An exclusive WhoWhatWhy investigation has found serious factual inconsistencies in accounts provided by the only witness to the alleged confession of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
Why does this matter? Because this witness is the sole source for the entire publicly accepted narrative of who was behind the bombing and its aftermath—and why these events occurred.
In case we’ve forgotten how convoluted and murky the story initially seemed, let’s recall how:
-Tamerlan Tsarnaev, on a US security watch list since 2011 after the Russians provide a warning to American intelligence, goes overseas and allegedly exhibits further problematic behavior.
-In April, 2013, a savage attack is unleashed at the Boston Marathon, disrupting an iconic American event. Innocent people lose limbs and lives, America is traumatized anew, and a large American city is “locked” down” while normal processes and procedures are abandoned. We are told that Tsarnaev and his younger brother are responsible for all this–and for the cold-blooded execution of a campus police officer several days later.
Yet our sense of certainty that the Tsarnaevs did this—and did it alone, with no one else, including America’s security apparatus, knowing a thing—is actually dependent largely on the say-so of one person, one witness.
Thus, the problems we have uncovered with the witness’s testimony (as represented by law enforcement) now raise questions about almost everything concerning what has been described as the largest terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11.
Truth and Its Pants
As the classic saying goes, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” That is perhaps even more true in these days of Twitter and Facebook and instant blogging. When a big news story breaks, the first reports are often rife with misinformation based on a combination of innocent mistakes, sloppiness, conjecture, and poor communication. Yet it’s also true that during those first 24 hours pieces of inconvenient truth may emerge that will soon be denied or even suppressed as the messy facts get neatly fashioned into an “official story.”
Such was the case with the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy: sheriff’s deputies converging on the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas reported finding an entirely different type of gun than the one ultimately said to have been the murder weapon. And doctors at Parkland Hospital claimed initially that a shot had hit President Kennedy from the front, before they were told in no uncertain terms that they were mistaken, and a narrative formed around all the shots coming from behind—and only from the Depository.
Truth seekers know, from experience, to pay close attention to how a narrative changes in the first hours, days and weeks following an event of significance. And nowhere would that be truer than when the source of the changing story is the principal witness.
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The identification of the alleged Boston bombers, now a virtually unchallenged “fact,” is based largely on a single event: the supposed carjacking of a young man whose identity is still masked from public scrutiny. The public’s understanding of what took place is based on this anonymous person’s oft-cited claims to have witnessed a dual confession from Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who boasted of having committed both the bombing and a later murder of an MIT police officer.
According to the widely accepted story of the horrific events of April 15-19, 2013, three days after the Marathon bombing a Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer was shot and within minutes, a young man in a Mercedes SUV was carjacked, across the river in the Brighton section of Boston. Police and media accounts have Tamerlan Tsarnaev abducting a young Chinese national (known publicly only by the pseudonymous first name “Danny”). In these accounts, Tsarnaev tells Danny that he was responsible for both the Boston bombing and the MIT shooting.
The alleged carjacking led to a law enforcement shutdown of the greater Boston area, a huge manhunt, and subsequent confrontations in which Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot and killed. His younger brother, Dzhokhar, was seriously wounded by multiple gunshots while hidden in a boat, before being apprehended by police.
In the current “official” narrative, the Tsarnaev brothers took Danny on a wild 90-minute ride that traversed the Boston area and involved stops to extract money from Danny’s bank account and then to buy gas for the brothers’ planned escape from the Boston metro area.
It was during a stop at a gas station, the story goes, that the younger brother went inside to pay for the gas. While the older brother was momentarily preoccupied with a GPS device, Danny made his escape and was soon sharing with law enforcement his claim that he had heard the crucial confession.
But a 10-month investigation by WhoWhatWhy has found major inconsistencies in Danny’s story — inconsistencies that call into question whether the authorities now prosecuting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for murder are leveling with the American people.
The Consensus Narrative
The consensus narrative of the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath, which began appearing in the media as early as the morning of April 19, goes something like this:
For several days after the violence of Monday, April 15—which killed three people and injured another 264—an uneasy public waited nervously for word of who was behind the savage attack. The authorities were under intense pressure to produce results. The hours and days ticked by.
Then, suddenly, action! At 5pm on Thursday afternoon, the FBI released pictures of two suspects. At approximately 10:20, violence exploded anew, in a different and wholly surprising direction. On the quiet nighttime streets of Cambridge, Massachusetts, an MIT campus police officer, Sean Collier, was apparently executed in cold blood by the panicked Tsarnaev brothers in a botched effort to get his gun. And then another newsflash: a young Boston man had been carjacked—and after a bizarre, circuitous drive around the area, escaped to tell an astonishing tale: his captors had confessed to him their responsibility for both the Marathon bombing and the killing of Officer Collier.
That turn of events ushered in a cavalcade of developments almost too rapid to follow. It justified the unprecedented military and law enforcement “lockdown” of Greater Boston and the intense manhunt that riveted the world and brought the Boston bombing story to a quick and dirty conclusion. In the early morning hours of April 19, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a firefight. His younger brother Dzhokhar escaped, but was discovered that evening hiding in a boat parked in a backyard, and was apprehended in critical condition after authorities fired a barrage of shots into the boat.
This frontier-justice resolution of a national tragedy eventually led to a huge rally featuring the vice president as the key speaker, praising the bravery and responsiveness of the security state. A specialty beer and a charity event were fashioned around the tragic young officer, bike rides and a host of tributes to the “first responder” followed. In the end, everyone could feel good about their country, about the “heroism” of the lowly, underpaid campus cop, about the vaunted efficiency of their law-enforcement agencies. Stressed-out Bostonians, and Americans everywhere, could be reassured that all was well in the land.
That is the generally established narrative. But after studying the various accounts provided by “Danny” to the media and law enforcement, WhoWhatWhy has found substantial inconsistencies on a range of points.
Taken together, those inconsistencies demonstrate at minimum essential unreliability, and perhaps something much more troubling…from a key witness offering damning life-or-death evidence in the worst terrorist attack since 9/11.
Is Danny some pathological liar seeking fame? Or is he someone more sympathetic and perhaps vulnerable—a foreign-national entrepreneur, with an uncertain immigration status, being squeezed by law enforcement to help quickly tidy up a messy disaster that caught our multi-billion-dollar-a-year national security apparatus off guard?
Where was Danny Carjacked?
Danny said: Brighton Avenue, Allston (across the river from Cambridge)
Conflicting version: 3rd Street, Cambridge, the Middlesex County District Attorney initially said.
How Long Was Danny Held Hostage?
Danny said: 90 minutes (reported by The Boston Globe, NBC and CBS).
Conflicting version 1: 30 minutes according to a joint statement by Middlesex acting district attorney Michael Pelgro, Cambridge police commissioner Robert Haas and MIT police chief John DiFava:
“Authorities launched an immediate investigation into the circumstances of the shooting. The investigation determined that two males were involved in this shooting.
“A short time later, police received reports of an armed carjacking by two males in the area of Third Street in Cambridge.
“The victim was carjacked at gunpoint by two males and was kept in the car with the suspects for approximately a half hour.”
Conflicting version 2: “a few minutes,” according to the Boston Globe and this report by the Associated Press, citing the Cambridge Police Department:
“Police said Friday at a Watertown news conference that one of the brothers stayed with the carjacking victim for a few minutes and then let him go.”
Pervaiz Shallwani of the Wall Street Journal, one of the very few who was able to see at least part of the Cambridge police report, supports this shorter time span when he writes:
“Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the brothers accused of the bombing, crossed the Charles River into Boston and stole a Mercedes SUV at gunpoint, briefly holding the driver hostage, according to an excerpt from the Cambridge Police Department report filed by the driver and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.”
How Did Danny Gain His Freedom?
Danny said: He escaped when Tamerlan, seated next to him, was momentarily distracted, according the Boston Globe, NBC and CBS.
Conflicting version 1: He simply got out of the car when both brothers were outside the car, having left him alone, according to WMUR.
Conflicting version 2: The Tsarnaev brothers never held Danny as a captive, according to the Associated Press and Cambridge Police Department. They simply detained him for a few minutes, then left him by the roadside, essentially confiscating his vehicle. In this scenario, he had almost no interaction with the brothers, raising questions as to whether they would have confessed to the two crimes before taking off with his car.