Nightly News | May 01, 2013
>>> good evening. we learned today the investigation into the boston marathon bombings is far from over. three more people were swept up today and charged by the feds. they were brought into court in handcuffs and shackles because of the role the feds say they played as friends of the bombers. the question now will become what did they know and when did they know it and what are they accused of doing? today we learn more about what investigators say was going on behind the scenes in the hours and days after the bombing. nbc's pete williams starts us off again tonight from our washington newsroom. pete, good evening.
>> reporter: brian, good evening. the authorities stressed that there is no indication that these three young men charged today had anything to do with planning or carrying out the bombings i.'s what they did afterward that's now landed them in federal court . the fbi says three days after the devastating bombing at the boston marathon , three college friends of the surviving bombing suspect, dzhokhar tsarnaev, fearing he might have been one of the bombers went to his college dorm room and found a black backpack containing empty fireworks tubes. they decided to take it and throw it away. after searching a boston area landfill agents found the backpack five days ago containing the empty fireworks tubes that so alarmed tsarnaev's friends. technicians say they believe the bombs were made using explosive powder from fireworks. the three charged today, two men from kazakhstan, dias kadyrbayev and azamat tazhayakov face charges of lying to investigators and obstructing justice. the three became concerned the night pictures were released of the bombing suspects.
>> somebody out there knows these individuals as friends, neighbors, co-workers or family members of the suspects.
>> reporter: bun bu instead of calling the fbi they did something different. court documents say kadyrbayev texted his friend tsarnaev that he looked like one of the suspects and tsarnaev responded "lol" and texted come to my room and take whatever you want . barely and hour after the fbi released photos the three friends did go to his college dorm room. kadyrbayev decided they should take the backpack with the empty fireworks tubes in order to help his friend tsarnaev avoid trouble and knew when he saw the empty fireworks that tsarnaev was involved in the marathon bombing. the next morning the fbi says at the new bedford apartment of the new two kazakhstan students the men saw news reports identifying their friends.
>> known as suspect number one in the black hat , number two in the white hat .
>> reporter: they decided to throw the backpack away, quote, because they did not want tsarnaev to get into trouble. a lawyer for kadyrbayev said his client wasn't trying to hide anything from the fbi .
>> he did not know those items were involved in a bombing or of interest many a bombing or had evidential value.
>> reporter: the fbi says earlier this yearazhayakov and tsarnaev along with other friends set off fireworks along the banks of boston's charles river . the two foreign students told the fbi a month before the bombing tsarnaev told them he knew how to make a bomb. lawyers for all three men say they cooperated fully with the fbi and had absolutely no involvement in the bombing and they deny the charges against them.
>> is there evidence the feds have been watching these three from about the start?
>> reporter: yes. from the day of the shooting in watertown, shortly thereafter. it comes partly from looking at the text messages of tsarnaev from the cell phone they recovered. he saw they were in touch with some of the men. partly from talking to the actual roommate tsarnaev had who they say was not involved in this. they have been watching them and questioning them off and on ever since then basically.
>> pete williams has been leading the coverage of the story for us in our washington newsroom again tonight. pete, thanks.