Marathon bombing probe expands in Boston, overseas

Three associates of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the bombings at the Boston Marathon last month, were accused on Wednesday of interfering with the investigation into the attack:

The friends were identified in a federal complaint as Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both 19-year-olds from Kazakhstan who were in the United States on student visas, and Robel Phillipos, 19, of Cambridge, Mass. All are current or former students at U-Mass.-Dartmouth.

The two Kazakhs were accused of removing a laptop computer and a backpack containing empty fireworks from Tsarnaev’s dorm room and throwing them in a dumpster after learning of his suspected involvement in the bombing. Phillipos was charged with lying to federal investigators. . .

Attorneys for the three said outside the courthouse that their clients had nothing to do with the bombing and had cooperated fully with the investigation. (Read more about the charges here.)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also looking into whether Tsarnaev’s older brother Tamerlan met with foreign militants during a trip to Russia. Investigators believe Tamerlan, killed in a confrontation with police, perpetrated the bombing along with his brother.

On Tuesday, officials announced plans to review how the federal government handled intelligence about the Tsarnaev brothers before the bombing. Intelligence and law enforcement agencies said they would conduct a review, and the House Homeland Security Committee is planning a hearing:

Inspectors general for the intelligence community, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security will take part in the review. . .

“As our nation recovers, it is imperative that we understand what happened, what signs may have been missed and what we can improve,” Homeland Security Committee chairman Michael McCaul (R-Tex.) said in a statement.

For past coverage of the bombing and the investigation, continue reading here.

Max Ehrenfreund is a blogger on the Financial desk and writes for Know More and Wonkblog.
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