In a statement Monday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder detailed the charge against 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
The charge carries a possible death sentence.
Tsarnaev made his initial court appearance in his room in Beth Israel hospital. He is listed in serious but stable condition.
Officials say Tsarnaev and his older brother set off the twin explosions at Monday's marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 180 others.
WH: Suspect won't be tried as enemy combatant
The White House says the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing will not be tried as an enemy combatant in a military tribunal.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be prosecuted in the federal court system.
Tsarnaev is a naturalized U.S. citizen. Carney says that under U.S. law U.S. citizens cannot be tried in military commissions. Carney says that since Sept. 11, 2001, the federal court system has been used to convict and incarcerate hundreds of terrorists.
Tsarnaev, 19, and his older brother and suspected co-conspirator, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, were born in southern Russia.
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