Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

July 4 original date for blast

Duo changed minds after deciding Boston Marathon 'ideal': source

  • Print

BOSTON -- Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan initially planned the attack for the upcoming July Fourth holiday but changed their minds shortly before the Boston Marathon because the race was an "ideal" target, a federal law enforcement source said Thursday.

The assembly of two pressure-cooker bombs that exploded at the marathon April 15 went faster than the two brothers expected and also weighed on their decision to change their plans, the source said.

Information about the switch in targets came from several investigative threads and details gleaned from hospital interviews with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev two weeks ago before he was read his Miranda rights and stopped talking to authorities, the source said.

The 19-year-old student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth told FBI agents he and Tamerlan Tsarnaev saw Patriots Day and the symbolism attached to it as an ideal time to set off the bombs, the source said. Turning the attack into a suicide bombing was one "possibility" the brothers considered, the source said.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told investigators he and his brother built their pressure-cooker bombs at Tamerlan Tsarnaev's home, according to the source. Once they settled on a day for the attack, they scouted the marathon course before deciding that the finish line -- packed with onlookers and a large news-media presence -- was where they would set off the bombs, the source said.

Investigators also continued to search two laptops belonging to the Tsarnaev brothers for any evidence the pair had help planning the attacks, according to the law enforcement source. And Thursday night, Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body was claimed, said Terell Harris, a spokesman for the Boston medical examiner's office.

Harris would not say who claimed the body or whether it was removed from the medical examiner's headquarters.

Tuesday, attorneys for Katherine Russell, Tamerlan Tsarnaev's wife, said her wish was that his remains be released to his family "and we will communicate her wishes to the proper authorities."

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after an early-morning shootout four days after the attacks following a high-speed chase from the Cambridge campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to the Boston suburb of Watertown.

His computer, along with a laptop owned by Dzhokhar, were recovered in the days after the bombing.

Investigators are poring over the two computers' emails, pictures, contacts and any other data that could expand the probe, including whether Islamic leaders in Russia radicalized Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the source said.

Dzhokhar told investigators he and his brother had listened to online sermons of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born radical who was killed in 2011 U.S. airstrike in Yemen.

-- Newsday

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 3, 2013 A16

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

In the Key of Bart: Can’t It Be Nice This Time?

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Perfect Day- Paul Buteux walks  his dog Cassie Tuesday on the Sagimay Trail in Assiniboine Forest enjoying a almost perfect  fall day in Winnipeg- Standup photo – September 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A young goose   reaches for long strands of grass Friday night near McGillvary Blvd-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 19 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google