Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Will Not Be Charged As Enemy Combatant

Posted: Apr 22, 2013 1:01 PM

The White House has just confirmed to news outlets through Press Secretary Jay Carney that the Department of Justice will not be treating Boston Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant.

JAY CARNEY: He will not be treated as an enemy combatant. We will prosecute this terrorist through our civilian system of justice. Under U.S. law, United States citizens cannot be tried in military commissions. And it is important to remember that since 9/11 we have used the federal court system to convict and incarcerate hundreds of terrorists. The effective use of the criminal justice system has resulted in the interrogation, conviction and detention of both U.S. citizens and non-citizens for acts of terrorism committed inside the United States and around the world.

The system has repeatedly proven that it can successfully handle the threat we continue to face. There are a number of examples of this, high profile examples: The Times Square Bomber Faisal Shahzad pled guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. Abdul Muttalib, the so-called underwear bomber, was sentenced to life in prison. Warsame, a Somalian national and member of al-Shabab and has close associations with al Qaeda in the Arabia Peninsula, is now currently in this system and we have acquired valuable intelligence from him through the process allowed in the system. So this is absolutely the right way to go and the appropriate way to go. When it comes to United States citizens, it is against the law to try them in military commissions.

This means Tsarnaev will be tried in civilian court. Further, charges against Tsarnaev have been filed but under seal according to Fox News.

UPDATE: Charged at the hospital.

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UPDATE: Charged with using a weapon of mass destruction.

From the affidavit:

I submit this affidavit in support of an application for a complaint charging Dzhokar Tsarnaev with (1) unlawfully using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction (namely, an improvised explosive device) against persons and property within the United States used in interstate and foreign commerce and in an activity that affects interstate and foreign commerce, which offense and its results affected interstate and foreign commerce (including, but not limited to, the Boston Marathon, private businesses in Eastern Massachusetts, and the City of Boston itself), resulting in death, in violation of 18 U.S. C. 2332a and (2) maliciously damaging and destroying, by means of an explosive, real and personal property used in interstate and foreign commerce and in an activity affecting interstate and foreign commerce, resulting in personal injury and death.