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May 2, 2013

Three took bombing suspect’s backpack and laptop

BOSTON — Three college friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were arrested and accused Wednesday of trying to protect him by going into his dorm room and getting rid of a backpack filled with hollowed-out fireworks three days after the deadly attack.

The three 19-year-olds were not accused of any role in the bombing. But in a footnote in the court papers outlining the charges, the FBI said that about a month before the tragedy, Tsarnaev told two he knew how to make a bomb.

Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, both of whom came to the U.S. from Kazakhstan, were charged with conspiring to obstruct justice by concealing and destroying evidence. Robel Phillipos, who graduated from a Cambridge high school with Tsarnaev, was charged with lying to investigators about the visit to Tsarnaev’s room.

According to the FBI account, just hours after surveillance camera photos of the Boston Marathon suspects were flashed around the world April 18, Tsnarnaev’s friends suspected he was one of the bombers and removed the backpack, along with a laptop, from Tsarnaev’s room at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

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