Did the Boston bombing suspects have outside help?
Alleged Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev likely knew more about bomb making than they could have learned from an al Qaeda magazine, according to a government document obtained by ABC News which suggests the brothers may have had outside help.
Now investigators are scrutinizing Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s six month trip to Russia to determine whether the 26-year-old, who was killed on April 18, received technical training to carry out the deadly bombing.
After his capture, Dzhokhar, 19, allegedly told investigators that the brothers read the instructions in Inspire, an online, English-language magazine that terror monitoring groups say al Qaeda began publishing in 2010.
The magazine has twice included articles on building bombs with kitchen pressure cookers, which were used in the Boston Marathon attack.
On Friday, Dzhokhar was relocated to Devens Federal Medical Center, a prison hospital 40 miles from Boston. Until then he was at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where some bombing victims were being treated. He is recovering from gunshot wounds and is reportedly in fair condition.
In the meantime, the suspects’ father, Anzor, has abandoned plans to travel to the U.S. to bury Tamerlan and help defend Dzhokhar.
“I am not going back to the United States. For now I am here. I am ill,” Tsarnaev said yesterday. “Unfortunately I can’t help my child in any way. I am in touch with Dzhokhar’s and my own lawyers. They told me they would let me know (what to do),” he said.
The suspects’ mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, told reporters last week that not only are her sons innocent, but that the marathon bombings may have been staged.
“I saw a very, very interesting video last night that the marathon was something, like, a really big play. There is like paint instead of blood,” Tsarnaeva told CNN during an interview from her home in Dagestan. When asked if she believed the whole thing is a show, she said “That’s what I want to know, because everyone is talking about it. That this is a show.”
According to the Associated Press, government officials say Tsarnaeva was put on the federal terrorism database 18 months ago.
Moscow alerted the CIA in 2011 that Zubeidat and her eldest son, Tamerlan, were religious militants about to travel to Russia. She has denied any connection to terrorism, and, along with Anzor, has adamantly maintained her sons’ innocence.
Tsarnaeva, who formerly worked as an aesthetician in the Boston-area, has a warrant out for her arrest for allegedly shoplifting $1,624 worth of women’s dresses from the Lord & Taylor department store at the Natick Mall. She has said she likely will not return to the United States.