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The Boston Massacre

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Three More Suspects Taken into Custody in Boston Bombing Case

May 1st 2013


Authorities have taken three more suspects into custody in the investigation of last month's Boston Marathon bombings. The Boston Police Department issued a statement Wednesday saying there was "no threat to public safety" and that more details would be forthcoming.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) told CNN the suspects were all college students who would be charged with "disposal of evidence." "It is part of the ongoing investigation. And this basically is I believe going to involve three students who allegedly helped to dispose of evidence or remove evidence," King said on Wednesday. "Two of them had been in custody on visa violations and the other was an American citizen who has been picked up."

CNN also reported that two of the suspects are foreign students from Kazakhstan who were believed to be roommates of Dzokhar Tsarnev, the 19-year-old bombing suspect who was captured after a day-long manhunt that shut down the city of Boston. The network said that the students were suspected of lying to investigators and throwing potential evidence into a dumpster.

Tsarnaev is facing federal charges of using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death. He was moved late last week from a hospital to a federal prison medical center, where he is reportedly being kept in a room behind a steel door.

His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died after a shootout with police. The pair are accused of having set the twin bombs that killed three people and injured some 260 others at the Boston Marathon. Multiple media outlets are reporting that the suspects detained Wednesday are not believed to have aided the Tsarnaevs before the terror attack.

Earlier this week, investigators searched the Rhode Island home of Katherine Russell, Tamerlan's widow and the mother of his child. Boston police had also searched a landfill in New Bedford, Mass., in search of a laptop that could be relevant to the case. But CNN reported that Russell was not among those arrested Wednesday.

Boston Police said they did not have details on a possible press conference to explain the arrest, and referred questions to the FBI. The arrests come as Washington begins to delve into possible intelligence failures in the run-up to the Boston attack. The House Homeland Security Committee is scheduled to hold the first congressional hearing into the Boston bombings next week.

On Tuesday, President Obama said Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was investigating how the government handled its investigation of Tamerlan. Russian intelligence officials warned the United States about his interest in radical groups in 2011, prompting an FBI investigation.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Tuesday that Congress should appoint a joint select committee to investigate the government's handling of intelligence on the bombing suspects. "When it comes to Boston, we need a joint select committee to look at FBI, the CIA and Homeland Security," Graham told CNN on Tuesday. "The system did not work as designed."

Graham has suggested that intelligence and law enforcement agencies did not properly coordinate a response after Russian intelligence tipped off American officials that bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev could have radical ties. "Ultimate blame, I think, is with the administration," he said last week.

President Obama dismissed Graham's criticisms, pointing to the rapid response to the bombing. "Mr. Graham is not right on this issue, although it may have generated some headlines," he said at a press conference on Tuesday.

"I think that what we saw in Boston was state; local; federal officials; every agency, rallying around a city that had been attacked, identifying the perpetrators just hours after the scene had been examined," he said. "We now have one individual deceased, one in custody. Charges have been brought."

The president went on to say that initial indications were that federal agencies had properly vetted Tsarnaev. "What I can say is, is that based on what I've seen so far, the FBI performed its duties; Department of Homeland Security did what it was supposed to be doing," Obama said.

Justin Sink writes for The Hill, from where this article is adapted.

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