BREAKING: FBI Hunting 12-Member Sleeper Cell in Boston Bombing

Infrared imagae of Dzhokar "hiding" (wounded?) in Watertown boat (courtesy Massachusetts State Police)

There’s only one source for this story at the moment: mirror.co.uk. It’s a big, if downmarket, UK tabloid that’s not entirely incredible on matters of fact. With that caveat in mind: “The FBI was last night hunting a 12-strong terrorist ‘sleeper cell’ linked to the Boston marathon bomb brothers. Police believe Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were specially trained to carry out the devastating attack. More than 1,000 FBI operatives were last night working to track down the cell and arrested a man and two women 60 miles from Boston in the hours before Dzhokhar’s dramatic capture after a bloody shootout on Friday.” In other words, it would still be a good idea to carry a gun in The Bay State. Just as it was before the bombing. Also interesting in terms of how the younger Tsarnaev was apprehended . . .

David Henneberry had gone into his garden for a cigarette after police lifted restrictions on people leaving their homes, believing the bomber had left the area. He noticed that the cover over his boat had blood on it and a strap had been cut. He went back into the house to get a stepladder and looked inside.

His stepson Robert said: “He stuck his head under the tarp and noticed a pool of blood and something crumpled up in a ball. Instead of being a hero of the moment and yelling at what we now know was the suspect, he did the right thing and called 911.”

Police immediately evacuated the family and surrounded the house, using a megaphone to tell Dzhokhar to come out with his hands up.

When he failed to respond they opened fire at the boat’s hull. Robert said: “They wound up ­shooting a couple of rounds through the boat. He wasn’t going to like that.”

Dzhokhar was wounded by the volley of gunfire and police were able to move in and arrest him. They later released infrared pictures taken from a helicopter showing Dzhokhar hiding in the boat.

Hiding or wounded? Not that it matters, right?

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

55 Responses to BREAKING: FBI Hunting 12-Member Sleeper Cell in Boston Bombing

  1. avatarTaco Ninja says:

    I spoke with Boston PD a few weeks ago about getting my Mass permit…but don’t have a magazine made after 1994(because the year of make is labeled on them?) with more than 10 rounds or it’s a felony.

    Needless to say I’ll stay in New Hampshire and not be visiting Boston anymore.

  2. avatarJeff the Griz says:

    This will be another story where citizens will only get the facts that make them “happy, happy, happy”

  3. avatarChuck J says:

    But but but, DHS said emphatically just hours after the bombing that there was “no broader plot!”

  4. Better shut down the entire eastern seaboard and have all the local PDs sport their weekend warrior gear just in case.

    Illustrating Chicago’s Murders, Homicides, Violence and Idiocy at heyjackass.com

  5. avatarAlan W. Rose says:

    Quite often lately the UK has been breaking stories that disappear into the vapor of American MSM secrets.

  6. avatarAharon says:

    I was going to simply make a joke that I didn’t think smoking in Massachusetts was still legal when I read that the presumably unarmed idiot home owner upon seeing blood on his boat’s cover and a strap cut went ahead and stuck his head under the tarp for a closer look. Duh! It’s not like a local stray cat would be the culprit.

    • avatarAlex says:

      With the hail of irresponsible gunfire in the urban area, I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was a cat or dog hit by a stray bullet.

    • avatarSwarf says:

      No kidding.

      I know the first thing that pops in to my head when I see a bloody tarp is “huh, that’s suspicious. I’d better stick my bare noggin under there and root around.”

      Especially when I know there is a desperate man on the loose who has already proven that he’s not worried about killing people.

  7. avatarWR2A says:

    ACLU rushing in to defend Islamic terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, of course. Like with Sandy Hook, they ignore the laws on the books in favor of emotional knee-jerkism. Liberals, I declare….what the hell is really wrong with you? Is it a genetic mutation? Is it a mental defect? You attacked guns and the Second Amendment after Sandy Hook, believing it would resurrect the dead. What are you hoping for in defending an Islamic terrorist?

    Tell ya what, ACLU: Let’s just heal this kid up, apologize for hurting his feelings and civil rights *cough*, and then release him to the public, no harm, no foul. Yes. To the public. How long do you really think he would live?

    http://wr2a.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/the-aclu-rushes-to-defend-dzhokhar-tsarnaev-of-course/

    • avatarGary says:

      Wouldn’t it be nice if the ACLU swooped in to defend the Constitutional rights of those people whose homes were invaded by the police during the search? I never did understand the point of the ACLU.

    • avatark4R-15 says:

      The ACLU went on record against parts of the s.649 (Obama’s gun control package) bill.

      Civil liberties extend across the causes of the right and the left. I agree that much of the time their crusades are more left than right but I guarantee that they helped illustrate the lunacy of s.649– while I do not always agree with the position of the ACLU on many issues I am grateful for this.
      .

      • avatargloomhound says:

        Thank you I was just going to post this. I might not agree with everything the ACLU supports but it this they had the right. Any port in a storm any allies in a fight. Perhaps the ACLU is now willing to take up the fight for our civil rights as found in the second amendment.

        As for defending Dzhokhar Tsarnaev rights it’s well they should. He unlike his brother, God curse him, is a U.S. citizen and should enjoy all the right of a citizen even his Miranda rights. After all if they take his rights ,who’s rights will they take next by just calling him a terrorist?

    • avatarseren says:

      this is why i own guns – because if we ever lose civil order, the attitude you are currently expressing leads to mob rule. It seems that you are saying you don’t respect the civil rights of the suspect, and that is dangerous.

      I (and the ACLU) don’t want to give in to these knee-jerk reactions. I have faith that if we treat everyone fairly, and give everyone their due process, that justice will be meted out in the end.

      It may not be as swift as you like to satisfy hot-blooded vengeance, but it will happen, hopefully with fewer mistakes.

      (I mean, c’mon, what if (I don’t believe this is the case, but it could be a slim possibility) what if this dumb kid was duped into it by his brother… being told that what they were dropping off was money to buy weed or something? – It would explain why he didn’t care about covering his face or whatever.) – My point is not to give some BS argument, but rather that the fair thing to do is to try to capture someone alive and to give them access to legal defense and judicial due process. I also think it is wrong to be keeping prisoners in Guantanamo, (which we are doing only because we find the rules of our founding fathers and our current society to be too “inconvenient”) and that keeping people without a trial for over 10 years is pas the point of diminishing returns.

      ACLU is an organization of liberals in the classical sense – those that believe in liberty. They have been inconsistent by not being historically supportive of the individual RKBA, but you know what? Organizations can change. Look at the change in NRA in the ’70s.

      • avatarSwarf says:

        Thanks Gloomhiund and Seren.

        Anti-American bullshit like the comments above yours bug the hell out of me.

        The ACLU fights for the civil rights of all Americans whether they choose to acknowledge it or not. I’m looking at you, Rush Limbaugh.

        • avatarMerits says:

          Is that what they are doing when they bring lawsuits against sub-500 populated towns in the Midwest to tear down nativity scenes on the courthouse lawn? They are a toss up at best.

        • avatarseren says:

          Merits, yes. It’s in the interest of fairness. Now, I don’t have a dog in that fight, so I don’t really care one way or another if they put up a manger scene on government land. Or if they put up a tribute to the Buddha’s birth, or the birth of Krishna. But since I am not invested in that fight, I can see the argument how it isn’t exactly fair to do it. First, there is a financial component – were public funds used to put up the display?
          Second, putting a religious display on the courthouse lawn is implying that God is involved in our human system of justice. Would you agree that not everyone has the same view on God? Because we don’t agree, our founding fathers figured the best thing to do is to separate church and state. On earth, human justice is settled by humans, and God will have the final say in his own way.

          There are a lot of people who are worried about Muslims getting footholds in communities and paving a way for Sharia law to be imposed, and especially to be imposed on people who aren’t Muslim. Rest assured, the ACLU would fight this too.

          (Although that does bring up an interesting question: would you be opposed to someone willingly submitting themselves to such a court? Say Muslim A stole something from Muslim B, and they both agreed to submit to a Sharia court. Muslim A has his hand cut off. What happens next? Is it a civil matter that has been resolved? Or can the state still prosecute Muslim A and send him to jail?)

        • avatarDJ says:

          I would just like to point out that in my lifetime several people have tried to kill me.

          They all have one thing in common.

          They were all Muslim.

          So, screw you, Islam does preach Jihad – and we need to fight those radical bastards to win. Not treat them like the G@d@mned Rotary club.

          They are the only major religion we have left which praises spilling the blood of the unbeliever. The Catholic Church hasn’t launched a crusade in 500 years, but you somehow seek moral equivilancey with a bunch of savages who openly seek to subjugate and destroy:
          1) Christians
          2) Jews
          3) Homosexuals
          4) Women
          5) Anyone who does not agree with a mypic 12th century worldview?

        • avatarDJ says:

          Christians no longer go around killing non-Christians because they are not Christian.

          Jews no longer go around killing non-Jews because they are not Jewish.

          Buddhists, Confuscists and Daoists (to my knowledge) have never killed people because they don’t belong to their religion.

          Islam is the last remaining religion where a significant number of worshippers think it is Ok to kill or subjugate people of differing religious belief. Make that make sense…

          And why, as a freedom loving people, should we not oppose savagery with the last fiber of our being? Why should we say the flame of civilization must submit to the dark of lawlessness?

        • avatarseren says:

          DJ, I’m sorry to hear that. But you have me curious – what were the circumstances? The way you frame it, my brain jumps to the conclusion that you were in the military, so it kind of becomes an expected part of the job, no? If that was the case, I don’t think you can lay all the blame squarely on Islam. You can bet your booty that if we had a foreign occupying force here in the US, that I would be trying to kill them too.

        • avatarDJ says:

          They attacked Manhattan before we invaded Afghanistan.

          And the first time a Muslim tried to kill me, it was one of our so-called allies in Bosnia in 1995. You might recall – we were there to keep the Serbs from slaughtering them. Funny thing – I’ve never been shot at by a Serb.

          They need to reap what they sow.

        • avatarseren says:

          That sounds messed up, man. That whole war was messed up from the sound of it.

  8. avatardwb says:

    the FBI is always hunting for sleeper cells.

    Why would the FBI make this known to a UK rag and compromise the investigation?

    Sound to me that they took a “we are leaving no stone unturned and pursuing every angle” quote and turned it into something sensational.

  9. avatarThomasR says:

    It’s the same mind set that allows over 90% of the population to walk around in condition white and not carry a weapon for self-defense, “it could never happen to me!”
    So the guy goes outside after being told a mad bomber and mass murderer with a gun was wandering around the city and to shelter in place; he sees blood and a cut tarp strap on his boat, a perfect place to hide for said mad bomber, the guys first thought? Mad Bomber? Nah, couldn’t be! don’t be paranoid! let’s look at what it could really be! Blood? A huddled figure that looks like a man? OH SHIT! The mad bomber!!!

    You do notice that the man didn’t yell at this huddled figure in his boat, he backed off and called the police, I bet you if he wasn’t a believer in having a gun for self-defense before, he does now.

    “A conservative is a liberal who was mugged”; not entirely accurate but with a certain level of truth.

    • avatarAccur81 says:

      Thomas R, excellent!

      I often wonder the same things myself. Our world would be much better if not for our affinity for “condition clueless.”

  10. avatarJoseph says:

    Damn…just missed the head shot. Some people just need killin’.

    • avatargloomhound says:

      “Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

  11. avatarWR2A says:

    It just gets deeper and deeper…

    http://wr2a.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/dzhokhar-tsaranaev-was-not-read-his-miranda-rights-because-he-might-have-more-information/

    But, but, but his civil rights were violated! Eeek! Unfair, unfair!

    Tell that to the victims and their families of the Patriot’s Day bombing.

    No rules were broken here. There is a special exception to Miranda that the police and the FBI followed perfectly. Liberals…I swear…they need to make victims or else their purpose in life is over.

    • avatarDoug says:

      There was no imminent threat, DHS stated unequivocally before his capture that there was no sleeper cell.

  12. avatarKB says:

    Robert

    Good post. Second line should be credible, not incredible.

  13. avatarRalph says:

    I’d expect more truth from Lawrence O’Donnell than from The Mirror. And I expect that every word out of O’D's mouth is a lie.

  14. avatarRuss Bixby says:

    Before Tsaraev’s arrest?

    And what leads did they have, what with one dead bomber and one yet to be captured/questioned?

    Methinks soething be amiss.

  15. avatarmatt says:

    When he failed to respond they opened fire at the boat’s hull. Robert said: “They wound up ­shooting a couple of rounds through the boat. He wasn’t going to like that.”

    I wonder what happened to all those people from yesterdays article who said he initiated the gun battle?

  16. avatarJoseph says:

    Hiding or wounded, or both….who cares.

  17. avatarthomas says:

    According to that article, it seems the FBI or whatever opened fire on the guy without confirming who he was and while he was not actively presenting a threat. It goes on to say that they don’t have to read him his rights because of some special ‘public safety’ powers. Just because he may or may not be a terrorist, doesn’t mean the Constitution doesn’t apply to him.

  18. avatarDJ says:

    Whatever happened to identifying a target? I guess the Boston PD/FBI is down with suppressive fire now?

    BTW…suppressive fire is the only legitimate reason to have full auto capability in a non crew served platform – but it would be nice for the PD to come out and say “Our policy is randomly spraying lead!” Or, to quote the Army proverb:

    “Bullet flying through the air,
    where it lands,
    I know not where.”

  19. avatargemalo says:

    If you saw the video of the ‘assault’ on the boat, it was WAY more than a ‘couple of rounds’. That hull is swiss cheese. Wonder if any of his ‘we can’t interrogate him because of his wounds’ came from that fusillade. Too bad the homeowner did not have a gun.

  20. avatarAlan W. Rose says:

    I want to see pics of the boat. Bullet holes, blood, etc. Or did the cops confiscate it as “evidence?”

  21. avatarDave S says:

    i think the suspect should have a trip to sunny Cuba.

    I am not comfy with a 48 hour suspension of his rights with statements being used isagainst him.

    course anyone who has watched US TV knows his rights.

    This would seem to be moot unless the interrogation group plans on torture and then federal trial

    you are either a criminal or an enemy combatant, they cannot have it both ways on US soil.

  22. avatarDave S says:

    cover v concealment

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