3 more charged in Boston attack case

They are Dzhokar's friends who removed his backpack containing fireworks,says FBI

Written by Associated Press | Boston | Published:May 2, 2013 1:02 am

Three college friends of the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect — Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — removed a backpack containing fireworks emptied of gunpowder from his university dormitory room three days after the attack,according to charges filed Wednesday.

Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev are charged with conspiring to obstruct justice. Robel Phillipos,an American,is charged with making false statements to federal investigators. The FBI affidavit says Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev agreed to get rid of the backpack at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth after concluding from news reports that Dzhokhar was one of the bombers. A court appearance for the three was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev — both natives of Kazakhstan — have been held in jail for more than a week on allegations that they violated their student visas while attending college. Linda Cristello,the attorney who represented them at a hearing on the immigration case Wednesday,confirmed earlier that they were facing separate federal charges.

All three men began attending UMass with Dzhokhar at the same time in 2011,the FBI affidavit says.

Authorities allege that on the night of April 18,after the FBI released photos of the bombing suspects and the three men suspected their friend was one of them,they went to Dzhokhar’s dorm room and noticed a backpack containing fireworks,which had been opened and emptied of powder.

The affidavit says Kadyrbayev told authorities the three men then “collectively decided to throw the backpack and fireworks into the trash because they did not want Dzhokhar to get into trouble.”

The affidavit also says that Kadyrbayev also decided to remove Dzhokhar’s laptop.

Family to claim Tamerlan’s body

Providence: Relatives of the deceased Boston Marathon bombing suspect will claim his body,uncle said. Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body has been at the medical examiner’s office in Massachusetts since he was killed last month. Amato DeLuca,the attorney for his widow,Katherine Russell,said in a statement Tuesday that his client and that she wants Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body released to the Tsarnaev family. “Of course,family members will take possession of the body,’’ Tamerlan’s uncle Ruslan Tsarni said on Tuesday night. AP

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