Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan, the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects, reportedly planned to mount their terrorist attack — which may have even included suicide bombs — on July 4, US Independence Day, apparently during the huge fireworks celebration along the Charles River in the city.
Dzhokhar allegedly told FBI investigators that they completed their preparations earlier than expected and thus began looking for another target, which tragically turned out to be the Marathon finish line on Patriots Day. The bombing attack killed three and injured more than 200 bystanders and runners.
Tamaerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother, died in a shootout with police in Watertown, Massachusetts, amidst a massive law enforcement manhunt last Friday, and Dzhokhar was apprehended hours later and is in federal custody. The younger Tsarnaev was captured hunkering down into the boat, which was sitting in the backyard of a Watertown, Massachusetts resident. He is now being held in a federal medical detention center at Fort Devens, about 40 miles west of Boston.
This latest development in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation about the possible July 4 threat comes from two unnamed law enforcement sources: “[T]he suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, told investigators that he and his brother, Tamerlan, 26, … ultimately decided to use pressure-cooker bombs and other homemade explosive devices … The brothers finished building the bombs in Tamerlan’s apartment in Cambridge, Mass., faster than they had anticipated, and so decided to accelerate their attack to the Boston Marathon on April 15, Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts, according to the account that Dzhokhar provided to authorities. They picked the finish line of the marathon after driving around the Boston area looking for alternative sites, according to this account.”
Some law enforcement officials have expressed skepticism about this latest version of events involving a claimed July 4 attack as told by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. “Maybe we will never know. This is the story that he is telling us.”