Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Latest Boston Marathon bombing updates: Attack initially planned for July 4th, suspect's remains claimed

Garrett Plath, right, holds a sign and Toni Zagami, left, wears a "Boston Strong" shirt as they stand outside the Dyer-Lake Funeral Home in North Attleborough, Mass, where a vehicle believed to be carrying the body of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev arrived, Thursday, May 2, 2013. About fifteen people from the area stood outside the funeral home in protest. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Garrett Plath, right, holds a sign and Toni Zagami, left, wears a "Boston Strong" shirt as they stand outside the Dyer-Lake Funeral Home in North Attleborough, Mass, where a vehicle believed to be carrying the body of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev arrived, Thursday, May 2, 2013. About fifteen people from the area stood outside the funeral home in protest. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Story Highlights
  • The marathon bombing was initially planned for July 4th.
  • Tsarnaev told interrogators the bombs were finished sooner than anticipated.
  • The July 4th attack was planned for Boston's celebration along the Charles River.

The bombing attack at the Boston Marathon was initially planned for Independence Day, according to news reports.

Surviving bomb suspect 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told interrogators that he and his brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan, finished building their bombs out of pressure cookers sooner than anticipated, the New York Times reports.

They then decided to go forward with an attack, rather than wait, and moved up the bombing to the April 15 Boston Marathon, Patriots' Day in Massachusetts.

The blasts at the finish line killed three people and wounded more than 260. Dzhokhar, who was apprehended after a massive manhunt, has been charged in the attacks and is in custody in a prison hospital. Tamerlan died after a gunbattle with police.

More coverage
  • Boston bombing on minds of Broad Street runners
  • The Fourth of July attack was planned for Boston's celebration along the Charles River, according to the Washington Post.

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev also told investigators that the brothers considered committing suicide bombings.

    Some investigators remain skeptical of his account, and doubt the brothers could have constructed the bombs in Tamerlan's Cambridge, Mass., apartment as quickly as Dzhokhar claims.

    "Maybe we will never know," one official told the Post. "This is the story that he is telling us."

    The brothers chose to attack the marathon only a day or two before the race, according to CNN.

    Law enforcement officials also told news outlets that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said the pair viewed online sermons by Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American cleric who was killed in a September 2011 drone strike in Yemen. There are no signs the brothers communicated with al-Awlaki.

    Tsarnaev made those disclosures to interrogators on April 21, two days after he was apprehended in a bloodied boat in Watertown, Mass., the Times reported. The FBI was allowed to question him during that time -- before he had been criminally charged and arraigned -- without notifying him of his constitutional right to remain silent under a 1984 Supreme Court decision.

    Suspect's remains claimed

    A funeral home has claimed Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body, meaning his cause of death could soon be released.

    A Department of Public Safety spokesman tells the Associated Press that a funeral home retained by the bomb suspect's family has picked up the remains.

    Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a gun fight with law enforcement; it is also believed that his brother ran him over in a vehicle trying to evade authorities. A medical examiner determined Tamerlan's cause of death Monday, but would not release it until his body was claimed and a death certificate filed.

    An uncle living in Maryland said the family would take Tamerlan's body.

    Television news stations and photographers captured people protesting at a funeral home where the body was originally taken. Police cars escorted the hearse.

    Families of Marathon victims to recieve more than $1 million each

    The families of people who died at the marathon or lost more than one limb will receive payments of "well over $1 million" each, the attorney overseeing the fund to benefit victims tells the Boston Globe.

    Kenneth Feinberg, the attorney, told the newspaper that the victims who lost one limb will likely receive payments of close to $1 million from The One Fund Boston.


    Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or ebabay@philly.com. Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.

    Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

    Emily Babay Philly.com staff
    Also on Philly.com
    Stay Connected