Three more suspects have been arrested in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing case.
A lawyer representing them says two of the three men, Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, are originally from Kazakhstan and were friendly with the younger suspect 19-year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The two have been held in county jail for more than a week on visa violations.
They attended the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev attended school. Authorities have not said who the third suspect is.
Meanwhile, investigators are uncovering new clues about what may have inspired the older Boston Marathon bombing suspect.
They say Tamerlan Tsarnaev traveled to a notorious mosque in Dagestan last year, where he met Mahmud Mansur Nidal, a known Chechen terror recruiter. Russian authorities killed Nidal last year.
Investigators say Tamerlan also had Internet contact with William Plotnikov, a Canadian boxer who moved to Russia and joined a terror group. Plotnikov was also killed in a raid by Russian authorities.
In the meantime, U.S. investigators continued their search for possible accomplices. They have identified nearly a dozen persons of interest, including Tamerlan’s widow.
Her attorney said she wants his body released to his family for burial. Right now, it remains unclaimed in a Boston morgue.
The surviving Boston bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, sits in a tiny isolated jail cell. He stopped talking with federal agents days ago.
Meanwhile, the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) has released records showing Tamerlan’s parents received more than a $100,000 in taxpayer-funded assistance while living in Boston.
The Boston Herald reports those benefits came in the form of food stamps, Section 8 housing and even cash.
The suspects’ father, Anzor Tsarnaev, received assistance from DTA from January 2003 to March 2003 and again from August 2009 to June 2010. Their mother, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, received food stamps and Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFD) program from September 2011 to November 2012.
The state has handed over more than 500 documents regarding those benefits to the House Post Audit and Oversight Committee.
“The Tsarnaev parents were eligible to receive benefits as legal, non-citizen residents who were granted asylum status and met the basic eligibility criteria for DTA, including household income levels, presence of dependent children and other factors,” DTA interim commissioner Stacey Monahan wrote in a letter to state Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick, the committee’s chairman.
Linsky said he believes the public has the right to know what assistance the Tsarnaev’s received and is promising a thorough investigation.
“I can assure members of the public that this committee will actively review every single piece of information we can find because clearly the public has a substantial right to know what benefits, if any, this family or individuals accused of some horrific crimes were receiving,” he said.