The Justice Department has just released the criminal complaint and affidavit charging Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, a U.S. citizen and resident of Cambridge, Mass., with using a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property at the Boston Marathon on April 15, killing three and injuring more than 200.
Tsarnaev is specifically charged with one count of using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction (namely, an improvised explosive device or IED) against persons and property within the United States resulting in death, and one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death. If convicted, he could face the federal death penalty. Tsarnaev had his initial court appearance today from his hospital room.
“Although our investigation is ongoing, today’s charges bring a successful end to a tragic week for the city of Boston, and for our country,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with each of the bombing victims and brave law enforcement professionals who lost their lives or suffered serious injuries as a result of this week’s senseless violence. Thanks to the valor of state and local police, the dedication of federal law enforcement and intelligence officials, and the vigilance of members of the public, we’ve once again shown that those who target innocent Americans and attempt to terrorize our cities will not escape from justice. We will hold those who are responsible for these heinous acts accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”