Report: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev confesses

The Boston bombing suspect acknowledged his role planting devices, citing U.S. wars as motivation

Published April 23, 2013 4:26PM (EDT)

Dzhokar Tsarnaev                                  (FBI)
Dzhokar Tsarnaev (FBI)

From his hospital bed, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has reportedly confessed to planting explosives near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. In response to extensive bedside questioning by federal agents, the suspect -- charged on Monday with using a weapon of mass destruction against people and property -- reportedly admitted to acting alone with his (now deceased) brother, with no connections to outside terror groups.

According to the Washington Post, citing unnamed official sources, "the 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has told interrogators that the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan motivated him and his brother to carry out the attack":

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe an ongoing investigation, said Dzhokhar and his older brother, Tamerlan, who was killed by police as the two attempted to avoid capture, do not appear to have been directed by a foreign terrorist organization.

Rather, the officials said, the evidence so far suggests they were “self-radicalized” through Internet sites and U.S. actions in the Muslim world. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has specifically cited the U.S. war in Iraq, which ended in December 2011 with the removal of the last American forces, and in Afghanistan, where President Obama has made plans to end combat operations by the end of 2014.

By Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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