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Pal Treated Tsarnaevs to Dinner After Bombings

Khairullozhon Matanov is arrested on obstruction charges
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2014 3:24 PM CDT

(Newser) – So what did Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev do the night of the Boston Marathon bombings? They went out to dinner with a friend, his treat. In fact, that friend, Khairullozhon Matanov, called Tamerlan just 42 minutes after the bombs went off to arrange it, reports the Boston Globe. He also visited Tamerlan two days later at his Cambridge residence—before the brothers were named as suspects—and unsuccessfully tried to call them after they were named as suspects, reports the Guardian. Authorities say they don't think that Matanov knew of the plot beforehand or that he knew the Tsarnaevs were involved immediately afterward, but they are charging him with obstructing their investigation.

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The 23-year-old allegedly made false statements to investigators to downplay his relationship with the Tsarnaevs, tried to get friends to take his cell phones so they wouldn't be searched, and deleted hundreds of videos and documents from his computer once he realized he would be investigated. The FBI recovered some of those files and said they “contained violent content or calls to violence.” Matanov, a citizen of Kyrgyzstan who works as a cab driver, faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. The indictment takes note of his state of mind after returning from dinner the night of the bombings. He told a witness that the attacks “could have had a just reason, such as being done in the name of Islam, (and) that he would support the bombings if the reason were just or the attack had been done by the Taliban." He said the "victims had gone to paradise.” (Read more Boston Marathon bombing stories.)

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