11 May 2013

Fifty-two people are killed in a bombing in Reyhanl?, Turkey.

2013 Reyhanlı car bombings
LocationReyhanlı, Hatay Province, Turkey
Coordinates36°16′09″N 36°34′02″E / 36.26917°N 36.56722°E / 36.26917; 36.56722Coordinates: 36°16′09″N 36°34′02″E / 36.26917°N 36.56722°E / 36.26917; 36.56722
Date11 May 2013 (11 May 2013)
13:45 (EEST)
Attack type
Dual car bombings

The 2013 Reyhanlı car bombings took place on 11 May 2013, when two car bombs exploded in the Turkish town of Reyhanlı, a town of 64,000 people, 5 km from the Syrian border and the busiest land border post with Syria, in Hatay Province, Turkey. At least 52 people were killed and 140 injured in the attack.[1][2][3][4]

Turkish authorities accused the government of Syria of being behind the bombings, and within two weeks had charged 12 Turkish nationals who it said were backed by the Syrian government.[5] The state-run Anadolu news agency reported that in February 2018, a Turkish court sentenced nine suspects to life imprisonment and 13 other people to prison terms of 10 to 15 years for the bombings; and that in September 2018 another suspect was captured in Syria and brought to Turkey by Turkish intelligence.[6]

The Syrian government denied responsibility for the attacks. Other groups proposed as culprits include al-Nusra Front, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and Syrian Resistance.

Following the bombings, hundreds of Syrians fled Reyhanli, and some residents blamed the Turkish government for bringing the Syrian Civil War to the town.[7]


Reyhanlı is a town of 64,000 people in the far south of Turkey in Hatay Province, 5 km from the Turkey-Syria border and close to the busiest land border post with Syria, the Bab al-Hawa Border Crossing.

Many Syrian refugees have passed through the town while fleeing from the Syrian Civil War. The nearby Cilvegözü–Bab al-Hawa Border Crossing, which is controlled on the Syrian side by rebels, is the busiest crossing point between the two countries.[8]

On 3 October 2012, mortar fire from Syria killed five people in the Turkish border town of Akçakale. On 11 February 2013, the gate of the Cilvegözü–Bab al-Hawa Border Crossing was the scene of a deadly attack, when an explosion killed 17 people and injured 30 more.[9]


Two car bombs were left outside Reyhanlı's town hall and post office. The first exploded at around 13:45 EEST (10:45 UTC),[2] and the second about five minutes later.[10] People attempting to help those injured in the first explosion were caught in the second blast.[9]

A Cumhuriyet journalist reported controversy over the number of fatalities. It was suspected by some[which?] news sources that government and local officials had instructed local health care workers to limit the death toll to 50, while the real number was 177.[11][12]

While some Syrian refugees were caught in the blasts, the majority of the fatalities involved were local Turks.[13] Although there is still no information about the names of the dead, local officials revealed their nationalities, and stated that 5 of 52 people killed by the attacks were Syrian.[14]


Several options have been raised for the responsibility for the attack:

Syrian government or Mukhabarat

On Saturday, 11 May 2013, Turkey's two Deputy Prime Ministers Bülent Arınç and Besir Atalay said "the Syrian Mukhabarat (military intelligence service) and armed organizations are the usual suspects in planning and the carrying out of such devilish plans",[9] and Turkish sources accused Syria of being "behind the attacks".[15] Syria, according to information minister Omran al-Zoubi, immediately denied responsibility for the attacks, stating: "Syria [...] would never commit such an act because our values would not allow that."[13][16]

On 11 May, Turkish authorities said they had detained nine Turks with links to the Syrian Mukhabarat (military intelligence service), as suspects of the bombings.[15][17]

On 13 May 2013, Prime Minister Erdogan said that he held the Syrian government responsible.[18] By 21 May, Turkey had charged 12 Turkish nationals with the attacks, which they believed to have been backed by the Syrian government.[5] On 25 May, Erdogan repeated his accusation that the Syrian regime was behind the attack.[19]

Nasir Eskiocak, a Turkish national captured by the Turkish police on 10 June 2013 and for a while the prime suspect of the attack, said the attack was ordered by the Syrian Mukhabarat (military intelligence service), and then organized by him.[20]

On 12 September 2018, the Turkish National Intelligence Organization announced that they had captured Yusuf Nazik who is one of the main suspects of the 2013 bombing. He was nabbed in a "pinpoint operation" by Turkish intelligence in the regime-controlled city of Latakia. Nazik, born in the Antakya district of the southern province of Hatay, confessed in a video-recorded confession that he played a key part in the bombing as a coordinator between the bombers and the Syrian regime, which he said masterminded the attack. He pointed to a Syrian intelligence officer named Mohammed who had the codename "Hadji".[21]

Al-Nusra Front / al-Qaeda / ISIL

  • Al-Nusra:
    Mehmet Ali Ediboglu (CHP), representing Hatay Province in the Turkish parliament, said on 14 May 2013 he believed the al-Nusra Front (Jabhat al-Nusra) to have planted the bombs, in an attempt "to get Turkey into the war".[18]
  • ‘Al-Qaeda elements’:
    On 25 May 2013, the Turkish hacker group RedHack alleged that leaked or hacked documents of Turkey's Gendarmerie intelligence department linked al-Qaeda-related groups in Syria to the attack, which was denied by Justice and Development Party (AKP) vice president Hüseyin Çelik. Çelik stated that the documents were leaked by a private using a cell phone but its content is unrelated to the bombings and the private is under arrest.[22][23][24][25][26]
    On 27 March 2014, also , Turkey's Ambassador to the OCSE, said the 11 May 2013 attack was carried out by "al-Qaeda elements operating out of Syria", which, in May 2013, may have meant either Jabhat al-Nusra or ISIL.[19][27] That statement was contradicted on 6 April 2014 in a written statement of the Turkish Foreign Ministry who stuck to their conviction that the attack was carried out with support from the Syrian government.[28]
  • ISIL:
    Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in late September 2013, while threatening Turkey with suicide attacks if Turkey would not reopen its Syrian border crossings at Bab al-Hawa and before 7 October, claimed responsibility for the Reyhanli attack of 11 May 2013.[29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36]

Acilciler versus Turkish government

Turkish authorities on 12 May 2013 suspected that former Turkish Marxist group Acilciler, now thought to be based in Syria, might have been revived by his leader Mihrac Ural, and might have ordered the attack.[15] Acilciler was, according to The Huffington Post, long-rumored to have been formed by the Syrian military intelligence service Mukhabarat.[15] The Turkish government on 12 May 2013 believed that Ural and his group, with their ties to pro-government Syrian groups, had carried out the attack.[15] Mihraç Ural, in return, has implicated the Turkish Intelligence Organization.[37]

Gülen movement

In 2015 former Adana prosecutor Özcan Şişman said in a letter to the Cumhuriyet newspaper that he was warned by MIT officers about a planned bombing attack in 2012 and 2013, three days before the Reyhanli attack. And that he was urged by the officers to carry out an operation against the cell. Şişman said he refused to carry out the operation and did not inform the police.[38] Şişman was arrested in the same year and was sentenced 17 years in prison in 2019 for obtaining and exposing state secrets and being a member of the Gülen movement.[39]


There was widespread panic in Reyhanlı following the blasts, with many people attempting to flee the town.[2] Clashes broke out between Turkish and Syrian people in Reyhanlı, and police were forced to intervene by firing into the air to disperse the crowds.[8] Turkish residents of the town reportedly attacked Syrian refugees and automobiles with Syrian license plates.[9]

BBC Journalist Wyre Davies reported from the site of the bombings in Reyhanli that there was 'real anger' among the people on the streets, not just against whoever had carried out the attacks but also against the government in Ankara.[13] Hundreds of Syrian refugees had been forced to leave, 'scapegoats for the crimes of others' in Davies' account, blamed for bringing the Syrian war to the town.[40] The refugees were held to have made the town a target for Assad's agents in Turkey. The media also were unpopular. "Whoever carried out the bombings has deliberately and successfully driven a wedge between two communities who had always coexisted, even before the war, because of cross-border trade and other historic ties", the journalist wrote.[41]

In response to the attacks, the Turkish government sent large numbers of air and ground forces increasing the already heavy military presence in the area.[42]

Protesters clashed with police in the town on Saturday, 18 May, voicing their anger over the government's response to the attack and its decision to take in Syrian refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict.[43]

Turkey sealed the border with Syria for one month in order to stop possible suspects from escaping.[44]

Media ban

The Reyhanlı Court of Peace ordered all voice, written, and visual publications referring to the blasts' aftermath banned, including content describing, and images of, the injured and the dead. The court ruled that the written and visual content would jeopardize the confidentiality and outcome of the ongoing prosecution.[45] On 16 May 2013, the Hatay First Criminal Court cancelled the order issued by the Reyhanlı Court of Peace.[46] Only the state-run and Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) were allowed to cover visits by Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin and Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu to the injured in Antakya State Hospital. When the main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, of the Republican People's Party (CHP), visited the victims at the same hospital on Monday, only reporters from Anatolia and TRT were allowed to cover Kılıçdaroğlu's visit, while reporters from the Cihan News Agency, the İhlas News Agency and the Doğan News Agency were not allowed to do so.[47]

Several media unions protested the media ban imposed on the Reyhanlı bombings and appealed to the courts to remove the ban immediately. The media ban was condemned by several journalistic organizations in Turkey. Atilla Sertel, the chairperson of the Journalists Federation of Turkey, stated that such bans would cause major misinformation and would result in misleading the public. The Press Institute Association of Turkey claimed the court order upholding the ban was a censure and a major blow to press freedom.[45]



Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said, "There may be those who want to sabotage Turkey's peace, but we will not allow that. No one should attempt to test Turkey's power. Our security forces will take all necessary measures."[9] Speaking in Berlin, he said that the bombings were a consequence of global inaction in intervening in the Syrian civil war.[48]

Opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu held Erdogan accountable for the bombings and compared him to Syria's president Assad. Erdogan threatened to sue him in response.[49][50]


Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi placed responsibility for the attacks on the Turkish authorities and said, "it was the Turkish government that had facilitated the flow of arms, explosives, vehicles, fighters and money across the border into Syria", and thus "had turned the border areas into centres for international terrorism".[13]

The UN Security Council strongly condemned the Reyhanli bombings, stating, "Any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed."[51] NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen also condemned the attack, calling it "despicable", and said that NATO stood by Turkey.[9]

British Foreign Secretary William Hague issued a Twitter statement saying, "My thoughts are with family and friends of the victims. We stand with the people of Turkey."[9] United States Ambassador Francis Ricciardone stated that the U.S. "strongly condemns today's vicious attack, and stands with the people and government of Turkey to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice."[52]


On 11 May, the authorities had immediately detained nine suspected Turks.[15] By 20 May, 18 people had been detained.[53]

Investigations have revealed that Ankara was the initial target of the recent attacks in Reyhanlı, according to Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay.[54]

In July 2013, several MİT intelligence officials were dismissed for negligence, after an inquiry concluded that MİT had had sufficient information to prevent the attack, but had failed to share it with police quickly enough.[55]

See also


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  7. ^ "BBC News". Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
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  11. ^ "Reyhanlı'da ölü sayısı 177 mi?" (in Turkish). Sözcü. 14 May 2013. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  12. ^ Erdemol, Mustafa Kemal (14 May 2013). "Söylenti bombası" (in Turkish). Cumhuriyet. Archived from the original on 6 June 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  13. ^ a b c d Davies, Wyre (12 May 2013). "Syria denies Turkey Reyhanli car bombs role". BBC News. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  14. ^ Güneş, Erdem 'Syrian refugees victim of Reyhanlı bombs, too',Hurriyet Daily News, 16 May 2013. Retrieved on 18 May 2013.
  15. ^ a b c d e f "9 detained over car bombings". Huffington Post. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  16. ^ "Syria denies link to Turkey car bombs". Al Jazeera. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  17. ^ Oren Dorell, USA TODAY (12 May 2013). "USA Today, 12 May 2013". Retrieved 29 October 2014.
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  21. ^ "Turkish intelligence nabs terror suspect in Syria's Latakia with 'pinpoint operation'". 12 September 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
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  23. ^ "İşte Redhack'in Reyhanlı belgeleri". aksam.com.tr. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
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  29. ^ "ISIL threatens Erdoğan with suicide bombings in Ankara, İstanbul". Today's Zaman. 30 September 2013. Archived from the original on 24 July 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  30. ^ Mynet. "El Kaide, Reyhanlıyı Üstlendi İddiası Haberi ve Son Dakika Haberler Mynet". Mynet Haber. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
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  32. ^ ""Reyhanlı'yı El Kaide üstlendi"... Erdoğan'ı da tehdit ettiler". Gazeteciler. 30 September 2013. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013.
  33. ^ ""El Kaide, Reyhanlı'yı üstlendi" iddiası". CNN Türk. 1 October 2013.
  34. ^ "Reyhanlı saldırısını El Kaide üstlendi" [Al Qaeda Claims Responsibility for Reyhanlı Attack]. Oda TV (in Turkish). 1 October 2013. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  35. ^ "دولة الإسلام في العراق والشام تتبنى تفجيرات الريحانية وتهدد أردوغان "بسلسلة من الهجمات الإستشهادية"". Radio Nawa. 30 September 2013. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  36. ^ "داعش تهدد أردوغان: إفتح معبري باب السلامة و باب الهوى.. وإلا". Sham Times. 30 September 2013. Archived from the original on 4 February 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
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  38. ^ Özkan, Mustafa Sait (8 December 2015). "TIR savcısından Reyhanlı itirafı". Yeni Şafak. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
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  55. ^ Today's Zaman, 14 Jul 2013, MİT provincial chief sacked over unshared intelligence in Reyhanlı attack Archived 15 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine

19 April 2013

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is killed in a shootout with police. His brother Dzhokhar is later captured hiding in a boat inside a backyard in the suburb of Watertown.

Boston Marathon bombing
Part of Terrorism in the United States
1st Boston Marathon blast seen from 2nd floor and a half block away.jpg
Moments after the first explosion
DateApril 15, 2013 (2013-04-15)
2:49 p.m. (EDT)
Attack type
WeaponsTwo pressure cooker bombs
Injured 264
MotiveRetribution for U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq [3][4][5]

During the annual Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, two homemade pressure cooker bombs detonated 14 seconds and 210 yards (190 m) apart at 2:49 p.m., near the finish line of the race, killing 3 people and injuring several hundred others, including 17 who lost limbs.[1][6][7]

Three days later, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released images of two suspects,[8][9][10] who were later identified as Chechen Kyrgyzstani-American brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. They killed an MIT policeman, kidnapped a man in his car, and had a shootout with the police in nearby Watertown, during which two officers were severely injured, one of whom died a year later. Tamerlan was shot several times, and his brother Dzhokhar ran him over while escaping in the stolen car; Tamerlan died soon after.

An unprecedented manhunt for Dzhokhar ensued on April 19, with thousands of law enforcement officers searching a 20-block area of Watertown;[11] residents of Watertown and surrounding communities were asked to stay indoors, and the transportation system and most businesses and public places closed.[12][13] Around 6:00 p.m., a Watertown resident discovered Dzhokhar hiding in a boat in his backyard.[14] He was shot and wounded by police before being taken into custody.[15]

During questioning, Dzhokhar said that he and his brother were motivated by extremist Islamist beliefs and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that they were self-radicalized and unconnected to any outside terrorist groups, and that he was following his brother's lead. He said they learned to build explosive devices from the online magazine of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.[16] He also said they had intended to travel to New York City to bomb Times Square. On April 8, 2015, he was convicted of 30 charges, including use of a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death.[2][17][18] Two months later, he was sentenced to death.[19]


The blasts (red) occurred along the marathon course (dark blue), the first nearer the finish line than the second.

The 117th annual Boston Marathon was run on Patriots' Day, April 15, 2013. At 2:49 p.m. EDT (18:49 UTC), two bombs detonated about 210 yards (190 m) apart at the finish line on Boylston Street near Copley Square.[20][21][22][23] The first exploded outside Marathon Sports at 671–673 Boylston Street at 2:49:43 p.m.[20] At the time of the first explosion, the race clock at the finish line showed 04:09:43[24] – the elapsed time since the Wave 3 start at 10:40 a.m. The second bomb exploded at 2:49:57 p.m.,[21][25] 14 seconds later and one block farther west at 755 Boylston Street.[7] The explosions took place nearly three hours after the winning runner crossed the finish line,[25] but with more than 5,700 runners yet to finish.[26]

Windows on adjacent buildings were blown out, but there was no structural damage.[25][27] Runners continued to cross the line until 2:57 p.m.[28]

Casualties and initial response

Rescue workers and medical personnel, on hand as usual for the marathon, gave aid as additional police, fire, and medical units were dispatched,[29][30] including from surrounding cities as well as private ambulances from all over the state. The explosions killed 3 civilians and injured an estimated 264 others, who were treated at 27 local hospitals. At least 14 people required amputations, with some suffering traumatic amputations as a direct result of the blasts.[6]

Police, following emergency plans, diverted arriving runners to Boston Common and Kenmore Square. The nearby Lenox Hotel and other buildings were evacuated.[23] Police closed a 15-block area around the blast site; this was reduced to a 12-block crime scene on April 16.[23][27][31] Boston police commissioner Edward F. Davis recommended that people stay off the streets.[27]

Dropped bags and packages, abandoned as their owners fled from the blasts, increased uncertainty as to the possible presence of more bombs[20][32] and many false reports were received.[8][23][33][34][35][36][37] An unrelated electrical fire at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in nearby Dorchester was initially feared to be a bomb.

Emergency services at work after the bombing

The airspace over Boston was restricted, and departures halted from Boston's Logan International Airport.[38] Some local transit service was halted as well.[25]

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency suggested people trying to contact those in the vicinity use text messaging instead of voice calls because of crowded cellphone lines.[25] Cellphone service in Boston was congested but remained in operation, despite some local media reports stating that cell service was shut down to prevent cell phones from being used as detonators.[39]

The American Red Cross helped concerned friends and family receive information about runners and casualties.[40][41] The Boston Police Department also set up a helpline for people concerned about relatives or acquaintances to contact and a line for people to provide information.[42] Google Person Finder activated their disaster service under Boston Marathon Explosions to log known information about missing people as a publicly viewable file.[43]

Due to the closure of several hotels near the blast zone, a number of visitors were left with nowhere to stay; many Boston-area residents opened their homes to them.[44]


This pressure cooker fragment was part of one of the explosive devices.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the investigation, assisted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Counterterrorism Center, and the Drug Enforcement Administration,[45] and they named two official suspects.[46] It was initially believed by some that North Korea was behind the attack after escalating tensions and threats with the U.S.[47][48]

United States government officials stated that there had been no intelligence reports suggesting such an attack. Representative Peter King, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said: "I received two top secret briefings last week on the current threat levels in the United States, and there was no evidence of this at all."[49]

After being identified, the father of the two suspects claimed that the FBI had been watching his family, and that they visited his sons' home in Cambridge, Massachusetts five times, most recently in 2011, as "preventive work... afraid there might be some explosions on the streets of Boston."[50]

Emptied fireworks from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's backpack, found in a landfill near the UMass Dartmouth campus

Evidence found near the blast sites included bits of metal, nails, ball bearings,[51] black nylon pieces from a backpack,[52] remains of an electronic circuit board, and wiring.[51][53] A pressure cooker lid was found on a nearby rooftop.[54] Both of the improvised explosive devices were pressure cooker bombs manufactured by the bombers.[55][56][57] Authorities confirmed that the brothers used bomb-making instructions found in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's Inspire magazine.[58][59] After the suspects were identified, The Boston Globe reported that Tamerlan purchased fireworks from a fireworks store in New Hampshire.[60]

On April 19, the FBI, West New York Police Department, and Hudson County Sheriff's Department seized computer equipment from the apartment of the Tsarnaevs' sister in West New York, New Jersey.[61] On April 24, investigators reported that they had reconstructed the bombs, and believed that they had been triggered by remote controls used for toy cars.[62]

April 18–19 shootings and manhunt

Tsarnaev brothers shootings and manhunt
Two suspects wanted by the FBI for the bombing.jpg
Security camera images of Tamerlan Tsarnaev (front) and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev just prior to the bombings[63]
LocationShooting: Corner of Vassar Street and Main Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts[64]
Firefight and manhunt: Watertown, Massachusetts
DateShooting: April 18, 2013, 10:48 p.m.
Firefight and manhunt: April 19, 2013, 12:30 a.m.8:42 p.m.
Attack type
Shooting, vehicle ramming, lone wolf terrorism[65]
Deaths3 (including Tamerlan Tsarnaev and a police officer who died April 10, 2014[66])
  • Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (sentenced to death)[2]
  • Tamerlan Tsarnaev (deceased)

Release of suspect photos

Jeff Bauman was immediately adjacent to one of the bombs and lost both legs; he wrote while in the hospital: "Bag, saw the guy, looked right at me".[67] He later gave a detailed description which enabled the photo to be identified and circulated quickly.[67][68][69]

At 5:20 p.m. on April 18, the FBI released images of two suspects carrying backpacks, asking the public's help in identifying them.[70][71] The FBI said that they were doing this in part to limit harm to people wrongly identified by news reports and on social-media.[72] As seen on video, the suspects stayed to observe the chaos after the explosions, then walked away casually. The public sent authorities a deluge of photographs and videos, which were scrutinized by both authorities and online public social networks.[71]

MIT shooting and carjacking

Scenes and approximate times of events of April 18–19

A few hours after the photos were released, the Tsarnaev brothers shot Sean A. Collier of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Department six times[73] in an attempt to steal his sidearm (Smith & Wesson M&P45), which they could not get out because of the holster's retention system.[74] Collier, aged 27, was seated in his police car near the Building 32 on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus.[15][75] He died soon after.[15][76]

The brothers then carjacked a Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUV in the Allston-Brighton neighborhood of Boston. Tamerlan took the owner, Chinese national Dun "Danny" Meng[77] (Chinese: 孟盾),[78] hostage and told him that he was responsible for the Boston bombing and for killing a police officer.[15] Dzhokhar followed them in their green Honda Civic, later joining them in the Mercedes-Benz. Interrogation later revealed that the brothers "decided spontaneously" that they wanted to go to New York and bomb Times Square.[79]

The Tsarnaev brothers forced Meng to use his ATM cards to obtain $800 in cash.[80][81] They transferred objects to the Mercedes-Benz and one brother followed it in their Honda Civic,[82] for which an all-points bulletin was issued. While the Tsarnaev brothers stopped at a Shell gas station, Meng escaped and ran across the street to the Mobil gas station, asking the clerk to call 911.[83][84] His cell phone remained in the vehicle, allowing the police to focus their search on Watertown.[85]

Watertown shootout

Shortly after midnight on April 19, Watertown police officer Joseph Reynolds identified the brothers in the Honda Civic and the stolen SUV after overhearing radio traffic that the vehicle was "pinged" by Cambridge officers on Dexter Ave. in Watertown. Reynolds followed the vehicle while waiting for additional units to perform a high-risk traffic stop when the suspect vehicles both turned onto Laurel St. and stopped. A violent gunfight followed between the brothers, Officer Reynolds, Sergeant John MacLellan, and additional police responding to the "shots fired" radio transmissions from the two officers in the 100 block of Laurel St.[15][86][87] An estimated 200 to 300 rounds of ammunition were fired; 56 of which were later determined to have been fired from the suspects, and at least one pressure cooker bomb and several "crude grenades" were thrown.[87][88] The agencies involved in the nearly 7-minute long shootout included Watertown PD, Cambridge PD, Boston PD, Massachusetts State Police, Boston University PD, and MBTA Transit Police. The majority of the officers involved in the shootout were armed with the Glock 22 or Glock 23 .40 S&W pistol. The Massachusetts State Police troopers were armed with Smith & Wesson M&P45 pistols chambered in .45 ACP - leading to the 9mm casings and projectiles found at the scene to be matched to the suspects' 9mm Ruger.

According to Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau, the brothers had an "arsenal of guns."[89] Tamerlan ran out of ammunition and threw his empty Ruger P95 9mm pistol at Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese, who subsequently tackled him with help from Sergeant John MacLellan.[90][91] Tamerlan's younger brother Dzhokhar then drove the stolen SUV toward Tamerlan and police who unsuccessfully tried to drag Tamerlan out of his path;[90][91] the car ran over Tamerlan and dragged him a short distance down the street, narrowly missing the Watertown officers.[15][90][92][93] Dzhokhar abandoned the car half a mile away and fled on foot.[15][85][94][95] Tamerlan Tsarnaev died at 1:35 a.m. at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.[citation needed]

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Police Officer Richard H. Donohue Jr.[96] was also critically wounded[97] by friendly fire from officers who shot at the fleeing vehicle, but survived.[98] Boston Police Department officer Dennis Simmonds was injured by a hand grenade and died April 10, 2014. Fifteen other officers were also injured.[86] A later report by Harvard Kennedy School's Program on Crisis Leadership concluded that lack of coordination among police agencies had put the public at excessive risk during the shootout.[99]

Only one firearm was recovered at the scene, a Ruger P95 9 mm pistol with a defaced serial number.[100][101]

Identification and search for suspects

Records on the Honda left at the scene identified the men[102] as two brothers whose family had immigrated to the United States seeking political asylum around 2002: 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev and 19-year-old Dzhokhar "Jahar" Tsarnaev.[103][104] The FBI released additional photos of the two during the Watertown incident.[105] Early on April 19, Watertown residents received automated calls asking them to stay indoors.[106] That same morning Governor Patrick asked residents of Watertown and adjacent cities and towns[107][108][109] to "shelter in place".[110] Somerville residents also received automated calls instructing them to shelter in place.[111]

A 20-block area of Watertown was cordoned off and residents were told not to leave their homes or answer the door, as officers scoured the area in tactical gear. Helicopters circled the area and SWAT teams in armored vehicles moved through in formation, with officers going door to door.[112] On the scene were the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Diplomatic Security Service, HSI-ICE, the National Guard, the Boston, Cambridge, Watertown Police departments, and the Massachusetts State Police. The show of force was the first major field test of the interagency task forces created in the wake of the September 11 attacks.[113]

The entire public transit network and most Boston taxi services[a] were suspended, as was Amtrak service to and from Boston.[75][115] Logan International Airport remained open under heightened security.[115] Universities, schools, many businesses, and other facilities were closed as thousands of law enforcement personnel participated in the door-to-door manhunt in Watertown, as well as following up other leads, including at the house that the brothers shared in Cambridge, where seven improvised explosive devices were found[116]

The brothers' father spoke from his home in Makhachkala, Dagestan, encouraging his son to: "Give up. Give up. You have a bright future ahead of you. Come home to Russia." He continued, "If they killed him, then all hell would break loose."[117] On television, Dzhokhar's uncle from Montgomery Village, Maryland, pleaded with him to turn himself in.[118]

Post-capture celebrations in Boston's student-heavy Mission Hill neighborhood

David Henneberry, a Watertown resident outside the search area, noticed that the tarp was loose on his parked boat on the evening of April 19, two hours after the shelter-in-place order had been lifted.[119][120] He then saw a body lying inside the boat in a pool of blood.[121] Authorities surrounded the boat and a police helicopter verified movement through a thermal imaging device.[86][122] The figure inside the boat started poking at the tarp, and police shot at the boat.[123]

According to Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis and Watertown Police Chief Deveau, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was shooting at police from inside the boat, "exchanging fire for an hour".[124] A subsequent report indicated that the firing lasted for a shorter time.[125] The suspect was found to have no weapon when he was captured.[126] He was arrested at 8:42 p.m.[127][128] and taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition[129] with gunshot wounds to the head, neck, legs, and hand.[130]

Initial reports that the neck wound represented a suicide attempt were contradicted by his being unarmed.[131] The situation was chaotic according to a police source quoted by The Washington Post, and the firing of weapons occurred during "the fog of war".[125] A subsequent review by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts provided this more specific summary: "One officer fired his weapon without appropriate authority in response to perceived movement in the boat, and surrounding officers followed suit in a round of 'contagious fire', assuming they were being fired on by the suspect. Weapons continued to be fired for several seconds until on scene supervisors ordered a ceasefire and regained control of the scene. The unauthorized shots created another dangerous crossfire situation".[132]

These confusions were caused in part by a lack of clearly identified and coordinated law enforcement command of the thousands of officers from surrounding communities who self-deployed into the Watertown area during events.[133]

Legal proceedings


United States Senators Kelly Ayotte, Saxby Chambliss, Lindsey Graham, and John McCain, and Representative Peter T. King suggested that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a U.S. citizen, should be tried as an unlawful enemy combatant rather than as a criminal, potentially preventing him from obtaining legal counsel.[134][135] Others said that doing so would be illegal, including prominent American legal scholar and lawyer Alan Dershowitz, and would jeopardize the prosecution.[136][137] The government decided to try Dzhokhar in the federal criminal court system and not as an enemy combatant.[138]

Dzhokhar was questioned for 16 hours by investigators but stopped communicating with them on the night of April 22 after Judge Marianne Bowler read him a Miranda warning.[79][139] Dzhokhar had not previously been given a Miranda warning, as federal law enforcement officials invoked the warning's public safety exception.[140] This raised doubts whether his statements during this investigation would be admissible as evidence and led to a debate surrounding Miranda rights.[141][142][143]

Charges and detention

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a court holding cell on July 10, 2013

On April 22, 2013, formal criminal charges were brought against Tsarnaev in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts during a bedside hearing while he was hospitalized. He was charged with use of a weapon of mass destruction and with malicious destruction of property resulting in death.[2] Some of the charges carry potential sentences of life imprisonment or the death penalty.[144] Tsarnaev was judged to be awake, mentally competent, and lucid, and he responded to most questions by nodding. The judge asked him whether he was able to afford an attorney and he said no; he was represented by the Federal Public Defender's office.[145] On April 26, Dzhohkar Tsarnaev was moved from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to the Federal Medical Center at Fort Devens, about 40 miles (64 km) from Boston. FMC Devens is a federal prison medical facility at a former Army base[146] where he was held in solitary confinement at a segregated housing unit[147] with 23-hour-per-day lockdown.[148][149]

On July 10, 2013, Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to 30 charges in his first public court appearance, including a murder charge for MIT police officer Sean Collier.[150] He was back in court for a status hearing on September 23,[151] and his lawyers requested more time to prepare their defense.[152] On October 2, Tsarnaev's attorneys asked the court to lift the special administrative measures (SAMs) imposed by Attorney General Holder in August, saying that the measures had left Tsarnaev unduly isolated from communication with his family and lawyers, and that no evidence suggested that he posed a future threat.[153]

Trial and sentencing

Jury selection began on January 5, 2015 and was completed on March 3, with a jury consisting of eight men and ten women (including six alternates).[154] The trial began on March 4 with Assistant U.S. Attorney William Weinreb describing the bombing and painting Dzhokhar as "a soldier in a holy war against Americans" whose motive was "reaching paradise". He called the brothers equal participants.[155]

Defense attorney Judy Clarke admitted that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had placed the second bomb and was present at the murder of Sean Collier, the carjacking of Dun Meng, and the Watertown shootout, but she emphasized the influence that his older brother had on him, portraying him as a follower.[156] Between March 4 and 30, prosecutors called more than 90 witnesses, including bombing survivors who described losing limbs in the attack, and the government rested its case on March 30.[157] The defense rested as well on March 31, after calling four witnesses.[158]

Tsarnaev was found guilty on all 30 counts on April 8.[159] The sentencing phase of the trial began April 21,[160] and a further verdict was reached on May 15 recommending that he be put to death.[161] Tsarnaev was sentenced to death on June 24, after apologizing to the victims.[162] In 2018 Tsarnaev's lawyers appealed on the grounds that a lower-court judge's refusal to move the case to another city not traumatized by the bombings deprived him of a fair trial.[163]

Motives and backgrounds of Tsarnaev brothers


According to FBI interrogators, Dzhokhar and his brother were motivated by Islamic beliefs but "were not connected to any known terrorist groups", instead learning to build explosive weapons from an online magazine published by al-Qaeda affiliates in Yemen.[16] They further alleged that "[Dzhokhar and] his brother considered suicide attacks and striking [the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular] on the Fourth of July;[164] but ultimately decided to use pressure cooker bombs (capable of remote initiation, not detonation as the main charge was low explosives) and other IEDs." Fox News reported that the brothers "chose the prestigious race as a 'target of opportunity' ... [after] the building of the bombs came together more quickly than expected".[165][166]

Dzhokhar said that he and his brother wanted to defend Islam from the U.S., accusing the U.S. of conducting the Iraq War and War in Afghanistan against Muslims.[138][167][168] A CBS report revealed that Dzhokhar had scrawled a note with a marker on the interior wall of the boat where he was hiding; the note stated that the bombings were "retribution for U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq", and called the Boston victims "collateral damage", "in the same way innocent victims have been collateral damage in U.S. wars around the world."[4][5] Photographs of the note were later used in the trial.[169][170]

Some political science and public policy writers suggest that Islam may have played a secondary role in the attacks.[171] These writers theorize that the primary motives might have been sympathy towards the political aspirations in the Caucasus region and Tamerlan's inability to become fully integrated into American society.[171] According to the Los Angeles Times, a law enforcement official said that Dzhokhar "did not seem as bothered about America's role in the Muslim world" as his brother Tamerlan had been.[59] Dzhokhar identified Tamerlan as the "driving force" behind the bombing, and said that his brother had only recently recruited him to help.[138][172]

Some journalists and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's defense attorney have suggested that the FBI may have recruited or attempted to recruit Tamerlan Tsarnaev as an informant.[173][174][175][176]


An apartment was searched in West New York, New Jersey that belonged to a sister of the Tsarnaevs.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was born in 1986 in the Kalmyk Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, North Caucasus.[177] Dzhokhar was born in 1993 in Kazakhstan, although some reports say that his family claims that he was born in Dagestan.[178] The family spent time in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and in Makhachkala, Dagestan.[81][179] They are half Chechen through their father Anzor, and half Avar[180] through their mother Zubeidat. They never lived in Chechnya, yet the brothers identified themselves as Chechen.[178][181][182][183]

The Tsarnaev family immigrated to the United States in 2002[15][181][184][185] where they applied for political asylum, settling in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[104] Tamerlan Tsarnaev attended Bunker Hill Community College but dropped out to become a boxer. His goal was to gain a place on the U.S. Olympic boxing team, saying that, "unless his native Chechnya becomes independent", he would "rather compete for the United States than for Russia".[186][187] He married U.S. citizen Katherine Russell on July 15, 2010 in the Masjid Al Quran Mosque. While initially quoted in a student magazine as saying, "I don't have a single American friend. I don't understand them," a later FBI interview report documents Tamerlan stating it was a misquote, and that most of his friends were American.[188][189] He had a history of violence, including an arrest in July 2009 for assaulting his girlfriend.[190]

The brothers were Muslim; Tamerlan's aunt stated that he had recently become a devout Muslim.[182][183] Tamerlan became more devout and religious after 2009,[191][192] and a YouTube channel in his name linked to Salafist[191] and Islamist[193][194] videos. The FBI was informed by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in 2011 that he was a "follower of radical Islam."[193] In response, the FBI interviewed Tamerlan and his family and searched databases, but they did not find any evidence of "terrorism activity, domestic or foreign."[195][196][197][198][199][200] During the 2012 trip to Dagestan, Tamerlan was reportedly a frequent visitor at a mosque on Kotrova Street in Makhachkala,[201][202][203] believed by the FSB to be linked with radical Islam.[202] Some believe that "they were motivated by their faith, apparently an anti-American, radical version of Islam" acquired in the U.S.,[204] while others believe that the turn happened in Dagestan.[205]

At the time of the bombing, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with a major in marine biology.[206] He became a naturalized U.S. citizen on September 11, 2012.[207] Tamerlan's boxing coach reported to NBC that the young brother was greatly affected by Tamerlan and admired him.[208][209]

Tamerlan was previously connected to the triple homicide in Waltham, Massachusetts, on the evening of September 11, 2011, but he was not a suspect at the time.[210][211] Brendan Mess, Erik Weissman, and Raphael Teken were murdered in Mess's apartment. All had their throats slit from ear to ear with such great force that they were nearly decapitated. The local district attorney said that it appeared that the killer and the victims knew each other, and that the murders were not random.[212] Tamerlan Tsarnaev had previously described murder victim Brendan Mess as his "best friend."[213] After the bombing and subsequent revelations of Tsarnaev's personal life, the Waltham murders case was reexamined in April 2013 with Tsarnaev as a new suspect.[210] Both ABC and The New York Times have reported that there is strong evidence which implicates Tsarnaev in this triple homicide.[213][214]

Some analysts claim that the Tsarnaev's mother Zubeidat Tsarnaeva is a radical extremist and supporter of jihad who influenced her sons' behavior.[215][216] This prompted the Russian government to warn the U.S. government on two occasions about the family's behavior. Both Tamerlan and his mother were placed on a terrorism watch list about 18 months before the bombing took place.[217]

Other arrests, detentions, and prosecutions

People detained and released

On April 15, several people who were near the scene of the blast were taken into custody and questioned about the bombing, including a Saudi man whom police stopped as he was walking away from the explosion; they detained him when some of his responses made them uncomfortable.[218][219][220][221] Law enforcement searched his residence in a Boston suburb, and the man was found to have no connection to the attack. An unnamed U.S. official said, "he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time."[34][222][223]

On the night of April 18, two men riding in a taxi in the vicinity of the shootout were arrested and released shortly thereafter when police determined that they were not involved in the Marathon attacks.[224] Another man was arrested several blocks from the site of the shootout and was forced to strip naked by police who feared that he might have concealed explosives. He was released that evening after a brief investigation determined that he was an innocent bystander.[225][226]

Ibragim Todashev

On May 22, the FBI interrogated Ibragim Todashev in Orlando, Florida, who was a Chechen from Boston. During the interrogation, he was shot and killed by an FBI agent who claimed that Todashev attacked him.[227] The New York Times quoted an unnamed law enforcement official as saying that Todashev had confessed to a triple homicide and had implicated Tsarnaev, as well.[228] Todashev's father claimed his son is innocent and that federal investigators are biased against Chechens and made up their case against him.[229]

Dias Kadyrbayev, Azamat Tazhayakov, and Robel Phillipos

Personal backgrounds

Robel Phillipos (19) was a U.S. citizen of Ethiopian descent living in Cambridge who was arrested and faced with charges of knowingly making false statements to police.[230][231] He graduated from high school in 2011 with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.[232] Dias Kadyrbayev (19) and Azamat Tazhayakov (20) were natives of Kazakhstan living in the U.S.[233][234] They were Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's roommates in an off-campus housing complex in New Bedford, Massachusetts at which Tsarnaev had sometimes stayed.[230]

Phillipos, Kadyrbayev, Tazhayakov, and Tsarnaev entered the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in the fall of 2011 and knew each other well. After seeing photos of Tsarnaev on television, the three men traveled to his dorm room where they retrieved a backpack and laptop belonging to Tsarnaev. The backpack was discarded, but police recovered it and its contents in a nearby New Bedford landfill on April 26. During interviews, the men initially denied visiting the dorm room but later admitted their actions.[230][235]

Arrests and legal proceedings

Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov were arrested by police at the off-campus housing complex during the night of April 18–19. An unidentified girlfriend of one of the men was also arrested,[233][234] but all three were soon released.[230]

Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov were re-arrested in New Bedford on April 20 and held on immigration-related violations. They appeared before a federal immigration judge on May 1 and were charged with overstaying their student visas.[236][237][238] That same day, Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov were charged criminally with:

willfully conspir(ing) with each other to commit an offense against the United States… by knowingly destroying, concealing, and covering up objects belonging to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, namely, a backpack containing fireworks and a laptop computer, with the intent to impede, obstruct, and influence the criminal investigation of the Marathon bombing.[239][240]

Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov were indicted by a federal grand jury on August 8, 2013 on charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice for helping Dzhokhar Tsarnaev dispose of a laptop computer, fireworks, and a backpack after the bombing. Each faced up to 25 years in prison and deportation if convicted.[241] Tazhayakov was convicted of obstruction of justice and conspiracy on July 21, 2014.[242]

Kadyrbayev pleaded guilty to obstruction charges on August 22, 2014,[243] but sentencing was delayed pending the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Yates v. United States.[244] Kadyrbayev was sentenced to six years in prison in June 2015.[245] He was deported back to Kazakhstan in October 2018.[246]

Tazhayakov pleaded not guilty and went to trial, arguing that "Kadyrbayev was the mastermind behind destroying the evidence and that Tazhayakov only 'attempted obstruction.'" Jurors returned a guilty verdict against him, however, and he was sentenced to 42 months in prison in June 2015, which equated to three and a half years. Judge Douglas Woodlock gave a lighter sentence to Tazahayakov than to Kadyrbayev, who was viewed as more culpable.[245] Tazhayakov was released in May 2016 and subsequently deported.[247]

Phillipos was arrested and faced charges of knowingly making false statements to police.[230][231] He was released on $100,000 bail and placed under house confinement with an ankle monitor.[232] He was convicted on October 28, 2014, on two charges of lying about being in Tsarnaev's dorm room. He later acknowledged that he had been in the room while two friends removed a backpack containing potential evidence relating to the bombing.[248]

Phillipos faced a maximum sentence of eight years' imprisonment on each count.[249] In June 2015, U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock sentenced him to three years in prison.[250] Phillipos filed an appeal, but his sentence was upheld in court on February 28, 2017.[251]

Phillipos was released from prison in Philadelphia on February 26, 2018 and must serve a three year probation upon his release.[252]

Khairullozhon Matanov

A federal indictment was unsealed against Khairullozhon Matanov on May 30, 2014, charging him with "one count of destroying, altering, and falsifying records, documents, and tangible objects in a federal investigation, specifically information on his computer, and three counts of making materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements in a federal terrorism investigation." Matanov bought dinner for the two Tsarnaev brothers 40 minutes after the bombing. After the Tsarnaev brothers' photos were released to the public, Matanov viewed the photos on the CNN and FBI websites before attempting to reach Dzhokhar, and then tried to give away his cell phone and delete hundreds of documents from his computer. Prosecutors said that Matanov attempted to mislead investigators about the nature of his relationship with the brothers and to conceal that he shared their philosophy of violence.[253][254]

Matanov was originally from Kyrgyzstan. He came to the U.S. in 2010 on a student visa, and later claimed asylum. He attended Quincy College for two years before dropping out to become a taxicab driver. He was living in Quincy, Massachusetts, at the time of his arrest, and was a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev.[254]

In March 2015, Matanov pleaded guilty to all four counts.[254][255] In June 2015, he was sentenced to 30 months in prison.[254]



Three people were killed in the bombing. Krystle Marie Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager from Medford, Massachusetts, was killed by the first bomb.[256] Lü Lingzi, (Chinese: 吕令子)[257][258] a 23-year-old Chinese national and Boston University statistics graduate student from Shenyang, Liaoning,[259][260][261][262] and 8-year old Martin William Richard from the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, were killed by the second bomb.[263][264]

Sean A. Collier, 27 years old, was ambushed by the bombers as he sat in his police car on April 18, at about 10:48 p.m. He was an MIT police officer, and had been with the Somerville Auxiliary Police Department from 2006 to 2009.[265] He died from multiple gunshot wounds.[266]

Boston Police Department officer Dennis Simmonds died on April 10, 2014 from hand-grenade injuries received during the Watertown shootout a year before.[66]


According to the Boston Public Health Commission, 264 civilians were treated at 27 local hospitals.[6][267] Eleven days later, 29 remained hospitalized, one in critical condition.[268] Many victims had lower leg injuries and shrapnel wounds,[269] which indicated that the devices were low to the ground.[270] At least 16 civilians lost limbs, at the scene or by surgical amputation, and three lost more than one limb.[271][272][273][274]

Doctors described removing "ball-bearing type" metallic beads a little larger than BBs and small carpenter-type nails about 0.5 to 1 inch (1 to 3 cm) long.[275] Similar objects were found at the scene.[51] The New York Times cited doctors as saying that the bombs mainly injured legs, ankles, and feet because they were low to the ground, instead of fatally injuring abdomens, chests, shoulders, and heads.[276] Some victims had perforated eardrums.[270]

MBTA police officer Richard H. Donohue Jr. (33) was critically wounded during a firefight with the bombers just after midnight on April 19.[96] He lost almost all of his blood, and his heart stopped for 45 minutes, during which time he was kept alive by cardiopulmonary resuscitation.[citation needed] The Boston Globe reported that Donohue may have been accidentally shot by a fellow officer.[97]

Marc Fucarile lost his right leg and received severe burns and shrapnel wounds. He was the last victim released from hospital care on July 24, 2013.[277]


Law enforcement, local and national politicians, and various heads of state reacted quickly to the bombing, generally condemning the act and expressing sympathies for the victims.[52][278]

Aid to victims

The Prudential Tower lit up with a large "1" for the One Fund Boston a week after the bombing

The One Fund Boston was established by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston mayor Thomas Menino to make monetary distributions to bombing victims.[279][280] The Boston Strong concert at the TD Garden in Boston on May 30, 2013 benefitted the One Fund, which ultimately received more than $69.8 million in donations.[281] A week after the bombing, crowd funding websites[282] received more than 23,000 pledges promising more than $2 million for the victims, their families, and others affected by the bombing.[283] The Israel Trauma Coalition for Response and Preparedness sent six psychologists and specialists from Israel to help Boston emergency responders, government administrators, and community people develop post-terrorist attack recovery strategies.[284]


Victims of the bombing are remembered at Copley Square in Boston.
A monument memorializing the victims of the bombing was installed on Boylston Street, at the location of the explosions, in 2019.[285]

Numerous sporting events, concerts, and other public entertainment were postponed or cancelled in the days following the bombing.[286][286][287][288][289] The MBTA public transit system was under heavy National Guard and police presence and it was shut down a second time April 19 during the manhunt.[75][115][290]

In the days after the bombing, makeshift memorials began to spring up along the cordoned-off area surrounding Boylston Street. The largest was located on Arlington Street, the easternmost edge of the barricades, starting with flowers, tokens, and T-shirts.[291][292][293][294][295] In June, the Makeshift Memorial located in Copley Square was taken down and the memorial objects located there were moved to the archives in West Roxbury for cleaning, fumigation, and archiving.[296]

Five years after the bombing, The Boston Globe reported all of the items from the memorials were being housed in a climate controlled environment, free of charge, by the storage company, Iron Mountain in Northborough, Massachusetts. Some of the items are also being stored in Boston's city archives in West Roxbury.[297]

Boston University established a scholarship in honor of Lü Lingzi, a student who died in the bombing.[298] University of Massachusetts Boston did the same in honor of alumna and bombing victim Krystle Campell.[299] MIT also established a scholarship and erected a sculpture (unveiled on April 29, 2015), both in memory of MIT Police officer Sean Collier.

One study conducted by the Institute for Public Service at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts, records the mental health and emotional response of various survivors, for three years following the bombing. In doing so, it reviews the kinds of aid that were available in local hospitals and gives advice as to how a person or community may be healed.[300]

This study also mentions that after realizing the under coverage of people in the city being killed or injured on a daily basis, the city of Boston "applied for and received a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation to be part of their 100 resilient cities network and to develop a cross cutting resilience strategy".

However, there was rising anti-Muslim sentiment online and locally in the weeks following the bombing, causing distress in the local Muslim community and leaving some afraid of going out.[301]

A monument memorializing the victims was completed at the bombing site on August 19, 2019.[285]


President Barack Obama addressed the nation after the attack.[302] He said that the perpetrators were still unknown, but that the government would "get to the bottom of this" and that those responsible "will feel the full weight of justice".[303] He ordered flags to half-staff until April 20 on all federal buildings as "a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts."[304]

Moments of silence were held at various events across the country, including at the openings of the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, and NYMEX on the day after the bombing.[305] Numerous special events were held, including marathons and other runs.[306][307][308][309]


Flag flying at half staff at the American consulate in Milan, Italy

The bombing was denounced and condolences were offered by many international leaders as well as leading figures from international sport. Security measures were increased worldwide in the wake of the attack.[310][311][312][313]

In China, users posted condolence messages on Weibo in response to the death of Lü Lingzi.[314] Chris Buckley of The New York Times said "Ms. Lu's death gave a melancholy face to the attraction that America and its colleges exert over many young Chinese."[260] Laurie Burkitt of The Wall Street Journal said "Ms. Lu's death resonates with many in China" due to the one-child policy.[315]

Organizers of the London Marathon, which was held six days after the Boston bombing, reviewed security arrangements for their event. Hundreds of extra police officers were drafted in to provide a greater presence on the streets, and a record 700,000 spectators lined the streets. Runners in London observed a 30-second silence in respect for the victims of Boston shortly before the race began, and many runners wore black ribbons on their vests. Organizers also pledged to donate US$3 to a fund for Boston Marathon victims for every person who finished the race.[316][317][318]

Organizers of the 2013 Vancouver Sun Run, which was held on April 21, 2013, donated $10 from every late entry for the race to help victims of the bombing at the Boston Marathon. Jamie Pitblado, vice-president of promotions for The Vancouver Sun and The Province, said the money would go to One Fund Boston, an official charity that collected donations for the victims and their families. Sun Run organizers raised anywhere from $25,000 to $40,000. There were over 48,000 participants, many dressed in blue and yellow (Boston colors) with others wearing Boston Red Sox caps.[319]

Petr Gandalovic, ambassador of the Czech Republic, released a statement after noticing much confusion on Facebook and Twitter between his nation and the Chechen Republic. "The Czech Republic and Chechnya are two very different entities – the Czech Republic is a Central European country; Chechnya is a part of the Russian Federation."[320]

Security was also stepped up in Singapore in response to online threats made on attacking several locations in the city-state and the Singapore Marathon in December. Two suspects were investigated and one was eventually arrested for making false bomb threats.[321]

Russian reaction

The Russian government said special attention would be paid to security at upcoming international sports events in Russia, including the 2014 Winter Olympics.[322] According to the Russian embassy in the U.S., President Vladimir Putin condemned the bombing as a "barbaric crime" and "stressed that the Russian Federation will be ready, if necessary, to assist in the U.S. authorities' investigation."[323] He urged closer cooperation of security services with Western partners[324] but other Russian authorities and mass media blamed the U.S. authorities for negligence as they warned the U.S. of the Tsarnaevs.[325] Moreover Russian authorities and mass media since the spring of 2014 blame the United States for politically motivated false information about the lack of response from Russian authorities after subsequent U.S. requests.[citation needed] As proof a letter from the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) was shown to the members of an official U.S. Congressional delegation to Moscow during their visit. This letter with information about Tsarnaev (including his biography details, connections and phone number) had been sent from the FSB to the FBI and CIA during March 2011.[326]

Republican U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss and Richard Burr reported that Russian authorities had separately asked both the FBI (at least twice: during March and November 2011) and the CIA (September 2011) to look carefully into Tamerlan Tsarnaev and provide more information about him back to Russia.[327][328] Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) secretly recorded phone conversations between Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his mother (they vaguely and indirectly discussed jihad) and sent these to the FBI as evidence of possible extremist links within the family.[329] However, while Russia offered US intelligence services warnings that Tsarnaev planned to link up with extremist groups abroad, an FBI investigation yielded no evidence to support those claims at the time. In addition, subsequent U.S. requests for additional information about Tsarnaev went unanswered by the Russians.[330]

Chechen reactions

On April 19, 2013, the press-secretary of the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, issued a statement that, inter alia, read: "The Boston bombing suspects have nothing to do with Chechnya".[331][332] On the same day, Kadyrov was reported by The Guardian to have written on Instagram:[333]

Any attempt to make a link between Chechnya and the Tsarnaevs, if they are guilty, is in vain. They grew up in the U.S., their views and beliefs were formed there. The roots of evil must be searched for in America. The whole world must battle with terrorism. We know this better than anyone. We wish recover [sic] to all the victims and share Americans' feeling of sorrow.

Akhmed Zakayev, head of the secular wing of the Chechen separatist movement, now in exile in London, condemned the bombing as "terrorist" and expressed condolences to the families of the victims. Zakayev denied that the bombers were in any way representative of the Chechen people, saying that "the Chechen people never had and can not have any hostile feelings toward the United States and its citizens."[334]

The Mujahideen of the Caucasus Emirate Province of Dagestan, the Caucasian Islamist organization in both Chechnya and Dagestan, denied any link to the bombing or the Tsarnaev brothers and stated that it was at war with Russia, not the United States. It also said that it had sworn off violence against civilians since 2012.[335][336][337]

Criticism of "shelter-in-place" directive and house-to-house searches

During the manhunt for the perpetrators of the bombing, Governor Deval Patrick said "we are asking people to shelter in place." The request was highly effective; most people stayed home, causing Boston, Watertown, and Cambridge to come to a virtual standstill. According to Time magazine, "media described residents complying with a 'lockdown order,' but in reality the governor's security measure was a request." Scott Silliman, emeritus director of the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security at Duke Law School, said that the shelter-in-place request was voluntary.[338]

The shelter-in-place directive was criticized by some commentators. Michael Cohen of The Observer said that Americans have little experience with daily terrorism compared to some countries and "are more primed to … assume the absolute worst."[339] Cohen wrote that it was not the first time dangerous murderers have been on the loose in a large American city (citing Christopher Dorner in 2013 and the Beltway sniper attacks in 2002), but noted that "lockdown" measures were not used in those cases.[339] Former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, criticized what he described as a "military-style takeover of parts of Boston" during the investigation and wrote that "this unprecedented move should frighten us as much or more than the attack itself."[340]

Haaretz's Chemi Salev wrote that "in terms of cost-benefit analysis, from the evil terrorist's point of view, the Boylston Street bombings and their aftermath can only be viewed as a resounding triumph" since the "relatively amateurish" terrorists managed to intimidate a vast number of people and got a maximum amount of publicity.[341] Responding to Salev in The New York Times, Ross Douthat commented that the massive manhunt operation might deter other amateur terrorists, but not hard-core terrorists such as Mohammed Atta.[342] Douthat argued that out-of-the-ordinary measures can only be used when terrorism itself is out-of-the-ordinary: if attacks started to occur more often, people would not be as willing to comply with shelter-in-place commands, yet once a terrorist has been hunted with such an operation, it is hard to justify why such measures should not be taken the next time.[342]

The National Lawyers Guild and some news outlets questioned the constitutionality of the door-to-door searches conducted by law enforcement officers looking for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.[343][344][345]

One Boston Day

On the second anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings, Mayor Marty Walsh established April 15, the day of the bombings, as an official and permanent holiday called "One Boston Day", dedicated to conducting random acts of kindness and helping others out.[346] Over the past four years, some examples of acts of kindness being done have been donating blood to the American Red Cross, donating food to the Greater Boston Food Bank, opening free admission in places like the Museum of Science and Museum of Fine Arts, donating shoes to homeless shelters, and donating to military and veteran charities.[347][348]

Conflicting reports

Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis gives a news conference about the bombing on April 15. Governor Deval Patrick is second from right and Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley is at far left.

On the afternoon of the bombing, the New York Post reported that a suspect, a Saudi Arabian male, was under guard and being questioned at a Boston hospital.[349] That evening, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said that there had not been an arrest.[350] The Post did not retract its story about the suspect, leading to widespread reports by CBS News, CNN, and other media that a Middle Eastern suspect was in custody.[351] The day after the bombing, a majority of outlets were reporting that the Saudi was a witness, not a suspect.[352]

The New York Post on its April 18 front page showed two men, and said they were being sought by the authorities. The two were not the ones being sought as suspects. They were a 17-year-old boy and his track coach. The boy, from Revere, Massachusetts, turned himself over to the police immediately and was cleared after a 20-minute interview in which they advised him to deactivate his Facebook account.[353][354] New York Post editor Col Allan stated, "We stand by our story. The image was emailed to law enforcement agencies yesterday afternoon seeking information about these men, as our story reported. We did not identify them as suspects." The two were implied to be possible suspects via crowdsourcing on the websites Reddit[354] and 4chan.[355]

Several other people were mistakenly identified as suspects.[356] Two of those wrongly identified as suspects on Reddit were a 17-year-old track star and Sunil Tripathi, a Brown University student missing since March.[357][358] Tripathi was found dead on April 23 in the Providence River.[359]

On April 17, the FBI released the following statement:

Contrary to widespread reporting, no arrest has been made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack. Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate. Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting.[360][361]

The decision to release the photos of the Tsarnaev brothers was made in part to limit damage done to those misidentified on the Internet and by the media, and to address concerns over maintaining control of the manhunt.[72]

Film adaptation

A film about the Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent manhunt, Patriots Day, was released in December 2016. Another film, Stronger, which chronicles survivor Jeff Bauman, was released in September 2017.

See also


  1. ^ Taxi service was restored before the manhunt ended and transit service resumed.[114]


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  321. ^ "Singapore Hit By Bomb Hoaxes After Boston Attacks". Archived from the original on March 5, 2014. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
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  323. ^ "Russia's PR machine ready for fallout from Boston bombings". The Hill. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
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  326. ^ Korotchenko, Igor (April 10, 2014). Эксперт: обвинения США по делу Царнаева политически мотивированы [Expert: U.S. blame around Tsarnaev case are politically motivated]. RIA Novosti (in Russian). Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  327. ^ Bender, Bryan; Bierman, Noah (April 23, 2013). "Russia contacted US government 'multiple' times". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on June 13, 2017. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
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  329. ^ "Caught on Russian wiretap: Tsarnaev 'vaguely discussed jihad' with mother – US official". RT. April 28, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  330. ^ Radia, Kirit (May 21, 2013). "Lawmakers Traveling to Russia to Investigate Boston Bombing". ABC News. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  331. ^ Boston bombing suspects lost contact with Chechnya in childhood – Kadyrov's spokesman Interfax, April 19, 2013.
  332. ^ Руководство Чечни дистанцировалось от бостонских "плохишей": их воспитала Америка [The Chechen leadership distanced itself from Boston 'bad guys': They brought up by America], NEWSru.com (in Russian), April 19, 2013
  333. ^ McCarthy, Tom; Elder, Miriam (April 19, 2013). "Chechen leader: 'The roots of evil must be searched for in America'". The Guardian. London, UK.
  334. ^ Заявление А. Закаева в связи с терактом в Бостоне [Statement of Akhmed Zakayev in connection with the terrorist attack in Boston]. Chechen Press (in Russian). April 19, 2013. Archived from the original on April 22, 2013.
  335. ^ Weaver, Courtney; Clover, Charles (April 21, 2013). "Russian militant group denies Boston link". The Financial Times. Retrieved April 11, 2015. The main militant group in Russia's southern Caucasus region, the Caucasus Emirate, has denied responsibility for last week's Boston bombing
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  339. ^ a b Cohen, Michael (April 21, 2013). "Why does America lose its head over 'terror' but ignore its daily gun deaths?". The Observer. London. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
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  343. ^ Jaclyn Reiss (November 14, 2013). "Lawyers raising questions about Watertown home searches following Marathon bombings, shootout". Boston Globe.
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  346. ^ "One Boston Day". One Boston Day. April 15, 2015.
  347. ^ Kristin Toussaint (April 14, 2016). "11 ways to participate in One Boston Day". Boston Globe Media Partners.
  348. ^ Tessa Yannone (April 13, 2018). "Your Guide to One Boston Day 2018". Boston Magazine.
  349. ^ Killoran, Ellen (April 16, 2013). "One Day After Boston Bombing, New York Post Has Not Retracted Presumably Incorrect Reports of Death Toll and Saudi Suspect". International Business Times. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
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  351. ^ Webster, Stephen C. (April 18, 2013). "New York Post repeatedly misidentifies Boston suspects". The Raw Story. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
  352. ^ Davidson, Amy (April 17, 2013). "The Saudi Marathon Man". The New Yorker. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
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  356. ^ Coscarelli, Joseph 'Joe' (April 20, 2013). "All the Mistakenly Identified 'Suspects' in the Boston Bombing Investigation". New York. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  357. ^ "Innocents accused in online manhunt". 3 News NZ. April 22, 2013. Archived from the original on December 15, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  358. ^ Briggs, Bill. "Missing Brown University student's family dragged into virally fueled false accusation in Boston". NBC. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  359. ^ Chuck, Elizabeth (April 25, 2013). "Missing Brown University student found dead in Providence River, authorities confirm". NBC News. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  360. ^ LoGiurato, Brett (April 17, 2013). "FBI Shreds The Media Over Unverified Boston Marathon Reports". Business Insider. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
  361. ^ Williams, Matt (April 17, 2013). "FBI urges media to 'exercise caution' after inaccurate arrest reports". The Guardian. London. Retrieved April 22, 2013.

External links

External images
Photos From the Boston Marathon Bombing (Slate)
Photos of the Boston Marathon Bombing (The Atlantic)
Video shows moment of deadly explosion at finish line of Boston Marathon (Reuters)

Congressional hearings

Coordinates: 42°20′59.2″N 71°4′44.1″W / 42.349778°N 71.078917°W / 42.349778; -71.078917

26 February 2013

A hot air balloon crashes near Luxor, Egypt, killing 19 people.

2013 Luxor hot air balloon crash
Ultramagic N-425 balloon, registration SU-283.jpg
SU-283 (back center), the balloon involved in the accident, on the morning of its fatal flight
Date26 February 2013 (2013-02-26)
SummaryFire on board, envelope deflation
SiteLuxor, Egypt
Aircraft typeUltramagic N-425
OperatorSky Cruise

On 26 February 2013, a hot air balloon crashed near Luxor, Egypt, killing 19 out of the 21 people on board. A fire developed in the basket due to a leak in the balloon's gas fuel system, causing the balloon to deflate mid-air and crash to the ground.[1][2]

It was the deadliest ballooning accident in history and the deadliest aerostat disaster since the Hindenburg disaster in 1937, which killed 36 people.[3][4]


Hot air balloons are commonly used in Luxor to provide tourists with aerial views of the Nile River, the temple of Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings, among other historical attractions.[5][6] Concerns over passenger safety have been raised from time to time, with multiple crashes reported in 2007, 2008 and 2009.[2]

In April 2009, 16 people were hurt when a balloon crashed during a tour of Luxor. After the crash, flights were grounded for six months while safety measures were improved.[2] Pilot training was increased and balloons were given a designated launching site.[6] Following the toppling of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, the rule of law has largely been ignored.[7]

Sky Cruise, the operator of the balloon, had suffered a previous accident in October 2011, which even involved the same balloon.[8] The company has stated that it is properly insured and prepared to compensate victims' families.[9]


On 26 February at 07:00 Egypt Standard Time (05:00 UTC), an Ultramagic N-425 balloon,[10] registration SU-283,[11] operated by Sky Cruise departed on a sight-seeing flight carrying twenty passengers and a pilot.[12] According to a nearby balloon pilot, Mohamed Youssef, a fire started in the Sky Cruise balloon a few meters off the ground as it was attempting to land, as a result of a leaking fuel line.[2][7] As the fire engulfed the basket, the pilot and one passenger leaped to safety as the craft rose rapidly aided by a wind gust.[2][12] As the balloon rose, approximately seven passengers jumped to their deaths to escape the fire.[1][2] At an altitude of approximately 300 meters (980 ft), there was an explosion which could be heard several kilometers away.[2] The balloon and remaining passengers plunged to the ground, killing everyone remaining on board. One eyewitness remarked that he heard "a huge bang. It was a frightening bang, even though it was several kilometers away" from his location.[1] Youssef said it appeared that a gas leak in one of the balloon's tanks caused the fire and resulting explosion, consistent with information reported in state-run media.[2][5] Earlier reports had indicated that the balloon may have contacted a power line.[7]

Two minutes later, the burning craft crashed into a sugar cane field west of Luxor.[13] A second explosion was reported 15 seconds later.[2] Ambulances arrived on the scene after 15 minutes.[14] Bodies were scattered across the field when rescue workers arrived on the scene.[6] The balloon's final moments were caught on amateur video.[6]


At the time of its ascent, the balloon carried 20 passengers and Momin Murad, the balloon's Egyptian pilot.[5][9] Nineteen of the passengers were tourists: nine from Hong Kong, four from Japan, three from Britain, two from France, and one from Hungary; the 20th passenger was an Egyptian tour guide.[15] Of the Hong Kongers, five were women and four were men. They were members of three families on a tour group organized by Kuoni Travel. The Japanese victims were two couples from Tokyo in their 60s.[16] They were on a ten-day tour of Egypt organized by JTB Corporation.[17] The three Britons and the Hungarian-born passenger, a resident of the UK, were on a tour organized by Thomas Cook Group.[18] The French victims were a 48-year-old woman and her 14-year-old daughter.[19]

The accident killed 18 of the passengers on site; the pilot and two passengers survived the initial crash.[20] The two surviving passengers, both British men, were rushed to hospital in critical condition.[7] One of them died after five hours of surgery.[7] Dr. Mohammad Abdullah, the head of the emergency ward of the Luxor hospital, said that the Briton who died in the hospital had probably suffered a 50-meter (160 ft) fall.[18] The surviving Briton was described as being in critical but stable condition, while the pilot was said to be conscious and talking, but with burns covering 70% of his body.[1][2] Doctors at the Luxor International Hospital said that many of the dead suffered severe internal injuries and severe burns.[18]


After news of the tragedy broke, Governor of Luxor Ezzat Saad banned hot air balloon flights in his jurisdiction until further notice.[5] Egypt's civil aviation minister, , followed by suspending balloon flights nationwide.[2] In a statement, President Mohamed Morsi expressed his "deepest condolences and sympathy for the families of those who lost their lives in this tragic incident."[12] National government spokesman Alaa Hadidi said a committee would be formed to investigate the accident.[5]

The bodies of the victims were transported to four hospitals in Cairo. Chinese consular officials in the Arab Republic of Egypt and Hong Kong Immigration Department officers were scheduled to travel with the family members of the Hong Kong victims to Cairo.[21] [22] Kuoni Travel, the Hong Kong travel agency that organized the tour attended by the Hong Kong passengers, made plans for the six tour members who did not take the balloon ride to leave Egypt. The tour agency stated that, in addition to the US$7000 per person stipulated by contract, additional compensation would be given.[16]

Mohammed Osman, head of the Luxor Tourism Chamber, accused civil aviation authorities of lowering standards prior to the accident. "I don't want to blame the revolution for everything, but the laxness started with the revolution," he said. "These people are not doing their job, they are not checking the balloons and they just issue the licenses without inspection."[6] National authorities were quick to deny the allegations, noting that the balloon had recently been inspected. They also said the pilot should have shut off gas valves and attempted to put out the fire instead of bailing, and thus may have contributed to the tragedy.[6] An anonymous civil aviation ministry official acknowledged to the press that standards had been weakened by the current regime.[6] The pilot's license had been renewed one month prior to the accident.[6]

Local and foreign media analysts speculated that the crash would hurt Egypt's already weakened tourism industry, which was down 22% from 2010 levels.[2][15][needs update] Wael Ibrahim, who oversees the tourism syndicate in Luxor, did not expect the accident to worsen the situation since tourism was already down so much. "This (type of) accident could happen anywhere in the world", he remarked.[20] A local balloon operator, angered by the industry shutdown, remarked: "Why the mass punishment? Do you stop all flights when you have a plane crash? ... You will cut the livelihoods for nearly 3,000 human beings who live on this kind of tourism."[6] Angered by the industry-wide shutdown, tourism workers threatened to organize protests on 2 March.[9] The same day, Saad admitted that pressure to resume balloon flights was mounting and promised that downtime would be less than a month.[9] Hot air balloon rides at Luxor were set to resume in April, according to a statement on the Egyptian Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission's (CARC) website.[23]


Preliminary results of the government investigation ruled out criminal conduct as the cause of the crash.[9] On 2 March, Luxor-area balloon pilots held a press conference to defend Egypt's safety protocol and their colleague's actions.[9]

The Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority released its final report of the crash on 7 January 2014. The 219-page report blamed a leak in a fuel line connected to the balloon's burner. The aging line had been in use since 2005 and sprung a leak, which ignited as the balloon came in to land. The fire severely injured the pilot, who jumped or fell from the basket. Some of the ground crew released the ground line in order to attend to the pilot, so that the remaining crew could not keep the balloon near the ground. The flaming balloon rose rapidly and uncontrolled, then exploded.[24]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "At least 19 tourists dead in Egypt hot air balloon crash". RT. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Siddique, Haroon; Kingsley, Patrick (26 February 2013). "Luxor hot air balloon crash kills 19 tourists". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  3. ^ Cline, Seth. "7 of the Worst Hot Air Balloons Accidents in Recent Memory". US News. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  4. ^ Bell, Matthew (3 March 2013). "'The tip of the iceberg': Egyptian hot air balloon crash was 'inevitable,' says British pilot". The Independent. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Deadliest balloon crash in decades kills 19 in Egypt". CNN. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Maggie Michael (26 February 2013). "Fiery Balloon Accident Kills 19 Tourists in Egypt". ABC. AP. Archived from the original on 26 February 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Balloon crashes near Luxor killing 19 tourists". BBC News. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  8. ^ Kingsley, Patrick; Siddique, Haroon (27 February 2013). "Egyptian hot air balloon crash was company's second in 18 months". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Freya Peterson (2 March 2013). "Egyptian tourism industry workers angered over balloon crash suspension after Luxor crash". Global Post. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  10. ^ Ultramagic Balloons manuals (Archive)
  11. ^ مسئول بوزارة الطيران: البالون إسباني الصنع واندلاع النيران فيه تسبب [Aviation Ministry official: Spanish-made balloon caught fire which caused the accident.] (in Arabic). Ahram Weekly. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  12. ^ a b c Hauslohner, Abigail (26 February 2013). "Deadly balloon crash latest blow to Egyptian tourism". The Washington Post. Cairo. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  13. ^ "Tourists killed in Egypt hot air balloon crash". The National. AP. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  14. ^ "Egypt suspends Luxor balloon flights after deadly crash". BBC. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  15. ^ a b Mai Shams El-Din (27 February 2012). "Wednesday's papers: Hot air balloon crash and national dialogue disaster". Egypt Independent. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  16. ^ a b Mullany, Gerry and Calvin Yang. "Hong Kong Grapples With Aftermath of Deadly Balloon Accident." The New York Times. 28 February 2013. Retrieved on 28 February 2013.
  17. ^ "Japanese among balloon crash dead." Associated Press and Kyodo at The Japan Times. 27 February 2013. Retrieved on 28 February 2013.
  18. ^ a b c Beach, Alastair. "Luxor hot air balloon disaster: Horror of tourist who saw wife die in fireball." The Independent. Wednesday 27 February 2013. Retrieved on 28 February 2013. "Mr Bampton and his Hungarian-born partner Suzanna Gyetvai, 34, both from Clapham, London, were confirmed dead last night. "
  19. ^ "Josy et Léa, deux Aveyronnaises parmi les victimes de l'accident de montgolfière en Égypte (Josy and Léa, Two Aveyronnaises among hot-air balloon victims in Egypt)." Midi Libre. 27 February 2013. Retrieved on 2 March 2013.
  20. ^ a b Perry, Tom (26 February 2013). "Egypt hot air balloon crash kills 19 tourists". Reuters. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  21. ^ Republic of China in the Arab Republic of Egypt (27 February 2013). 宋爱国大使会见埃及旅游部长 (in Chinese). Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  22. ^ Republic of China in the Arab Republic of Egypt (26 February 2013). "CE mourns killed tourists" (in Chinese). Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  23. ^ "Luxor balloon flights set to resume". CNN. 17 April 2013.
  24. ^ "Fuel leak caused Luxor balloon crash: Aviation ministry". Ahram Online. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2016.

External links

16 December 2013

A bus falls from an elevated highway in the Philippines capital Manila killing at least 18 people with 20 injured.

2013 Manila Skyway bus accident
Luzon expressways map slex.png
Map of expressways in Luzon, with the South Luzon Expressway in red
Date16 December 2013
LocationSouth Luzon Expressway
between Parañaque and Taguig
OperatorDon Mariano Transit Corporation
CauseOver speeding
Damage2 (A bus and a van)

The 2013 Manila Skyway bus accident occurred on December 16, 2013 in Bicutan, Parañaque, Metropolitan Manila, Philippines, after a bus fell off the Metro Manila Skyway, crushing a delivery van and fatally wounding the van's driver.[1] 18 people died and 20 others were injured.[2] The Highway Patrol Group-National Capital Region-South Luzon Expressway described the incident as the worst to have happened along the Skyway.[3]


The accident occurred in the Manila suburb of Parañaque at around 5:15 AM.[4] The bus was traveling on the Metro Manila Skyway, one of the longest flyovers in the world that runs parallel to the South Luzon Expressway. The bus fell six meters from the Skyway and crashed on top of a van that was on the road below.[5] Eighteen passengers of the bus were killed. The driver of the bus, Carmelo Catlatcat, was not killed.[6] As a result of the accident, traffic was slowed down on the highway.[7]


The company that owned and operated the bus, Don Mariano Transit, had to suspend transit for thirty days for an investigation into the accident to be carried out. The Department of Transportation and Communications required the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to suspend all of the 78 buses that Don Mariano Transit owned. The driver of the bus, Carmelo Catlatcat, had to undergo a drug test.[8] An audit of over 400,000 public utility buses was executed in Manila following the accident.[9] The driver and operator of the bus faced charges by the authorities.[10]

The Department of Labor and Employment admitted that Don Mariano Transit Corporation's Labor Standards Compliance Certificate was expired since July 2013.[11] It was also reported that Don Mariano Transit did not pay its drivers their monthly salary.[12]

The bus driver, Carmelo Catlatcat, tested positive for drug use. Chief Superintendent Arrazad Subong of the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol group said that the drug test was somehow irrelevant as their investigation showed that the bus a few moments before the accident occurred had worn out tires and was overspeeding. The driver faced criminal charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, multiple injuries and damage to property. If convicted, he may face at least six years of imprisonment but due to the number of fatalities caused by the accident the driver may face life imprisonment instead.[3]


Jason Cantil, legal counsel for Don Mariano Transit, said that the accident was an isolated incident. Cantil said that the tires of the bus involved may not have been inspected but claimed that all other buses of the company were in good condition.[13]

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. encouraged public utility vehicles to use speed-limiting or monitoring devices. He said that such devices would help bus operators to prevent accidents similar to the skyway accident. Coloma added that it is up to legislators to come up with a law mandating operators to install such devices to their vehicles. Coloma also reiterated the government's preference for allowing the private sector to operate public transport as it is more efficient. He said the government's role is to regulate the private sector.[14]

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board plans to make the installation of speed-limiting devices on public utility vehicles as a response to the accident.[3] The Department of Labor and Employment vowed to monitor labor law compliance more strictly.[15]

See also


  1. ^ "Philippines bus crash kills 21". BBC. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  2. ^ Mogato, Manuel. "Commuter bus crashes off Philippine highway onto van, 22 dead: police". Reuters. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Gov’t mulls speed limit devices for PUVs | Manila Bulletin | Latest Breaking News | News Philippines
  4. ^ "Bus falls off freeway, kills 15 in Philippines". CNN. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  5. ^ Placido, Dharel. "Don Mariano bus falls off Skyway; scores dead". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Philippines bus plunges off highway, killing 22". AFP via The Australian. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  7. ^ "Skyway accident affects EDSA traffic". ABS-CBN. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Driver of ill-fated Don Mariano bus to undergo drug test". GMA News. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  9. ^ Gomez, Lailany. "Bus crash triggers audit of PUBs". Manila Standard Today. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  10. ^ Cahinhinan, John. "Driver, bus operator to face raps over Skyway accident". Sun Star. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  11. ^ "DOLE releases holiday pay rules - Silobreaker". Archived from the original on 2013-12-20. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
  12. ^ Don Mariano Transit’s drivers were not paid monthly salaries – LTFRB | News | GMA News Online
  13. ^ Don Mariano Transit: Skyway bus crash an ‘isolated’ incident | News | GMA News Online (in English and Tagalog)
  14. ^ "Palace wants speed monitoring devices on PUVs after Skyway accident | Sun.Star". Archived from the original on 2013-12-20. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
  15. ^ After bus accident, DOLE vows stricter monitoring of labor law compliance | News | GMA News Online

22 October 2013

The Australian Capital Territory becomes the first Australian jurisdiction to legalize same-sex marriage with the Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013

Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013
Coat of Arms of the Australian Capital Territory.svg
ACT Legislative Assembly
Territorial extentAustralian Capital Territory
Enacted byLegislative Assembly
Passed22 October 2013
Enacted4 November 2013
Commenced7 November 2013
(Weddings held from 7 December 2013)
Status: Struck down

The Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013 was an act of parliament of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly that was intended to legalise same-sex marriage in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).[1] It was first presented to the ACT Legislative Assembly on 19 September 2013 by the ACT Attorney-General, Simon Corbell. The law intended to build on the existing recognition of same-sex unions in the Australian Capital Territory, which included recognition of de facto partners, civil partnerships and same-sex-only civil unions (with civil unions being replaced by same-sex marriage if the Act was successfully passed). The act was passed in the Legislative Assembly on 22 October 2013.[2] It came into operation on 7 November although wedding ceremonies under the provisions of the Act did not occur until 7 December 2013.[3][4]

West Australian parliamentarian Stephen Dawson and his husband Dennis Liddelow were the first same-sex couple to marry under the new laws.[4] Upon the law's commencement, the Abbott Government challenged the legal and constitutional validity of the Act, lodging an immediate challenge in the High Court of Australia. The case was heard on 3 December and a ruling was handed down on 12 December 2013. The High Court unanimously struck the act down in its entirety, on the basis that it was in conflict with the federal Marriage Act, which defined marriage in Australia as the union of a man and a woman. The court did however expressly confirm in its ruling that the Parliament of Australia had the constitutional authority to amend the definition of marriage in the Marriage Act, so as to allow same-sex couples to marry.[5]

History of the Act

The bill was presented to the Assembly as the Marriage Equality Bill 2013 and was supported by all eight members of the Labor Party in the ACT and by Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury. It was, however, opposed by all eight members of the Liberal Opposition, who argued that same-sex marriage should be dealt with by the Federal Parliament only.[6]

The bill was introduced into the Assembly on 19 September 2013 by the Attorney-General Simon Corbell. In his speech to the Assembly introducing the bill, Cornell stated:[7]

  • Everyone has the right to enjoy his or her human rights without distinction or discrimination of any kind.
  • Everyone is equal before the law and is entitled to the equal protection of the law without discrimination.
  • Everyone has the right to equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground.

The ACT Government later retitled the bill as the "Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Bill", with the aim of further distinguishing it from the definition of "marriage" in the federal Marriage Act. Further proposed amendments to the bill that would have created a separate institution of marriage for same-sex couples were rejected by the ACT Government.[8]

On 22 October 2013, the ACT Legislative Assembly passed the bill by a vote of 9-8.[2] All members of the Labor Government and the one Greens member (Shane Rattenbury) voted in favour of the bill and all eight Liberal Party members voted against the bill.[2] The passing of the bill represents the first time any Australian state, territory or federal legislature has passed legislation allowing same-sex marriage.[9]

Details of 2013 Legislative Assembly vote to allow same-sex marriage
Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Bill 2013 – Second Reading[10]
Party Votes for Votes against
Labor (8)
Liberal (8)
Greens (1)
Total 9 8

The act defined the scope of eligibility for a marriage in Part 2, stating that eligibility for marriage applies "in relation to all marriages between 2 adults of the same sex that are not marriages with the meaning of the [federal] Marriage Act".[11]

The Act was notified in the ACT Legislation Register on 4 November 2013.[12] The following day the Attorney-General issued the commencement notice, effective 7 November 2013.[3] It was at that point same-sex couples could officially notify of their intention to marry, allowing them to arrange weddings commencing 7 December 2013.[13]

Commonwealth challenge to the Act

The ACT is a self-governing Territory, operating under federal legislation, the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 (Cth).[14] Section 28(1) of this act provides that legislation by the ACT Legislative Assembly will have "no effect to the extent that it is inconsistent with" a federal law, although it "shall be taken to be consistent with such a law to the extent that it is capable of operating concurrently with that law".

The Commonwealth Constitution, section 51(xxi), provides the federal parliament with power to make laws with respect simply to "marriage". In conventional terms of constitutional interpretation, one view can be that this is confined to different-sex marriage because that was all that the constitutional framers had in mind, while another view can be that "marriage" should be understood in terms of current public perceptions. Under this power, the federal parliament has enacted a uniform marriage law for the whole of Australia, the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth).[15] As enacted, this act appeared to envisage only different-sex marriage. However, to avoid doubt it was amended in 2004 to include in its interpretation section (section 5) a definition of "marriage" as "the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life".[16]

The marriage power, as with most of the federal parliament's legislative powers, is held concurrently with the states. In fact, marriage was regulated mainly by the states until the federal Marriage Act 1961 introduced uniform marriage law for the whole of Australia. However, it arguably remained unclear whether the Marriage Act "covers the field" of the topic "marriage", leaving no space for a state or a self-governing territory to make laws with respect to marriage of any kind.[citation needed]

Already on 10 October, Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis stated that, if the ACT's bill were passed, the Commonwealth would challenge it in the High Court of Australia as inconsistent with the federal Marriage Act.[17][18] That is to say it would be "inconsistent" with a federal law in terms of the ACT self-government act, section 28(1). If the Commonwealth were to lose in the High Court, it retained the option of introducing federal legislation to override the ACT act.[19] However, the federal government could not have been confident that such legislation would pass, since it had a majority only in the House of Representatives and not in the Senate.

Following this, ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher maintained that the ACT had every legal right to pass the bill and allow same-sex marriage in the ACT. Shane Rattenbury and Labor Party MLAs released similar statements affirming their support for the bill. Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young stated that their party would do whatever it could in the Senate to stop any federal legislation that would override the ACT act.[20]

In the High Court: Commonwealth v ACT (2013)

Commonwealth v ACT (Same-sex marriage case)
Coat of Arms of Australia.svg
CourtHigh Court of Australia
Decided12 December 2013
Citation(s)[2013] HCA 55, (2013) 250 CLR 441
Transcript(s)[2013] HCATrans 299 (3 December 2013)
Case opinions
The Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013 (ACT) was invalid as inconsistent with the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth)
Court membership
Judge(s) sittingFrench CJ, Hayne, Crennan, Kiefel, Bell & Keane JJ

On 22 October 2013, as soon as the ACT had passed the bill, the Commonwealth Government requested a High Court hearing regarding the validity of this law.[21][22] Following several directions hearings in the High Court, Chief Justice Robert French announced that the full bench of the Court would hear the Commonwealth's challenge in a two-day hearing on 3 and 4 December 2013.[23]


On 13 November, the Commonwealth provided the High Court with its written submission, which argued that the ACT's law was "inconsistent", in terms of the Australian Capital Territory Self-Government Act 1988 (Cth), with the federal Marriage Act 1961 and Family Law Act 1975.[24]

The [Commonwealth] Marriage Act simply does not permit of the possibility that a State or Territory might clothe with the legal status of marriage (or a form of marriage) a union of these kinds. It leaves no room for a State or Territory legislature to create a status of 'bigamous marriage', 'polygamous marriage', 'arranged involuntary marriage' or 'trial marriage'. Similarly, within and by reason of the schema of the Marriage Act, couples who are not man and woman (whether same-sex or intersex) are and must remain for the purposes of Australian law 'unmarried' persons. They remain on that side of the binary divide.[24]

On 25 November, the ACT provided its written submission to the Court, arguing in response to the Commonwealth that "neither the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth.) nor the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth.) manifest an intention to be an exhaustive or exclusive statement of the [Australian] law governing the institution of marriage".[25][26]

The case was heard by a six-judge bench,[27] on 3 December.[28][29][30]


The Court delivered its judgment very quickly, on 12 December.[5][31] It held unanimously that the whole of the ACT's same-sex marriage act was "inconsistent" with the federal Marriage Act 1961 and "of no effect".[32]

The inconsistency identified was twofold. First, the definition of "marriage" in the ACT act was inconsistent with that in the Marriage Act. Second, the ACT act could not nevertheless operate concurrently with the Marriage Act, since the Marriage Act was intended to be "a comprehensive and exhaustive statement of the law with respect to the creation and recognition of the legal status of marriage".[5]:para 57 That exhaustiveness extended to the definition of marriage; the Court did not accept the ACT's contention that the Marriage Act left room for same-sex marriage simply because it did not expressly exclude it. Nor did the Court accept the ACT's contention that the Marriage Act and the ACT act "do not regulate the same status of 'marriage'". After all, the Court observed, "as both the short title and the long title to the ACT Act show, the Act is intended to provide for marriage equality".[5]:para 60 The Court then found it unnecessary to consider inconsistency with the Family Law Act 1975. It required the ACT to pay the Commonwealth's costs.

The Court did not spell it out, but the consequence of this decision is not that the ACT act is void. Rather, the act is "of no effect" or, as the Court adds, "inoperative".[33] The Court is using the language of its established interpretation of Constitution section 109, which provides that a state law will be "invalid" to the extent that it is "inconsistent" with a federal law. The Court has understood "invalid" in section 109 to mean not that the state law is simply void but that it is "inoperative" for so long as the inconsistency remains; if that federal law were to be changed so as to remove the inconsistency, the state law would revive.[34] The words "of no effect" in section 28(1) of