Tsarnaev Admits Bombings, Blames Brother

Fresh details of questioning, court hearing emerge
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2013 4:48 AM CDT
Updated Apr 23, 2013 7:57 AM CDT
This image was taken approximately 10-20 minutes before the Boston blasts shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, left, and his brother Tamerlan.   (AP Photo/Bob Leonard)

(Newser) – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has confessed to the Boston Marathon bombings, but told interrogators that his dead brother was the driving force behind the attacks, a government source tells CNN. The 19-year-old, who has been charged with using weapons of mass destruction and told he could face the death penalty, is being questioned in the presence of doctors every few hours. He has told investigators that he and his brother acted alone, without the involvement of any Islamic terrorist groups, though officials say the pair's religion motivated the attacks. The Tsarnaev brothers got bomb-making instructions off the Internet, adds NBC.

Tsarnaev's gunshot wounds have left him barely able to speak, but he communicated mostly by nodding during a court hearing held in his hospital room, the New York Times reports. He spoke only once, to say "no" when asked if he could afford a lawyer, according to a transcript. "I find that the defendant is alert, mentally competent, and lucid. He is aware of the nature of the proceedings," the judge said, setting Tsarnaev's next court date for May. (Read more Dzhokhar Tsarnaev stories.)

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