I Guess When My Older Brother Said 'Let's Bomb The Boston Marathon,' I Should Have Said No

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I Guess When My Older Brother Said 'Let's Bomb The Boston Marathon,' I Should Have Said No

I’ve had a lot of time to think the last few days as I’ve been sitting here in my hospital bed. I’ve reflected on my life and the choices I’ve made, and I’ve tried to figure out exactly where things really took a turn for the worse for me.

And after much reflection, I think I’ve finally pinpointed the moment. Given all that’s happened over the last week—a shootout with police that left my brother dead, my botched suicide attempt, and my subsequent capture by federal authorities as I lay bleeding to death in a total stranger’s yard—I’m starting to think that maybe when Tamerlan first said “Let’s bomb the Boston Marathon,” I should have said no.

Like, maybe if I had said “No, I don’t want to do that” when my brother asked me if I wanted to set off a series of deadly explosions that would kill or seriously injure dozens of innocent people, then that might have actually worked out better for me. That’s sort of the feeling I’m getting lately, at least.

It’s funny, you know. As time goes by, the more I’m starting to see how, if you think about it, it’s almost like there were two different ways to go at that particular moment and, unfortunately, I might have chosen the wrong way to go. For instance, if I had decided at that moment to, say, immediately warn the police that my brother was plotting to bomb a highly populated public area in the middle of Boston on April 15th, and then if I’d called my parents to let them know their eldest son had become completely mentally unhinged, then perhaps I’d be in a better situation right now. In terms of my life and my future and so forth.

Does that make sense?

You know how it is, though. You’re a young and admittedly impressionable young man and your older brother, whom you love and idolize, comes up to you and says, “Hey, you want to help me brutally terrorize a bunch of innocent men, women, and children on Patriots’ Day?” and you sort of just go along with it. I mean, ordinarily, if anyone else had asked me that question I probably would have said something along the lines of, oh, I don’t know, “No, that sounds like a really bad idea, and I don’t want any part of it.” But I didn’t, and you know what? I’m sort of regretting it.

What can I say, though? Sometimes you make decisions that you realize later weren’t as great as they seemed at the time. Like when I decided to steal an SUV and then run over my brother with it after a deadly shootout with law enforcement officials. That’s another good example. Or when I shot myself in the throat when FBI agents were closing in on my hiding place. Or when I chose not to turn both myself and Tamerlan in to the authorities the second I saw the carnage and mass pandemonium our actions had caused. All of these, in retrospect, were probably somewhat questionable decisions, now that I’ve had some time to reflect on them.

I don’t know. What do other people think? Was saying “Okay, sure” when my brother asked me to help him build makeshift explosives using pressure cookers packed with ball bearings and nails a wise move? And when he told me to put those explosives in a backpack, take them to the Boston Marathon, and blow them up at the finish line in order to destroy the lives of hundreds of people and terrify millions around the country, should I have just said, “No, Tamerlan, this is wrong”?

I probably should have, right?

Oh well. Live and learn, I guess.


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