With references to the current Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev spoke publicly for the first time today before he was formally sentenced to death.
Tsarnaev, who was born in Kyrgyzstan in 1993 and brought to the United States from Dagestan in 2002, spoke in a heavy accent although news reports have indicated high school classmates don’t remember him speaking like that.
“I pray to Allah to bestow his mercy on you,” Tsarnaev said before Judge George O’Toole imposed the death sentence that a jury handed down May 15. “I pray for your relief, for your healing, for your well-being, for your health.”
“I want to ask for forgiveness from Allah. I was listening as all these people testified… with strength, with dignity. I am sorry for the lives I have taken… for the damage I have done. I ask Allah for mercy for me and for my brother,” Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a confrontation with police after the 2013 attack.
“I am guilty… along with my brother, if there is any lingering doubt,” he admitted.
Tsarnaev’s attorneys argued that the Tamerlan was the ringleader of the bombing plot and basically lured his brother, now 21, into cooperating.
Tsarnaev was found guilty in the deaths of Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, Martin Richard and MIT police officer Sean Collier. The bombings left 264 injured, many with amputations, from the projectile-laden pressure-cooker bomb that they constructed from instructions in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s Inspire magazine.
“I am sorry for the lives that I’ve taken, for the suffering that I’ve caused you, and the damage that I’ve done,” Tsarnaev told the court.
Judge O’Toole told Tsarnaev, “Whenever your name is mentioned, all that will be remembered is the evil you have done.”