Huge breaking news in the Boston Marathon case, as CBS News reports, “The Boston police department says three additional suspects have been taken into custody in connection with last month???s marathon bombings.”
The Boston police department announced the news via Twitter:
Three additional suspects taken into custody in Marathon bombing case. Details to follow.
??? Boston Police Dept. (@Boston_Police) May 1, 2013
Update: More information, courtesy of CBS News:
John Miller reports three suspects arrested for harboring or aiding the Tsarnaev brothers after the bombing; federal charges expected
??? CBS News (@CBSNews) May 1, 2013
More, from CNN:
A Department of Homeland security source with first-hand knowledge of the investigation, said two of them are students from New Bedford, Massachusetts. They have been arrested on charges of making false statements to investigators and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
A third student had been arrested who is a U.S. citizen, the source said.
NBC News sources say the three students under arrest “are suspected of removing items from the dorm room of Dzokhar Tsarnaev.”
“Please be advised there is no threat to the public,” the Boston police added in a follow-up Tweet.
Update: Reuters reports some evidence might have been destroyed:
Authorities investigating if classmates threw away some kind of knapsack at request of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tsarnaev #breaking
??? Reuters US News (@ReutersUS) May 1, 2013
Update: The Boston Globe had a report this morning about two foreign students in hot water with immigration authorities, who appear to be two of the people arrested this afternoon:
Two Kazakh men associated with the alleged Boston Marathon bombers went before a federal immigration judge this morning on allegations they violated their student visas.
The men were detained for civil immigration violations after authorities questioned them about their possible connection to Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who allegedly detonated two bombs at the Boston Marathon last month, killing three people and injuring more than 200. The brothers also allegedly murdered MIT Police Officer Sean Collier.
The two men, Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, came to America from the Central Asian nation to study at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was also enrolled.
CBS News in Boston has said Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov are the names of two of the suspects under arrest.
Update: Some amazing details from Pete Doocy of Fox News:
We have learned that after marathon bombings, while Tsarnaev bros were on the run, 3 new suspects removed computers, etc from Dzhokhar’s apt
??? Peter Doocy (@pdoocy) May 1, 2013
Wow. 1 of 3 new suspects, Kadyrbayev, texted Tsarnaev to say he looked like bombing suspect after FBI photo release. Dzhokhar’s reply: “lol”
??? Peter Doocy (@pdoocy) May 1, 2013
Update: Following a formal press conference and the release of affadavits, the story looks like this, according to Fox News:
Dias Kadyrbayev, Azamat Tazhayakova and Robel Phillipos, all described as friends of Tsarnaev at UMass-Dartmouth, allegedly went to Tsarnaev’s dorm and took a laptop, the backpack and some Vaseline that may have been used in making the deadly pressure cooker bombs that killed three and injured more than 200 at the race. The affidavit filed in support of a complaint said Kadyrbayev was the one who carried out the disposal of the backpack.
“Kadyrbayev knew when he saw the empty fireworks that Tsarnaev was involved in the Marathon bombing,” the affidavit reads. “Kadyrbayev decided to remove the backpack from the room in order to help his friend Tsarnaev avoid trouble.”
The three acted on April 18, three days after the bombing and hours after investigators aired surveillance footage identifying Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan as the suspects in the bombing, though not by name, according to authorities. Phillipos first saw footage depicting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the news Thursday, and told Kadyrbayev over the phone that he suspected their friend was the bomber. When Kadyrbayev later texted Tsarnaev and said he bore a resemblance to the subject of an intense manhunt, Tsarnaev allegedly sent back a chilling response: “Lol, You better not text me.”
The exchange came just before 9 p.m. on April 18, a few hours before the Tsarnaev brothers would carjack a Chinese immigrant, murder an MIT police officer and engage in a wild shootout with police through the streets of Cambridge and Watertown, police say.
It looks like Philipos cracked first, fessing up to the trio’s obstruction of justice during his fourth police interview.
The consulate of Kazakhstan is reportedly helping with legal representation for Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov – who, according to a consular representative, are “shocked at the bombings” and “express sorrow to the bombing victims and their families.” To quote the texts between Dzhokar Tsarnaev and Kadyrbayev: “LOL!”
Update: Yes indeed, it’s time to talk about “comprehensive immigration reform,” but the comprehensive reforms we need have nothing to do with amnesty for illegal aliens. From the Associated Press:
One of three college students arrested Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombings case was allowed to return to the United States from Kazakhstan in January despite not having a valid student visa, a federal law enforcement official told The Associated Press.
Authorities charged the student ??? a friend and classmate of one of the men accused of setting off the deadly explosions ??? with helping after the attacks to remove a laptop and backpack from the bombing suspect’s dormitory room before the FBI searched it.
The disclosure was another instance of possible lapses by the federal government in the months before the Boston bombings. The Obama administration earlier this week announced an internal review of how U.S. intelligence agencies shared sensitive information and whether the government could have disrupted the attack. Republicans in Congress have promised oversight hearings starting next week.
Maybe before we write a huge pile of new immigration laws, we should start enforcing those already on the books.