POSTED: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - 10:03am
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - 1:33pm
CNN — Two weeks after twin blasts near the Boston Marathon's finish line, the story continues to develop -- including new insights and movement on the investigation, the victims and more.
- Dias Kadyrbayev, 19, and Azamat Tazhayakov, 19, both of New Bedford, Massachusetts, were charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice by conspiring to destroy, conceal and cover up objects belonging to suspected Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, including a laptop computer and backpack containing fireworks, the Justice Department said. A third man, Robel Phillipos, 19, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, was charged with willfully making materially false statements to federal law enforcement officials during a terrorism investigation, the department said.
The three men arrested in connection with the investigation will appear in federal court at 3:30 p.m., the U.S. attorney's office tweeted Wednesday.
-- Murat Kadyrbayev, father of a student in the United States who was arrested Wednesday in connection with the Boston bombing investigation, said last week that his son Dias and fellow arrested student Azamat Tazhayako own a BMW that garnered attention in the investigation. The car had a decorative license plate reading "Terrorista #1." The plate was a joke from friends in Spain, Murat Kadyrbayev told the Kazakh news website Tengri News and STV channel in an interview, Tengrinews.kz reported.
Previously reported developments:
-- A source briefed on the investigation says that one of the Kazakh students facing charges, Dias Kadyrbayev, was first handcuffed and taken in for questioning by FBI agents April 19, hours before police captured Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Kadyrbayev was released and then taken in for questioning again on the morning of April 21, according to the source.
-- One of the reasons Kadyrbayev was of immediate interest involved activity on his Facebook page. The source says that while Dzhokhar was on the run -- at 3 a.m. on April 19, Kadyrbayev deleted a photo showing him and the suspect having dinner together, according to the source briefed on the investigation.
-- The source said that Kadyrbayev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev both changed their Facebook photos early Friday morning within 15 minutes of each other.
-- Investigators originally thought Kadyrbayev was a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A screen grab of Kadyrbayev's Facebook page lists him as being in MIT's class of 2015, and that he attended the school of engineering. This was of particular interest because investigators believe the Tsarnaev brothers may have gotten help from someone who knew enough about engineering to make the device successful.
-- Richard Donahue, the transit police officer wounded in a firefight with the bombing suspects on April 19, said in a statement Wednesday that he still faces a "long road" of rehabilitation and recovery, but is on the mend. "I am optimistic I'll recover back to 100%" he said.
-- The three suspects arrested Wednesday were expected to appear before a federal judge in the afternoon, U.S. government sources said.
-- The two suspects who are originally from Kazakhstan -- Azamat Tazhayako and Dias Kadyrbayev -- had been in federal custody on immigration charges already, their lawyers told CNN.
-- A federal law enforcement official told CNN on Wednesday that the charges against two of the individuals taken into custody involve allegedly lying to officials, because when first questioned by the FBI they lied about not seeing the suspects and not knowing their whereabouts after the attack.
-- The federal law enforcement source said the charge of conspiring to obstruct justice relates to their moving things from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's dorm room and throwing them into a dumpster. The source said the objects disposed of included fireworks inside backpacks. The trash bin subsequently was taken to a nearby landfill. Authorities carried out a two-day search of the landfill in New Bedford late last week.
-- Attorneys for two students in New Bedford, Massachusetts, who are originally from Kazakhstan, told CNN Wednesday that the two -- Azamat Tazhayako and Dias Kadyrbayev -- have been arrested in connection with the investigation.
-- A Department of Homeland security source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Wednesday that two of the suspects were New Bedford, students who have been arrested on charges of making false statements and conspiracy to obstruct justice. A third student, a U.S. citizen, also had been arrested.
-- Police in Boston said "there is no threat to the public" after announcing that three more suspects have been taken into custody.
-- Alan Dershowitz, a prominent defense attorney and Harvard law professor, said at least two of the additional three people arrested do not appear "to have been charged with anything relating to the bombing itself."
"If they knew about the bombing, if they were involved in the bombing, the charges would be conspiracy to do the acts for which the other man has already been charged," Dershowitz said Wednesday. "So it sounds like at this point in time the only evidence they have is actions that took place after the bombing."