Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bombing suspect still on the run, tweeted to the world about a tragedy that he allegedly caused, telling people to “stay safe” after the explosions and making a cryptic remark about “people that know the truth, but stay silent.”
Tsarnaev, 19, who goes by the nickname Jahar and tweeted under the handle @j_tsar, used a picture of a roaring lion instead of a picture of his face. And the page carries the common Arabic greeting “salam aleikum.”
Many of the tweets talk about his college life at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth or other teenage pursuits such as his love of Game of Thrones. But, in hindsight, some of the tweets seem ominous.
“There are people that know the truth but stay silent & there are people that speak the truth but we don’t hear them cuz they’re the minority,” he wrote on Tuesday, the day after he and his brother allegedly set off two bombs that killed three people near the finish line of the Boston marathon.
Dzhokar also said he got a haircut -- something he normally doesn’t do -- just before the Boston Marathon bombing, raising questions of whether he was trying to look less suspicious in the crowd.
Generally, though, the twitter feed gives little indication that he was was planning a mass murder was worried about getting he caught.
A few hours after the the bombing he wrote: “Ain’t no love in the heart of the city, stay safe people.”
On Wednesday, as investigators furiously tried to figure out who was behind the bombing, Tsarnaev added: “I’m a stress free kind of guy.”
And some of his twitter followers seemed stunned by the news Friday that he was wanted for the bombing and the focus of a manhunt.
“I can’t believe it’s jahar,” one of his Twitter followers posted Friday, using Dzhokar’s nickname. “One of my good ‘friends’ was a terrorist.”
The Twitter user did not return a phone call or message, but later posted that he was on the phone with the FBI after initially waiting on hold.
As word spread on the Internet about the account, Tsarnaev gained many more followers – going from a few hundred to more than 30,000 as of mid-afternoon.
The Globe confirmed the Twitter account was Tsarnaev’s through a former classmate.
Tsarnaev’s last tweet on Wednesday, simply rebroadcast a seemingly innocuous aphorism by Muslim scholar Mufti Ismail Menk about the importance of having a good attitude. This afternoon, he took pains to distance himself from Tsarnaev and the bombings. ‘I would like to very strongly condemn the bombings in the US and express condolences to the familiars. The perpetrators must face justice.”Globe writer Farah Stockman contributed to this reporter. Todd Wallack can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @twallack.