Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Formally Charged in Connection with Boston Marathon Bombing

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev | Photo Credits: AFP/Getty Images
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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev | Photo Credits: AFP/Getty Images

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been formally charged with using a weapon of mass destruction at the Boston Marathon, The United States Department of Justice announced Monday.

Tsarnaev is charged with one count of using and conspiring to use an improvised explosive device resulting in death and one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death.  Tsarnaev  could face the death penalty if convicted.

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"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," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.  "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."

On Monday, Tsarnaev made his first appearance before a magistrate judge in his hospital room, where he remains in critical condition. Though Tsarnaev has been unable to speak due to a gunshot wound in his neck, he has been communicating with authorities by writing, according to reports.

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"While we will not be able to comment on any possible communications between the suspect and law enforcement at this time, as a general rule, the government will always seek to elicit all the actionable intelligence and information we can from terrorist suspects taken into our custody," Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said in a statement.

Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, who was killed after a shootout with police early Friday morning, are suspected of perpetrating the bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday which left three dead and over 200 people injured. Authorities also believe they intended to unleash more violence. The Boston Globe reports police found a large quantity of IEDs, hand grenades, ammunition and other explosives.

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