9 Things You Should Know About the Boston Marathon Bombing

Last week an attack during the Boston Marathon killed three people and wounded more than 180. Here’s what you should know about the terrorist bombing incident:

1. On April 15, two bombs exploded, 13 seconds apart, at 2:49 p.m. near the finish line of the marathon; 74 hours and 23 minutes after the bombing, the F.B.I. released the photos of the two terror suspects; 102 hours and 56 minutes after the bombing, both suspects had been apprehended (one dead and one in critical condition).

2. Jeff Bauman, a victim who lost both legs in the attack, was adjacent to the location of one of the bombs. Upon recovering consciousness he asked for pen and paper and wrote a note to the FBI, “bag, saw the guy, looked right at me.” Bauman was later able to provide detailed descriptions to the authorities of a suspect who was seen placing a backpack beside him at the bombing scene two and a half minutes before the second bomb exploded, enabling the photo to be identified and circulated quickly. The suspects—initially identified by the FBI as unnamed suspects 1 and 2 (or “black hat” and “white hat,” respectively) from photographic and video evidence—had “acted differently” after the explosions; they had stayed to watch the aftermath and walked away “casually,” rather than fleeing.

3. Five hours after the release of the photos, the terrorists “assassinated” MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, 26, while he was sitting in his cruiser. The Tsarnaev brothers carjacked a silver Mercedes SUV and forced the owner to use his ATM card to obtain $800 in cash. They released the man after the ATM cash limit was reached, but his cellphone remained in the vehicle, allowing the police to track it.

4. The police tracked the car to Watertown, Massachusetts (located six miles northwest of Boston) where the terrorists opened fire and threw a pressure cooker bomb at the officers. During the extended firefight, in which an estimated 200 shots were fired, a public transit police officer was critically injured. The older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, come out from under cover and started walking down the street toward the police officers. After Tamerlan ran out of ammunition, the officers tackled him and attempted to cuff him. The younger brother, Dzhokar, fled in the SUV and ran over his brother’s body, dragging him a short distance down the street, and escaped. Dzhokar got two or three streets away, with officers in pursuit, then dumped the car and ran into the darkness. Tamerlan died in the hospital from his injuries.

5. The manhunt led to an unprecedented lock-down of a major U.S. city. Local authorities told the city and nearby suburbs to “shelter in place” throughout the day and into the evening. Most businesses were closed, schools suspended classes, and all public transportation in the metro area was shut down. Homeland security specialists say such security measures are typically contemplated only in response to attacks involving weapons of mass destruction.

6. After authorities lifted the stay-at-home order on April 19, a Watertown man walked into his backyard and noticed the cords securing the tarp on his boat had been cut. The man lifted the tarp and looked inside the boat and saw Dzhokar lying in a pool of blood. A thermal image photograph taken from a police helicopter also indicated that a person was lying in the center of the boat. Police used “flash-bangs,” devices meant to stun people with a loud noise, and started 30 minutes of negotiation with Tsarnaev who turned himself in. Authorities believe Tsarnaev tried to kill himself while in the boat, judging by the gunshot wound to his neck.

7. Tamerlan, who was born in 1986 in Soviet Russia, had attended Bunker Hill Community College but dropped out to become a boxer, with the goal of making the U.S. Olympic team. Dzhokhar, who was born in 1993 in Kyrgyzstan, was, at the time of the bombing, a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, majoring in marine biology. The brothers and their family immigrated in 2002 to the U.S. Dzhokhar became a naturalized citizen on Sept. 11, 2012. Tamerlan’s application for citizenship was held up because he had been questioned by the F.B.I.

8. A year before he traveled to Chechnya and Dagestan, F.B.I. agents had questioned Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 in response to a request from the Russian government. The Russians feared Tamerlan could be a risk, and said their request was based on information that he was a follower of radical Islam. Members of the Homeland Security Committee said Tsarnaev was the fifth man since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to be suspected of committing terrorism while under investigation by the bureau.

9. Along with the the Boston Marathon bombing, several other violent mass casualty attacks in the U.S. have occurred in the third week of April, including:

• April 19, 1993 — Branch Davidian massacre (76 killed)
• April 19, 1995 — Oklahoma City bombing (168 killed, over 680 wounded)
• April 20, 1999 — Columbine High School massacre (15 dead (including perpetrators), 21 injured)
• April 16, 2007 — Virginia Tech massacre (32 killed, 17 wounded)


See also: The Boston Bombers Were Outside Their House


Note: The information in this post is based on the latest news reports at the time of posting. Corrections will be added as necessary.


  • http://www.thebestcamp.com Seth Houser

    10. The Mercedes that was hijacked by the radical Muslim had a “Coexist” bumper sticker. Irony of all ironies

    Source: http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/car-hijacked-by-boston-bomber-had-a-coexist-bumper-sticker-61686/

    • Ray

      Please stop repeating this lie. It was a green Honda that had the COEXIST sticker, not the carjacked Mercedes.

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  • Chris

    I think it’s great the gospel coalition are keeping its fans and supporters up to date with what is happening in the world. I did not expect them to have an article like this one posted. Christians lose alot of respect when they don’t know about the world around them…. Thank you gospel coalition and keep up the good work!

  • BJung

    Actually, the bombers did not “release(d) the man after the ATM cash limit was reached.” The man who was carjacked escaped when the men stopped for gas. He proceeded to run across the street and phone in his carjacking. This provided the police the necessary information to track his cell phone and eventually catch up to the bombers.

  • Sara

    I am curious as to why none of the media is addressing the “controlled explosion opposite the library” that the Boston Globe tweeted about just before it took place (https://twitter.com/BostonGlobe/status/323886879453892609), or the fact that they also tweeted exactly where it would happen, before it happened – “Police will have controlled explosion on 600 block on Boylston Street” (https://twitter.com/BostonGlobe/status/323886829596205056). Does this not strike anyone else as more than coincidental?

    Why is there no mention of this, no investigation of this, and no questioning by the public or the media? Paul told us to “test all things” and I think as far as the news and media goes, we completely disregard this command given to us in Scripture. The mainstream media and news sources are about as worldly as it gets these days, yet we blindly believe everything we’re told by them.

    We’re clearly told in Scripture that this world is going to see a day when humans are completely controlled by the government, not being able to buy or sell without receiving some sort of “mark”…should we not be more apt to question what the government is feeding us, knowing what the Lord has seen fit to warn us of in Scripture?

  • http://www.carlaburlando.blogspot.com Carla

    The reason no one is questioning it is (other than some conspiracy theory alarmists writing about those Boston Globe tweets and claiming that the whole bombing incident was planned by the police/ gov’t) it is fairly common knowledge that they were detonating a bomb that had not yet gone off. That is a “controlled explosion”. They were warning others not to be alarmed and to stay away. This took place AFTER the other bombs as police were securing the area, that is clear by reading back a few more tweets.

  • Joe Carter

    ***I am curious as to why none of the media is addressing the “controlled explosion opposite the library” that the Boston Globe tweeted about just before it took place. . .Does this not strike anyone else as more than coincidental? ***

    Since there has already been a conspiracy theory develop around this tweet, I think it’s worth taking the time to debunk it. The tweet by the Boston Globe was sent *after* the bombing, not before.

    But doesn’t the timestamp on the tweet say “12:53 PM” and didn’t the bombings occur at 2:49 PM? Indeed. But as with many conspiracy theories, this one can be easily debunked. Take a look at the Boston Globe’s Twitter feed (https://twitter.com/BostonGlobe/) and look at any of their latest tweets.

    Notice that the the time on the timestamp is 3 hours earlier than the time in Boston? That’s because the timestamp on Twitter is not EDT. The tweet about the “controlled explosion” was sent after the bombings occurred.

  • Sara

    Thanks, Joe. I appreciate your feedback! I’d still like to know why no one is talking about the controlled explosion. Did it happen? Why was it scheduled during a time when people would be standing so close? Just curious as to whether I’ve missed any news updates on this or if it actually has been addressed by the media (we don’t have cable).

    • Scott

      Becuase it’s irrelevant.

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