Authorities pressed forward Saturday in their search for answers in the Boston Marathon bombing, and the person who likely knows more than anyone else is the surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, known to friends as Jahar.
He remained hospitalized with gunshot wounds and was not able to communicate yet, said Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
Tsarnaev is at heavily guarded Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the same hospital where his older brother, Tamerlan, 26, was pronounced dead Friday after a shootout with police in the Boston suburb of Watertown, Mass.
One of the reasons why I and so many others are hoping the suspect survives is we have a million questions we want to ask him, the governor said in an interview. He’s in serious but stable condition. He’s in bad shape. He was bleeding for nearly a day. He was pretty weak and not in great shape.
If and when he recovers, Tsarnaev is expected to be questioned by a special federal team of interrogators from the CIA, FBI and the military, tasked with grilling high-value terrorism suspects. The marathon bombing, which killed three people and wounded more than 170, has not been linked so far to any overseas terrorist network or any larger terrorist cell within the United States.
The brothers are also believed by authorities to be responsible for the shooting death of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer, 26-year-old Sean Collier, on the school’s campus late Thursday night.
Federal prosecutors are planning to bring charges against the surviving suspect, but the complaint had not been filed as of late Saturday afternoon.
How to treat the surviving bombing suspect became a matter of debate Saturday in Washington. Four Republican members of Congress demanded that he be treated as an enemy combatant rather than as a common criminal suspect. An enemy combatant can be charged under the laws of war in a military commission or held indefinitely without charge as a prisoner or detainee of war.
In a joint statement, Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., wrote: The accused perpetrators of these acts were not common criminals attempting to profit from a criminal enterprise, but terrorists trying to injure, maim, and kill innocent Americans.