I`ll dance again. And next year, though I`ve never been a runner, yes, I
plan to run the marathon."
That`s what Boston strong really means, the kind of perseverance that
should inspire all of us. The kind of determination that is helping Boston
heal. If you would like to help people affected by the tragedy, go to
onefundBoston.org. Again, onefundBoston.org. All of the information is
there for donations and it`s linked to our "Politics Nation" facebook page.
A week ago tonight, I ended the first show after the bombing talking
about the bombing. A week later, we are just beginning to put some of the
pieces together that led to this.
It will take time before we know a lot more. We may never know it
all. But one thing we should know is ourselves better how we respond, how
we want to build a nation if these types of things, innocent blood is not
shed. What we will stand up from our legislators, from our communities.
Crises are beyond our control. How we respond to them, how we act
because of them, what we do in light of them, defines who we are.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "Hardball" starts right now.
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