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With the news of three additional suspects in federal custody, questions remain about the motive for the Boston Marathon bombing and whether the attack involved conspirators beyond the Tsarnaev brothers. But an account from an acquaintance of the suspects—a student at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth who was once romantically involved with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev himself—helps shed light on the individuals now at the center of the investigation.
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The woman, who lived in the same dorm at UMass–Dartmouth as Tsarnaev during the 2011-12 academic year, told Mother Jones that she first met and had a “fleeting fling” with the bombing suspect during the fall of 2011. Around the same time, she says, she met Tsarnaev’s college buddies Dias Kadyrbayev, Azamat Tazhayakov, and Robel Phillipos, the men now accused of helping Tsarnaev dispose of evidence and lying to investigators after the bombing.
Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov, the woman said, were part of a group of about five Russian-speaking friends at the university whom Tsarnaev was never without. “They all sort of idolized Jahar,” she said, using the name she and others knew Tsarnaev by. “Dias was probably the one closest to him.” She said that of the friends, Tsarnaev was the most popular and in touch with campus social life. “I cannot speak to the nature of their relationship because of the language barrier, however I did observe that Jahar was always the leader in his group.”
That may help explain why the two would’ve helped Tsarnaev dispose of evidence after the marathon bombing, as authorities now allege. Whether they did so, and what knowledge they may have had about the bombing, remains unclear.
The woman, who was contacted by Mother Jones, asked to remain anonymous, fearing for the loss of her privacy. Her account of the Boston bombing suspects was corroborated by another former resident of the UMass-Dartmouth dorm where she met and became involved with Tsarnaev.
Former Girlfriend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the 3 Additional Suspects: "They All Idolized Jahar"