An FBI affidavit sheds light on how Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's newly arrested friends allegedly discovered his involvement in the Boston bombings—and how they hid the evidence. About a month before the bombings, Tsarnaev had told classmates Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov that he'd learned how to make a bomb, the affidavit says, per the AP; Kadyrbayev says he thought his friend was joking. But on April 18, Kadyrbayev and another friend, Robel Phillipos, recognized what appeared to be their buddy in FBI photos of the suspects. Kadyrbayev texted Tsarnaev, noting the similarity in appearance—though shortly after the bombing, the Christian Science Monitor notes, Tsarnaev had reportedly shortened his hair.
Tsarnaev wrote back, "LOL." Later, he texted, "You better not text me," and, "Come to my room and take whatever you want." The three friends headed to Tsarnaev's dorm, but he wasn't there; his roommate let the group inside, where they found a backpack full of fireworks with the powder removed. That confirmed their suspicions, Kadyrbayev said. Kadyrbayev considered ways to hide the evidence as the friends, Phillipos said, started "to freak out." Kadyrbayev pushed to get rid of the backpack; according to the affidavit, Phillipos responded, "Do what you have to do." Authorities later found the backpack in a landfill. Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov are from Kazakhstan, and the country today announced that it condemns terrorism and is cooperating with the US investigation, Reuters reports.