(2015-04-08) — Just moments after a jury convicted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on all 30 counts for his role in 2013’s deadly Boston Marathon bombing, the White House announced it had secured his release in exchange for sending five accused terrorists from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to “any Islamic state, group or caliphate that will take them.”
“Mr. Tsarnaev is an American citizen,” according to a White House statement quoting President Obama. “We never leave an American behind if he’s held in captivity. Period. Full stop.”
It’s not clear, at the moment, with whom Obama negotiated the trade, but the White House brushed off suggestions that Tsarnaev’s crimes make him unfit to be exchanged for high-value terror suspects.
“You can’t conflate what Mr. Tsarnaev did, with the unimpeachable fact that he’s an American citizen,” Obama reportedly said. “Those issues are completely separate.”
The White House said the president would make remarks later this week from the Rose Garden, flanked by Tsarnaev’s parents, who are reportedly “grateful for his release, bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim.”