Bombing Suspect Tells Authorities That Brothers Acted Alone

Dhzokhar Tsarnav is reportedly telling questioners that he and his brother acted alone in carrying out their attack at the Boston Marathon last week:

A U.S. government source tells CNN that in preliminary interviews with the Boston Marathon terrorist attack bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has told law enforcement that no foreign terrorist groups were involved in the incident; there was an online component to their radicalization – through watching videos, not through online communication; and that older brother, Tamerlan, was the driving force behind the planning and execution of the attacks.

Tamerlan’s motivation was that of jihadist thought, the source says, with its religious and political motivations, the idea that Islam is under attack and jihadists need to fight back.

The source adds according to these preliminary interviews the brothers seem to fit into the classification of self-starters, self-radicalized jihadists.

Investigators will no doubt continue to investigate for possible links between the Tsarnaev’s and others, no doubt, especially since it’s unclear where these two men could have gotten the money they would have needed to pull off this attack. Nonetheless, this may well end up being the kind of “lone wolf” attack that terrorism analysts have been warning us about.

FILED UNDER: Crime, National Security, Quick Takes, Terrorism
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. JKB says:

    This could be both good and bad.

    First, the fact they were run to ground in less than a week may give other “self-starter” radicals pause and with no “institution” lessons learned on the attacker side will be less likely to inform future murderers.

    On the other hand, it means we have to start paying closer attention to individuals who spout off on and seem to become more radicalized by radical Islam. If there is no group association to sort the dangerous from the “finding themselves” types, then we’ll have to spend more time on what people say and do in regards to radical Islam.

  2. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    it’s unclear where these two men could have gotten the money they would have needed to pull off this attack.

    I never saw the attack as being expensive, did I miss something?

  3. Caj says:

    That won’t be good enough for some Republicans! They will want him tortured. Those two brothers couldn’t have possibly got all the information on bomb making from the internet like others have done!! Even if the elder brother did watch radical videos and maybe infleunced by them that doesn’t mean he belonged to any radical group!! With no evidence of that being the case right now some Republicans have got the plot all tied up in a big red bow that these two young men are automatically affiliated with a terrorist group! Still, when did having facts first ever bother some of those in the Republican Party?

  4. Scott says:

    Anybody have any thoughts on why these two are considered terrorists and the guy from Mississippi who mailed ricin is not. Paul Kevin Curtis (who may be nuts) at least had a clear message about harvesting organs.

    @PJ: Agree. These explosives seemed pretty low cost.

  5. wr says:

    @JKB: “On the other hand, it means we have to start paying closer attention to individuals who spout off on and seem to become more radicalized by radical Islam. If there is no group association to sort the dangerous from the “finding themselves” types, then we’ll have to spend more time on what people say and do in regards to radical Islam. ”

    Right. But if we apply the same scrutiny to white, right-wing Christians who form militias and say they want to overthrow the government, that’s fascism.

    Because the entire weght of the US government should be trained on people who aren’t exactly like JKB, just in case. I mean, that’s only natural.

    As long as they remember that those who are like JKB are better, purer, and more American than the rest of us, and must be allowed to commit treason in the name of Freedom.

  6. @PJ:

    As far as I an tell, neither of these guys worked. The raw material had to cost something, didn’t it?

  7. John Burgess says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I don’t know how much they paid for their guns, but the bombs could have been put together for under $300. A credit card would cover it and if there were no intention of paying the credit card bill…

  8. Scott says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I’ve read it costs about $100 to make.

  9. Blue Galangal says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I read on one of the Boston sites that the older one’s wife worked 70-80 hrs a week as a home health aide, and that he watched their child. I have no idea how much pressure cooker bombs cost, but I guess he could have been taking money from her; if he was involved to the extent that he was doing some childcare duties, he might have been involved to the extent that he shared in the household funds. On the other hand, I seriously doubt he was watching a young 70-80 hours/week; he’d have had no time and energy to build bombs.

  10. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    There doesn’t seem to be any evidence of Tamerlan holding a regular job for any length of time. His wife worked as a home health care aide. Dhzokhar was a full-time student. Maybe their parents were subsidizing them.

  11. matt bernius says:

    Two questions:

    1. How long until the more hawkish folks out there start to push the idea that “Of course he said they acted alone — he doesn’t want to reveal his contacts or endanger his cell!”?

    2. If we accept that these two acted alone and were acting outside the bound of their respective communities (the older brother being thrown out of mosques), at what point should we question their mental states? I.e. Is Muslim crazy different than James Holmes or Jared Loghner crazy?

  12. Chris says:

    @Caj:
    Exactly. And lets be honest here, if you can’t pull out the fingernails of someone who is both a commie (from russia) and a raghead (muslim) what’s the world coming to???

    PS: Sarcasm

  13. JKB says:

    @wr:

    Perhaps your comprehension is off. That was the bad.

    The hope should be that through data analysis, discriminating factors can be found that will provide better targeting. But if they acted alone, then links to known terrorist organizations isn’t going to be one of them.

    Now, you can return to your regularly scheduled psychosis. BTW, what color is the sky in your world?

  14. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    As far as I an tell, neither of these guys worked. The raw material had to cost something, didn’t it?

    Sure the raw material cost something, but not very much. They could have done some odd jobs, they could have gotten money from relatives, or they could have funded it with student loans.

    Doing what they did isn’t very expensive.

    In a prior edition, a section titled “How to Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom” included a how-to manual on simple steps to make pipe bombs and pressure cooker bombs, noting: “the pressurized cooker is the most effective method,” and to “place the device in a crowded area.” And it’s all done with common household ingredients.

    Barry said he could “go out and purchase everything you need within 45 minutes” for $75.

    The most likely paid more for the ammo they had, but then that purchase really isn’t something you need financial backing by some terrorist organization for either.

    Now, they may have gotten the plans from Inspire magazine, but bomb making recipes predates Al-Qaeda by decades.

  15. PJ says:

    @matt bernius:

    Is Muslim crazy different than James Holmes or Jared Loghner crazy?

    Its very different.
    Muslim crazy comes from being Muslim, so it’s dormant in all Muslims, which is why every Muslim should be deported ASAP.
    White Christian crazy comes from failed liberal policies and thus those policies should be exchanged for conservative policies, there’s nothing wrong with the Christian religion.

  16. matt bernius says:

    @PJ:
    To be fair, neither Loghner or Holmes were motivated by Religion.

    But its clear that both of them had extreme secular belief systems (aka schizophrenia) the definitely motivated their particular actions.

  17. PJ says:

    @matt bernius:

    But its clear that both of them had extreme secular belief systems

    aka liberal policies.
    If they had the fear of God (the, true, Christian God, accept no substitutes), in them, they would never had done what they did.

  18. grumpy realist says:

    You could take every single screech out of Pam Gellar and those nitwits, replace the word “Muslim” by the term “Jew”, and you would have something out of 1930s Germany. I suppose this is another example of the aphorism of history’s tragedies repeating themselves as farce.

  19. Caj says:

    @Chris:

    Name calling groups of people who are not like you tells me all I need to know about your mindset! Shallow & bigoted!

  20. Matt says:

    @John Burgess: The bombs were definitely under $300. The guns on the other hand are about impossible to guess as they were illegally bought and the prices can vary greatly in that situation. I agree that they likely paid more for ammo then they did for the bomb materials.

  21. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @matt bernius: Perhaps a more pertinent example would be Eric Rudolph crazy.