Boston bombing: Joe Biden hits out at ‘twisted, knock-off jihadis’ at shot officer’s memorial

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Service held as US investigators travel to Russia to speak to Tsarnaev family members

Thousands of police officers, students and faculty from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other officials were joined by Vice-President Joe Biden at a Cambridge memorial service for Sean Collier, the 26-year-old campus police officer whom authorities say was killed by the Boston marathon bombing suspects last week.

Mr Collier, who was laid to rest earlier in the week, was killed only hours after the Federal Bureau of Investigation released images and a video of the suspects Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar, who are said to have fatally shot the officer late on Thursday evening.

Tamerlan was killed in a police shootout soon afterwards, early on Friday morning. Dzhokhar, who was captured badly injured on Friday night following a massive manhunt, remains in his hospital – the FBI said his condition had improved from “serious” to “fair” – and has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction. He faces a possible death sentence.

Authorities say the brothers’ used home-made pressure-cooker bombs to target the marathon early last week, in an attack that left three dead and injured nearly 300.

Security was tight as the crowd filed into the Briggs Field on the MIT campus in Cambridge to remember Officer Collier. Calling the suspects “two twisted, perverted, cowardly, knock-off jihadis,” Vice-President Biden said that the terrorists hated the US for its “open society, our system of justice that guarantees freedom, and the access of every American to opportunity... It infuriates them.”

The memorial was held as Boston’s Boylston Street reopened to the public for the first time since the bombings. The investigation into the attack, meanwhile, continued. A team of American investigators travelled to the Russian province of Dagestan earlier this week to speak to the parents of the Tsarnaev brothers. An official told the Associated Press that the US team was working with the Russian security services. The suspects’ mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, was said to have spent most of Wednesday inside a Russian security services building in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, after first going in for questioning on Tuesday. The parents were planning to travel to the US today, the father, Anzor Tsarnaev, was quoted as telling the Russian state news agency.

As the investigation progressed, questions were being asked about what law enforcement agencies knew about Tamerlan, the elder brother, who was on the FBI’s radar in the years before the attack. A foreign government, widely believed to be Russia’s, had asked the agency for information about the 26-year-old early in 2011.

Elder Tsarnaev boy turned by Muslim convert

In the years before the Boston Marathon bombings, Tamerlan Tsarnaev fell under the influence of a Muslim convert who steered him towards a strict strain of Islam, his uncle has claimed.

Tamerlan gave up boxing and stopped studying music after meeting the man named “Misha”, said Ruslan Tsarni, pictured. Under this man’s tutelage Tamerlan opposed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. “Somehow, he just took his brain,” said Tsarni, who has also said his family was estranged from the Tsarnaev brothers for years.

Efforts to identify and interview “Misha” have failed so far.

Suggested Topics
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
News
news
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

(Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principle Geotechnical Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup