Boston Marathon not Suspects' Original Target

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The Boston Marathon bombing plot continued to unravel Friday. Authorities say the surviving suspect, Dzhokhar "Johar" Tsarnaev, told investigators that the original target was a Boston Fourth of July celebration.

But he and his brother, Tamerlan, finished building their bombs sooner than expected. That's when they decided to attack the marathon instead.

Also, in another development in the case, federal agents say they've recovered Johar's laptop.

Three of Johar's friends - Azamat Tazhayakov , Dias Kadyrbayev, and Robell Phillipose - have been accused of throwing away and withholding evidence and information. But one of their attorneys says his client handed the laptop over the first time agents came to see him.

"I'm not sure a 19-year-old college student understands the gravity of a situation like this. And they did not intentionally or knowingly destroy evidence," Robert Stahl, lawyer for Kadyrbayev, said.

The three friends face a maximum sentence of between five and eight years in jail if convicted.

Meanwhile, investigators have uncovered a new link to radical Islamic terrorists.

Johar confessed that he and his brother watched internet sermons of American al Qaeda cleric, Anwar al Awlaki.

Also, authorities continue to investigate a 2012 trip Tamerlan took to Dagestan, Russia. They say he met with known Islamist militants while he was there.

Feds are also investigating a post bomb phone call Tamerlan made to his wife, Katherine Russell. She denies having any knowledge of the attacks.

Tamerlan's body was released Thursday to family members. Officials say the cause of death won't become public until a death certificate is filed.

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CBN News
Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at