KAALtv.com

UPDATE: Lawyers say 2 Additional Boston Bombing Suspects Unaware of Planned Attack

Posted at: 05/01/2013 10:32 AM
Updated at: 05/01/2013 5:16 PM

BOSTON (AP) - Lawyers for two men charged with conspiring to obstruct justice in the Boston bombing case say their clients had no idea the attack was being planned.
    
The lawyers for Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev held a brief news conference Wednesday after their clients' initial court appearance.
    
Attorneys Robert Stahl and Harlan Protass say their clients were just as shocked as everyone else and didn't have anything to do with the attack.
    
They are accused of removing a backpack containing hollowed-out fireworks from suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's dorm room three days after the attack to keep him from getting into trouble.
    
A third man, Robel Phillipos, is charged with making false statements to federal investigators. He awaits a court appearance.
    
The three aren't accused of any direct involvement in the bombing. But according to court papers, the FBI said that about a month before the bombing, Tsarnaev told two of them that he knew how to make a bomb.

***********

BOSTON (AP) - Authorities say three college friends of the surviving Boston Marathon bomber didn't want him to get in trouble for it.
    
They say the three students concluded from news reports three days after the bombings that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was one of the bombers. According to court papers, they went to Tsarnaev's dorm room and found a backpack with fireworks that had been emptied of powder.
    
The FBI says the three removed the backpack and a laptop from the room, and went to an apartment to watch news reports featuring photographs of Tsarnaev.
    
According to the affidavit, one of the men told authorities that the three then decided together to "throw the backpack and fireworks into the trash because they did not want Tsarnaev to get into trouble."
    
Two of the men, from Kzakhstan, have been held in jail for more than a week on allegations that they violated their student visas.
    
The three aren't accused of any direct involvement in the bombing. But according to court papers, the FBI said that about a month before the bombing, Tsarnaev told two of them that he knew how to make a bomb.
    
***********   

BOSTON MARATHON-EXPLOSIONS: COURT
    
BOSTON (AP) - Two men who attended college with the Boston Marathon suspect and are charged with conspiring to obstruct justice have waived bail.
    
Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev appeared in court Wednesday and agreed to voluntarily detention.
    
Their next hearing is scheduled for May 14.
    
A third man, Robel Phillipos, is charged with making false statements to federal investigators. He awaits a court appearance.
    
An FBI affidavit says the three men removed bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's backpack from his dorm room at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth three days after the bombing.

***********

BOSTON MARATHON-MISSING VISA   
    
WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal law enforcement official says one of the students from Kazakhstan arrested Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombings was allowed to return to the United States this year despite not having a valid student visa. Authorities say that after the explosions he helped remove a laptop and backpack from the bombing suspect's dormitory room before the FBI searched it.
    
The official says Azamat Tazhayakov (AHZ'-maht tuh-ZAYE'-uh-kov) left the U.S. in December. Tazhayakov's student-visa status was terminated in early January after he was academically dismissed from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, the official says. Despite not having a valid student visa, Tazhayakov was allowed to re-enter the U.S. on Jan. 20.
    
The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss details of Tazhayakov's immigration status.

***********

BOSTON (AP) - Three men who attended college with the Boston Marathon suspect have been charged in connection with the case.
    
Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev are charged with conspiring to obstruct justice. A third man, Robel Phillipos, is charged with making false statements to federal investigators.
    
An FBI affidavit says the three men removed bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's backpack from his dorm room at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth three days after the bombing.
    
The affidavit says Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev agreed to get rid of it after concluding from news reports that Tsarnaev was one of the bombers.
    
A court appearance for the three is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

***********

BOSTON (AP) - A lawyer says two of the three people newly arrested in the Boston Marathon bombing case are men originally from Kazakhstan who were friendly with the main suspect.
    
Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev appeared via video for a visa violation hearing in immigration court in Boston on Wednesday.
    
Boston attorney Linda Cristello represented them and confirmed they now face separate federal charges and have a court appearance this afternoon related to the Boston Marathon bombing.
    
She says lawyers don't know what the charges are and won't until later.
    
The two have been held in a county jail for more than a week on allegations that they violated their student visas while attending the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is originally from Russia.

***********

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Two law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation say two of the three people newly arrested in the Boston Marathon bombing case are two men originally from Kazakhstan who were friendly with the main suspect.

   
Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev (appearing far left in the photo) appeared via video for a visa violation hearing in immigration court in Boston on Wednesday.
    
The officials who said they were in custody spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the investigation.
    
One of the officials said the third suspect was a man.
    
The two have been held in a county jail for more than a week on allegations that they violated their student visas while attending the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is originally from Russia.

WCVB, an ABC News affiliate station in Boston, is reporting a complaint has been sealed, but the allegation is that the three students helped the bombing suspects remove things from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's dorm room at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
 
According to a lawyer briefed on the case, the allegations also involve the three suspects disposing of a backpack full of fireworks that was in Tsarnaev's dorm room, which was done at the request of Tsarnaev sometime after the bombing, ABC News reports.

Boston attorney Linda Cristello represents the two suspects on immigration violations, according to WCVB. She confirmed they now face separate federal charges and have a court appearance this afternoon related to the Boston Marathon bombing.

Cristello said lawyers don't know what the charges are and won't until later.

The police department made the announcement in a Tweet Wednesday morning, saying more details would follow. Police spokeswoman Cheryl Fiandaca confirmed the tweet but referred all other questions to the FBI.

There is no threat to the public, according to a Boston police Tweet.
    
Three people were killed and more than 260 injured on April 15 when two bombs exploded near the finish line.
    
Suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a gunfight with police several days later. His brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured and lies in a hospital prison.
    
Tamerlan Tsarnaev's relatives will claim his body now that his wife has agreed to release it, an uncle said. Tsarnaev, 26, has been at the medical examiner's office in Massachusetts since he died after a gunfight with authorities more than a week ago.
    
Amato DeLuca, the Rhode Island attorney for his widow, Katherine Russell, said Tuesday that his client had just learned that the medical examiner was ready to release Tsarnaev's body and that she wants it released to his side of the family.
    
Police said Tsarnaev ran out of ammunition before his 19-year-old brother dragged his body under a vehicle while fleeing the scene. His cause of death has been determined but will not be made public until his remains are claimed.
    
"Of course, family members will take possession of the body," uncle Ruslan Tsarni of Maryland told The Associated Press on Tuesday night. "We'll do it. We will do it. A family is a family."
    
He would not elaborate. Tsarnaev's parents are still in Russia, but he has other relatives on his side of the family in the U.S., including Tsarni.
    
Tsarnaev's father, Anzor, announced plans last week to travel to the U.S. in the hope of burying his elder son, but he told the AP on Wednesday that those plans are off because he is suffering from bad headaches and high blood pressure. The 46-year-old Tsarnaev said he still hopes to go when he is feeling better.
    
Dzhokhar was wounded in the shootout with police as he and his brother made their getaway attempt. He is charged with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill, a crime that carries a potential death sentence.
    
Russian agents placed the older suspect under surveillance during a six-month visit to southern Russia last year, then scrambled to find him when he suddenly disappeared after police killed a Canadian jihadist, a security official told the AP.
    
U.S. law enforcement officials have been trying to determine whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev was indoctrinated or trained by militants during his visit to Dagestan, a Caspian Sea province that has become the center of a simmering Islamic insurgency.
    
The security official with the Anti-Extremism Center, a federal agency under Russia's Interior Ministry, confirmed the Russians shared their concerns. He said that Russian agents were watching Tsarnaev, and that they searched for him when he disappeared two days after the July 2012 death of the Canadian man, who had joined the Islamic insurgency in the region. The official spoke only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media.
    
Security officials suspected ties between Tsarnaev and the Canadian - an ethnic Russian named William Plotnikov - according to the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, which is known for its independence and investigative reporting and cited an unnamed official with the Anti-Extremism Center, which tracks militants. The newspaper said the men had social networking ties that brought Tsarnaev to the attention of Russian security services for the first time in late 2010.
    
President Barack Obama said Tuesday at a news conference that the U.S. counterterrorism bureaucracy "did what it was supposed to be doing" before the Boston Marathon bombing as his top intelligence official began a review into whether sensitive information was adequately shared and whether the U.S. government could have disrupted the attack.
    
"We want to go back and we want to review every step that was taken," Obama said. "We want to leave no stone unturned. We want to see, is there in fact additional protocols and procedures that could be put in place that would further improve and enhance our ability to detect a potential attack."
    
In Rhode Island, DeLuca said Tamerlan Tsarnaev's widow met with law enforcement "for many hours over the past week" and will continue cooperating. FBI agents on Monday visited her parents' North Kingstown, R.I., home, where she has been staying, and carried away several bags.
    
"Katherine and her family continue to be deeply saddened by the harm that has been caused," DeLuca said Tuesday.
    
Terrel Harris, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said Tuesday evening that the state had not yet received Russell's request to release her husband's body.
    
He said arrangements must be made to release the body and once that happens a death certificate will be filed and the cause of death made public. He said it is too soon to speculate on when that might happen.
    
___
    
Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Michelle R. Smith in Providence; Lynn Berry in Moscow; Arsen Mollyaev in Makhachkala, Russia; and Eric Tucker, Alicia A. Caldwell, Eileen Sullivan and AP Intelligence Writer Kimberly Dozier in Washington.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Photo contributed by WCVB, of Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, left, with Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in New York City.