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Bombings suspect described plot

Tsarnaev acknowledged role to FBI before miranda rights warning

By Rodrique Ngowi, Lara Jakes and Matt Apuzzo

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, April 24 2013 10:34 p.m. MDT

Antonio DaSilva, of Woburn, Mass., cleans a mark made on the entrance to a building on Boylston Street in Boston, Wednesday, April 24, 2013. Businesses opened and traffic was allowed to flow all the way down Boylston Street on Wednesday morning for the first time since two explosions at the Boston Marathon on April 15. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Associated Press

BOSTON — The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings acknowledged to the FBI his role in the attacks but did so before he was advised of his constitutional rights to keep quiet and seek a lawyer, officials said Wednesday.

It is unclear whether those statements before the Miranda rights warning would be admissible in a criminal trial and, if not, whether prosecutors even need them to win a conviction. Officials said physical evidence, including a 9 mm handgun and pieces of a remote-control device commonly used in toys, was recovered from the scene.

The suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, told authorities that his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, only recently recruited him to be part of the attack, two U.S. officials said. The CIA, however, named Tamerlan to a terrorist database 18 months ago, officials said Wednesday, an acknowledgment that will undoubtedly prompt congressional inquiry about whether investigators took warnings from Russian intelligence officials seriously enough.

The U.S. officials who spoke to The Associated Press were close to the investigation but insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case with reporters.

Tamerlan, whom authorities have described as the driving force behind the plot, was killed in a shootout with police. Dzhokhar is recovering in a hospital from injuries sustained during a getaway attempt.

Authorities had previously said Dzhokhar exchanged gunfire with them for more than an hour Friday night before they captured him inside a boat covered by a tarp in a suburban Boston neighborhood backyard. But two U.S. officials said Wednesday that he was unarmed when captured, raising questions about the gunfire and how he was injured.

More than 4,000 mourners at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology paid tribute to a campus police officer who authorities say was gunned down by the bombing suspects.

Among the speakers in Cambridge, just outside Boston, was Vice President Joe Biden, who condemned the bombing suspects as "two twisted, perverted, cowardly, knockoff jihadis."

Investigators have said the brothers appeared to have been radicalized through jihadist materials on the Internet and have found no evidence tying them to a terrorist group.

Dzhokhar told the FBI that they were angry about the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the killing of Muslims there, officials said.

The suspects' parents, Anzor Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, plan to fly to the U.S. from Russia on Thursday, the father was quoted as telling the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. The family has said it wants to take Tamerlan's body back to Russia.

In Russia, U.S. investigators traveled to the predominantly Muslim province of Dagestan and were in contact with the brothers' parents, hoping to gain more information.

At MIT, bagpipes wailed as students, faculty and staff members and throngs of law enforcement officials paid their respects to MIT police Officer Sean Collier, who was ambushed in his cruiser three days after the bombing.

The line of mourners stretched for a half-mile. They had to make their way through tight security, including metal detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs.

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