Latest developments in the Boston bombing investigation

Photo from a CNN source
Friday, April 26, 2013 - 8:00am

Here are some of the latest developments in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation:

-- Anzor Tsarnaev, the father of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, had agreed to fly to the United States to cooperate in the investigation. He was to take off as early as Friday, but Thursday his wife called an ambulance for him. He was not on an early Friday flight leaving Makhachkala, Dagestan, which serves as the first leg of travel to the United States.

-- "Members of the MIT community" are being asked -- at the request of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's campus police chief and the Middlesex County district attorney's office -- to provide authorities with information related to the night of April 18, MIT administrator Israel Ruiz said in a letter posted on the school's website. Authorities have said they believe MIT police officer Sean Collier was killed that night by the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing.

-- The Middlesex County District Attorney's Office hopes to bring charges against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for his alleged role in incidents last week in Cambridge and Watertown, Massachusetts, spokeswoman Stephanie Guyotte said Thursday. Authorities have said they suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his late brother, Tamerlan, killed Collier in Cambridge and later were involved in a chase -- during which they allegedly threw bombs out of their windows -- and shootout that ended in nearby Watertown. "We're still investigating," Guyotte said.

Previously reported:

-- Russia raised concerns to U.S. authorities about Zubeidat Tsarnaev, the mother of the Boston Marathon bombings' suspects, in 2011 at the same time they asked the U.S. about her son Tamerlan, several sources told CNN.

-- Also, U.S. authorities added both the mother and son to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE, database -- a collection of more than a half million names maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center, an intelligence official said.

-- FBI agents interviewed the mother as part of the investigation into Tamerlan Tsarnaev, whose case was closed after several months.

-- Tamerlan Tsarnaev's phone number was seen as indirectly linked to numbers that came up in two other investigations into terror suspects, according to a senator who attended classified briefings about the Boston attack investigation.

-- Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said investigators believe the Boston bombing suspects were planning another attack "likely in the Boston area." "The notion they decided to go to New York was a rushed event after this thing unraveled on them," Rogers said.

-- Thirty-four of the more than 260 people wounded in last week's explosions were still being treated Thursday evening in Boston-area hospitals, according to a CNN tally. Only one of them -- at Boston Medical Center -- is in critical condition. At least 14 people underwent amputations because of the blasts.

-- The mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects said Thursday that she'd called an ambulance to take her husband, Anzor Tsarnaev, to a hospital in the southern Russian city of Makhachkala. It was not immediately known whether Anzor Tsarnaev was ever admitted to a hospital and, if so, if he is still there.

-- Federal agents who swarmed the residence of University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth students last week "went in heavy" because they thought the surviving Boston Marathon bombings suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, might be inside, a federal law enforcement source told CNN.

-- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev shared a cell phone with a Russian-speaking student from Kazhakstan who was detained in the raid, something the law enforcement source said authorities had determined through cell phone records and their social media interaction. This other student was in a picture with Dzhokhar last year in New York's Time Square.

-- This student and another taken into custody in the raid continued to be detained Thursday. The young men, both foreign exchange students from Kazhakstan, are being held by federal authorities on alleged visa violations.

-- The two students, who haven't been identified by name, are not thought to be linked to last week's attack in Boston, sources stress. Yet investigators hope they can better piece together the suspected bombers' movements before and after the marathon.

-- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev revealed to investigators that he and his brother intended to drive to New York and "detonate additional explosives in Times Square," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. Bloomberg said the FBI told New York officials this information Wednesday night.

-- At least one of the two bombs used in Boston -- the second to explode -- was detonated by remote control, a law enforcement official told CNN on Thursday. Previously, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Maryland Democrat and member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, said Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev used a remote control device similar to those used to control toy cars to detonate both bombs at the marathon.

-- A body found Tuesday is that of Sunil Tripathi, a missing Brown University student who was falsely identified by some on social media as being one of the Boston Marathon bombers. The Rhode Island State Medical Examiner's office said Thursday that the body has been identified as that of Tripathi, missing since March 15. No foul play is suspected in his death, the office said.

-- No firearm was found in the boat where the surviving Boston Marathon attack suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was found, several sources from different agencies familiar with the investigation said Thursday. Authorities had said in a criminal complaint there was a standoff between the boat's occupant and police involving gunfire.

-- A ranking Democrat on a House intelligence subcommittee said Thursday that he does not believe the FBI and the CIA failed to share relevant information with each other regarding Boston Marathon attack suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Sources told CNN previously that Russia had separately asked the FBI and the CIA to look into Tsarnaev in 2011. "This information was put in a database, it was shared among different agencies, it was shared with a joint terrorism task force, and that's exactly what should happen," U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, said Thursday. "So I don't think this was a situation where either agency was withholding something from the other. ... Some are racing to say that the FBI dropped the ball or the agencies weren't talking to each other, and that just doesn't seem to be the case." Schiff is a ranking member of the Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence.

-- The suspect's mother said Thursday in Dagestan that U.S. officials "already told us they will not let us see Dzhokhar." Zubeidat Tsarnaev earlier said that she believed the bombings were staged and fake. But she also said she feels sorry for the victims and is resolute in her belief that her sons were not involved. Zubeidat Tsarnaev is wanted on 2012 felony charges of shoplifting and property damage in Massachusetts, according to court officials. It is unclear whether returning to the United States would lead to her arrest.

-- Russian President Vladimir Putin urged closer cooperation with the United States on security issues in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. "This tragedy should motivate us to work closer together," Putin said during a live televised call-in session in Moscow on Thursday. "If we combine our efforts, we will not suffer blows like that."

-- The body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev remains in the custody of the Massachusetts chief medical examiner, a spokesman for the medical examiner's office said. Terrel Harris also said the cause of death has yet to be determined.

-- Investigators are looking into the possibility Tamerlan Tsarnaev -- who was married with a young daughter, whom he frequently cared for while his wife worked as a home health aide -- may have helped finance the bomb plot through illegal drug sales, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

-- The name of one Boston Marathon bombing suspect was included in U.S. law enforcement and counterterrorism databases, but he was not on any watch list that would have prevented him from flying or required additional screening when he left or entered the country, intelligence and law enforcement officials said.

-- Human rights activist Kheda Saratova in Makhachkala, Dagestan, told CNN that the parents of the Tsarnaev brothers talked Wednesday with U.S. investigators and the Russian Federal Security Service.

-- Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have been "brainwashed" by a friend from Cambridge, Massachusetts named Misha -- an Armenian who had converted to Islam -- said the dead man's uncle, Ruslan Tsarni.

-- Elmirza Khozhgov, a former brother-in-law of the brothers, said the elder Tsarnaev introduced him to a man named Misha, but "I didn't witness him making him radical."

-- A spokeswoman for the Islamic Society of Boston said no one in the group's network appeared to have heard of the person named Misha.

-- The spokeswoman, Nichole Mossalam, said the group was prepared to hold a funeral for the dead brother but had not been asked to do so. Several of the group's imams said they would not be comfortable presiding over a funeral for the elder brother, so the organization would probably ask a lay person to officiate, she said.

-- The suspects received welfare benefits as children, the state government says; Tamerlan received them for his family through last year.


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