Tsarnaev: My brother wanted to defend Islam

CNN reports that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev denies being part of any larger terrorist network

Published April 23, 2013 2:29AM (EDT)

Dzhokar Tsarnaev                                  (FBI)
Dzhokar Tsarnaev (FBI)

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon attack, told federal investigators today that his brother, Tamerlan, was largely behind the bombing, CNN reported this evening.

CNN -- which erroneously reported Wednesday that an arrest in the case had been made -- cited a U.S. government source.

The network reports that:

Preliminary interviews with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev indicate the two brothers fit the classification of self-radicalized jihadists, the source said. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, wounded and held in a Boston hospital, said his brother wanted to defend Islam from attack, according to the source.

That source also told CNN that Dzhokhar that they planned the attack themselves without any outside help. The source said that the government continues to try and independently verify Dzhokhar's account.

Earlier today, it was reported that Dzhokhar was writing down answers to questions from investigators. He was charged Monday with "using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction."

By David Daley

David Daley, former editor-in-chief of Salon, is the author of the national bestseller “Ratf**ked: Why Your Vote Doesn’t Count” and “Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy.”

MORE FROM David Daley

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Boston Bombing Boston Marathon Cnn Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Tamerlan Tsarnaev