Biden scathing of ‘knock-off jihadis’ at officer’s funeral

US vice president Joe Biden speaks to police officers at memorial services for Massachusetts Institute of Technology Patrol Officer Sean Collier.

US vice president Joe Biden speaks to police officers at memorial services for Massachusetts Institute of Technology Patrol Officer Sean Collier.


The brothers suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon were described as “twisted, perverted, cowardly, knock-off jihadis” by US vice-president Joe Biden as further details emerged about how the Tsarnaevs allegedly perpetrated the atrocity.

In a eulogy to the police officer investigators believe was killed by one of the bombers last week, Mr Biden denounced attacks by Islamic militants, saying they could not compete with “the values of openness and inclusion” and that the very existence of Americans “makes a lie of their perverted ideology.”

“You are their worst nightmare – all the things, these perverted jihadis, self-made or organised, all the things they fear,” said the vice-president at the service in Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

Mr Biden quoted from Seamus Heaney’s poem, The Cure At Troy , and, citing an Irish expression, the “highest praise” that can be given about someone, said the slain officer Sean Collier was a “good man”.

It emerged yesterday that the two homemade bombs used in the blasts, which killed three people and injured more than 260 people, may have been triggered by long-range remote controls from toy cars.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (19) has told investigators he and his brother, Tamerlan (26) who died following a shootout with police early last Friday, were self-trained and learned how to make bombs from an online magazine affiliated to an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Yemen, say US government officials quoted in the media.

Working alone
The younger brother, who is being questioned while undergoing treatment for wounds sustained last week, has said the brothers were striking back at the US for killings in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that they were working alone and not for any international militant group.

Tamerlan, an ethnic Chechen living in the Boston area for more than a decade, is said to have become radicalised by a mystery friend known as “Misha”, an Armenian who had converted to Islam. “Somehow, he just took his brain,” Tamerlan’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, told AP.

The investigation has also turned to how the Department of Homeland Security were aware of Tamerlan’s six-month trip to Dagestan and Chechnya last year but this information was not passed to the FBI which had previously investigated the 26-year-old about possible links with militants.

‘Incidental hero’

The man praised for finding Dzhokhar holed up in his boat – named Slip Away II – in a back garden in Watertown near Boston in Massachusetts has described himself as an “incidental hero”.

Choking up with emotion, Dave Henneberry told a local Boston television station it made him feel wonderful that people thought of him as a national hero but his thoughts were with the victims of the bombings.

The boat, he said, “did its job, it held a bad guy and is gone away like a Viking ship”.