Boston Marathon Bombing
Boston Marathon Bombing  Photo credit: A Name Like Shields Can / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Here we are, on the third Boston Marathon since the one we will never forget. Two powerful bombs ripped through the assembled crowd, killing Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi and Martin Richard, and wounding many others. Later, a policeman was shot to death.  We were told he was shot by one of two brothers accused of the bombing, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The images are seared into our memories. So, too, is the extraordinary government response: an American city totally locked down while armored vehicles, helicopters, and police in full combat gear patrolled the streets of greater Boston.

Four days after the bombing, the Tsarnaevs were cornered and there was a gun battle. In the end, one young man was dead, and his younger brother badly injured.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, FBI Suspects 1 and 2
Photo credit: FBI

We were told that law enforcement had identified the perpetrators, who had acted entirely on their own. The surviving brother was eventually put on trial, convicted, and sentenced to death.

At the trial, his government-appointed counsel stated that he was guilty, and he himself admitted his guilt, and said that he was sorry. But that is all he said. To this day he has never explained how he and his brother ever became terrorists.

He couldn’t tell us if he wanted to. Since his arrest he’s been held under unusual Special Administrative Measures (SAMs), which prevent him from communicating with the outside world. Strikingly, SAMs have also been imposed on his attorneys. The government maintains that SAMs are necessary to prevent prisoners from inciting others to commit acts of terrorism.

But what others? The FBI insists the two brothers were lone wolves, unconnected to any larger network.

Family members say they were told to keep their mouths shut. And they were warned not to challenge the credibility of the investigation or the prosecution.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s silence suggests that he, too, was told that worse would come if he were to explain what actually happened, and why. That is, if he even knows.

His uncle seemed to think he knew: he fingered the brothers as likely to be the bombers. And what is even more weird, this uncle had married into a prominent CIA family, and they were surrounded by odd characters connected in various ways to America’s national security leviathan.

Certainly, they were not like typical terrorists.They did not blow themselves up, they made no political statement. They did not flee Boston. In fact, they seemed to continue with their normal lives in the hours and days following the explosions — right up to the moment the FBI posted their images and asked the public to help identify them.

What happened after that, and why, remains a mystery. We have been told that the brothers killed an MIT police officer on an empty campus — yet another victim of this tragedy — but if they were his murderers, they still did not flee. The brothers apparently spent the next hour and a half driving, fairly slowly, in circles around the suburbs of Boston, mostly in the company of a man they purportedly carjacked, before they ended up focusing on Watertown, where they appeared to be waiting for…something or someone.

Poster Seeking Suspect 1

FBI Poster Seeking Suspect 1  Photo credit: FBI

The Boston Marathon Bombing is one of the most astonishing stories of the new millennium, a smaller but no less problematic 9/11, where, again, so much doesn’t add up. And, again, the FBI appears to have played its long-running role as a coverup vehicle — protecting those who apparently have more hold over the Bureau than either Congress or the temporary occupant of the White House.

In the days after the bombing, WhoWhatWhy risked ridicule, marginalization, and worse, to honor the best instincts of journalism. Virtually alone among American news organizations — indeed, news media the world over, which just promoted the problem-riddled official version of events — we kept our heads down, ignored the brickbats and, with few people and limited resources, pressed onward.

The result was the more than 70 stories we published on our site. We hope, if you are not familiar with them, you will take the time to educate yourself about this mass-murder mystery that touches on so many of the central issues of our day.

It is profoundly important that we keep the spotlight on events like these, where so much of the official narrative does not add up.

The Unanswered Questions


What was Tsarnaev’s relationship with the FBI/CIA?

What was the true nature of the FBI’s (or CIA’s) relationship with the Tsarnaev family — particularly Tamerlan? Since the beginning, we’ve been seeing more and more evidence, circumstantial and otherwise, that there is way more to this back story than the government will admit.

The FBI, after claiming it didn’t know Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was forced to admit that it had known him before the bombing — in fact, its agents had been in and out of his house several times over a number of years, and had “investigated” him. There seems no doubt that the FBI was very interested in Tamerlan and his circle of friends — who were exactly the sort of young Muslims typically recruited as informants.

Why was Tsarnaev, a potential terrorist, given such freedom of movement?

And what role did the US’s antagonistic geopolitical relationship with Russia play in this tragedy? Tamerlan was waived through both America’s and Russia’s airports despite being on the terrorist watch lists of both countries.

Why apply SAMs?

Why is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev being held “incommunicado” under Special Administrative Measures even though the government maintains he and his brother acted alone and were not part of a terrorist network? What are the powers-that-be afraid he’ll say to the outside world?

Why harass Tsarnaev associates?

Why did the government go “scorched earth” on all of the Tsarnaevs’ friends, family and associates — harassing, deporting, and in one case shooting to death individuals who the government readily admits had no connection to the bombing? Were they being pre-emptively silenced? Like the Tsarnaev case, the shooting death was full of anomalies, stunning discrepancies, and suppression of inquiry.

Were any of Tsarnaev’s friends working for the Feds?

Why were some of the Tsarnaevs’ friends sentenced to years in jail for lying to the Feds, while others were let off scot-free for doing the same thing? In fact, the FBI said one of them lied about “matters of great import.”

What happened on April 17 at the courthouse?

Why has there been no credible explanation of the events around the Federal courthouse on the afternoon of Wednesday April 17th? We are told that unfounded speculation about an arrest and a suspect in custody is what caused reporters to converge upon the courthouse. Yet, at least two journalists inside the building were told by court officials (including judges) that a person was expected in court, and that courtroom #18, and an overflow room, were being prepared.

Reports of a suspect in custody were then denied by law enforcement. And half an hour later, the courthouse was evacuated because of a bomb threat. During the “code red” we see a US Marshal’s wagon with an armed footplate-rider enter the courthouse building. Oddly, the existence of a motorcade to the courthouse was acknowledged — but nobody has said what the motorcade was, or why it was headed to the court.

Why was surveillance footage of the policeman’s shooting edited?

This is another episode that doesn’t make sense to us.

We were told that M.I.T. surveillance footage proves that the brothers crept up to Sean Collier’s car and shot him. But the film was shot at night, and at such a great distance, it is impossible to even discern the gender of the two figures, let alone their identity. They are tiny stick figures.

But what is really bewildering is that at the critical moment — the film is cut. Then it resumes again when the stick figures have finished their business and are running away. It is unlikely they cut the film at that moment to shield the viewer from gore; it would not have been visible.

In fact all of the supposedly “damning” videos shown in court were of such poor quality they are really not that damning.

Why did the carjacking victim give such conflicting stories?

We have been told that the Tsarnaev brothers carjacked a foreign national student, but that story is full of holes too. Why did carjacking victim Dun “Danny” Meng give such wildly conflicting accounts of the carjacking and his subsequent “escape.”

Why was the gas station surveillance footage edited?

Why does the gas station surveillance camera footage shown in court appear to contradict Meng’s testimony about what happened in the SUV?  He was never seriously cross-examined.

Why was that footage so tightly edited? And why did they remove the video’s time stamp?

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, gray backpack

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  Photo credit: FBI / YouTube

What color was the backpack?

How come nobody in law enforcement can seem to get the color of Dzhokhar’s backpack right?

The indictment says it’s black; Dzhokhar supposedly told his interrogators it was brown; but it looks mostly white or light gray to the rest of us. Why has nobody tried to clear that up — or even acknowledge this issue? It happens to concern a major piece of evidence.

Why pin the Waltham murders on Tamerlan?

Why were law-enforcement officials quick to pin an unsolved triple murder on Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Ibragim Todashev?

This is especially puzzling since the government quickly reversed itself, once the prosecution got wind that Dzhokhar’s lawyers were exploring a defense strategy that would claim Dzhokhar only participated in the bombing because he was afraid of his murderous older brother and didn’t dare refuse his demands.

The prosecution was never called to account for this startling reversal. Because the government vehemently opposed the defense’s filings to gain access to the relevant documents, the defense attorneys never saw them. They were simply told that the government, contrary to its initial position, had no evidence that Tamerlan Tsarnaev participated in the Waltham murders.

Did the brothers have help?

The government never definitively settled where or exactly how the bombs were manufactured, a question that remains unanswered. Early on, numerous experts expressed doubts that the brothers had the expertise to make and precisely coordinate detonation of the bombs.

The “After Action Report” — Why did it report so little?

Why is it that the After Action Reports, Inspector General Reports, and the court case itself failed to clear up — or even address — any of these mysteries?

The Ultimate Mystery

The Executive Branch Inspector General community has given us a hint of how deep the mystery goes: Even the government’s duly authorized investigators say they are being denied access to what our intelligence agencies are up to.

We will have more to say. And we hope you will be with us — enabling us to stay on the trail.

Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Street Scene (Aaron “tango” Tang / Wikimedia – CC BY 2.0)


  • Russ Baker is Editor-in-Chief of WhoWhatWhy. He is an award-winning investigative journalist who specializes in exploring power dynamics behind major events.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Excellent summary! Thank you Russ Baker and team at Who What Why for illuminating all the inconsistencies and unanswered questions about this case. The only thing that is clear about this case is that the official narrative is untrue. Thanks for your continued pursuit of the truth.


The government would never lie to the people, would they?


…..and the role of Misha and what K. Russell may have known.


Especially Katherine Russell. How can she just disappear from public interest? If she had been Arab, and not the daughter of an important CIA chief of Middle East expertise, she would be locked up.


Identify the paramilitary personnel with the black backpacks on the Bolyston St finish line.

Sniper Kitty

CST – later filmed in the middle of the street with their bags. That being said, the heavy presence of CST raises questions in itself. Drill? Expecting an attack? Officials have denied both…

Comment editor’s note:
CST stands for ‘Civil Support Team’ – a section of the National Guard.


I thought they were Craft International.

Comments editor

Definitely CST – it is on public record.


Why did Michelle Obama visit the Saudi guy in hospital after he was injured at the marathon? So weird. There are photographs of that on the internet.


The “war on terror” satisfies a huge money-making machine in the Pentagon, plus it serves to keep up the land grabs in the ME.


Why did agents go their friend Todshev’s house and kill him by shooting him six times (including once in the top of the head) even though he was unarmed? Answer: because after hours of interviewing him, the agents determined that he knew too much because Tamerlan had told him about his sweet job working with the Feds doing drills and such. The other agents remained outside while the killer went back in to clean up. “He attacked me with a sword, I mean a table, I mean a chair, so I shot him 6 times”. One or two of the other agents were probably good guys who had to be compartmentalized.


Yes indeed…drills and such. There is so much evidence for that. Lots of people took pictures and videos behind the fence, and it was all playacted, faked. I guess the PTB didn’t think about the fact that everyone has a camera at all times now.

Snow Monkey

The most telling inconsistency remains the CNN video of Tamarlan in FBI custody. It can still be viewed on You Tube under Proof: Tamarlan Tsarnaev. They had him, striped him naked and it was caught on film. Later they clothed him and showed him escorted by FBI personnel. All of this belies the great chase scene and murder-by-brother story that was later foisted upon the public and aped by the media.


There was no bomb at the Boston Marathon Hoax. It was all special effects, courtesy of Stu Seagall and Bruce Mendelson of Strategic Operations LLC.


I have criticized WhoWhatWhy on many occasions (and I stand by my criticisms btw) but I am more than happy to give praise where it’s due. Russ’ coverage of the Boston bombing was outstanding and I’m extremely grateful!

I’m hoping there will be more investigations going forward (regardless of whether more on the Boston bombing or something else)


Russ – you’re writing and research are excellent and trustworthy. One little comment about the description of the day. “Lock down” is probably too strong a term. While it was an extreme situation that people were asked to stay indoors, it’s not like we were being told that if we were out in the streets, we would be shot. Most people were willing to let law enforcement do the job, notwithstanding the flags, black flags, false flags, or no flags.


Thank you for asking the questions, covering the subject, and staying on it. The color of the backpack alone should have kept this prosecution from happening. The trial was not covered well, and what we could tell made it seem very poorly done. I cannot believe the young man was given a death sentence, and hope that an appeal for his life is successful.

Snow Monkey

Russ…..what is wrong with mentioning the CNN videos of Tamarlan in FBI custody? I mentioned it and got censored. What is the problem?

Comments editor

Sir – please check your inbox.


Another great article that I look forward to sharing on facebook.

Sniper Kitty

Here’s another question. Who is the guy in the blue helmet who lurked behind DT @ the Forum before the blasts, then was later filmed removing evidence from beneath the mailbox, even as the smoke still cleared? Who is he and why was he allowed to remove evidence? What did he remove? Why was he stalking around behind DT right before the blasts?


Freedon for Jahar. The brothers are innocent.


I do know is that you have magic explosives that blow up pants and
leave the legs uninjured. An explosion that goes around a guy, leaves
him uninjured, and kills his son. You have a lady dressed in pink who
was 2 feet away from a woman who
allegedly died and absolutely nothing happened to her. She wasn’t seen
in any interviews or anywhere after that. Totally silent. Figured she
would have been on the Ellen show or something to talk about her
have surveillance video of a woman inside the Marathon store getting a
fake tourniquet put on her leg while she was standing up. You have a woman with
holes in the knees of her jeans and t-shirts wrapped around her leg with no blood whatsoever. You
have what looks like Tamerlan’s backpack being passed off in the store.
You have the larger woman at the trial using the crutch on the
uninjured leg. The Brassards were proven to have faked being injured.

This was a fake story reported as real. Rife with fake bombs, fake blood, and crisis actors.


The Tsarnaevs no more set off or made those bombs than the Syeds shot anybody in San Bernardino. It’s all Reality Theater. Keep paying your taxes and shut up.


“This is a Drill”
Every Statist & Despot needs a patsy. Ask Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung.
Ask Oswald or Tsarnarev et Alia.


aha, connect the dots to make up another cuckoo crackpot conspiracy theory. bye bye


The JFK Library fire was originally reported as being an explosion as indicated by Police Commissioner. Did we get the story on that?


I have to admit that after reading/watching all the stories/media coverage of these events (thanks WWW!), I’m still amazed (after all this time) that these government agencies with their massive taxpayer-funded budgets can’t employ smarter people to tell more credible stories.

One would think that would be a prerequisite for employment there.


I still want to know what occupying army rolled through the streets of Watertown and under whose orders?

Richard Signore

I must admit that when most stories are called conspiracies on the internet, I resisted the to put this story into that category. However, my very first response -the one not yet unaffected by government/media polish -was to think there had to be much more to the story. They had guns, they didn’t have guns; they were terrorists, they were not terrorists. So many contradictory statements were made that they convinced me that a conspiracy of some sort was afoot. Include the massive military-style response and Americans got to see exactly how the government will subdue the populace. The scariest part is they will do it with the public’s cooperation. Neighbors will turn against neighbors. Police will freely “invade” homes and evidence will be manufactured -all right in front of our own eyes. We have become subservient – weird when you consider the generation of protest that preceded this era. Subservience is now our nature. Those Founding Fathers, some who were also bootlickers and king worshippers, would probably grin with self-satisfaction because they understood that the rabble would always relinquish power to those who scare us.