Officials: Boston bomb suspect read jihadist sites

Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 12:12 PM.

BOSTON  — Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was an ardent reader of jihadist websites and extremist propaganda, U.S. officials said Tuesday, adding another piece to the body of evidence they say suggests the two brothers were motivated by an anti-American, radical version of Islam.

As he lay in his hospital bed with a gunshot wound to the throat, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was charged on Monday with carrying out the bombing with his older brother, who died last week in a gunbattle. Tsarnaev could get the death penalty.

Interrogators questioned him at the hospital, letting him write down his replies, and his answers led them to believe he and his brother were motivated by religious extremism but appeared to have no major terrorist group connections, said U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

However, the written communication precluded back-and-forth exchanges often crucial to establishing key facts, officials said. They warned that they were still trying to verify what Tsarnaev told them and were poring over his telephone and online communications.

On Tuesday, two officials said the older brother frequently looked at extremist sites, including Inspire magazine, an English-language online publication produced by al-Qaida's Yemen affiliate. The magazine has endorsed lone-wolf terror attacks.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a student at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, was charged with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction. He was accused of joining with his brother in setting off the shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs that three people and wounded more than 260 on April 15.

The brothers are ethnic Chechens from Russia who had been living in the U.S. for about a decade.



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