Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev described himself as an Muslim jihadi while he was hiding from a police search inside a boat parked on a suburban backyard, according to a federal legal claim released today.
“I ask Allah to make me a shahied [an Islamic martyr] to allow me to return to him and be among all the righteous people in the highest levels of heaven,” Tsarnaev wrote on the inside of the boat.
“He who Allah guides no one can misguide. A[llah Ak]bar!” wrote Tsarnaev, in comments that have been kept secret until now.
The “Allah Akbar!” phrase means “Allah is supreme over everyone.”
Tsarnaev’s self-description, and his rationale for detonating the bombs in the final stretch of the Boston Marathon in April 2013, contradict the White House policy that Islam doesn’t motivate Islamic attacks in the United States, or overseas.
Officials — and Islamic activists — are now repeating the don’t-blame-Islam claim about the Islamic jihad group in Nigeria, named “Boko Haram,” following its kidnapping of more than 250 girls. This month, the group used video cameras to show how it has forcibly converted some of the girls to Islam.
While he was hiding in the boat, Tsarnaev also tried to convince people that he was motivated by Islam, and that his brother — who had been killed shortly before by police officers — was an Islamic martyr.
“I’m jealous of my brother who ha[s] [re]ceived the reward of [heaven, Allah-willing] before me. I do not mourn because his soul is very much alive,” Tsarnaev wrote.
Allah “has a plan for each person. Mine was to hide in this boat and shed some light on our actions,” he wrote, according to the federal documents.
The statements were released because the federal government wants to use his incriminatory statements in his upcoming trial. Tsarnaev’s lawyers want the late-night confessions to be excluded.
Tsarnaev, his dead brother and his parents, were ethnic Chechens admitted to the United States under current asylum laws. They were offered social and legal equality, access to government services, freedom and opportunities, but instead choose to attack and kill the Americans who welcomed them. Three Americans were killed, and 264 were injured by the two bombs that the Muslim brothers hid at the end of the marathon route.
Some sections of the federal document were blanked out before it was released.
In his statements, Tsarnaev echoed many Islamic groups — including Al Qaida and Boko Haram — by describing his attacks as defensive.
“The US Government is killing our innocent civilians… I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished, we Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all. Well at least that’s how muhhammad… wanted it to be [for]ever, the ummah [Muslim community] is beginning to rise,” he wrote.
“Know you are fighting men who look into the barrel of your gun and see heaven, now how can you compete with that. We are promised victory [by Allah] and we will surely get it,” he wrote.
The insistence by officials working for President Barack Obama that Islam doesn’t inspire Islamic terrorism has already prompted the FBI to purge many studies of Islamic terrorism from its classroom shelves.
The policy also crippled the Boston manhunt after the bombs detonated.
In the hours and days after the attack, FBI and police officials did not go to Boston mosques for help in identifying possible suspects who had appeared on surveillance videos before and after the attack. Instead, officials publicly released the photos of the two Tsarnaev brothers in the hope they would be recognized. The public release gave the two attackers time to flee.
During their attempted escape, the two men shot and killed a police officer, Sean Collier.