AP: Boston Bombers Identified as Russian Brothers

Image: AP: Boston Bombers Identified as Russian Brothers Top: At right, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, killed in a shootout with police. At left, his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, still being sought in the Boston area. Bottom: A man looks in Moscow on April 19, 2013, at a computer screen displaying an undated picture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev posted on his page in VKontakte, a Russian social media site.

Friday, 19 Apr 2013 07:12 AM

By Lisa Barron

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The two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings have been identified as brothers, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, according to a U.S. national security official.

They are of Chechen origin and were residing legally in the U.S. The older brother was killed in an overnight shootout with police. The younger one — the one in the white hat in photos released by the FBI — is still on the loose and a widespread manhunt is under way in the city of Boston and the surrounding area.

Police are going house-to-house in the suburb of Watertown, where all residents have been asked to stay indoors.

Early Friday the brothers reportedly robbed a 7-Eleven, shot a police officer to death, carjacked an SUV and threw explosives out the window at pursuing law enforcement authorities.

“This situation is grave, we are here to protect public safety,” Col. Tim Alben of the Massachusetts State Police told The New York Times.

“We believe these are the same individuals that were responsible for the bombing on Monday at the Boston Marathon,” he said, adding, “We believe that they’re responsible for the death of an MIT police officer and the shooting of an MBTA officer.”

Both men had reportedly been in the U.S. for several years and had overseas military training.

It is not yet clear whether the brothers were sent to the U.S. by a foreign terrorist group.

Law enforcement officials have said they are leaning toward the theory that the bombings were motivated by Islamist extremism.

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