Trio arrested in connection with Boston bombing

May 1, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Three more people have been arrested in connection with circumstances surrounding the Boston Marathon bombing that claimed three lives.

Special Agent Scott P. Cieplik of the FBI filed a complaint against Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, and a separate complaint against Robel Phillipos in United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts Wednesday.

In a short description of the alleged offense against Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov, Cieplik said the two - “Did willfully conspire with each other to commit an offense against the United States, by knowingly destroying, concealing and covering up objects belonging to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, namely, a backpack containing fireworks and a laptop computer, with the intent to impede, obstruct, and influence the criminal investigation of the Marathon bombings.”

In the actual body of the complaint, in addition to the charges against Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov, the complaint says -

“There is also probable cause to believe that Robel Phillipos, another friend of Tsarnaev’s, knowingly and willfully made materially false statements to federal law enforcement investigators during a terrorism investigation. This affidavit is submitted in support of an application for a complaint charging the three men with these crimes.”

Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov are both nationals from Kazakhstan who entered the United States on student visas, and until their arrest pending removal proceedings based on immigration violations on April 20, 2013, Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov shared an apartment in New Bedford, Mass., while Phillipos is a United States citizen who lives in Cambridge, Mass.

The complaint gets specific as to what the two nationals are accused of.

“On April 18, 2013, between approximately 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov, and Phillipos met at the UMASS-Dartmouth campus and went to Tsarnaev’s dormitory room. Tsarnaev’s roommate let them in, stating that Tsarnaev had left a couple of hours earlier. Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov, and Phillipos spent some time inside the room watching a movie. They noticed a backpack containing fireworks. The fireworks had been opened and emptied of powder. Kadyrbayev knew when he saw the empty fireworks that Tsarnaev was involved in the bombing. Kadyrbayev decided to remove the backpack from the room in order to help his friend Tsarnaev avoid trouble. He decided to take Tsarnaev’s laptop as well because he did not want Tsarnaev’s roommate to think he was stealing or behaving suspiciously by just taking the backpack. After Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov, and Phillipos returned to Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov’s apartment with the backpack and computer, they watched news reports that featured photographs of a man later identified as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.”

The complaint says they collectively decided to throw the backpack and fireworks into the trash.

One brief sentence stands out in the complaint. A footnote on one of the pages reads - “During these interviews, Tazhayakov also informed the FBI agents that while eating a meal with Dzhokhar and Kadyrbayev approximately one month prior to the Marathon bombing, Dzhokhar had explained to Kadyrbayev and Tazhayak that he knew how to make a bomb.”

The government ended the complaint with a motion to seal the complaint and “any other paperwork related to this matter, until further order of this court.” That motion was submitted by Carmen M. Ortiz, United States Attorney.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.