Boston, May 1 (IANS) Two weeks after the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing, two classmates of the dead suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and a third person have been arrested and face federal charges.
Boston police announced the arrests Wednesday morning, adding that there was “no threat to the public”. They were expected to appear before a federal judge Wednesday afternoon, CNN reported citing US government sources.
The classmates — Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev — are both from Kazakhstan and had been in federal custody on immigration charges already, the channel said citing their lawyers. The third person arrested is a US citizen.
The Kazakh students face charges of making false statements to investigators and conspiracy to obstruct justice, it said citing a federal law enforcement source.
All three are accused of removing items from Tsarnaev’s dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth after the bombings, the official said.
Law enforcement officials believe they helped destroy evidence that might further implicate Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the bombing by disposing of fireworks and his laptop, CNN said citing a US government official.
Two US government officials cited by CNN said the charges involve illegal actions after the bombing.
One official said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev contacted the three after FBI agents released photographs of Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan and asked them to dispose of the items. The suspects said they did not know the significance of what they were doing, the official told CNN.
Another federal law enforcement official told CNN two of three lied to the FBI when asked about whether they had seen the suspects or knew of their whereabouts after the bombings.
The suspects threw out backpacks of fireworks from the dorm room, leading to a two-day search of a New Bedford landfill last week, the official said.
–Indo-Asian News Service