And in the photo, he has one index finger raised — the signal of adherence to Islamic monotheism that has become the sign of allegiance to the Islamic State. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was no “gullible teen”; he was a convinced jihad killer.
“Inside the bedroom of the Boston bomber: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev poses with jihadi black banner in the home where he and his brother hatched terrorist attack,” by Ashley Collman, Daily Mail, March 18, 2015 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers have been trying to paint him as a gullible teen who was recruited by his extremist brother to bomb the Boston Marathon finish line two years ago.
But today, prosecutors presented the jury with a never-before-seen photo that tells quite a different story.
Seen in the bedroom of his family home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sits at a computer chair and points to a black flag behind him – not unlike the kind used by extremist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Tsarnaev’s former best friend Stephen Silva testified in court on Tuesday that he saw the flag hanging in Dzhokhar’s room, the one time he visited the apartment to watch The Walking Dead.
Silva was also the friend who lent Tsarnaev the gun used to shoot an MIT police officer in a confrontation a few days after the bombings.
While the so-called Black Banner or Black Standard has been co-opted by Islamist extremist groups in recent years, it has much deeper origins in the Muslim world.
The prophet Muhammed used a black standard when he fought, which is why it continues to be used as a symbol for modern-day jihadists.
According to Boston University master Arabic lecturer Giselle Khoury, the flag reads: ‘There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger’.
She told the Boston Herald that the statement is called ‘the shahada – the testimony’ which declares one’s belief in the Islamic faith.
However, quickly after the picture of the flag was shown in court today, U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr ordered taken out of court since he found it ‘illegible’.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Aloke Chakravarty said another witness, who did not take the stand today, would be explaining the flag’s significance further.
Tsarnaev, 21, is charged with killing three people and injuring 264 with a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the race’s crowded finish line on April 15, 2013, and shooting dead a university police officer three days later.
His former best friend Stephen Silva, who federal prosecutors contend loaned Tsarnaev the gun used in the shooting, testified in court on Tuesday that he had long been close with the defendant but had never met his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, who died following a gunfight with police four days after the bombing.
He said his brother was very strict, very opinionated, and that since I wasn’t a Muslim he might give me a little s*** for that,’ Silva said.
Defense lawyers opened the trial at U.S. District Court in Boston with the blunt admission that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had carried out the crimes he is charged with, focusing their hopes on the jury sentencing him to life in prison rather than the death penalty he could face if found guilty.
They contend Tamerlan was the driving force behind the attacks and that his younger sibling followed out of subservience.
Prosecutors called Silva, 21, to the witness stand to discuss the loan of the rusty Ruger P95 handgun they contend was used to shoot dead Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier on April 18, 2013.
Silva has pleaded guilty to federal gun and drug charges, but was offered leniency in exchange for his testimony.
He testified he had gotten the gun from a friend, intending to use it to protect his drug business, and also used it in a robbery.
Tsarnaev asked to borrow it, saying he too was interested in committing a robbery, Silva testified.
In the most aggressive cross-examination by the defense in eight days of testimony, Silva acknowledged having posted on Facebook and having told the FBI that he believed the bombing must have been Tamerlan’s idea.
‘At the time that’s what I felt, yes,’ Silva said in response to questioning by defense attorney Miriam Conrad.
He also acknowledged having told prosecutors in August he used ‘peer pressure’ to persuade Dzhokhar to smoke marijuana, which Silva sold.
‘That’s what I said but I stated it wrong,’ Silva said on Tuesday.
Silva also testified that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had once called him a ‘kafir,’ an Arabic word meaning non-believer or infidel, in response to Silva calling the defendant a ‘Russian refugee’….