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article imageBoston bombing widow under investigation, faces possible charges

By Ralph Lopez     Mar 12, 2015 in World
The wife of deceased Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Ms. Katherine Russell, is under active police investigation, ABC News reported on the same day that the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev opened with its first prosecutor's statements.
Russell is the widow of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Dzhokhar's older brother. The brothers are prime suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.
According to law enforcement sources speaking to ABC News, Russell is suspected of being the woman seen with Tsarnaev in a surveillance video from Macy’s in Boston, where he bought five pressure cookers, two of which were allegedly used to make bombs, two months before the April 2013 attack. In an affidavit to search the Tsarnaev’s home, FBI agents said they were looking for clothing consistent with those seen on a security video.
Last week the younger brother sat in a courtroom listening to horrific stories of the carnage wrought by the Boston bombing, according to AP:
"slouched in his seat and [showing] little reaction as the case unfolded."
Lawyers for Tsarnaev have already conceded some level of involvement by Dzhokhar, and are cast in media reports as primarily interested in avoiding the death penalty.
Law enforcement has maintained that a surveillance video exists which captures Dzhokhar setting down the bomb, ignoring the first blast as other people react, and then fleeing the scene. Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick said on Meet the Press in 2013:
"The videotape is not something I've seen, it's been described to me, in my briefings, but It does seem to be pretty clear that this suspect took the backpack off, put it down, did not react when the first explosion went off and then moved away from the backpack in time for the second explosion. It's pretty clear about his involvement and pretty chilling, frankly, as it was described to me."
[UPDATE 3/12/2015: During today's trial video was released of the defendant at the time of the first explosion, apparently reacting and looking in the direction of the explosion along with others in the crowd, then hurriedly making his way in the other direction as the crowd joins and begins to flee. Moments later the second bomb explodes. FULL VIDEO SHOWN TO JURORS HERE.
For the past two years Tsarnaev has been held in a form of solitary confinement known as Special Administrative Measures (SAMs), which denies contact with an attorney outside the hearing range of government minders. Legal specialists who criticize SAMs cry foul that a suspect cannot tell an attorney of mistreatment outside of earshot of government minders, without inviting retaliation. A former high school wrestling teammate of Dzhokhar's recently told the Boston Globe, of a recent court appearance by Tsarnaev, that he seemed like a "different guy" who had a different "body language."
The Tsarnaevs' mother has long held that the FBI had known of the elder brother, Tamerlan's, activities years before the bombing, and had him under surveillance. The mother has said that the brothers were "set-up," and were part of a wider plot. The mother told Russia Today, as reported in CBS News:
"He (Tamerlan) was 'controlled' by the FBI, like, for three to five years...They knew what my son was doing. They knew what sites on the internet he was going to."
The mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, said:
“They were telling me that he was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him. They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets from these extremist sites. They were controlling him...I am, like, 100 percent sure, that this is a set-up,”
The brothers' father, Anzor Tsarnaev, told Russia's Channel One television:
"I do not believe that my sons could have planned and organized the terrorist act, because they knew U.S. national security services were keeping an eye on them...They (the security services) said 'We know what you eat, what you read on the Internet',"
Tamerlan Tsarnaev traveled to Chechnya early in 2012, after being interviewed by the FBI in February of the previous year. His brother and family were also interviewed. At the time he traveled to Chechnya, Tamerlan had been placed on at least two terror watch lists.
Also surfacing this week in Dzhokhar's trial is a cryptic Tweet allegedly sent by Dzhokhar two months before the bombing, in which he said: “They will spend their money and they will regret it and then they will be defeated.”
The Tweet did not say who it was that would be "spend[ing] their money."
Soon after the bombing, the FBI was forced to admit that it had interviewed the Tsarnaevs numerous times in 2011 and after. The FBI initially denied ever knowing the brothers. Boston CBS reported:
"CBS News reports although the FBI initially denied contacting Tsarnaev, the brothers’ mother said they had..."
Teammate: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev "Different Guy"
A drill was taking place at the finish line just moments before the bombs exploded, as reported by Alabama news outlets, who interviewed a University of Mobile sports coach who was a witness.
Not known is whether or not the prosecution will present the heretofore anonymous, alleged carjack victim "Danny." "Danny" is the sole link between the brothers and the killing of MIT officer Sean Collier, allegedly having heard Tamerlan admit the killing. Police audio shows that another gunman was also in the area at the time Collier was killed. Early reports indicated, erroneously, that a robbery near the location where Collier was killed was committed by the brothers.
MIT Officer Sean Collier  killed by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects
MIT Officer Sean Collier, killed by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects
Cambridge Police Deaprtment
During Tsarnaev's continuing trial today, jurors also got a look at images of a note allegedly penned by the defendant as he hid in a boat before he was captured, after police fired a withering fusillade into the boat. The note, providing a motive for the attack, was reported a month after the bombing. The bombing was on April 15th, while the note's existence was not reported until May 16th.
Police fusillade into boat where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding (captured by neighbor on cell camera)
RELATED: "Entire Tsarnaev case turns on video of backpack being set down"
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