Boston Marathon bombing: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev claims brother Tamerlan was ‘driving force’ behind attack, and says the pair worked alone

Tamerlan Tsarnaev apparently organised the bombings because he wanted to ‘defend’ Islam

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has reportedly told investigators that his brother was the driving force behind the attack and that the pair were not connected to any wider terrorist network.

A US government source told CNN that the 19-year-old, still in a serious condition in Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, claimed that his brother Tamerlan had organised the bombings because he wanted to “defend” Islam.

The preliminary interviews with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in which he responded mostly by writing and nodding and shaking his head, apparently suggests the suspected bombers fall into the category of self-radicalised jihadists acting alone.

The 19-year-old is said to have spoken only once during the interview, and that was to reply “no” when asked if he could afford a lawyer. A public representative was subsequently appointed to represent him.

Tsarnaev is said to be heavily sedated and breathing through a ventilator, although US Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler found him to be “alert, mentally competent and lucid”.

The news that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has claimed the driving force behind the attack was his 26-year-old brother comes the day after he was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill three people and injure more than 200 – a crime that potentially carries the death penalty.

He has also been charged with one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death, US Attorney General, Eric Holder, said.

He added: “Although our investigation is ongoing, today’s charges bring a successful end to a tragic week for the city of Boston, and for our country.”

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is said to be unable to speak after suffering a throat wound, reportedly the result of a failed suicide attempt at the climax of his dramatic arrest on Friday night, when he was found hiding under a tarpaulin covering a blood-stained boat parked on a trailer in a residential garden.

He was said to be so weak from blood loss at the time that officers were able to demand he pull up his top to show he wasn’t wearing an explosive vest and to open his hands to prove he wasn’t concealing a weapon or a detonator.

Tsarnaev was subsequently rushed to hospital where he was said to be in a serious condition after suffering severe injuries and major blood loss.

Unconfirmed reports suggested Tsarnaev may have been hit once or twice by police bullets the previous evening during the fire-fight in which Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed.

On Sunday police confirmed that Tamerlan Tsarnaev is likely to have died after his younger brother drove a stolen SUV at police officers who were in the process of arresting the 26-year-old.

Over the weekend, Anzor Tsarnaev, the father of the two suspects, said he would fly from Dagestan to the US this week to seek "justice and truth." 

His wife reportedly told the Associated Press news agency that Anzor would fly to Boston some time today and that the family wished to take the elder Tsarnaev’s body home to be buried.

Tamerlan visited Dagestan early last year, reportedly evading the attention of the FBI, which had previously questioned him but failed to spot his trip due to a spelling mistake in his name, according to Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

The US authorities are now said to be waiting to speak to Tamerlan’s US-born wife, Katherine Russell.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

SQL Technical Implementation Consultant (Java, BA, Oracle, VBA)

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Lead C# Developer (.Net, nHibernate, MVC, SQL) Surrey

£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering