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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
videoJapanese prepare for the afterlife by testing out coffins
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford attends Blade Runner at Target Presents AFI's Night at the Movies at ArcLight Cinemas on 24 April, 2013 in Hollywood, California
film... but Ridley Scott won't direct
Sport
Hughes is hit by a bouncer from Sean Abbott
cricketStephen Brenkley on batsman's tragic flaw that led to critical injury
Sport
Dejected England players applaud the fans following their team's 3-0 defeat
football

Extras
indybest
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

Recruitment Genius: Property Manager

£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Multi-skilled graphic designer ...

Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solicitor

£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solic...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Supervisor / Housewares / Furniture

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital