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April 25, 2013

Officials: Suspect told of plot before Miranda

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 yesterday.

It is unclear whether those statements 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 yesterday, 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 yesterday that he was unarmed when captured, raising questions about the gunfire and how he was injured.

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.

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