Three college friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were arrested earlier today in charges that are related to the Boston Marathon bombing. Tsarnaev, who, along with his deceased brother Tameralan, is the primary suspect in the bombing of Boston’s annual marathon, is currently recovering from gunshot wounds in a Boston hospital. His schoolmates were arrested for removing items from his dorm room shortly after the attacks.
NBC reports that Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev have been charged with conspiring to obstruct justice. Robel Phillipos was charged with making false statements to federal authorities. Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev are both from Kazakhstan and were detained over a week ago on immigration charges. They will be held until in a detention facility until their hearing on May 14. Phillipos is being held until a detention hearing on Monday.
According to court papers, the three suspects, all friends of Tsarnaev, arrived at his dorm room in the days following the bombing of the Boston Marathon. Kadyrbayev had recognized Tsarnaev from the bombing footage, and the two exchanged texts before Tsarnaev told Kadyrbayev to go to his dorm room and take “whatever you want.”
The three students went to Tsarnaev’s dorm room, were let in by his roommate, and watched a movie, before spying a backpack filled with fireworks. The gunpowder had been removed from all of the fireworks. Fearing for their friend, they also took his laptop, and upon realizing that he was the suspect the FBI was searching for, collectively decided to dispose of Tsarnaev’s belongings in a trash can near the campus.
It is not believed that Tsarnaev’s three friends had any prior knowledge of the bombing. Their attorneys have said that while they did remove items from their friend’s dorm room, they did not know Tsarnaev was the bomber and did not understand the severity of their actions.