Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Videos Show Tense Minutes Before Boston Bombing Suspect Capture

msp-boston_captureIt’s been about 36 hours since Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was taken into custody after being found in a boat parked outside a home in Watertown, Mass. And as with the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, there’s a public fascination with the details and procedures of what went down.

The latest is the video footage taken by a Massachusetts State Police helicopter of the careful way in which police approached the boat. Obviously, they were cautious, no doubt because they had engaged in a pretty intense firefight with the suspect.

What you see in the video below, which was released today, is thermal imagery showing Tsarnaev’s warm body plainly visible beneath the boat cover. In the minutes leading up to the capture you could plainly hear, on police scanner traffic, someone saying whether or not he was moving, and see his position in the front or the middle or rear of the boat as he moved around a little. Later, you see a police vehicle moving in and using a robotic arm of some kind to tear away the cover.

And if you haven’t seen this yet, it bears mentioning: It’s some amateur video, taken from a neighboring home, of the gunfight that had occurred outside the boat just as Tsarnaev was discovered. (Be advised: There’s some NSFW language as it goes down.)

Finally, here are five still photos, released earlier by the Massachusetts State Police, taken from the video footage above. You can click them to make them bigger:






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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik