In the hours before Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged with the Boston Marathon bombings, the accused terrorist started to provide his version of events.
The 19-year-old college student reportedly told investigators the whole attack was devised from the Internet, with no outside direction or financing.
Unless you subscribe to some Boston bombing conspiracy, this looks more and more like the work of two young men, not a complex global plot.
Officials tell ABC News they believe foreign-born brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were inspired by Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki.
The charismatic American-born radical jihadist has been dead now for more than a year, but his online preachings may have resonated with the brothers.
They reportedly used instructions from an al Qaeda Internet magazine to make the pressure cooker bombs that killed three and injured 170 more.
And Dzhokhar, the younger of the brothers, may not have even known about the plot until a week or so before the attack, sources told ABC News.
Seth Jones, a counter-terror expert at the RAND Corporation, said the simplicity and home grown origins may be the most chilling aspects of the attack.
“This is kind of the al Qaeda modus operandi now, not relying only on operatives, but trying to get people do it yourself radicalization to build their own bombs,” he said.
“They ad-libbed part of it and made some decisions on a few elements of the bomb making but what’s different about this is they took a very simple recipe.”
Why the Boston Marathon?
“Because it was there, essentially, and easy. Not long in the planning.”
Authorities also said it is increasingly likely that the older of the brothers, Tamerlan, devised the plot and did most of the work in pulling it together.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died during a firefight with police early Friday morning. His wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, is also wanted for questioning.
“The older brother appeared to be the more radicalized of the two and was the one that drove the need to conduct the attack as well as the preparation,” Jones said.
As to what drove Tamerlan to violence, his younger brother has apparently told investigators it was his hatred of America, and its policies in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Officials say that they do not plan to take what the younger accused bomber has told them at face value thus far, and that the probe will continue.
“It would be in his interest to minimize his own role,” one official said.
But what the younger brother is reportedly telling police is consistent with what many who knew Tamerlan observed – disgust with things American and Christian.