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CAPTURED: Minutes After Saying Suspect Slipped Away, Boston Gets a Break

"Suspect in custody. Officers sweeping the area. Stand by for further info," tweets Boston Police Department.

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

April 19, 2013 - 3:57 pm

UPDATE: “Suspect in custody. Officers sweeping the area. Stand by for further info,” tweets Boston Police Department

Admitting they hadn’t been able to find Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, during several hours of hunting through the Watertown neighborhood today, police lifted the stay-in order for residents and reopened public transportation across the city.

Then minutes after city and police officials left dejected and reporters still had more questions than answers, about two dozen gunshots were heard in a corner of Watertown followed by police vehicles and ambulances zipping to the scene.

Reports said a body was found in a boat — and that the body was moving. Police moved in slowly as more shots or flash grenades to drive the man out of the boat popped off.

Those reportedly sparked a fire on the boat, but a negotiator was still called in to take Tsarnaev into custody to the cheers of local residents.

The bombing suspect had unspecified injuries and blood was reported in the boat. Officials said he was in “serious” condition.

And in New Bedford, Mass., two men and a women were taken into custody by the FBI in connection with the case when a search warrant was served on a home near the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, where Tsarnaev is a student.

There were a few shockers at the press conference: First, Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, 26, did not rob a 7-Eleven in their crime spree last night, but were caught on the store’s surveillance camera near the time of a robbery by another suspect.

In the gunfight in which Tamerlan was killed, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev gave 15 officers minor wounds in a hail of gunfire and explosives.

And when he left the fight, he fled on foot. Authorities don’t know if he managed to get another car to get out of the area, but officers couldn’t cordon off the neighborhood in time and he presumably slipped out. Throughout the day, former classmates of the college student described the ethnic Chechen as an excellent athlete.

“We do not have an apprehension of our suspect this afternoon but we will have one,” Massachusetts State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben told reporters, adding they’d conducted “limited” home searches over an area of 20 streets.

They also followed up leads that Tsarnaev was elsewhere in eastern Massachusetts, to no avail, along with cleaning up unexploded ordinance the suspect spread through the neighborhood.

As a result, tactical teams were pulled back and state police agreed to conduct extra patrols in the battlefield of Watertown for the next two to three days.

“Unfortunately we don’t have a positive result at this point,” Alben said.

Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Mass.) warned residents that even though safety precautions were being lifted “there is still a very,  very dangerous individual at large.”

‘We were where we were on Monday night or Tuesday morning with one exception — one of the suspects is dead,” the governor said. Though the “investigation has continued to develop,” he said, it would be “prudent to tell people you can get back out as long as you’re vigilant.”

When asked where Alben is, he said, “I don’t have any direct knowledge that he’s in the Boston area but I don’t think he’d get much further — his ties are here.”

“I believe he’s still in Massachusetts,” the chief added.

He wouldn’t speculate on whether the brothers were headed to another attack site last night. “It’s clear to us that there are explosives that they had last night.. beyond that, what their intentions were would be a matter of supposition,” Alben said.

“We cannot continue to lock down an entire city or entire state,” he continued. “…We are convinced that we did everything we could in this neighborhood to ensure this individual is not where he left last night.”

But he was.

INTERPOL issued a global security alert in the case tonight at the request of U.S. officials. The Orange Notice contains photographs of the explosive devices used in the marathon bombing and identifying information including the fingerprints of the two suspects to put other nations on notice to watch out for similar devices.

The White House also released a readout of a phone call President Obama had with Russian President Vladimir Putin tonight.

“President Putin expressed his condolences on behalf of the Russian people for the tragic loss of life in Boston. President Obama thanked President Putin for those sentiments, and praised the close cooperation that the United States has received from Russia on counter-terrorism, including in the wake of the Boston attack. The two leaders agreed to continue our cooperation on counter-terrorism and security issues going forward,” it said.

The suspects’ father told media that the Russian government hauled him in for questioning today.

In a late-night statement in the press briefing room, President Obama said a next step would be to understand “why did young men who grew up and studied here… resort to such violence.”

“Whatever hateful agenda drove these men to their hateful acts cannot, will not prevail.”

The president also chided Twitter, which played a revolutionary role in news coverage of the case, as a place where people can give into “temptation to latch onto conclusions” while investigations are ongoing.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was chiding Obama on Twitter this afternoon to hold the suspect, if caught alive, as enemy combatant for intelligence gathering purposes.

“If the #Boston suspect has ties to overseas terror organizations he could be treasure trove of information,” he continued. “The last thing we may want to do is read Boston suspect Miranda Rights telling him to ‘remain silent.’”

“The Obama Administration needs to be contemplating these issues and should not rush into a bad decision.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Those police that set the perimeter wrong and lost the guy? And who only found him when someone went back to their house and noticed the guy in their boat and called the police telling them where he was?

The search was not a brilliant day in the annals of policing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Slightly off point, but I'm amazed that PJM's bloggers have not addressed the propriety of the "shelter in place" order in Boston. It was perhaps appropriate in Waterton, with thousands of nervous, heavily armed police searching for the 2d bomber- too much chance of a friendly fire incident, especially at night, but for the whole Metro area? How many tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of citizens lost a days pay, or businesses a days profits?

It seems to me the biggest victory the bombers won was handed to them by liberal over-protectiveness, by "you children stay in your rooms until the trouble is over" nanny state shows of concern. How many millions of dollars damage to the economy was caused? And by what authority does the government decide for everyone, for all its citizens, the risk is worth that damage. Well, for all but the media, anyhow.
There may well be a risk which would justify such an action, the threat of chemical attack, perhaps, but in this case, one teen aged terrorist afoot in an area flooded by police? If it had been a vicious drug gang they were pursuing, would they have done the same? An escaped lion, a rabid dog?
Perhaps it was because they virtually stripped the area of police to concentrate on Waterton, and it was the only way to keep more common criminals under control?

More to the point, if this pursuit justified the lock down of a million people, what other conditions, excuses would justify such an action? If an entire population can be confined to their homes for safety, can they also be disarmed, "for their own good", like in New Orleans? If one liberty, the simple right to move about, can be so easily restrained, why not others?

It's not that I don't understand the motivation, or believe it was done for anything but honest concern. It is that it's overpowering breadth, and easy acceptance, leave me really uncomfortable. Any thoughts?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes. Why doesn't he simply pick up the phone and ask Bill and Bernadine?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (67)
All Comments   (67)
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Logic error: "When asked where Alben is, he said, “I don’t have any direct knowledge that he’s in the Boston area but I don’t think he’d get much further — his ties are here.”"

--

Clearly, the name Alben (the head of the state police) should be replaced by Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev in that sentence since it was Tsarnaev, not Alben that was in hiding.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
While its all well and good that one of the terrorists is Tango Uniform and hopefully little brother will soon follow big brother it is quite disconcerting that government and law enforcement can shut a city down like that.

As someone wrote - "It was as if Martial Law" had been declared.

As the world watched a local government took over a town and effectively told the citizenry to stay in their homes. It was not reported anywhere that I saw that local law enforcement is asking you to stay inside, it was reported that local law enforcement is "Telling" you to stay inside. And of course a unarmed citizenry had no choice but to obey the government. There was no other legal way to protect or defend themselves in one of the great bastions of liberalism.

Lessons should be learned here by everyone. But the lesson I fear that was learned the most is that the citizens of America will gladly give up a little freedom for a little security.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Adults with any common sense know full well that they in fact, could have left their homes but using their common sense, weighing the gravity of the situation knew it safer to follow LEs advise to stay in. Common sense vs. idiots!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
While in this situation shutting down the city seemed appropriate, it is a disconcerting precedent. "No Knock" warrants are great for those who deal drugs and will be proven guilty in court, but what about the "innocent" mistakes that cost innocent lives of those denied their 4th and 5th Amendment rights? They very easily could have confiscated legally owned weapons protected under Heller etc. while on their house to house search—for the good and safety of the community, of course. A dangerous precedent. I'm glad they caught the guy alive. I'm glad he wasn't Mirandized (another troubling aspect). If guilty, I hope he gets an "eye for an eye", after telling all.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I would be interested in hearing what happened to any Bostonians who didn't remain in their homes. Certainly plenty of media folk disobeyed that request and I have to assume that at least some non-media people did as well. Were any of them charged or arrested? Were any shot by mistake by understandably edgy police officers?

I'm also curious to know whether you have similar objections to government requests to stay in shelter during a major weather event like a hurricane? It feels a little like you have objections to pretty much ANY directive from the government under any circumstances.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My understanding was that it remained a request. Though you might be detained and questioned, you were free to refuse and continue on your business, provided you were not in or trying to enter one of the police lines.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have plenty of objections to a police state.

You obviously have no objections to following the orders of the all knowing, all wise imperial government.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And five years from now when all of the pre-trial motions have been addressed, he will be released ('free as a bird, and guilty as he*l) and brother John Roberts will declare that any information that was obtained from him without the Miranda Rights being read to him cannot be used for ANY actions! 127 CAIR lawyers will see to that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
OK, legal genius, you can 'splain to us how you get around the fact that he is an American citizen, captured on American soil by American civilian law enforcement, and the federal and state courts are fully operational in MA. Please address the USSC's holding in ex parte Milligan as you enlighten us as to your strategy to avoid his right to refuse to incriminate himself. Hint: there was a reason Guantanamo Bay was chosen as the place to hold terrorists and there was a reason that one who was an American citizen captured on American soil wasn't held there.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Not a single comment anywhere, on the great job all those evil, feeding at the government trough employees did in killing and capturing those terrorists in such a timely manner with minimal additional loss of life.

Thanks to all the law enforcement men and women who particiapted directly and in support!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Most all of us do appreciate and applaud the efforts of LEO and congratulate them on this job. There are some troubling aspects to the way things were done, but they were successful, nonetheless.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Most of what I saw looked like a TSA convention; Thousands Standing Around. The cops did what cops do these days; they dressed up like Mall Ninjas and rolled out all their shiny, expensive toys. Then they put the perimeter in the wrong place and couldn't find a wounded kid that they let get away in the first place, in the meanwhile shutting down the city and undoubtedly scaring Hell out of a lot of its citizens.

The hated Mark Furman called it right on FOX early yesterday afternoon EDT. He said it was extraordinarily unlikely that the younger one was unscathed in the exchange with the cops and that he was holed up someplace wounded or even dead. After the cops had essentially given up in the area of main interest, a civilian found the kid holed up wounded and nearly dead.

Now I have no illusions about how difficult it is to find anything or anyone in a suburban area, especially someone who doesn't want to be found, but it was a vigilant citizen that found him, not the massive display of LEOs and their toys.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Law enforcement is a partnership with the citizens! What you sen visually on TV with your eyes only represented the rear command. You did NOT see the the special ops units and their backups in action. You did NOT get to see the perimeter security or the house-to-house units in operation. You did NOT see the homicides investigation in progress. You did NOT get to see the intel units in operarion nor the air support folks in operation. You did NOT get to se the massive command and support operations in their work. All you seen was the command statging area for personnel and equipment ready to respond as directed. Like always, those who have no life experience in things are always first to criticizem with their nonsense. When you have massive riots, terrorist activities, natural disasters, etc. you mutual in as many troops as possible. Better to have the problem of too many than not enough if needed for a critical situation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There were three or so officers down the block who were able to respond immediately when the owner of the boat called 911.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What "great job"?

Let's review, shall we?

They had bomb sniffing dogs at both the start and finish lines of the race - but failed to intercept two amature jihadists with homemade pressure cooker bombs.

This race was along a predetermined course so it wasn't like they had to swarm the entire city with LEOs.

They have had years to get used to the idea that terrorists would strike a public event, had plenty of officers on the ground at the event - but still managed to NOT intercept the two aforementioned amature jihadists strolling through their midst while lugging backpacks full of explosives.

They, via their local politicians have completely disarmed the populace of any firearms, reserving only to themselves the authority to possess and use said weapons and leaving their population defenseless.

I would say this is a violation of the people's second amendment rights.

When they realized he was in a certain area, the people did not have the ability to defend themselves - not even the dumba $$ with the"COEXIST" sticker on his bumper whom they carjacked!

They then order the people to remain within their homes. ...... under what authority? I heard nothing of martial law being declared.

They roll around town for a full day in their armored vehicles - I'm sure you enjoyed the visuals of that one - yet don't find them.

Oh and before I go further, let's not forget they would not even have known where they were except LEO finally broke down and published the pictures of these two and asked for help from the people - and had solid leads within hours after 3 days of getting nowhere on their own.

So then the police begin door to door searches -in violation of the people's 4th amendment rights. You can -and likely will -claim the LEOs only asked "permission", but when someone with a gun and a badge is on your doorstep I'm sure it's very intimidating. And of course they can always claim your lack of cooperation was probable cause to go in anyway.

For your own safety, of course.

Then we find out that after all of that -they STILL missed him at some point as he was in an area they had already "cleared".

It was only when an individual - someone who is by definition one of"the people" - was allowed permission to move about their own property, that they were able to find this mass murderer.

I get that LEOs have a hard job - but they didn't exactly cover themselves in glory here.

How would things have turned out had it been dozens, scores, or even hundreds of like minded terrorists engaged in mayhem?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No shortage of idiots sitting on the sidelines!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As one who saw the backpack in Atlanta in '96, I'm going to give the officers the benefit of the doubt on this one.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Oh, get a grip.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Those police that set the perimeter wrong and lost the guy? And who only found him when someone went back to their house and noticed the guy in their boat and called the police telling them where he was?

The search was not a brilliant day in the annals of policing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Too bad you weren't available to make everything right.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Slightly off point, but I'm amazed that PJM's bloggers have not addressed the propriety of the "shelter in place" order in Boston. It was perhaps appropriate in Waterton, with thousands of nervous, heavily armed police searching for the 2d bomber- too much chance of a friendly fire incident, especially at night, but for the whole Metro area? How many tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of citizens lost a days pay, or businesses a days profits?

It seems to me the biggest victory the bombers won was handed to them by liberal over-protectiveness, by "you children stay in your rooms until the trouble is over" nanny state shows of concern. How many millions of dollars damage to the economy was caused? And by what authority does the government decide for everyone, for all its citizens, the risk is worth that damage. Well, for all but the media, anyhow.
There may well be a risk which would justify such an action, the threat of chemical attack, perhaps, but in this case, one teen aged terrorist afoot in an area flooded by police? If it had been a vicious drug gang they were pursuing, would they have done the same? An escaped lion, a rabid dog?
Perhaps it was because they virtually stripped the area of police to concentrate on Waterton, and it was the only way to keep more common criminals under control?

More to the point, if this pursuit justified the lock down of a million people, what other conditions, excuses would justify such an action? If an entire population can be confined to their homes for safety, can they also be disarmed, "for their own good", like in New Orleans? If one liberty, the simple right to move about, can be so easily restrained, why not others?

It's not that I don't understand the motivation, or believe it was done for anything but honest concern. It is that it's overpowering breadth, and easy acceptance, leave me really uncomfortable. Any thoughts?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Who cares? Call it a major snow day. Do you understand what these Chechen terrorists *did* to Boston? Thank God the cops and agents were able to wrap this thing up as quickly as they did.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
People will complain about anything. It was resolved. And we didn't have to send Navy Seals to violate international law in some foreign land to take care of it 10 years later. Job well done, I think. It is always easy to second guess in hindsight. Hopefully we will soon be able to find out if they had help or accomplices.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Great point! A days pay and company profits are worth more than ones safety and life.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A point which you obviously missed. A day's pay or a day's profit can mean a lot to a single mother or poor family at the hand to mouth level, or a small business on the verge of bankruptcy, but the point was the limitation on people's right to decide themselves whether to "shelter" or to go on with their lives. The "shelter" order was far broader and more intrusive than it needed to be, and the loss of a day of living may have long term consequences for the whole area. More importantly, that wide scale limitation on liberty, for the sake of safety, has now become a model for future government conduct. Is that a good thing. The lockdown in Waterton was one thing, the shutdown of the whole metropolitan area another.

Note that the shutdown came, not when the suspects were unknown and totally out in the weeds, but after they became known, with one down and one wounded and on the loose on foot, and probably limited to a known area. It was an over re-action, with little justification- though it made a great experiment in population control.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Adults with a live brain and common sense knew full well they could go anywhere those chose to go. But adults with common sense weighing the gravity of the situation probably chose not to toy with risks that could have turned into a disater pretty quick to include loosing their lives. But I do understrand your point that money is the god of so many.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I also want a why and a how. Not to offer excuses for the murderer, but to better understand how the radicalization occurs in order to stop it the next time, to know what kind of warning signs we should look for. I hope that we learned from Fort Hood that ignoring warning signals and being PC doesn't work (ie, we does not include the gov't, rather theose of us with common sense).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We already know why. It's called Islam.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If it is not too much bother, read some of the Islamic Hadiths which can be found for free on Islamic and educational websites. then you'll understand their motives. Muhammad was not a nice guy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We also knew that radical nationalism was the big why behind the German and Japanese aggression in WWII, but we need to be able to dissect this info into parts we can use to develop a strategy and tactics. We need to be able to identify those we can peel off from the fighters and staunch believers, those we can intimidate by military might, and those we have to eliminate. We also have to send a strong message that we will not be intimidated and that we will not tolerate certain behaviours. To allow them to distract us with a discussion of what is true Islam is useless. It is the behaviour we have to confront.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Lets see! Last year americans killed over 12,000 americans none of which were remotely Islam terrorists, radical nationalists or radical anything else. Likewise, in an average year there are 32,000,000 assualts made on americans by americans leaving victims in a range of maimed for life down to minor indjuries and no physical injuries.

The foreign radicals everybody is fearing sure have a long ways to go to catch up to the destruction of life that common americans on americans create.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Personally I don't care about "why" or "how" but rather "who else".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We have captured the ultimate terrorist. Or, rather, he captured our imagination and we elected him President. And, as President, he's been so enamored of extreme Islamism that that he dare not offend them by calling them terrorists, even when they kill innocent children. American children. At the least, ObamaSpeak encourages the savages. Obama truly seems to have trouble calling things what they are; valuing things American.

The Constitution is just a bunch of outdated, worn pages to Obama, ones that mostly get in his way. The American flag is something to be stomped on by friend and buddy, Bill Ayers for a front cover picture in Chicago Magazine. And then they share a laugh about it. I call Obama a miscreant and a traitor and I fear he is both.

Truly, I believe, Obama is the President of the wrong country. Why become President of the United States when you hate everything it stands for?

But, tonight, when I could transition into numerous Obama sins, I feel all written out. Emotionally spent. The pictures of the one boy who didn't survive an outing at the Boston Marathon; and two beautiful young women brimming with enthusiasm for life, Krystle and Lu, all of whom lay dead, has left me at a loss for words. Passionless. Exhausted by the last five days. I don't even feel the urge to slap a horse on the back and give the Boston terrorist a galloping send off at the end of a rope.

That Obama's spent the last five years spent trying to spend America to death leaves me cold. I don't even have a taste for a plate of revenge.

I'm afraid you're left with a Rachel Peepers, who's been around this website spouting off for seven or so years, feeling like there's nothing more to give. I've become a middle aged women who needs an Ambien to make it though the night.

For Lu, Krystle and Martin, especially. Please ask God to wrap his arms around them, one and all. Please someone tell me it's gonna be all right.

I know the sun will shine over Boston again some day when someone proudly strides over the finish line, hearing the sound only of applause. But right now I feel so dead inside. Beyond sad. I know a lot of you are feeling like you've been hit by a million pieces of mental anguish. You're not alone. I can't ease anyone's pain, except to say that I'm certain that there are tears even in heaven.


I know the sun will shine over Boston again some day when someone proudly strides over the finish line, hearing the sound only of applause. For me, though, the attack was like a dagger to the heart. Those pictures of the people after the blast are frozen in my mind. Time has stood still. The ones of the young woman and two kids who didn't survive color my every waking moment. I know a lot of you are feeling like you've been hit by a million pieces of mental anguish. I just want you to know you're not alone. Gail sent me a note about what happened. I wanted to respond to her. But I didn't know what to say. I can't ease anyone's pain, except to say that I'm certain that there are tears even in heaven.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"In a late-night statement in the press briefing room, President Obama said a next step would be to understand “why did young men who grew up and studied here… resort to such violence.”"

He asks a question that he already knows the answer to because it is the same reason he continues to do everything within his power to hurt America and its people.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think he's conflicted between the Islam he grew up in in Indonesia and the communism of his father. He tries to follow and impart an unstable mix of the two.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yup, because he spent 10 years here being taught to hate America by his "educators"

Add being taught to not fear death or judgement by his mosque, after all, Allah forgives when it is infidels that are harmed.

That is a recipe for violence.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes. Why doesn't he simply pick up the phone and ask Bill and Bernadine?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Your all forgetting he was arrested in Ma, " no death penalty"!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Couldn't they charge Tsarnaev with federal charges to keep the death penalty on the table? I'm not a lawyer but the lawyers also seem to be able to find a way to accomplish something.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think they'll start with the death penalty and then bargain for something less for full cooperation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
They'll charge him under federal law and go for the death penalty. If he has anything they want to hear, they can bargain it away. My money's on him laying on a gurney with a needle in his arm within a couple of years. If he's not, there's something nefarious going on.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
after today's multimedia TMI, i have come to this realization about the difference between conservative and liberal Americans on crime.
Conservative Americans want Justice for the crimes from the perpetrator,
Liberal Americans want a motive for the crimes from the perpetrator!
mark my words, motive will be a love of his brother who lead him down the wrong path. blame the dead man.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I had to listen to some MSM to get some news yesterday. It was a bit maddening. They kept asking "Why? Why? Why?" We know why—Islam. But what does that matter when hunting a mass murderer?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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