Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has told investigators that he and his brother were not directed by a foreign terrorist organization.
Instead, the two were “self-radicalized” and motivated to kill, in part, by U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
The 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev admitted his role in the brutal terrorist attack to investigators questioning him in his hospital bed, the report said.
Tsarnaev, who has a gunshot wound to the throat and was sedated, responded in writing. He also suffered gunshot wounds to the head, neck, legs and hand.
Tsarnaev's condition is improving, the FBI said on Tuesday. The college student is now listed in fair condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
The update comes a day after Tsarnaev was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill, injure and cause widespread damage at the marathon.
Tsarnaev was informed of the charges and read his rights in his hospital room on Monday morning, and placed in the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service.
If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Three people were killed and more than 200 others wounded when two powerful homemade bombs exploded near the race’s finish line last Monday.
Dzhokhar and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed by police as the two attempted to avoid capture, are suspected of the crime.
Tamerlan was an ardent reader of jihadist propaganda, officials said, suggesting the brothers were motivated by an anti-American, radical version of Islam.
Meanwhile, U.S. investigators traveled to southern Russia on Tuesday to speak to the parents of the brothers, a U.S. Embassy official told the AP.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the suspects, and their father, Anzor, reside in Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim province in Russia's Caucasus.
After the bombings, Anzor said he believed the brothers were set up and called Dzhokhar a "true angel." The brothers' aunt also said they were framed.
Family members are not the only ones expressing doubt. Many Twitter users have been expressing support for Dzhokhar using the hashtag #freejahar.
Just as the Boston bombing conspiracy theorists who claim that the attacks were staged, support for Dzhokhar has been fervent despite his confession.
A Change.org petition to "guarantee Dzhokhar Tsarnaev the right to a fair trial," addressed to President Barack Obama, has more than 6,000 supporters.