He is standing with a bright red bead from a sniper’s laser trained directly in the middle of his forehead, his nose bloodied and his blood-stained hand raised in apparent surrender. Around him are the shredded shrouds of the boat in which he made his last stand.
According to the photographer who took the haunting picture, this is the real face of terrorism, not the “glamourised” image of the surviving suspect of the Boston marathon bombings, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, that appears on the cover of next month’s Rolling Stone magazine. The photograph was taken by Sergeant Sean Murphy, a tactical photographer with the Massachusetts state police, who accompanied Swat teams as they apprehended Tsarnaev in Watertown in April following one of the largest manhunts in US history.
Murphy released a sequence of his official pictures to Boston magazine as an expression of his anger towards Rolling Stone’s depiction of the bombing suspect. The move adds to the billowing controversy surrounding Rolling Stone’s choice of cover image that has Tsarnaev staring straight out at the reader, his dark curls framing his face above the headline ‘The Bomber’.