Boston, Massachusetts — The teenager identified as being one of the suspects in last week’s bombing at the Boston Marathon has reportedly divulged his motivation for the attack to government officials.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, has been in communication with investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where the FBI reports that he has been upgraded to fair condition. Tsarnaev was injured in shootouts with the police, and is believed to have attempted suicide due to a gunshot wound to this throat. He also has injuries to his head, neck, legs and hand, and is currently unable to speak.
Therefore, officials have asked Tsarnaev to communicate in writing as they question him about the attack. According to The Washington Post, the teenager and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, acted alone in the bombing plot, and are not directly linked to any terrorist organization. They were reportedly influenced by material from Muslim radicals posted on the Internet, as well as their personal feelings about U.S. actions in Muslim countries.
Specifically, Tsarnaev cited the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as two particular motivations for the attack.
As previously reported, a YouTube channel believed to belong to Tamerlan Tsarnaev was located following the bombings, which focuses heavily on Islam. One of the playlists was entitled “Terrorists.” Tsarnaev’s last activity was logged two months ago when he subscribed to the channel “Allah is the One.” Comments made by the individual identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev are in Russian.
“You accepted Shiism not because it convinced you, but because of your own … interests (of which only Allah knows), which you followed,” he wrote as a comment to a video entitled How I Accepted Islam and Became a Shiite. “As you walked into Islam, you also flew out of it. You let yourself down, Misha. Alright, goodbye.”
Tamerlan was killed during a shootout with police early Friday morning. His aunt, Patimat Suleimanova, told reporters that a mosque in Cambridge, which the family attended, has declined to bury the suspect. However, spokesman Yusufi Vali says that is not the case.
“There were some reports out there that we had rejected his burial, and — or the family had reached out to us, rather,” he stated on Andrea Mitchell Reports this week. “And to our knowledge, you know, the family has not reached out to us.”
New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters today that he believes the brothers had plans to travel to New York City and celebrate following the attack.
“There was some information that they may have been intent on coming to New York, but not to continue doing what they’re doing,” he stated. “The information that we received said something about a party, or having a party.”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has now been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property. He participated in a legal proceeding in his hospital room on Monday, where a judge and several attorneys gathered around his bed since he was unable to appear in court. Tsarnaev faces the death penalty if convicted.