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Bombing suspects originally plotted July 4 attack

BOSTON -- The brothers suspected in the bombing of the Boston Marathon initially envisioned themselves as suicide bombers who would strike on the Fourth of July, according to a new report.

Two law enforcement officials told The New York Times that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, who survives, admitted the plans two days after he was captured in a suburban Boston backyard on April 19.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev also confessed that he and his older brother had watched online sermons of radical American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki before carrying out the attacks, according to the Times sources.

The Tsarnaev brothers moved up the date of the attack to April 15, Patriot Day in Boston, when they finished making their pressure-cooker bombs ahead of schedule, according to the officials. The paper said the bombs were assembled in the Cambridge, Mass., apartment of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a shootout with police.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body had lain unclaimed, but Boston Department of Public Safety spokesman Terrel Harris said a funeral home retained by the 26-year-old's family picked up the remains Thursday afternoon.

He said he had no more information about plans for the remains.

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