According to an analysis by the government’s Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC), suspected terrorists Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev “closely” followed bomb-making instructions found in an online al Qaeda magazine.
TEDAC analyzed bombs that were exploded at the Boston Marathon and during a shootout between the suspects and Watertown police officers and determined the bombs resembled those described in an article titled, “How to Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.”
That article, which appeared in the first edition of Inspire, the al Qaeda Jihad magazine, described using “elbow pipe wrapped in black tape” to make pipe bombs, which the suspected terrorists did.
According to the unclassified report NBC News obtained, the “use of elbow pipes specifically is unique and rare in other extremist and anarchist literature.”
According to the TEDAC analysis, the magazine also detailed how to make pressure cooker bombs. The bombs the suspected terrorists allegedly detonated match the Inspire designs “in their use of spherical shrapnel and gunpowder from fireworks,” possible use of “Christmas tree lights as an initiator,” and use of “fireworks and spherical shrapnel.”
In addition, the explosive devices “used glue to secure the shrapnel,” as was described in the al Qaeda magazine.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year old suspected terrorist who was captured alive, reportedly told law enforcement authorities from his hospital bed that he and his brother learned how to make bombs from the al Qaeda magazine.
TEDAC’s analysis also determined, though, that the bombs diverged from the Inspire designs because they used “a fusing system that used parts from a toy car,” something which was not mentioned in the magazine.
Inspire magazine was launched in 2010 by al Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate; it reportedly contained articles encouraging terrorists to conduct “open source” jihad and urged Westerners to mount “lone wolf” attacks using homemade bombs.