BOSTON (AP) — 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 right to keep quiet and seek a lawyer, U.S. officials said
Once Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was read his rights on Monday, he immediately stopped talking, according to four officials of both political parties who were briefed on the interrogation but insisted on anonymity because the briefing was private.
After roughly 16 hours of questioning, investigators were surprised when a magistrate judge and a representative from the U.S. Attorney's office entered the hospital room and read Tsarnaev his rights, the four officials and one law enforcement official said.
Investigators had planned to keep questioning him.
It is unclear whether any of this will matter in court since the FBI says
Tsarnaev confessed to a witness and U.S. officials said
Wednesday that physical evidence, including a 9 mm handgun and pieces of a remote-control device commonly used in toys, was recovered from the scene.
But the debate over whether suspected terrorists should be read their Miranda rights has become a major sticking point in the debate over how best to fight terrorism. Many Republicans, in particular, believe Miranda warnings are designed to build court cases, and only hinder intelligence gathering.
Christina DiIorio Sterling, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, said in an email, "This remains an ongoing investigation and we don't have any further comment."
Before being advised of his rights, the 19-year-old suspect told authorities
that his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, only recently had recruited him to be part of the attack, two U.S. officials said.
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