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Boston Bombing News: Updates and Notes on Tsarnaev’s Three Friends

Defense counsel for Dias Kadyrbayev and Robel Phillipos have released a joint Status Report and Proposed Scheduling Order. The defense’s Discovery Request is due February 17. Azamat Tazhayakov is filing separately.

Why is Azamat Tazhayakov filing separately? We might be tempted to tea-leaf read (is his dad encouraging him to make some sort of special deal?). But, we simply don’t know the reason right now.

The B.Blake power-of-suggestion article referenced below points out that, like Jahar’s alleged hospital-bed confession, the interviews with these three young men were not recorded. After numerous interrogations, they simply signed statements which were written for them.

The Criminal Complaint Against Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov. On April 18 Dias texted Jahar, commenting that he looked like the bombing suspect. Jahar replied “lol”. Later he sent two more messages: “you better not text me” and “If yu want yu can go to my room and take what’s there:? but ight bro Salam aleikum”

Between 6 and 7 pm, the three friends entered Jahar’s room (let in by his roommate). They watched a movie. They happened to notice a backpack containing fireworks. They then “knew” that their friend was the bomber. Dias decided to remove the backpack from the room. “He decided to take Tsarnaev’s laptop as well because he didn’t want Tsarnaev’s roommate to think he was stealing or behaving suspiciously by just taking the backpack.” He dropped the backpack in a trash dump at about 10 pm. The laptop was not dumped; reportedly they later turned it over to authorities.

Questions: Was the incriminating backpack casually left out for the roommate to see? And, wouldn’t the roommate get even more suspicious if they took both the backpack and the laptop?

The smiley-face text. We briefly discussed this on the last thread. ? but ight bro. Right? Alright? Light? B U tight? Some have interpreted “yu can go to my room and take what’s there” as having more to do with marijuana than with fireworks. Do we know? Of course not. But the smiley-face hints that Jahar was not yet reading his situation as a dire one.

Some media sources have appended the phrase “I’m about to leave” to the beginning of the text. This phrase is not in the Tsarnaev indictment, or in the criminal complaint against the three friends. You would think they would want it in there, as it implies that the brothers were planning to flee. Without that phrase, a planned flight is not implied.

Fireworks. These three young men are facing lengthy sentences because they disposed of fireworks or lied about fireworks. Ironically, fireworks probably had nothing to do with the Marathon Bombing.

According to the criminal complaint, Aza told the investigators that fireworks had been used by Jahar’s circle of friends in a strictly recreational sense in the previous months. This point is addressed in detail by B.Blake in this link.

To quote from the article: “The fireworks were of a completely different type to those officials have linked to the bombings, and many were distinctly still intact.”

The American Pyrotechnic Association says: “There has been no evidence citing that the fireworks were actually used but rather, were simply found, and there was no observation of colors and other visual effects when the blasts occurred which would typically be associated with fireworks.” The APA also states in detail why the packages purchased by Tamerlan in New Hampshire were not useful for a lethal purpose.

Notes and Oddities

According to Radio Free Europe, “On April 19, at 3:13 a.m. … Dias Kadyrbayev apparently logged onto vKontakte, a Russian social-networking site, and posted a picture of himself with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.” This picture showed Dias and Jahar sitting down to a meal, with Jahar’s arm draped around his friend’s shoulders. The message seemed to involve “sending greetings to his brother.” One wonders why, if Dias “knew” at that point that his friend was the bomber, he wanted to go on record with a message of support. By the next day, the picture and message had been removed. Presumably by that time, Dias had begun to realize the seriousness of the situation.

Here’s a weird piece of trivia about Robel Phillipos. According to USAToday, his mother’s Cambridge apartment is next to the gas station where the alleged carjacking took place. Is this true? If true, what does it prove? Should USAToday items be taken with a grain of salt?

The criminal complaint’s odd tale of casual movie-watching and confused roommate-deceiving is a prosecution story that doesn’t quite make sense. At the tail end of the last thread, I cited another prosecution story that is even odder … Go to the indictment against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and look at items 30 through 33, with special attention to the path of the magical self-propelling Honda.

I just checked the news. There is a new article about Ibragim Todashev. I haven’t read it yet.


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