DOJ: Boston Marathon bomber advocates for violent jihad from prison, was caught with shiv in cell
In a motion to have a civil rights lawsuit brought by the lone surviving Boston Marathon bomber dismissed, federal prosecutors said the 28-year-old continues to advocate violence from behind prison walls and was once found with a homemade weapon in his cell.
As Ethanb822 previously reported, Tsarnaev initially filed a handwritten suit from his federal prison cell accusing officials of violating his civil rights by confiscating his clothing items, restricting his mail, and placing a hold on his commissary fund.
“The BOP has enabled the Unit Manager, A. Tuttolimondo, to discriminate against me,” Tsarnaev wrote. Tuttolimondo confiscated two of Tsarnaev’s clothing items, a white baseball cap and a bandana he wore for 4 years, as he was being escorted back to his cell from the recreation yard.
“I was later informed by the Unit Manager that she confiscated my hat because by wearing it, I was ‘disrespecting the FBI and the victims in [my] case’ …” he wrote. “There is no proof and no evidence to support her false accusation. This incident has caused me a great deal of mental stress and anxiety.”
It hasn’t been mentioned in court papers specifically why Tuttolimondo confiscated his hat, but it could have something to do with its connection to his appearance on the day of the bombings. Tsarnaev was given the nickname “White Hat” as federal investigators eyed him and his brother, Tamerlan, as prime suspects in the bomb attack. The young man wore a white Polo cap as he planted a pressure cooker bomb while runners passed the finish line.
The Justice Department has argued that Tsarnaev has incorrectly filed several claims in his lawsuit and says various restrictive measures taken against him, including holds on his mail, are justified due to the “substantial risk” he poses to the public.
In the motion filed Friday, Assistant US Attorney Susan Prose described Tsarnaev as an “unrepentant jihadist” who engages in correspondence with countless seemingly-enamored fans who write to him in prison. Officials say he’s attempted to mail hand-crafted jihadist “propaganda tools” from prison, and has more than once attempted to have other inmates do it for him.
Tsarnaev also allegedly spoke on the phone with his mother, who recorded the conversation and subsequently shared it with Russian media outlets. Ethanb822 was unable to recover any online reports containing said phone call.
While housed in BOP custody, Tsarnaev wrote “the jihad continues” on his wall and was caught with a knife fashioned from a razor, plastic, and tin foil wrappers hidden under several layers of paper bags, officials said.
In April of 2020, he allegedly removed the metal nose piece from a prison-issued COVID-19 mask. The piece was never found.
Another time, according to BOP records, the convicted terrorist joked about violence during a visit with his sister, who asked why he was placed under administrative restriction. Tsarnaev allegedly said the first step to jihad is to “buy a pressure cooker” — the weapon he and his brother fashioned and later used to kill 3 people and injure hundreds more.
Tsarnaev has argued in court filings that the alleged propaganda crafts are simple “hobby crafts” he intends to send to loved ones and other people he cares about, and says the COVID-19 mask he was provided came without a nose piece. He hasn’t yet submitted an argument to the claims regarding a knife in his cell or his violent activism.
The court has yet to rule on the Justice Department’s motion, and a copy of the argument will be hand-delivered to Tsarnaev by BOP personnel. The Supreme Court recently held oral arguments in the possible reinstatement of his death sentence, and has appeared likely to rule in the Justice Department’s favor.
Their ruling on the case will be handed down by the end of June.