Boston Suspects First Planned Attack for July 4

But they built their bombs too fast: reports
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2013 8:27 PM CDT
Boston Suspects First Planned Attack for July 4
This combo of photos shows the Tsarnaev brothers at the Boston Marathon.   (AP Photo/FBI)

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told investigators that he and his brother originally planned their attack for July 4th—but they built their bombs so quickly that they moved the mission up to the day of the Boston Marathon, reports outlets including the New York Times, Boston Globe, and CBS News. All of the accounts are based on anonymous law-enforcement officials. Dzhokhar reportedly said the brothers first wanted to attack Boston's July 4th celebration on the Charles River. But when the bomb-making went so smoothly in Tamerlan's Cambridge apartment, they drove around the city casing police departments to attack, says the Globe. Eventually they settled on the marathon—Patriots' Day in the state.

The brothers kicked around the idea of being suicide bombers but opted for pressure cookers instead, according to the Times. Dzhokhar also revealed that the brothers watched sermons by Anwar al-Awlaki over the Internet, but there is no evidence that they communicated directly with the radical US-born cleric before his death in 2011. Meanwhile, the Tsarnaev family has claimed Tamerlan's body. (More Boston Marathon bombing stories.)

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