Suspect’s friends accused of removing evidence
WASHINGTON – Hours after the FBI released surveillance images of the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sent a college friend a hurried text message asking him to go to his dorm room and “take what’s there.”
“If yu want yu can go to my room and take what’s there,” he texted on April 18, three days after the bombing that killed three people and injured more than 260. Tsarnaev ended with “salam aleikum,” Arabic for “peace be upon you.”
According to a federal grand jury indictment issued Thursday in Boston, Dias Kadyrbayev showed the text to a mutual friend, Azamat Tazhayakov. The two allegedly went to Tsarnaev’s room at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and removed his laptop computer and a backpack containing fireworks, a jar of Vaseline, a thumb drive and other items, taking it all to their apartment in nearby New Bedford.
The indictment charges the two 19-year-old students from Kazakhstan with conspiracy to obstruct justice, and obstructing justice with the intent to impede the bombing investigation. If convicted, they each face up to 25 years in prison as well as deportation.
Kadyrbayev told Tazhayakov that he believed Tsarnaev had used the Vaseline “to make bombs,” or words to that effect, the indictment said.
The two stuffed the backpack in a black garbage bag and dropped it into a dumpster outside, the indictment said. Police later recovered the items in a landfill.
Tsarnaev was captured and arrested on April 19 shortly after his brother, Tamerlan, was killed in a police shootout. His two college friends were taken into custody several days later, and were charged in a criminal complaint on May 1.
Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov have not entered pleas to the indictment and are scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.
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