Bloomberg News

Bomb Suspect Is Said to Tell Investigators Brothers Acted Alone

April 23, 2013

Bomb Suspect Calm as First Blast Ripped Apart Boston Marathon

Investigators are working with Russian authorities as they focus on a six-month trip that 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev took last year to Chechnya and neighboring Dagestan, both regions of Russia that have been roiled by Islamist separatist movements. Source: FBI via Getty Images

In early interviews with investigators, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has communicated that he and his brother were responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings, operating alone and driven by religion, according to a U.S. official briefed on the initial interrogation.

Communicating primarily through nodding his head and occasionally through written answers due to a gunshot wound to his neck, the official said Tsarnaev indicated that he and his brother, Tamerlan, were not aligned with any known international terrorist or military groups.

Two federal law enforcement officials cautioned that the questioning and investigation remain at an early stage and investigators are probing the Tsarnaevs' travel, communications and history as they work to pin down the motivation for the attack.

Tsarnaev, during an initial court appearance from his hospital bed, nodded to answer questions affirmatively from the judge and at one point answered “No,” when asked if he could afford an attorney, according to a transcript of the proceeding.

The case is U.S. v. Tsarnaev, 13-02106, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

To contact the reporters on this story: Phil Mattingly in Washington at pmattingly@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net


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