NPR : News

Reports: Boston Bombing Suspects Had Planned July 4 Attack

Another interesting thread has developed this evening in the narrative of the Boston bombings: The New York Times, CNN, Reuters, CBS, The Boston Globe and NBC are reporting that in an initial interrogation, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said he and his brother, Tamerlan, originally planned a suicide attack on July 4.

Now, keep in mind that these reports are being attributed to unnamed officials. The New York Times, which broke the story, originally sourced it to a single official and later to "two law enforcement officials." NPR has not independently confirmed these reports (read a note on how we cover these stories). The media outlets also report this information came out of an interrogation conducted before Tsarnaev was read his Miranda Rights.

The Times adds:

"The brothers finished building the bombs in Tamerlan's apartment in Cambridge, Mass., faster than they anticipated, and so decided to accelerate their attack to the Boston Marathon on April 15, Patriots' Day in Massachusetts, from July, according to the account that Dzhokhar provided authorities. They picked the finish line of the marathon after driving around the Boston area looking for alternative sites, according to this account.

"In addition, Mr. Tsarnaev has told authorities that he and his brother viewed the Internet sermons of Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American cleric who moved to Yemen and was killed in September 2011 by an American drone strike. There is no indication that the brothers communicated with Mr. Awlaki before his death."

CNN adds that the apartment where the bombs were built is the same one Tamerlan shared with his wife and child.

CBS News reports that an official tells them Dzhokhar said he was brought into the plot by his brother "a couple of months before" the bombing. The network offers a warning: "The official noted that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had said different things at different times and that it is all subject to investigation."

In other news, The Boston Globe reports that the body of Tamerlan — who died after a firefight with police — was claimed by his family.

Terrel Harris, a spokesman for the Massachusetts medical examiner's office, told the paper the body was picked up at 5:30 p.m. ET.

NPR's coverage of the April 15 bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 250 is collected here.

Note: As happens when stories such as this are developing, there will likely be reports that turn out to be mistaken. We will focus on news being reported by NPR, other news outlets with expertise, and statements from authorities who are in a position to know what's going on. And if some of that information turns out to be wrong, we'll update.

Take me to the top of this post.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit

WAMU 88.5

The Music And Legacy Of Motown

Motown founder Berry Gordy and director Charles Randolph-Wright of “Motown the Musical" join Diane for a conversation about the history of Detroit's famous sound.

WAMU 88.5

Will Montgomery County Go "Bottoms Up" On Liquor Laws?

Since Prohibition, Montgomery County has held the purse strings on liquor sales, meaning the county sells every drink from beer to bourbon to local bars and restaurants. But local business owners are pushing back from this system, claiming it lacks efficiency and leaves customers waiting. County officials say they are holding out for alternatives that protect those within the industry. We discuss both sides of the issue today.

WAMU 88.5

Exelon's Chief Strategy Officer On Its Proposed Takeover Of Pepco

Kojo chats with Exelon's chief strategy officer about the company's vision for electric service in the Washington region, and its argument for why its acquisition of Pepco is in the best interest of customers.

WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys And Gal

Another year is coming to a close and the Computer Guys And Gal are here to discuss this year's biggest technology news, including the growth of virtual reality and the "Internet of Things."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.