Boston terror suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev told his mom in text messages two years ago that he was willing to die for Islam.
Tsarnaev — accused of masterminding the Boston Marathon bombings — sent texts about dying for his religion as early as 2011, the FBI said in a closed Capitol Hill briefing, according to Fox News.
The revelation is yet another slice of insight into Tsarnaev, who died in a shootout with cops early Friday, as investigators and lawmakers delve deeper into his past looking for clues about his motives.
The FBI had monitored the 26-year-old in 2011 for possible terrorist ties. But even after a mysterious six-month sojourn to Russia in 2012, he fell off their radar.
Washington is now piecing together what happened and whether there were any unconnected dots buried in U.S. government files that, if connected, could have prevented last week's Boston bombing tragedy.
Tsarnaev is accused of carrying out the deadly plot with his 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar.
Bombing suspects Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, center right in black hat, and his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, center left in white hat, approximately 10-20 minutes before the blasts that struck the Boston Marathon on April 15.
Investigators initially interviewed Dzhohkar Tsarnaev, who was wounded and captured after a violent manhunt. But the teen reportedly stopped talking after a magistrate judge and a representative from the U.S. Attorney’s office entered his hospital room Monday to give him his Miranda warning.
There was confusion about when federal District Court Judge Marianne Bowler would arrive, and some investigators were concerned that her presence had sacrificed further information Dzhokhar Tsarnaev would have been willing to divulge, Fox News reported.
The FBI says he had confessed to helping carry out the April 15 bombing, which killed three people and wounded more than 260 others. But that was before he was read his Miranda rights, which means those statements may not be admissible in a criminal trial.
Regardless, authorities charged him Monday in the attack, and he could face the death penalty.
Authorities believe the older Tsarnaev was the driving force behind the bombing, and had grown increasingly more radical in his views after spending six months in Russia’s turbulent Caucasus region last year.
The brothers have roots in Dagestan and neighboring Chechnya but had lived in the U.S. for about a decade.
Boston Marathon bombing suspects Dzhokhar (back) and Tamerlan Tsarnaev are revealed in surveillance footage at the Boston Marathon on April 15.
How they might have financed the bombings, which employed two detonated pressure cookers near the race’s finish line, has also come into question.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a former competitive boxer, was a stay-at-home dad taking care of his young daughter.
It was also revealed Wednesday that he and his wife, Katherine Russell, had received welfare benefits up until last year, when he became ineligible based on family income. The state also says Tamerlan and his brother received welfare benefits as children through their parents while the family lived in Massachusetts.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, meanwhile, was studying at UMass-Dartmouth.
Investigators are looking into the possibility the brothers made cash selling marijuana, according to CBS News.
College friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said he was open about using pot, but at least one of them mentioned how he recently said he was no longer using drugs.