Investigators and lawmakers briefed by the FBI have said the Tsarnaev brothers — ethnic Chechens from Russia who had lived in the U.S. for about a decade — were motivated by anger over the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Based on the younger man’s interrogation and other evidence, authorities have said it appears so far that the brothers were radicalized via Islamic jihadi material on the Internet instead of any direct contact with terrorist organizations, but they warned that it is still not certain.
Dzhokhar was interrogated in his hospital room Sunday and Monday over a period of 16 hours without being read his rights to remain silent and have an attorney present.
He immediately stopped talking after a magistrate judge and a representative from the U.S. Attorney’s office entered the room and gave him his Miranda warning, according to a U.S. law enforcement official and others briefed on the interrogation.
Kelly and the mayor said they were briefed on the New York plot on Wednesday night by the task force investigating the Boston bombing.
With tens of millions of dollars in federal homeland security funding at stake, Bloomberg and Kelly have repeatedly sought to remind the public that New York remains at the top of terrorists’ wish list. They have said the city has been targeted in more than a dozen plots since 9/11.
Kelly said Dzhokhar was photographed in Times Square with friends in April 2012 and was in the city again in November 2012, but “we don’t know if those visits were related in any way to what he described as the brothers’ spontaneous decision to hit Times Square.”
He said the police intelligence division is trying to establish Dzhokhar’s movements in the city and determine who might have been with him.
Meanwhile, the Tsarnaev brothers’ father said he is leaving Russia for the U.S. in the next day or two, but their mother said she was still thinking it over.
Anzor Tsarnaev has expressed a desire to go to the U.S. to find out what happened with his sons, defend the hospitalized son and, if possible, bring the older son’s body back to Russia for burial.
Their mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, who was charged with shoplifting in the U.S. last summer, said she has been assured by lawyers that she would not be arrested, but was still deciding whether to go.