Police: Bomb Suspects Planned Other Attacks

1:09 PM, Apr 21, 2013   |    comments
People gather at a makeshift memorial for victims near the site of the Boston Marathon bombings on Saturday. (Photo: Mario Tama, Getty Images)
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(USA Today) -- Investigators are still waiting to interrogate Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in last week's Boston Marathon bombing, as the hunt for a motive intensifies.

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis told CBS' Face the Nation today that the 19-year-old is in serious condition and that there have been no attempts to interview him.

Davis also said police believe Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed in a firefight with police Friday, "were going to attack other individuals."

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was captured Friday after a dramatic manhunt that paralyzed Boston and its suburbs, is under heavy guard in a Boston hospital. The FBI said Sunday that Tsarnaev remains in serious condition.

The brothers' uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, told the Associated Press that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was "used" by his older brother to carry out the bombing. "He's not been understanding anything," Tsani said. "He's a 19-year-old boy."

The Tsarnaev family are ethnic Chechens who came to the United States from Kyrgyzstan and Dagestan.

Tsarni also told AP that his relationship with his nephews deteriorated several years ago when Tamerlan Tsarnaev "started carrying all this nonsense associated with religion, with Islamic religion" and began using words such as "jihad" without really understanding their meaning.

Reps. Peter King and Michael McCaul, Republican members of the House Homeland Security Committee, want federal officials to explain why Tamerlan Tsarnaev was released by the FBI after it questioned him in 2011 at the request of Russia's government.

Also drawing scrutiny: Tamerlan Tsarnaev's trip to Russia last year and whether he returned with more radical political and religious views.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev's travel to Russia last year indicated that he used an alias while traveling there.

Rogers said on NBC's Meet the Press that while the elder suspect's six-month trip would be the subject of review, he did not believe the FBI had failed to detect suspicious behavior when the Russian government asked the bureau to review Tsarnaev's activities before his 2012 Russian trip.

"I don't think they missed anything,'' he said.

Anwar Kazmi, a board member of Islamic Society of Boston, told the AP that Tamerlan Tsarnaev interrupted a sermon about three months ago when the imam compared Martin Luther King Jr. to the prophet Muhammed. Kazmi said Tsarnaev objected to the comparison.

A dispute over federal officials' plans to question Dzhokhar Tsarnaev without reading him his Miranda rights also is taking shape.

In a statement released Saturday, the American Civil Liberties Union said interrogations without advising a suspect of his right to avoid self-incrimination "is not an open-ended exception." A public-safety exception allows authorities to question suspects only when the public may be in immediate danger.

"We must not waver from our tried-and-true justice system, even in the most difficult times," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero.

The federal public defender's office in Massachusetts will represent Tsarnaev. Miriam Conrad, the state's public defender, said a lawyer should be appointed quickly because there are "serious issues regarding possible interrogation."

Three people were killed and more than 180 were injured when two bombs exploded April 15 near the Boston Marathon finish line.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press that surveillance video shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev putting a backpack down at the marathon bombing site. Patrick said the video is "pretty clear about his involvement and pretty chilling, frankly."

Patrick also said that while "a lot'' of questions remained unanswered, there is no evidence of additional devices or that others were plotting more attacks. "There is no basis for concern about another imminent threat,'' he said.

Other developments:

• Tsegaye Kebede won the London Marathon today amid increased security measures. A moment of silence for the Boston victims preceded the races, and many runners wore black armbands as a sign of solidarity.

• A vigil was held in Wilmington, Mass., Saturday for an MIT police officer authorities say was shot and killed by the Tsarnaev brothers. Sean Collier, 26, was shot in his police cruiser Thursday night.

• Transit police officer Richard Donohue, 33, remains hospitalized after he was seriously wounded in a gun battle with the suspects.

• After a tense week, life was returning to normal in Boston. Some sports events were canceled Friday as a safety precaution, but on Saturday the Red Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3. Red Sox players autographed jerseys that were auctioned to benefit One Fund Boston, which will benefit bombing victims.

Massachusetts State Police said the Copley Square exit of the Massachusetts Turnpike, the exit nearest the heart of the blast, would open this afternoon. The ramp had been closed since Monday.

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