Payback. Suspected Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev left a message for authorities in the boat where he thought he would spend his last hours on earth: He and his brother Tamerlan planted the bombs at the Boston Marathon on April 15 as payback for U.S. wars in Muslim lands. In the message, the surviving brother said an attack on one Muslim is an attack on all. The note makes clear Tsarnaev did not expect to survive—he said he would not miss his brother because he would soon be joining him. Tsarnaev’s plans unraveled when the boat’s owner discovered him and called police. Tsarnaev was taken into custody shortly afterward. He had suffered four gunshot wounds and remains in a prison hospital, where he is said to be recovering. But authorities have not released any information about his condition in weeks. One of the bullets hit him in the neck, and the damage initially prevented him from speaking to investigators, although he did give them several written statements about the attack and the motivation behind it.
The blame game. Attorney General Eric Holder is losing friends, fast. Although Republicans are leading the charge against Holder over several scandals that erupted on his watch, the Associated Press phone records debacle could be the last straw for Democrats. During hearings Wednesday, Democrats questioned Holder on whether his department’s actions had impaired the First Amendment. Holder’s waning support could make him an easy scapegoat for the Obama administration, which is anxious to deflect blame for the mounting evidence of a pattern of mismanagement and shady activity. Democratic legislators haven’t yet called for Holder’s resignation, but liberal commentators are starting to. Holder claims he recused himself from the investigation and therefore isn’t really responsible.
Texas twister. A massive tornado ripped through north Texas Wednesday night, killing six people and injuring dozens more. The mile-wide twister left a path of destruction that included flattened houses and mangled mobile homes. Initial estimates indicated 110 homes near Granbury, southwest of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, were destroyed. Most of the neighborhood hit hardest was constructed by Habitat for Humanity during the last five years. Two local churches set up shelters for the displaced. The national weather service will conduct an investigation to determine the storm’s strength, but forecasters said they believe it will rank as an EF-4 on the Fujita Scale of Tornado Intensity, with wind speeds between 166 and 200 mph.
Bomb attack. Four American contractors and two soldiers died in a suicide car bombing in Afghanistan Thursday. An Islamic militant group, Hizb-e-Islami, claimed responsibility, saying its new “martyrdom” unit stalked the convoy for weeks. The group, based in northeastern Afghanistan, is a Taliban rival but has joined in attacks against the American-led coalition. So far this month, 18 members of the coalition force have died in Afghanistan, making it the deadliest month of the year already. Officials say the blast also killed nine Afghan civilians, but the damage was so severe, the death toll could rise.