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A U.S. government source tells CNN that in preliminary interviews with the Boston Marathon terrorist attack bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has told law enforcement that no foreign terrorist groups were involved in the incident; there was an online component to their radicalization - through watching videos, not through online communication; and that older brother, Tamerlan, was the driving force behind the planning and execution of the attacks.
Tamerlan's motivation was that of jihadist thought, the source says, with its religious and political motivations, the idea that Islam is under attack and jihadists need to fight back.
The source adds according to these preliminary interviews the brothers seem to fit into the classification of self-starters, self-radicalized jihadists.
The government source cautions that this is just what the suspect is saying in these preliminary interviews, and that all of his claims need to be checked out and followed up by investigators.
The U.S. government has been reluctant to accept Russia's assertion that Chechnya is a breeding ground for extremists - U.S. officials believe Russia is trying to drag the U.S. into its war. The skepticism may have played a role in how Russia's warning about Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was handled. The FBI interviewed Tsarnaev in 2011, but says it found no terrorism activity at the time. It appears the bureau did not follow up after Tsarnaev spent six months in Chechnya and Dagestan in 2012.
"We know that Chechnya is a breeding ground for extremists, but it's mostly been extremists who were targeting Russians," said former State Department coordinator for counterterrorism Daniel Benjamin.
At issue is the historic relationship with the FSB, the successor of the KGB, and the FBI, added Benjamin.
Sources say a bullet wound in the neck is preventing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from voicing what could have possibly been going through his mind one week ago, when he and his brother allegedly bombed the Boston Marathon.
We do know that he has regained at least some consciousness. Sources tell CNN that investigators have been questioning him since yesterday, and that Tsarnaev is communicating through writing. It is not clear what he has told authorities.
"People are focused on what he may be able to say, but there's also a lot of work going on by the federal authorities," said Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. "I'm sure what he is saying, if he is saying anything, is important but it's not the only piece of the investigation."
Long before the world knew of his brutality, the boxing community here in Boston took note of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. He fought in bouts all over town and tournaments around the country, even competing in the 2009 Golden Gloves championships.
Tsarnaev told one interviewer he aspired to box on the U.S. Olympic team, but that dream stalled after his petition for citizenship was denied.
The White House said Monday that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev would not be tried as an enemy combatant, adding that the Boston Marathon bombing suspect will be prosecuted through the U.S. civilian system of justice, where the administration has had success in the past.
"Since 9/11 we have used the federal court system to convict and incarcerate hundreds of terrorists," White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday.
"It's actually a no-brainer on so many levels," says former DHS official Juliette Kayyem. "This is a strong case, so why would you abandon the normal system of criminal system, but for symbolic reasons?"