BOSTON – The two brothers suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon appear to have been motivated by their religious views but do not seem connected to any Muslim terrorist groups, U.S. officials said Monday after interrogating the severely wounded younger man. He was charged with federal crimes that could bring the death penalty.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was charged in his hospital room with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill. He was accused of joining with his older brother, Tamerlan – now dead – in setting off the pressure-cooker bombs that killed three people and wounded more than 200 a week ago.
Tsarnaev communicated with his interrogators in writing, a less-than-ideal format that precluded the type of detailed back-and-forth crucial to establishing the facts, said one of two officials who recounted the questioning.
Suspect to be tried in civilian court
The White House says the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing will not be tried as an enemy combatant in a military tribunal.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be prosecuted in the federal court system.
Carney says President Obama’s entire national security team supports the decision.
Tsarnaev is a naturalized U.S. citizen. Carney says that under U.S. law, U.S. citizens cannot be tried in military commissions.
Cardinal, governor attend funeral
Hundreds of family and friends packed a church in Medford, Mass., Monday for the funeral of Boston Marathon bombing victim Krystle Campbell, while dozens more waited outside after being turned away.
Gov. Deval Patrick and Cardinal Sean O’Malley were among mourners at the funeral Mass at St. Joseph Church in her hometown.
Campbell, 29, one of three people killed near the finish line a week ago, had gone to watch a friend finish the race.
’11 FBI probe found no terror activity
The White House is defending the FBI’s performance in its 2011 inquiry into Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a now-dead suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.
White House spokesman Jay Carney says the FBI followed up on information it had received about Tsarnaev. He says the FBI interviewed him and his relatives and found no domestic or foreign terrorism activity.
The Russian FSB intelligence security service told the FBI in early 2011 about information that Tsarnaev was a follower of radical Islam. The FBI says it conducted interviews and provided the results in the summer of 2011.
The bureau says it also checked U.S. government databases and other information to look into his telephone communications, possible use of radical online sites, personal associations, and travel and education history.