**I don’t expect much from the Daily Mail but come on. ‘The murderers, self-proclaimed Islamist fighters…’ Self proclaimed huh? This 1 is even more ridiculous - 'Dzhokhar expresses doubt because there are good Americans as well as ‘imperialist enemies of Islam’. He cites Martin Luther King. Tamerlan snarls that King was ‘a hypocrite, a fornicator’. Seriously? smh**
Less than four years ago, two powerful homemade bombs, packed with nails and ball-bearings, exploded in Boston, bringing carnage to the finish line of the city’s famous marathon.
The murderers, self-proclaimed Islamist fighters, were two Chechen brothers: Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. After going on the run, Tamerlan was shot; his younger brother Dzhokhar remains on Death Row, going through appeals. So you might ask whether it is too soon to re-run the whole business as a heroic police-chase thriller.
The film’s supposed moral is that the victims were innocents. Its end credits, with clips of real victims and police, makes the further point that despite the wickedness, the community remains resilient. Determined to be not ‘victims of violence, but ambassadors for peace’.
Fine. Valid messages. But watching Peter Berg’s film, you cannot help but feel that the director’s excitement is less about morality and social cohesion than a disaster-porn ability to conjure up shocked faces, torn flesh, emergency tourniquets and crying babies.
Then there’s the macho thrill of snarly police arguments and prolonged car chases, interspersed with numerous explosions (rather more than there actually were, I think).
Easy to see why Berg would dive into this subject, fresh as he is from the heroics of Deepwater Horizon and with his favourite star, Mark Wahlberg, on call.
Wahlberg is ideal for the role of Good Yet Maverick Cop, back on duty in a knee-brace after some unspecified misdeed, and available for moody muttering, emotional breakdowns and embraces with his sketchily drawn wife (Michelle Monaghan).
There’s also a chance for tension between the cops, Kevin Bacon’s worried FBI man who fears a ‘Muslim backlash’, and the bluff City Mayor (Vincent Curatola).
Yet there is little effort put into the bombers themselves.
Alex Wolff plays Dzhokhar, the younger and less assured; Themo Melikidze the more savage Tamerlan. In one brief scene, Dzhokhar expresses doubt because there are good Americans as well as ‘imperialist enemies of Islam’. He cites Martin Luther King. Tamerlan snarls that King was ‘a hypocrite, a fornicator’. But that is the only clue to what dark, twisted thinking underlies such attacks, especially by young men who appear settled in their refugee life.
Dzhokhar is a student at a nearby university on friendly terms with his stoned roommates. Seeing him on the news one actually texts him: ‘U saw urself on TV?’ and gets the reply: ‘Better not text me LOL’. Students who hide his leftover explosives wind up getting a prison sentence.
Time spent on more of that, rather than the lavish shooty-bang spectacles, which push the film over two hours, would have been handy.
Indeed, one of the most striking scenes is the interrogation of Tamerlan’s wife (and mother of his child) Katherine Russell (Melissa Benoist). Her interlocutor, wearing a hijab, says she was born in a refugee camp herself, not secure in America like the convert Russell.
The young woman’s tight-lipped affirmation of a Muslim wife’s sacred union, obedience to her man and expectation of reunion in heaven, is chilling.
You don’t go to a Peter Berg film to reflect on the psychology of radicalisation. Even so, I emerged aching for American popular cinema to think beyond heroics in the face of horror, and to consider, for once, the factors which drive it towards us.
“It was the worst bloodbath I have ever seen in a long law enforcement career. There was no forced entry, it was clear that the victims had let the killer in. And their throats were slashed right out of an al Qaeda training video. The drugs and money on the bodies was very strange”
Above is an investigator’s account of the 2011 Waltham Triple Murder. On September 11, 2001, Brendan Mess,Erik Weissman, and Raphael Teken were found dead in Mess’s apartment in Waltham, Massachusetts. All 3 had their heads pulled back, and their throats slit ear to ear with either a knife or an ice pick. The wounds were so deep that they had almost decapitated them. Their bodies had been covered in seven pounds of marijuana and $5,000 in cash. Witnesses claimed that two men had been at the apartment around the time of the murders. It also seemed that the murderers and the victims had know each other, as there was no sign of forced entry. Later, when the Boston bombing occurred in 2013, the most prominent suspects in the murders became Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Ibragim Todashev. Tamerlan had described Mess as his best friend, and it was discovered that they would visit each other frequently. The two were also boxers, and would spend hours training together. After Mess was murdered, Tamerlan ceased to attend the martial arts center that the two would go to, and when he came back to it in 2013, he had gotten much ruder. 2011 was also the time when Tamerlan had become much more radical in his Islamic views, and investigators believe the murders were purposely carried out on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Phone records and forensic evidence also place the two at the scene the night of the murders. After Mess’s death, Tamerlan didn’t attend his funeral or memorial service.
After Mess died it really shocked me how unemotional [Tamerlan] was. He just kind of laughed and said, ‘Can you believe it?’ It was like he didn’t care about this kid he grew up with. -John Allan, owner of the martial arts center Tamerlan attended
However, the two were never formally charged, and the case officially remains unsolved.
Defense attorneys introduced this exhibit photo showing Dzhokhar’s Adidas sweatshirt after it was cut off his body at the hospital on Friday, April 19, 2013.
The jury has seen this sweatshirt frequently throughout the trial in surveillance photos and video. He wore it withdrawing cash from an ATM, buying junk food & Red Bull at the Shell station, and emerging bloody & injured from the drydocked boat in Watertown.
A State Police DNA analyst testified that the bloodstains on it belong to Dzhokhar.
Shown above is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s writing and signature, the transcripts, as well as a picture of him. Tsarnaev along with his brother was accused of the April 15, Boston Marathon Bombing.
The transcript shows he was a poor student during the entirety of his four semesters on campus. He received seven Fs over three semesters: Two Fs were given in the fall of 2011 for chemistry, two in the spring of 2012 for critical writing and reading and a math course, and three in the fall of 2012 for chemistry, American politics, and psychology.
Because of his poor grades, Tsarnaev lost his financial aid. In an attempt to regain that aid, Tsarnaev filled out a Satisfactory Academic Progress Report on January 24, 2013, explaining what had changed from the year before.
His answer referenced his inability to deal with stress and “terrorist accusations” that innocent men living in Chechnya faced. He wrote:
“This year I lost too many of my loved relatives. I was unable to cope with the stress and maintain school work. My relatives live in Chechnya, Russia. A Republic that is occupied by Russian soldiers that falsely accuse and abduct innocent men under false pretences and terrorist accusations. I am at a point where I can finally focus on my school work. I wish to do well so one day I can help out those in need in my country, especially my family members.”
Side note: I have already done a post similar to this but it did not show his signature and I could barely read the transcript I posted, due to the new information, I have made compiled it all together.
I know a lot of you are losing your shit over the severity of Jahar’s wounds, but please remember he had the ability to stop all of it from happening. He and Tamerlan could have surrendered to the Watertown PD when they were first pulled over for carjacking.