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New arrests hint at unseen side of Boston bombing suspect (+video)

Three of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's friends were arrested Wednesday and charged with covering up for him. Two told authorities they heard Tsarnaev brag about his bombmaking ability.

By Staff writer / May 1, 2013

This courtroom sketch shows defendants Dias Kadyrbayev (l.) and Azamat Tazhayakov appearing in front of Federal Magistrate Marianne Bowler at the Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston Wednesday. The two college friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were arrested and charged with removing a backpack containing hollowed-out fireworks from Tsarnaev's dorm room.

Jane Flavell Collins/AP

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Three men have been charged with impeding a federal investigation of the Boston Marathon bombings in allegations that would seem to blend criminality with teenage stupidity.

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Three college classmates of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have been charged with trying to cover up his tracks after the deadly Boston Marathon bombings. Elaine Quijano reports.

After realizing that their college friend was being sought by police in connection with the April 15 attack, the three sought to discard evidence to help their friend “avoid trouble,” according to court documents filed Wednesday.

By that time, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was already in more than the usual amount of trouble for a 19-year-old.

Now his three friends – Dias Kadyrbayev, Azamat Tazhayakov, and Robel Phillipos – could also be in big trouble.

And the new criminal complaint against them also may shed new light on Mr. Tsarnaev’s interest in bombmaking. Previous news accounts have widely portrayed his older brother as the mastermind of the attacks, but the complaint says that two of the friends heard the younger Tsarnaev say, a month before the attacks, that he knew how to make bombs.

The document also quotes one of the friends saying that Tsarnaev appeared to have cut his hair short when the two saw each other on the campus the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth on April 17, two days after the bombing. The timing of that apparent effort at a changed appearance is significant; the next day the FBI made photos of the bombing suspects public.

The criminal charges made public Wednesday do not allege that any of the three newly arrested men were involved in the bombings or knew about any plans. But these men could potentially face years in prison for obstructing justice.

Mr. Kadyrbayev and Mr. Tazhayakov, who are Kazakhstan nationals studying in the US, have been held in jail for more than a week on allegations that they violated their student visas. Now they are charged with conspiring to destroy, conceal, and cover up tangible objects belonging to the suspected bomber. That could carry a sentence of up to five years in prison and $250,000 fine.

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Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

 
 
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